The parties are out talking to residents and sharing information, an important part of our democracy. Sadly, too often what I’ve heard about on the doorstep or seen in leaflets is parties crossing the line into misleading people: from dodgy graphs to leaflets disguised as newspapers. It’s not good enough to say, “it’s not a new thing”, the defence used by the leader of Sheffield Lib Dems in response to concerns raised by the Star.
Peter Gilbert and Councillor Alexi Dimond demonstrating a local and sustainable food waste processing option

Take one example. The Lib Dems said in 2022 that a food waste collection scheme with Veolia would prevent waste going to landfill. Sheffield’s black bins don’t go to landfill, they go to an Energy Recovery Facility. But there was no correction.

Council officers have now looked at the figures from a food waste pilot and found that the Veolia scheme SCC had budgeted £3 million per year for wasn’t worthwhile. There are lower-cost alternatives, like community composting, and other ways to spend the money that would be much better for the environment.

Now, in this election, the same argument has come out again for a Veolia food waste collection. Nothing about the evidence showing it would have little benefit. Nothing about the 35-year waste contract with Veolia, signed by the Lib Dems in 2001 and extended by Labour until 2038, which makes improving recycling in Sheffield so difficult.

Reform Political Advertising is a nationwide campaign asking parties to be truthful. The Green Party is fully signed up. The campaign basically says – get your facts straight & don’t mislead. I’m inviting the Lib Dems and Labour in Sheffield to sign up as well and behave in that spirit. Then the people of Sheffield can judge in good faith who they want to represent them.