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Election coverage should be balanced.

Graham Wroe

Dear Editor

Your article “Candidates gearing up for the polls” (14th Jan) does your readers a dis-service in completely ignoring the Green Party. This may have been acceptable when the Greens were a minor party, but we now have 3 Sheffield City Councillors compared to the Conservatives’ total of zero. Surely this should entitle us to equal coverage?

The Greens are gearing up for the General election in Sheffield, and have selected hard working local councillor Jillian Creasy for the Central seat. Central Constituency includes Central Ward, the powerbase of the Greens where we hold all three city council seats. Former Labour Councillor Steve Barnard is standing for the Greens in Hallam, and Gareth Roberts is standing in Heeley.

The Green Party is expecting to make history at the next General Election by sending their first representatives to Westminster. Caroline Lucas is now the bookies’ favourite to win in Brighton Pavillion, Adrian Ramsay has a good chance of unseating former Home Secretary Charles Clarke in Norwich and in Lewisham Deptford Darren Johnson is closely challenging sitting MP Joan Ruddock.

Back in Sheffield the Greens are also preparing for the city council elections, where we hope to increase our current tally of 3 councillors. Rob Unwin will be defending the Central Ward seat and Councillor Bernard Little is campaigning to win a seat in Broomhill. There will be a full slate of Green candidates in all the Sheffield wards.

I hope your future election coverage will be a little more balanced and inclusive.

Yours sincerely

Graham Wroe

Sheffield Green Party

Original Star article

Published Date: 14 January 2010
By Ben Spencer
POLITICIANS
across South Yorkshire are gearing up for what is set to be hardest
fought General Election in years, with the contest focusing on key
battle grounds in Sheffield, Penistone and Stocksbridge.No
date has yet been announced for the vote, but most MPs are preparing
for a May 6 poll with an eye on March 25 or June 3 as alternative dates.

With a possible five months until polling day the main three parties have launched what Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg has predicted will be a “long, grinding election campaign”.

Nationally,the Labour Party is behind in the polls, and in order to avert a
Conservative victory they will have to defend a Tory assault on
constituencies in South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and North
Nottinghamshire – traditionally safe havens for the Labour movement.

Labour  MPs in Doncaster, Rotherham, Barnsley and most of Sheffield are likely to keep their seats, but in the new seat of Penistone and Stocksbridge
the Conservative Party has thrown resources behind candidate Spencer
Pitfield.

Top Tories including party leader David Cameron,former leader William Hague and Baroness Sayeeda Warsi have visited the
constituency Mr Pitfield is standing in over recent months, and massive
Conservative campaign posters have cropped up in Ecclesfield and
Hillsborough.

Mr Pitfield told The Star: “People are ready for change but as a party we need to earn people’s trust. Some of that trust has to be earned by the party, but the majority has to be done by me as a local candidate.

“I hope I can earn that by getting out and supporting local issues.”

Hillsborough MP Angela Smith, who is standing for the new constituency which now takes in Penistone, said: “Neither myself nor my team will take any vote for granted. We have been working very hard to win the support of the people of Penistone and Stocksbridge.

“This as an area has remained loyal to Labour since the 1930s and I see no indication that is going to change.”

Sheffield Central, where veteran Labour MP Richard Caborn is standing down, is being targeted by Lib Dem Sheffield Council leader Paul Scriven.

Coun Scriven said: “I’ve been meeting people in Sheffield Central for the
last two years, and I think this is going to be a very open election.

“I never predict the result of a vote but I have been receiving a very warm reception on the doorstep.”

He is going up against Labour candidate Paul Blomfield, who said: “The
response Labour is getting is much better than the opinion polls would
have you believe. “People want a Government that will secure the
economic recovery, not wreck it. They want jobs and public services
protected, and they don’t want savage and unfair cuts and Tory
tax-handouts for millionaires.”

The Conservatives are also targeting Labour seats in Bassetlaw, North East Derbyshire and the High Peak, where Labour district and county councils have fallen to the Tories in recent years.

Promoted by Eamonn Ward on behalf of Sheffield Green Party, 73 Eskdale Road, Sheffield, S6 1SL

Topics: Bernard Little, Broomhill, Central, Councillors, Elections, Gareth Roberts, Graham Wroe, Jillian Creasy, Letters to the press, Local Campaigns, Rob Murphy, Rob Unwin, Steve Barnard

There are 2 Responses to Election coverage should be balanced.

Profile photo of smileysteve
21st January 2010

Good letter Gray and well put.
I know that the Sheffield Green Party, in general, supports the Sheffield Star…as a vehicle of democracy for contact with and from local people.
Fine, BUT, in my humble opinion, it is a mainstream media clapped out rag..and it’s second rate reporters/journos reflect this.
They learn nothing…or appear not to…for example…in the year that Jillian Creasy became the First Sheffield GP councillor…the Star had previously reported on the local election as being clear cut for Labour and nothing would change.
In fact, I believe it was also the year that the Lib Dems had more seats than new Labour, but, thanks to Jillian, it was a hung council. That, I think, was in 2004 or 2005.?..and the Star Paper is STILL deriding/ignoring true democracy and the other parties today in 2010.
Shoddy at best.
Thing is…I think a LOT of local peoples DO still read this rag…mores the pity – in it’s present state.
Best wishes Gray and all the Greenies for the up and coming (ahem) democratic, elections.

    Profile photo of eamonn ward
    11th February 2010

    Steve,

    Don’t blame the journos who are poorly paid and overworked in an industry in crisis. Like it or not, The Star reflects the word we live in and we need to bring a well argued common sense approach to their pages in a non confrontational way to help redress the balance.

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