Sheffield Hallam Hustings 2017

I stood in for the brilliant Jared O’Mara at one of the hustings in Sheffield Hallam.

It was an important opportunity to hold Nick Clegg to account for his votes and actions.


As almost every visitor to this site will be aware, Jared went on to beat Nick Clegg and become Labour’s first ever MP in Sheffield Hallam. I know he will do an amazing job.

I hope this video is of interest.


Air Quality Interview – Sheffield Live Video

Council condemns government plan on vehicle pollution from Sheffield Live on Vimeo.

Air Quality Interview – BBC Radio Sheffield

I was interviewed by Radio Sheffield on the government’s shabby, shoddy, weak and wobbly announcements on Air Quality.

You can listen to the interview below.

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.


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.


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.