jack_scott

Welcome to my website

 

I am a Councillor on Sheffield City Council for Arbourthorne ward in Sheffield and a Labour Party activist.

If you need anything, please get in touch

For latest news, remember to look at my Blog

Budget Speech to Full Council

For six, long, hard years, our city has been attacked, undermined and patronised by this government.

 

Let’s be clear. The LibDem amendment is an attempt to re-write history. But we remember:

  • This isn’t the first year of the government’s brutal cuts to Sheffield City Council – it is the sixth year
  • This isn’t the first year of a government demonising public sector workers and attacking people who work so hard for our city – it is the sixth year
  • This isn’t the first year the government has imposed cruel sanctions, the vicious bedroom tax and humiliating foodbanks – it is the sixth year

The people of Sheffield will never ever forget that you created this Tory government six years ago and that you then did absolutely everything in your power to sustain it and nothing to stop it.

But despite the pressures and the Tories’ and LibDems cuts we’ve faced, our budget today is rooted in our proud Labour values of solidarity, equality and fairness.

This budget will help move Sheffield forward, so that our great city stands tall and proud as the nation’s cleanest, greenest and safest community. Because we know that if you believe in Sheffield you have to believe in all of Sheffield and not just a few at the top.

So as part of this budget, this Labour Council is:

  • Working with businesses to create the dynamic and enterprising economy that we need, by building Europe’s first Advanced Manufacturing and Innovation District, which will be a crucible of the high-skill, high-wage green-collar jobs of the future
  • We’re planning to build 1,000 new council homes and giving families safety and security by cracking down on rogue private sector landlords, who do so much damage in our communities
  • We’re investing to become a truly living wage council and we are on our way to becoming the first living wage city, now with tax incentives to make sure work is a real route out of poverty
  • We’re protecting our green heritgate for future generations by planting 50,000 new trees and 17 new and expanded woodland areas – more than any other time in living memory.
  • We’re achieving record GCSE and A-level results, with the narrowest ever gap between the richest and the poorest parts of Sheffield, with far fewer failing schools and far more outstanding ones
  • And we’re building brand new schools and extending educational opportunity by delivering 400 apprentices for those who most need help to get on.

This budget sets out actions in all these areas and more. This budget builds on our proud record and will deliver even better things for Sheffield.

So let me conclude by saying that despite losing almost 50% of our money, This Labour budget does everything within our power to reduce poverty, tackle inequality and liberate the people of Sheffield from the injustices that far too many of them still face.

Do not be in any doubt: Labour will always stand up for Sheffield.

Despite six years of an incompetent, vicious and uncaring government that has cut us to the bone and then even deeper, this Labour budget sets out a vision which will help build a city we can all be proud of – a united city, where nobody is shut out, nobody is excluded and nobody is told that they are not important.

Where every single person can achieve their potential and has a stake in the future of our great city.

That’s Labour’s vision for Sheffield, which is reflected in this budget and that’s why I’m proud to support it.

Thank you very much

100 Days to Go

In 100 days, the people of Abourthorne, Gleadless Townend, Heeley and Norfolk Park (indeed all of Sheffield) have a big choice to make.

The whole Council – all 84 seats – will be elected anew. Every voter will have three votes for the Council. (From these 84 Councillors, a Leader and Cabinet will be chosen. I will have more to say about the challenges facing Sheffield as a whole in future posts.)

Every elector will also have a vote on another ballot paper for South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner.

I’m both very proud and extremely humbled to have been chosen by local Labour members as one of the candidates for the newly named Park and Arbourthorne Ward. Other than the name, this ward is essentially identical to the existing “Arbourthorne Ward” that I’ve represented since 2010.

Across the community, I can see the big, positive differences that we have made together – committed local residents, working with passionate and effective Councillors as part of a Council that is in-touch and committed to improving our communities:

The building – finally – of new social housing around Errington and Algar roads, even though the Government stole all the regeneration money that was meant to fund this vital project.

Working with existing local residents as we build brand new homes in Norfolk Park – with many many more to come in the next year.

The playground that we managed to get built on East Bank Road when everybody said there was no money and the improvements we’re pushing for to the community pond on Eastern Avenue.

Fighting to secure the big building project that’s underway at the moment at Gleadless Primary School and the new after school club that we are about to build at Norfolk Park Community Primary School.

For me, being a Councillor is about being proactive and available, building strong partnerships with community groups and always standing up for your constituents. As a local Councillor, I am passionate about bringing people together, with a vision for the future of our area and I’m assertive in standing up to this government and its unfairness.

But there are big challenges too and I see that every day, as poverty and inequality increase. The cruel cuts and deliberate ideology of the government have had a far greater impact on our community than on many others over the last six years – both in terms of people’s income and also the public services they rely on.

And almost every day, I help constituents affected by welfare cuts, petty bureaucracy and really vicious sanctions. These are increasing poverty and making daily life more of a struggle. It’s likely that over the next five years this government will attempt to impose even more hardship on residents in Arbourthorne.

So that means we need to do even more in the coming months. Jeremy Corbyn’s election as Leader has brought a renewed energy and sharper focus to Labour’s campaigning, especially in Sheffield. Membership in the Park and Arbourthorne ward has more than doubled and there is a renewed sense of outrage, determination and action.

Day in, day out, being a good Councillor is a 24/7 job and it is a huge privilege to stand up for people who need your help and to contribute to making our unique community even better.

I am proud to be a candidate in this election and stand for Labour in Sheffield. My passion and determination and energy for this community and its people is as strong as it has ever been. This is what I will be offering the people of Park and Arbourthorne in the coming 100 days and – hopefully – beyond.

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Sheffield Star Editorial: South Yorkshire is Stronger in Europe

Some thoughts from the Sheffield Star about the Sheffield’s place in Europe…

South Yorkshire 4 EU

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The Sheffield Star newspaper recently ran an editorial entitled: The EU helped Sheffield – we can’t leave now. The text is reproduced below: 

Immigrants are pouring over the borders while Brussels bureaucrats suffocate the UK under an avalanche of red tape, if you believe the rhetoric pumped out by anti-EU tub-thumpers.

But there is no doubt in my mind that the EU has been a huge benefit to Sheffield.

You can’t walk through the city centre without seeing a development made possible through £1billion of EU money since the 1990s: the Peace Gardens, Tudor Square and the Advanced Manufacturing Retail Park, the Winter Garden, the Millennium Gallery and much of Sheffield Station.

As you read this, construction continues at West Bar, where a £3.6million Grey to Green scheme is set to modernise the area.

The sign in front of the diggers has an EU flag on.

EU cash helped turn things…

View original post 285 more words

Video: “I won’t give you the gift of hating you”

Much has been written about the attacks in Paris and the aftermath. I found this video is particularly powerful:

(c) BBC

Labour’s Changing Membership – and why it matters

Below is an article I have written for the Fabian Society – please let me know your thoughts: 

The increase in Labour’s membership is profound. Reports suggest an additional 170,000 members have joined, including the 60,000 since Jeremy Corbyn became Leader of the Opposition. These numbers are unprecedented and should be a cause for deep celebration. But who are the people who’ve joined us, and what might they mean for the make-up of our membership?

Most coverage of our expanding size before Corbyn’s election focused on potential “entryists” or mischievous Tories, but now we must reflect on the significant change taking place in terms of the party’s composition.

Previous Fabian articles have touched on the split between the “old core” (white, working class, stable communities) and “new core” (egalitarian, university-educated, public sector workers and BAME communities) of the Labour Party. Is the same now happening with Party membership?

Talking to colleagues across the country, it certainly appears that the Party across England is becoming more like the Party in London. The vast majority of new members come from the middle classes, the public sector and BAME communities, all sharing a distinctly cosmopolitan outlook. This makes perfect sense, of course – polling suggests these groups are least likely to be concerned about immigration and most concerned by cuts to the public sector. So they’re much more likely to be attracted to Jeremy Corbyn’s clear policy approach in these areas.

As a result, the membership of wards in middle class areas is growing much faster than wards in working class areas. Membership is also growing fastest in London and slowest in the North East.

All new members are welcome, but we need to recognise that the revival in membership is not happening equally across the country, or even equally within constituencies or communities. As a result, the overall character of Labour Party membership is shifting.

This shift in the composition poses a number of challenges for Labour, not least how the party can develop a coherent vision that appeals to both sections of its membership. Before it can unite its “new core” and “old core” voters, Labour needs to unite its “new core” and “old core” membership.

The Labour Party’s structures and meeting culture remain broadly unchanged from thirty years ago. They take place within a strange environment, using abbreviations and language almost never used outside of the reified confines of these particular meetings. It is not surprising that Labour’s unique bureaucracy and language is off-putting to the Party’s more traditional members.

Members also tend, understandably, to select candidates who share their views and values. We have a problem, then: if Labour’s membership is becoming greater in number, but less diverse in its outlook and composition, how does the Party train and select candidates who represent other perspectives that are more closely allied with its traditional voters? Put bluntly, Labour could struggle to select more working class members when working class members make up a smaller and smaller proportion of our membership.

Similarly, Stella Creasy has set out the risk of Labour becoming “the public sector party”. If Labour’s new members are overwhelmingly drawn from the public sector and its associated professions, how do we reassure voters that Labour understands the private sector and is sympathetic towards it?

This should be of serious concern to the party, particularly in the wake of the Tories’ recent positioning – ludicrous as it is – of themselves as the “workers’ party”. The Tax Credits debacle has blunted that attack, but we must assume that the Tories will return to this theme and continue to push a message that has the potential to split Labour further from its traditional support. 

The unprecedented increase in the number of Party members is extremely welcome and provides Labour with scale, skills and opportunities it has not had in living memory. But the Party must also ensure its membership reflects our country and our communities in all ways, especially among those who would benefit most from a Labour government. To build the broad, united movement we all want, Jeremy Corbyn must first address this particular challenge of Labour’s unprecedented, but also unequal, revival.

Jack Scott is a Sheffield City Councillor, and a former PPC.  He tweets at  @Jack_Scott.  

The original article is here

Speech to Full Council: “Sheffield for Europe – Europe for Sheffield”

On Wednesday, I spoke at the Full Council meeting of Sheffield City Council on the importance of the EU to both Sheffield and Britain.  Below are my remarks – I’m grateful for your thoughts.

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When the EU was founded, men and women who had been trying to kill each other just 10 years earlier shook hands and promised there would never again be another European Great war. They kept that promise and from the ashes of war, they built a peace and a solidarity that still binds our continent together today.

Now, the prospect of European countries going to war with each other has diminished and we face another set of challenges: The threat of climate change. global criminal networks, trafficking and people smuggling, mass movement of refugees, tax havens and controlling global finance.

No country on earth – no matter how great – can tackle these issues by itself. Every one of these challenges requires more coordination between countries, more collaboration, more sharing of information and a more international approach. That is what the European Union provides.

Across our country, we can see the impact the EU has had – creating millions of jobs, opening trade and investment, bringing people together and broadening horizons.

Within Sheffield, our landscape is defined by the investment the EU has secured. Just imagine Sheffield without the EU:

  • No Peace Gardens,
  • No Train Station,
  • No Advanced Manufacturing Park,
  • No new bus lanes,
  • No new play equipment, No new woodlands and so on and so on.
  • And now the Fox Valley Retail Development in Stocksbridge, the Grey to Green scheme and the Castle Market project have all secured EU funding and would not have happened without it.

The upcoming referendum is one of the defining political issues of our generation. Those of us who will lead the campaign for Britain to remain a member of the EU have a big job to do in busting media myths and UKIP scaremongering.

This must be a positive campaign. We don’t want Britain to be a small-minded, small-hearted and small-time country.

Britain can only play its rightful role in the world through Europe and with out European partners. We can all be proud to be a Sheffielder, proud to be British and proud to be European.

I’d like to conclude by saying that no government is perfect. The EU isn’t perfect either. But for all its faults, it is the most peaceful, most prosperous and most successful democratic Union in the history of the world.

And I am confident that when the time comes, the people of Sheffield will choose prosperity over poverty, choose partnership over division and choose hope over fear by voting strongly to remain a member of the EU.

* CHECK AGAINST DELIVERY *

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