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 AvatarRichard Underhill 29th May - 10:33pm
    The BBC programme ends in 1918 and therefore ignores the political events after WW1. It includes evidence about the effectiveness of the blockade. If the...
  • User AvatarNigel Jones 29th May - 10:29pm
    I think one of the main themes of Christianity is the breaking down of barriers of all kinds, including national ones. Forming alliances with other...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 29th May - 10:25pm
    Yes, I saw that too Richard. Confirmed my view that Asquith's policy in imposing the blockade was ultimately more important than Lloyd George's hyperactivity and...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 29th May - 9:55pm
    Dan Snow led an analysis of the Battle of Jutland, with the help of the Royal Navy, shown on BBC2 at 9 pm on 29/5/2016....
  • User AvatarSimon Banks 29th May - 9:33pm
    I disagree with David when a full-scale round of elections is on. Imagine two adjacent wards, one where we could take a seat, the other...
  • User AvatarSimon Banks 29th May - 9:24pm
    Is the human brain a psychoactive substance? Can I buy it in Body Shop?