Vince: Lib Dems will be running Sheffield by 2023

Vince Cable went to Sheffield this week and predicted that the party would again be running Sheffield’s Council within 5 years – and that we would win back Sheffield Hallam.

From The Star:

There is a sense of optimism in the room – spurred on by ongoing public anger at the lack of transparency on offer from the authority’s ruling Labour Cabinet, on matters from tree-felling to the group’s dealings with Chinese investors. But there is also a feeling that the Lib Dems are on their way back, after Nick Clegg’s disastrous dealings with the Conservatives took the party almost to the brink.

“Five years from now we will have had a general election and I am sure we will have a Liberal Democrat MP representing Sheffield again in Parliament, and I would be very disappointed if we weren’t running the city by that stage as well,” he said. “We took three seats back this year and will make more progress next year throughout the city. We want to run Sheffield and we will again, but it doesn’t happen overnight.

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  • Sir Vincent may be correct in hoping to regain Hallam – though that’s far from a certainty – but he makes that task more difficult by inflating unrealistic talk of controlling the City Council.

    Evidence? Look at the number of lower single digit results in the City in the 2017 General Election. I’m sorry but making inflated claims completely undermines anything else that may be said and destroys credibility.

  • Huge task. Sheffield is very much a student city and what the Lib Dems did in Government with regards to tuition fees is still very fresh.

  • Have those students not heard Martin Lewis explain how the tuition fees student loan system works ? It was explained to me some years ago by a friend whose daughters were at University. Why is this information so hard to understand. I saw Lewis on question Time and after he had explained it a woman member of the panel started banging on about student loans indicating she either did not understand or did not want to understand what he had said. The one thing that is rarely acknowledged is the colossal cost of this scheme for the taxpayers although economists know it and say nothing, possibly because their offspring are doing so well out of it.

  • Are lib Demer and envelope know anything about Sheffield?

    Yes, there are some students and some leafy bits on the Derbyshire border – but Sheffield is essentially a working group class Yorkshire City with some of the most deprived parts of the country

  • Andrew Melmoth 26th May '18 - 1:25pm

    The vast majority of students will pay much more than under the previous system. Isn’t distrust the only rational response when they were promised the opposite?

  • The real problem with student loans will be felt when a generation is stuck with 10s of thousands of pounds of debt and then try to get mortgages. Plus unless inflation stops being a factor the current payback ceiling will soon seem very low. But if you earn rock bottom wages until you’re pushing fifty-years old your debt will be wiped out, but then you will still be having to work until your 80.

  • Peter Parsons 26th May '18 - 2:17pm

    @nvelope2003, the biggest issue I have with Martin Lewis’ explanation of the student loan system works is that he only ever talks about a single month’s payment and has a habit of referring to the system as a “graduate contribution system”, both of which ignore the regressive nature of the system once an individual’s income go above a certain level with the highest earners paying back both a lower cash amount and and a lower percentage of lifetime earnings than many on lower earnings, as his own website shows:

    Maybe he is trying to stay out of the politics of it, but his explanations can lead to the conclusion that those on the highest salaries will contribute the most overall, whereas his own figures show that this is not the case.

  • John Marriott 26th May '18 - 2:55pm

    Let’s put students on one side and consider what the Lib Dems might might actually be ‘running’. At present Sheffield appears not to be that keen on a Yorkshire Region. It now has a Mayor with apparently little to do.

    You see, UNTIL some future government devolves real structural and fiscal control to the English Regions, including whatever Region emerges north of the Humber and east of the Pennines, there could be some very frustrated Lib Dem councillors in a city that doesn’t appear to know who its friends are.

  • David Becket 26th May '18 - 3:26pm

    A reform of the nature Vince is talking about, a £10,000 education contribution for ALL, not just university students coupled with a reform of Student Loans, starting off with the iniquitous interest rate, and we will start to get off this hook. However all we appear to do is talk about policy, not get on with it.

  • David Evans 26th May '18 - 3:50pm

    David Beckett, the reason we can’t ‘get on with it’ as you put it is because we are not in government, and the reason we are not in government is because our party was destroyed in 2015, and the reason we were destroyed was because our leader oversaw a total erosion of trust in our party, and the reason for the erosion of trust was that he chose to break a pledge (plus quite a number of other things) to show he was up to “grown up government,” which was not the same as an end to broken promises he had emphasised before the 2010 general election.

    Oh yes, and that pledge was on Tuition Fees.

  • David Becket 26th May '18 - 4:02pm

    @David Evans
    We are not in government, so we cant do it, but we should be shouting from the rooftops what we intend to do. That is the only way to recover from the mess Clegg left. We should be going out to young people with proposals and inviting comment. The party was not completely destroyed, but if we do not get working it will be.

  • Mick Taylor 26th May '18 - 4:32pm

    Andrew Melmouth. No. Students will not pay more and that is because they no longer have to borrow the money up front and because the terms of repayment have changed. Martin Lewis has explained this time and time again and you continue to peddle the myths put about by our opponents, instead of listening to the money expert. He has actually said he wishes that what he is saying wasn’t true so he could attack it, but in his role as an expert on finance he should be listened to and not ignored.
    And this talk about mortgages is a red herring. Student loans are not taken into account in considering mortgage availability, because they are in effect a tax although shown in the form of a ‘debt’.
    Now none of the above should be taken as a sign of approval of the actions taken in government over student loans. However, failure to accept the facts and relying on myths doesn’t help and we must continually point that out. Lying to students about debt – as Labour do – only stops some good students from going to university. Students need to be told the truth and only we are doing that, albeit from a somewhat tarnished position.
    As I have said before we now need to look forward and Vince has the right idea in respect of HE and FE finance. We need to back him and stop harking back to the mistakes we made over 8 years ago.

  • David Evans 26th May '18 - 5:15pm

    Indeed David. You are absolutely right. The trouble is, it seems too many of us rather hope it will all go away, if they ignore it enough.

  • Andrew Melmoth 26th May '18 - 6:36pm

    Mick Taylor
    There is absolutely no doubt that the majority of students (70-80% according to the IFS) will pay more under the fees regime bought in under the coalition than under the previous system. I doubt very much that Martin Lewis disputes this but I’m happy to be corrected if you can provide a source. I’m afraid you haven’t understood either the nature of the system or Martin Lewis’s commentary.

  • Morgan-Ross Inwood 26th May '18 - 6:55pm

    Seeing as Student Loans and Tuition Fees are being discussed then there is another aspect to the discussion which should be had and that is there are a number of graduates including myself whom cannot repay the loans as they don’t earn enough to meet the thresholds for repayments or in my case in receipt of Benefits. And these loans are accumulating interest.

  • Andrew McCaig 27th May '18 - 8:45am

    Re Sheffield:
    It is not completely out of the question for Labour to lose control by 2022. This year they won 16 seats, and the Lib Dems and Greens 12 between them. If the opposition rallies behind a single candidate in Gleadless Valley, Walkley, East Ecclesfield and Stockbridge they could lose those. Then the Lib Dems would be the largest group and might run the Council if the Greens did not support Labour. It requires both Lib Dems and Greens consolidating gains in places like Mosborough as well as making at least two new wards theirs.
    I would say that a Labour government is probably needed though!

  • Andrew McCaig 27th May '18 - 9:07am

    Actually, Labour would still be the largest party so a coalition would be needed with the Greens to prize the levers of power out of their hands

  • John Marriott 27th May '18 - 9:17am

    Nobody interested in the REAL issues then? Still obsessing about tuition fees? No wonder the party is so low in the polls. Time to start to think outside the box?

  • David Becket 27th May '18 - 9:43am

    Spot on John. However there are contributors to this site who wish us ill, and they will keep prodding the termites nest. Best to ignore them.

  • imon Shaw 26th May ’18 – 9:58pm…..As I understand it someone on (say) 30K who has had a student loan will pay #450 a year more in tax than someone who hasn’t. Put another way, the total PAYE/NI bill for a “graduate” on 30K is #6,670 as against #6,220 for a “non-graduate”….

    About half the story!
    You ignore the fact that salaries increase. The government’s own figures for payback show the expected increase in salary for low/medium/high earners and those in the middle pay back around £60,000 (£20,000 in interest alone) over their working life. It starts at about £450 a year and rises; after ten years, on moderate salary rises, they’ll be paying £1800 a year.

  • Andrew Smith 27th May '18 - 5:34pm

    The student vote doesn’t necessarily fall to Labour. I’d say the majority of the students are in City (All Green), Nether Edge (2 Labour 1 Green), Crookes (2 Lib Dem, 1 Labour), Walkley (All Labour), and Broomhill (2 Green, 1 Labour). Anyone who thinks Labour will win on the back of the vote in student areas is seriously misguided.

    I think a combined Lib Dem – Green administration is possible in the next couple of years, Sheffield politics is getting rather interesting the Conservatives made a come back in the 2016 general election and managed to gain 13% of the vote citywide this time around, I can well see them taking seats from Labour in areas we might have considered non-traditional Tory areas soon. Sheffield is hungry for change on all sides of the political spectrum a pincer movement is being executed on Sheffield Labour.

  • Peter Watson 28th May '18 - 10:16am

    @Mick Taylor “they no longer have to borrow the money up front”
    Did they have to borrow the money up front before the Coalition’s changes?
    I thought that the previous top-up fees (opposed by Lib Dems) were funded by borrowing and repaying in much the same way as the larger fees are now (though as far as I recall, interest was not applied to the loan until after graduation, unlike now where it is applied from the start).

  • Peter Watson 28th May '18 - 10:27am

    @Simon Shaw “the Salary Threshold (currently £25,000 pa, below which no “Graduate Tax”/Student Loan Repayment is payable)”
    I can’t help but feel that this government’s increase of that threshold, combined with the Lib Dems sloowwwwwww approach to changing/refining/clarifying its position on funding student tuition and maintenance, risks leaving the Lib Dems (in England, at least) looking like the party most wed to the status quo of 2015.

  • OnceALibDem 30th May '18 - 4:48pm

    To make a non-fees related comment (controversial I know!). When the LIb Dems took control of Sheffield in 1999 that growth began with by-election wins in 1993 and when they were in a position similar to now and included gaining Hallam on the way. So Vince’s timetable isn’t an outlandish one.

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