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“If you’re not turned onto politics, politics will turn on you”

Yet again we read “Bryan Lodge claims…” This time he says “it could be millions”. Will they share with us the relevant parts of the contract? Only if it suits them. We can’t verify claims. The press can’t verify claims. Only the Labour Cabinet and Amey will know the small print.

The Streets Ahead contract lasts until 2037. The detail was never debated in the Council chamber. Never examined by a Scrutiny committee. Signed in 2012 as massive public service cuts began to bite. Is it wise for contract repayments to increase year on year?  Answers to this and other public questions were needed. No one got the chance to ask.

Council inaccuracies and misinformation have become the norm. Using a dodgy dossier of consultation outcomes and interpretations. A one party state ruling council group oversees a contract we can’t see. They think and act using “commercial confidentiality” as their bulletproof vest.

Sweep aside Independent Tree Panel views. Ignore viable engineering solutions. Bypass dispute resolution and go straight to court. It’s just about winning now and burying opposition individually and collectively.

20 more years of Streets Ahead. Maybe 19 more years of the Veolia waste contract. Our council tax funds massive repayments. But with no transparency. No public scrutiny. No democratic accountability.

We must campaign against the council’s tree felling programme. Campaign to open up all Private Finance Initiative (PFI) contracts to public scrutiny. Campaign to oppose privatisation and bring public services back “in house”. Campaign for truth and against “fake news” PR.

Consumer champion Ralph Nader once said “If you’re not turned onto politics, politics will turn on you.” Don’t sit back and do nothing.

Eamonn Ward
Sheffield Green Party

Topics: City Wide, Council, Eamonn Ward, Featured, Letters to the press, Privatisation, trees

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