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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 #67 - 24 November 2021

Sheffield City Council sells out leisure to the private sector

Starmer told the CBI that Labour is the party of business and, as if to prove this ‘Blair lite’ claim, Sheffield Council has just chosen to place the future of leisure and entertainment in the city in the hands of the private sector. 

The current arrangements with the Sheffield City Trust – set up in 1987 – came up for review and councillors were faced with three choices: (1) take in house (2) create a Council owned company; or (3) do a deal with a private provider. 

And true to Starmer’s vision of the Labour Party being the party of business, option 3 was chosen. 

So, Ponds Forge, Hillsborough Leisure Centre, Sheffield City Hall along with assorted sports centres and golf courses across the city will be heading into private hands. 

Of course, this is the cheapest and most risk-free option for the Council – burdened with huge deficits because of Tory cuts - but where is the long-term vision? 

This deal will mean that, for the next 30 years, Sheffield services will yet again be controlled by the private sector – alongside other such vital services as the bin collections and the control of many of Sheffield’s schools. 

With other services such as social care predominantly provided by private sector companies, it is beginning to be a shorter list as to what the Council directly controls and which of the ever-smaller group of workers are directly employed by Sheffield. 

The plan goes out for consultation – through the Local Area Committees. As reported in the last bulletin, these are made up of councillors with no members of the public on them. Don’t hold your breath that this consultation is anything other than a “rubber stamp”. 

This was an opportunity to show real vision about how a socialist-led Labour Council supporting its own city - bring the services back in house, directly employ local people and make sure that what runs in Sheffield is run by Sheffield. 

Instead, we have another depressing step down the road to the transformation of a local council into a body that commissions the private sector to provide public services for private profit. 

All the talk about mimicking the Preston model of prioritising local businesses and local people can be seen for what it is – all talk. 

Labour Councils have a great opportunity to demonstrate that there is an alternative to the Tory led narrative that the private sector and the free market is the only political path open. 

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 ( and our own website (, where you can find an archive of our first 65 or so bulletins.

We are connected to no other group, but work alongside others whose aims we share to see elected a socialist-led government.

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

Sheffield Labour Friends of Palestine (SLFP) are asking comrades to consider submitting this motion to your Branch/CLP:

Motion on Pension Divestment

This [branch/CLP] calls on Sheffield Council to:

Recognise that Israel is an apartheid state and reaffirm the 1981 Sheffield Council declaration to be an apartheid free zone;
Join the call by Palestinian  civil society for international  support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement as a means of supporting justice for Palestinian people; and
Commit to pressing for the development of an ethical investment policy that includes divesting  South Yorkshire Pension Authority investments from all companies that are complicit in the ongoing oppression of the Palestinian people
This branch notes:
That Palestinians have been subject to brutal ethnic cleansing since 1948 and wholesale displacement and theft of their land, homes and resources by the Israeli state;
That Israel’s military operations in Gaza and illegal settlement expansion amount to ongoing colonisation of Palestine;
That the recent escalation of violence was instigated by the attempt to evict 28 Palestinian families from the Sheikh Jarrah area of Jerusalem as part of an ongoing and systematic  campaign of illegal Israeli settlements and forced eviction of Palestinians from their land, and that the evictions and house demolitions are continuing and increasing across Palestine;
That since Operation Cast Lead in 2008, over 6000 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces, with over 120,000 people injured, and that in May 2021, 256 Palestinians were killed, by Israeli forces, including 66 children;
That Palestinians have for many years named Israel as an apartheid state. They have now been joined by a growing list of human rights organisations that have determined that Israel’s actions meet the internationally recognised legal definition of apartheid, including the 2021 reports by the Israeli human rights organisation, B’Tselem and Human Rights Watch;
That Israel has committed continuous, flagrant breaches of international law with impunity. Western governments have failed to act in any meaningful way to stop these breaches of international law, and therefore it is morally incumbent on civil society to act to support Palestinian human rights;
That Sheffield is part of the South Yorkshire Pension Authority which has investments in a number of companies that are complicit in the oppression of Palestinians including Caterpillar, which supplies Israel with weaponised bulldozers that are used to demolish Palestinian homes, schools, olive trees and infrastructure; arms companies including Boeing and Lockheed Martin which have sold military equipment to Israel used in attacks on Gaza;  financial companies such as HSBC and AXA which contribute to funding demolitions, illegal settlements and apartheid infrastructure; and
That many people in Sheffield are members of the South Yorkshire Pension Authority, and Sheffield Council is involved in making decisions about investment policy in the South Yorkshire Pension Authority.
Local labour movement meetings and events

Saturday 27th November:  'Day of Solidarity with the Palestinians'. Rally outside Town Hall from 11am until noon.

Saturday 27th November:  Solidarity with Cuba:  Outside the Town Hall from noon until 1pm.

Sunday 28th November:  Demonstration:  'No Pay cut for Couriers'.  Outside the Town Hall from noon.  They will start striking from 6 December - the base rate for JustEat couriers employed by Stuart is being cut by 24%!

Wednesday 1st December:  UCU Rally on the first day of their 3 day strike. Outside the Octagon 11am to 1pm.

Wednesday 1st to Friday 3rd December:  UCU strikes at both Sheffield and Hallam Universities.  Please get along to picket lines between 8am and 11.30am to show solidarity.

Labour Party Meetings:

LCF monthly meeting held 2nd Tuesday of the month.

Brightside & Hillsborough CLP monthly meetings held 1st Thursday of the month.

South East CLP monthly meetings held 3rd Friday of the month.

Central CLP monthly meetings held 4th Thursday of the month.

Hallam CLP monthly meetings held 4th Thursday of the month.

Penistone & Stocksbridge CLP monthly meetings held 4th Thursday of the month

Heeley CLP monthly meetings held last Thursday of the month.
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Sheffield Campaigning · 38 Headland Road · Sheffield, South Yorkshie S10 · United Kingdom

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