32 Comments
Jan 13Liked by Dan Hayes

I (like other commenters) am endlessly frustrated by the adversariality of politicians, especially local politicians. I'm sorry that the LibDems continue to see the job of opposition as essentially that of trying to make Labour look bad, and equally sorry that Labour see it as important to win control of the City Council. Anyone in the least committed to democracy must understand that there is a diversity of view amongst Sheffielders and they're all entitled to have someone who will advocate for them. The current setup of no overall control is healthy, and the committee system (which I suspect many people voted for because they hoped for more cross-party collaboration; I certainly did) ought to make it easier to reap the benefits, but it's clear that there's still a hankering for absolute power and to wield the tyranny of the majority, on both sides. Local politicians do not exhibit the same venality and mendacity that some (by no means all) national politicians do, but their message to the public is still too often that the main enemies are not Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness (the last meaning lack of stable employment, not laziness) but other politicians.

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A well balanced article , lots of the challenges in the area caused by the reduction in the level of local services caused by Tory austerity over the last 14 years.

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Jan 13Liked by Dan Hayes

My wife and I live in Stannington and she has mobility issues. My main concern is whether I will be able to vote at all. Neither of us can drive anymore. We use public transport or walk. In high up, hilly, Stannington, the roads and pavements can become impossible for us to use in January. So pre Christmas we applied for Postal Votes. But as of Thursday, with just one week to go to the election, they hadn't arrived. So I rang the Town Hall. I got the, almost obligatory, being cut off and having to ring back, response. But eventually a very helpful man told me the cut off date for the Royal Mail to deliver them was Friday January 12th. They didn't arrive by that date so it was back to the Town Hall on Friday afternoon. I was told new ballot papers would be issued and mailed out by first class post. They could then be returned the same way. So I had to hope that Royal Mail could get our ballot papers to us by Today or Monday at the latest. Then after we completed them we could post them and trust they will arrive at the Town Hall by Thursday. Hardly unsurprisingly I told the man at the Town Hall I don't totally trust Royal Mail to achieve this. He said in that case we can drop them off in the Town Hall. Or at a polling station on the day of the election. Which really seems to defeat the whole purpose of getting Postal votes in the first place. The weather forecast for Stannington on Thursday is sub zero overnight and close to zero during the day. Just before noon Today our Postal votes arrived. Now we have a dilemma. Can we get up to the Post Office in time to post them today? Even if we do can we assume they will actually arrive in time? Do I take a bus to get to the Town Hall before Thursday? If the pavements are ice free on Thursday do I chance tottering out to the Polling station on election day? We will have to see. As for the by-election itself I have no idea what will happen. My part of Stannington feels very much like a village. People often have a natter in the street and at the bus stop. But rarely, if ever, do we discuss politics. I will predict however that the turn out will be extremely low. So when the political gurus and pundits look in to the electoral entrails they won't really be able to deduce anything much at all. Despite that there will no doubt be claims it was a 'magnificent victory' or a 'very credible second place'. T'was ever thus but as Omar Khayyam wrote "The Moving finger writes; and having writ, Moves on ...".

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Thank you, Dan.

I live in Stannington, below the Deer Park flats, and when I was house-hunting the lovely woman I airbnb-d with up in the village was horrified to hear that I was looking at a house there. 'Drug addicts and prostitutes,' was what she said, as if I was descending into a shadowy criminal underworld, though later she confessed she'd never actually set foot in the area I now live in. There are lots of kind, law-abiding people. Interestingly enough, most of the ones I've met are long-time Tory voters (though, I think, no longer).

I've only ever once had a canvasser knock on my door, a lovely Labour woman. The Lib Dems put a lot of shiny bits of paper (does that make them non-recyclable?) through my letterbox, and they all say words to the effect of VOTE FOR US SO LABOUR DOESN'T GET IN. The description of what they stand for is generic enough I can't tell the difference between them and any other party, and I haven't noticed any particular improvement in anything at all while they've had control of the ward. Their relentless mauling of Labour as their main focus really annoys me. I'm not going to vote against Labour. I'd love to have someone to vote FOR. But I don't think anyone can really make anything better until there's more money available, and that seems to be past praying for.

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Jan 13Liked by Dan Hayes

Politics no longer deals in ideology. Image, brand, soundbites, and yes, saying we're better than the other lot are the mainstays of the modern era political party. The exceptions are single issues, such as Independence, leaving the EU, saving the planet. I used to groan when people said 'Politicians, they're all the same'. Nowadays I find it hard to disagree.

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Jan 13Liked by Dan Hayes

Overall a good article. Just as a point of contention unless I read the part wrong, it implied that Lewis Dagnall doesn't support public control of the buses even though during his candidacy for selection for mayor he was arguing for public ownership.

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If you think that the area round Deer Park flats is deprived you ought to get out more.The decision taken to vote Nick Clegg out led to the O'Mara scandal.Local transport is a problem.

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Jan 13Liked by Dan Hayes

After many years in Sheffield Central under Paul Blomfield MP, the new boundary put us in Hallam. Looking forward to more coverage closer to General Election.

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When Supertram was being planned it was mooted that it would go to Stannington. Locals campaigned to stop that happening. I hope they are rueing that now.

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I think you may have missed an MP is your list of MPs since Clegg for Hallam.

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Try Firshill Crescent for deprivation Dan- the difference between the left hand and the right hand side is stark-Hallam is one of the better off constituences in the country and Winn Gardens isn't part of it.I have no affinity for any particular party as for O'Mara he had Labour party support.

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Good writing but untrue to say that Hallam is the only straight fight between Labour and Lib Dem. Cambridge is. In the 2015 election the only ray of sunshine for Labour was the 9 seats they took back from the Lib Dem’s.

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