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Sheffield Labour Left  - For Socialism

A bulletin for Labour Party Members who supported the direction the party moved towards under Jeremy Corbyn & John McDonnell.
Opposing racism, antisemitism and political Zionism.
Opposing all expulsions/exclusions targeting the left.

SLL E-Bulletin #32 -  23 September 2020

Sheffield town Hall
- More Democracy needed.


Many of us believe that Sheffield Council Labour Group’s handling of the whole governance referendum issue has been, at best, hapless, at worst, incompetent.
 
For those of you with short memories, if the local elections hadn’t been postponed in May 2020, we would be facing the outcome of a public petition driven referendum on whether leadership by cabinet or committee was best for the city council.
 
The truth is that neither of these models are ideal but the Labour Group – governed by the cabinet model – had allowed itself to be forced into a corner by its political opponents (Lib Dems and Greens) into holding an expensive referendum which could have easily been avoided.
 
Firstly, the Council has over a number of years allowed itself to be portrayed as out of touch and deaf to the views of the people it claims to represent. The trees saga hit the headlines through protests from residents in the west of the city. Perhaps the fact that Labour holds very few seats in this part of Sheffield persuaded Julie Dore that she didn’t need to take them seriously.
 
In truth, the whole roads/trees saga painted a picture of Sheffield as an autocratic, out of touch authority which managed to get itself national headlines for all the wrong reasons.
 
But in the bubble of Sheffield town hall, leadership figures continued to convince themselves that this didn’t matter.
 
They should be less sure now. The referendum will go ahead in May 2021 and this could all have been avoided. Even right up to March this year – just before the virus lockdown – some elements of the Labour Group failed in an attempt to get the referendum cancelled by accepting a committee system – but one controlled by Labour in its inception.
 
So, leap forward to September and what has the Group’s leadership learnt from these events?
 
The answer seems to be very little.
 
For a start, the Labour Group failed to meet as a formal Labour group from March until September. Notions that the Council is run by one person were not dispelled by the lockdown period where the Group Executive and Council Officers took control with little or no democracy in consulting the wider Labour Group on key decisions.
 
So, what do you think happened when the Group convened for the first time? The Group decided to vote down any idea that the Council might resume its formal meetings with debates about motions. 
 
For the opposition parties to throw the undemocratic jibe at Labour in the city, this is a gift. 
 
Expect to see leaflet after leaflet, media comment after media comment between now and next May from every opposition candidate saying democracy is dead in Sheffield with Labour in charge.

 


Labour Party NEC Elections
Please support the following for the NEC.
Two from the Labour Left Alliance (LLA):

Roger Silverman
Chaudhry Qamer Iqbal


Plus, despite our criticisms regarding the way the slate was chosen, the CLGA slate of six:

Ann Henderson
Gemma Bolton
Laura Pidcock
Mish Rahman
Nadia Jama
Yasmine Dar

South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group

Urban House Initial Accommodation Centre closed after protests
Urban House IAC in Wakefield endangered the lives of those newly-arrived asylum seekers who were housed there. IACs are intended as short-term accommodation before 'dispersed' asylum housing is provided. But forced room-sharing with strangers, poor food, lack of healthcare, overcrowding and dirty conditions made life miserable for hundreds of people - including young children - stuck there for months. Then coronavirus made Urban House an immediate danger to life. 
 
Despite brave protests from residents and repeated warnings from us, Mears Group and the Home Office refused to rehouse residents in safe and dignified accommodation. The inevitable happened on July 9th when 25+ residents tested positive for coronavirus. But it took another 2 weeks (and a Parliamentary report on conditions in IACs) for Mears to move people. Even then, people (including many who had not been tested) were 'dispersed' around northern England, often to slums and without adequate liaison with the local authorities to receive them.
 
Mears Group have announced that they are to re-open Urban House. Along with Urban House residents we have written a manifesto demanding fundamental improvements in conditions before it is safe to reopen Urban House and other IACs.
 
SYMAAG Meetings
Meet every 2 weeks on Tuesdays at 7pm. The next meetings are 6th October and 20th October. Meetings are via zoom at the moment. Get in touch with us for login details.
Keep up with SYMAAG activities on our website, Twitter @SYMAAG and Facebook page.   
 

 

Sheffield Labour Left


Sheffield Labour Left (SLL) is a network to help co-ordinate the genuine Labour Party left across the six CLPs covered by Sheffield. 

We have a page on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SheffieldLabourLeft) and our own website (http://www.sheffieldlabourleft.org), where you can find an archive of our first 27 bulletins.

We are connected to no other group, but work alongside others whose aims we share to see elected a socialist-led government.  In July 2019 we affiliated to the Labour Left Alliance:  
https://labourleft.org

Want to get involved with SLL or become a member? Contact us at the email address below.

Local labour movement meetings in September:

 
Thursday 24 September:  Sheffield Central CLP NEC nomination meeting. Register from 6.45pm.  Start of meeting is 7.15pm.  On-line meeting.

Thursday 24 September:  Sheffield Heeley CLP NEC nomination meeting.  Register from 7.00pm.  Start of meeting is 7.30pm.  On-line meeting.

Thursday 24 September:  Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP NEC nomination meeting.  Register from 7.00pm. Start of meeting is 7.30pm.  On-line meeting.

Thursday 24 September:  Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign co-hosts with Scottish PSC 'Roots of violence within Zionism and the war crimes committed in Gaza'.  7.00pm until 8.30pm.  Online event
https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_O_Qx8AEFSn6NGBJ9xSxS4g

Thursday 24 September:  Sheffield Hallam CLP meeting.  7.30pm to 9.30pm.  Zoom meeting.
 
Our mailing address is:
info@sheffieldlabourleft.org
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