Author Archives: Shaffaq Mohammed

Opinion: Tough Choices – Yes, but local politicians must grasp opportunities as well as challenges

Sheffield Town HallI doubt that there are many councillors who are unaware of the scale of the country’s financial difficulties. Yet whatever your prescription for resuscitating the British economy, politicians of all parties agree that reducing the deficit is a crucial piece in the puzzle.

Regardless of your views on the Government’s strategy, it is clear that reductions in council budgets are a reality. The challenge for councillors is to best adjust to the new climate and mitigate the impact on the services that people care about most.

I do not believe that the way forward is to abandon all council services, leaving local government as a sole provider of social care. Rather, local government should be taking the lead in innovative ways of thinking – taking bold steps to cut waste, not just services.

Posted in Local government and Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Shaffaq Mohammed writes: From a boy in Kashmir – to Leader of Sheffield Lib Dems

On election night in Sheffield, we had a painful evening, losing hard-working local councillors and good friends. They were defeated by a protest vote against the tough decisions forced upon the Government by the financial mess they inherited from Labour.

When we entered the general election, we understood the seriousness of the financial crisis the country faced. We knew that whoever entered Government after the election faced a difficult first few years. Yet, as Liberal Democrats we took a brave decision to enter a coalition in the national interest and we must stick to our five year commitment. One thing the people of Sheffield do not want is a return to the 1980s.

I know first hand what it was like to grow up in Sheffield in the 1980s. My father, a steelworker, was made redundant by the actions of the Thatcher Government.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 3 Comments
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  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 30th Sep - 7:20pm
    Jonathan, this ECHR report makes the argument for federalisation of Syria along the lines of the former Yugoslavia settlement http://www.ecfr.eu/page/-/ECFR185_-_NO_GOING_BACK_-_WHY_DECENTRALISATION_IS_THE_FUTURE_FOR_SYRIA.pdf. John Kerry put partition on...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 30th Sep - 7:18pm
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Voting_Rights_Act_of_1965
  • User AvatarJonathan Brown 30th Sep - 6:39pm
    @Joseph Bourke - I think talk of partition is a distraction at best, fuel for the flames at worst. As Eddie says, appart from many...
  • User AvatarJonathan Brown 30th Sep - 6:32pm
    @expats - certainly the US bombing of Syrian troops in Deir Ez-Zur put great pressure on the ceasefire, but one incident - however dramatic -...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 30th Sep - 6:23pm
    @ J Dunn, Possibly. It would meet the expectations many of us have of politicians. If any Labour MPs decide to do so rather than...
  • User AvatarSimon McGrath 30th Sep - 5:20pm
    Of course we need electoral reform. But is this article a warning that we are planning to combine with Labour to block the boundary changes...