Tag Archives: Lib Dems

Leader of Sheffield City Council tells Castle Market store holders to: “downsize or go.”

29 Mar

In an interview today the leader of Sheffield City Council, Paul Scriven, was calm and well practised in answering questions about his support for the government and Nick Clegg’s vision for this country. But, when questioned about the locally controversial Castle Market his composure faltered and his answers had an undertone of irritation.

Essentially he held his morals in the right place and emphasised the council’s focus on saving social care services. He said: “Stall holders at Castle Market have been subsidised by the tax payer since 1993” and made it clear that they were not top priority in this city.

He saw it as unfair that they are expecting special treatment when shop owners from elsewhere in Sheffield may also be struggling and services such as Sure Start were at risk of being cut. He asked if he should put money into business or social care.

Mr Scriven claimed his powers are limited, “I can’t change the habits of shoppers and we’ve already invested huge amounts of money to get people into the city centre. Castle Market has been in a difficult position for years and we have helped promote it.”

The issue has come about prior to the new £18million market being built in The Moor where current stalls are expected to relocate in 2013. Since 2008 Castle Market stall holders have had a 40% discount on their rent which is going to be taken away and many are concerned they will not be in business to see the new development.

The council hopes the new market will bring in a more diverse range of customers but essentially Mr Scriven swept the subject aside and said: “They’re either going to have to downsize or go.”


By Sarah Walters

Peaceful Protests in Sheffield

15 Mar

Protests held in Sheffield at the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference went ahead with no major incidents.

A massive security operation, costing an estimated £2million, had been put into place as an 8ft high concrete and steel fence was erected around the City Hall and 1,000 police officers were deployed.

Around 5,000 protesters, half the expected amount, took part in the march which set off from Devonshire Green at 11am and finished at City Hall where the Lib Dems conference took place.

Despite concerns the protesters would mirror the chaos of vandalism and violence protests in London last November caused, the weekend proved to be mainly a good natured affair, with only one arrest.

South Yorkshire Police confirmed a 24 year old man had been arrested for a public order offence and the discharge of a firework in a public place. He was given a £80 fixed penalty fine and released.

The march was organised by a range of groups including Right To Work and the Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance.

By Carrie-Ann Vessey

Exclusive, Organiser of Sheffield Protests: “Hang your heads in shame Lib Dems”

14 Mar


Last weekend saw the Spring Liberal Democrat conference in Sheffield and with it thousands of protesters took to the streets to show Nick Clegg exactly what they think.

Despite it being expected that around 10,000 people would protest only an estimated 5,000 did. The £2million worth of defence measures, including 1000 police officers drafted in from bordering counties, only gave the protesters more fuel to use against the government.

Maxine Bowler from UNITE gave a passionate speech and attacked them for cutting £5million from Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital. She then accused them of spending nearly half of that on, “barricading the Liberals in because they can’t face the people of this city.”

She also went on to say: “We had Thatcher saying there is no such thing as society, now we have Cameron with the Big Society. This Big Society is a cover for privatisation.” She claimed that the government expect the public to, “volunteer and live on air.”

The crowds were encouraged by this, and similar speeches, but the atmosphere remained peacefully defiant. There was only one reported arrest but this was not for the violence that was expected.

One of the organisers of the protest was Martin Mayer from Sheffield Anti-Cuts Alliance who encouraged a peaceful protest to the crowd.

He also wanted to tell the Lib Dems to, “hang your heads in shame, re-think what you’re doing, pull out of this coalition while you’ve still got a chance and save this country from the appalling damage that your government is doing.” He maintained that all there were on the “moral high ground” and would work with the police to keep it a peaceful protest.

Also speaking at the protest was Paul Brandon from Right to Work. He said: “This government and the Lib Dems say that we’ve got to pay off this deficit, but since the Second World War we have had a greater deficit compared to the GDP.” He named Nick Clegg the, “liar in chief” and said: “he won’t get away with the lies, cheating and vandalism he’s trying to get away with in the country.”

Throughout the day no member of the Liberal Democrats gave a statement to the protesters. They were even booed out of a pub next to the City Hall but some did stand on the steps of City Hall to look at the crowd. Nick Clegg stayed in the conference behind the Wall of Steel built for him.

By Sarah Walters

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