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