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 AvatarRuth Bright 12th Feb - 8:25pm
    Nick Baird - no gold star but definitely the "beard and sandals" award for services to Liberalism!!
  • User AvatarJohn Mitchell 12th Feb - 8:20pm
    I support rehabilitative centres and support. Perhaps the penalties for drug possession and drug use need to be examined in further detail for certain or...
  • User AvatarJohn Mitchell 12th Feb - 8:08pm
    I fully support the Liberal Democrat proposal to increase income tax by 1p in Scotland. The Lib Dems have also clearly stated where they wish...
  • User AvatarRoland 12th Feb - 7:57pm
    @Merel - "Aren’t you just a teeny bit concerned that we have none" No! However, I am very concerned that it seems for every parliamentary...
  • User AvatarGlynn 12th Feb - 7:50pm
    @Billy Boulton It works pretty well in Amsterdam, you can only smoke Cannabis inside designated coffee shops and tobacco/cigarettes is prohibited. You can still sample...
  • User AvatarRoland 12th Feb - 7:45pm
    Simon - I detect some nimbyism in the tone of your comment! Some of the biggest nimby's are those who shout nimby at others who...