Cllr Ruth Mersereau
Cllr Ruth Mersereau

Sheffield Greens reacted with concern after the Labour majority in the Council voted against getting value for money.

Labour councillors all voted to delete a motion that “this Administration should get the best value for money it can because, if money is wasted, this means cuts to other areas of spending, especially at a time when budgets are under pressure”

Speaking after the meeting, Cllr Ruth Mersereau said,

“It’s astonishing that not only does the council not always get good value for money but has decided, apparently as a matter of principle, not even to try to get good value.”

Douglas Johnson, Green Councillor for City Ward, commented,

“The Labour Administration is on the defensive. We put forward a simple list of examples of seriously over-priced work, mostly through the council’s deal with Amey.

“Instead of looking to make money go further for the residents of Sheffield, rather than Amey shareholders, they have lashed out at the Greens and called the idea of better value for money ‘incredulous.’”

However, the Labour Group has now committed the Chief Executive to respond to explain, “how the council has maximised value for money in relation to all the schemes listed in the original motion.”

Cllr Martin Phipps said,

“We are very much looking forward to the Chief Executive’s explanations and are grateful to the Labour Group for agreeing that a response should be provided to address the areas of over-spending that we have highlighted.”

“Local authorities have suffered staggering cuts over the last decade under austerity. The lack of funds make it all the more important that there is a solid system in place for getting the best value for money so we can support Sheffield and carry out our duty of care to residents of the city.”

Cllr Mersereau added,

“It seems that often the response to requests for simple jobs is “we can’t, it’s too expensive”. If the Council took steps to get proper value for money, many more improvements would be made, and we could start to restore some trust from residents that their concerns are being listened to and that things actually get done.”

Notes

  1. The following Green motion on Value for Money is available at http://democracy.sheffield.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?MId=7270#AI19842:

    That this Council:-
    (a) notes that, despite the destructive cuts inflicted by the policy of austerity, this Administration is still responsible for spending hundreds of millions of pounds each year;

    (b) believes this Administration should get the best value for money it can because, if money is wasted, this means cuts to other areas of spending, especially at a time when budgets are under pressure;

    (c) also believes that a failure to do routine work quickly and cheaply leads to inertia and a lack of action;

    (d) notes the following examples of work that this Council believes is over-priced:-
    (i) £1m to install 500m of cycle lane on Trippet Lane;
    (ii) a further £700,000 to install a crossing on West Street;
    (iii) £3,500 to install just two cycle parking hoops;
    (iv) £20,000 to clear graffiti at Porter Brook Pocket Park; and
    (v) installation of park benches at £1,100 each; and

    (e) therefore calls on the Administration to examine areas of spending where more might be obtained for the Council’s resources.

Comments

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2 thoughts on “Greens concern as Labour council votes against “value for money”

  1. daniel says

    These are ludicrous sums

    Cycle hoops are around £100 each or they were when i last knew. They may have risen to £200 now.

    £1m for 500m of cycle track sounds like a fantastic amount.

    I think the Greens have a point here, and the response of the Labour administration is odd. It will be very interesting to see how the Chief exec justifies these sums.

  2. Graham Wroe says

    As a Trade Unionist, I am very disappointed to see Unison using this article to say in their newsletter that the Greens are pro-austerity. Nothing is further from the truth. The Council is grossly underfunded and needs a much better deal. That is why it is surprising that the Greens can so easily find examples like this of the Labour Council wasting money that could otherwise go to vital services.

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