I was astonished to see this leaflet from the Lib Dems.
The true state of the parties is
Not only have the Lib Dems distorted the axis to make it look as if they are close challengers to Labour, but they have deliberately missed out the 14 Green Party Councillors!
Unfortunately, this is not illegal and is unlikely to be challenged in the courts. But it shows how little integrity the Liberal Democrats have. If they are willing to lie so openly in a leaflet, what are they doing when they have private conversations with voters on the doorstep?
At a time when the Lowcock Report has recently been published, showing how Labour Councillors went as far as misleading the courts in their war against tree campaigners, one would expect the Lib Dems to be leading by example and championing the Nolan Principles of Public Life, namely Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership.
It is worth thinking about what the Lib Dems are not telling the voters. There are 84 Councillors on Sheffield City Council. That means if a party has more than 42 Councillors, they are in Overall Control. Currently, with 39 Councillors, Labour needs support from other parties to get motions passed. If the Lib Dems and Greens agree about something they can outvote the Labour Councillors. It is very unlikely that extreme policies such as those followed in the tree dispute by Labour would be allowed to continue during a No Overall Control Council.
Labour are hoping that the current No Overall Control situation will be overturned at the election. If they make 4 gains they will control the Council again, making it very difficult for other parties to have any influence. It would allow Labour to make decisions behind closed doors again, rather than in the spotlight of the Committees where the public and journalists can observe what they are doing.
Currently, all three main parties are part of the administration. They take joint responsibility for the decisions made. Yet the Lib Dems frequently continue to call it the “Labour Council”.
The Committee System that replaced the Strong Leader Model, thanks to the hard work of It’s Our City, means that Committees also reflect the overall makeup of the Council.
Labour are also showing they haven’t learnt the lessons from the Lowcock report. This is one of their recent posts.
But if you go to the trouble to examine the voting record, you find Labour voted exactly the same as the Green Party on the Housing issue! Indeed it was passed unanimously!
Other myths have been spread by both Labour and Lib Dems, notably about the situation concerning possible solutions to congestion and illegal parking on Ecclesall Road and Abbeydale Road. The Green Party have published Myth Buster leaflets to get the truth out to the public, but little attention has been given to this by the media.
Local politics is in a terrible state when it is clear you can’t believe what you are told by those we have elected. I really hope this election campaign will improve with some sensible debate between the parties rather than the use of lies and disinformation which confuse and alienate the voters.