I’m not so sure that a Labour candidate will almost inevitably win the Sheffield City Region mayoral election next May as David Walsh suggests (Star August 17th).
Labour council leaders have signed off the devolution deal with George Osborne without consulting us. This despite 65% of Sheffielders voting against proposals for an elected mayor in a referendum in 2012.
The Sheffield City Region extends across South Yorkshire and parts of North Derbyshire. A “legacy of failure” in Doncaster Children’s Services led to them being run by a government supervised independent trust in 2013. This election campaign will shine a light on Labour’s record in those councils. The running of Rotherham council was taken over by government appointed commissioners in 2015 following the child abuse scandal.
In 2009 Doncaster voters, seeing little change after the “Donnygate” scandal, rejected Labour. Their second preference votes got them what they wanted – a non Labour mayor. It can happen again in this election. Labour should be organised in opposition to the Tory austerity policies that damage us, especially the poorest and most vulnerable. Instead they continue to fight amongst themselves.
Labour may still be winning first past the post council elections locally. But a voting system with second preference votes allows disenchanted voters to get behind a strong alternative candidate who can win. This election won’t be just a Labour coronation.
Cllr Rob Murphy
Sheffield Green Party