Sheffield South East Labour MP, Clive Betts, has challenged the energy regulator, OFGEM, to act on the speculative energy trading activities of the UK energy companies.
Clive Betts said: “Energy bills continue to rise, whilst energy companies are enjoying huge profits.
“Last week, it was revealed that that an energy trader for E.ON – one of the Big Six energy companies operating in the UK – had lost £20m betting on European energy prices.
“At best, the speculative trading activities of the energy companies are opaque and lacking transparency.
“There is now a real suspicion that the companies are privatising the profits from this speculation – for the benefit of the shareholders – whilst socializing the losses – meaning that the cost of those losses are met in the bills of ordinary customers.
“I have written to the Chief Executive of OFGEM asking him to investigate, and to ensure that energy companies’ speculative trading activities are transparent, and to insist that energy customers do not bear the losses from such trading whilst share-holders benefit from the profits.”
Labour MP for Sheffield Central, Paul Blomfield, has decided to back Alan Billings as Labour’s candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire.
This week, Labour Party members across South Yorkshire are voting to choose their candidate for the Police and Crime Commissioner election in November 2012.
Paul Blomfield said: “I have decided to support Alan Billings as Labour’s candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner.
I didn’t support the creation of Police Commissioners, but we need to make the most out of the post.
Over the last few weeks, many members have asked me about which candidate I would be supporting.
I said that I had an open mind and that I wanted to hear what each of the candidates had to say and to offer.
That’s what I have done.
As the campaign has developed, like many other members, I have been convinced by the case made by Alan Billings.
* He has extensive experience of both local government and the criminal justice system, but would bring something new to policing in South Yorkshire, strengthening public accountability.
* His emphasis on prevention and breaking the cycle of re-offending is crucial, as is his concern for effective justice and the victims of crime.
* He is a man of deep principles, based on solid Labour values, who would be a strong candidate for us.”
The Tories showed themselves to be the same old ‘nasty party’ after revealing plans to make it easier for employers to sack their staff.
The Government-commissioned Beecroft report proposes allowing firms to fire their staff at will – something that will cause alarm for employees already facing great uncertainty in the current jobs market and economic climate.
The introduction of a ‘no fault dismissal’ procedure could result in people being fired almost instantaneously and for no valid reason. Adrian Beecroft, the report’s multi-millionaire venture capitalist author and Tory donor, admitted his proposals would mean that bosses could sack employees simply because they didn’t like them and that this was a “price worth paying”.
But these proposals actually risk damaging the economic recovery further as cutting employment rights could undermine the confidence of millions of employees who could subsequently limit their consumer spending for fear of losing their jobs.
Commenting Angela said; “The UK already has the most competitive employment regime in the world. The Tories are demonstrating just how out of touch they are; having tried to blame Britain’s businesses for the recession they are now blaming hard-working employees as well.
In a speech in Parliament today Paul Blomfield MP called on Nick Clegg to scrap his ‘undemocratic’ voter registration plans which will reduce Sheffield’s voice in Parliament.
The Government’s plans, which Nick Clegg is leading, will force everyone to register individually. Currently one member of the household can register on everyone else’s behalf. The Electoral Commission has warned this could cause voter registration levels to plummet and that up to 40% of households might drop off the electoral register. In Mr Blomfield’s Sheffield Central constituency 17% of households are already not registered, in contrast with Sheffield Hallam where it is only 4%. Mr Blomfield also warned that Sheffield’s voice in Parliament will be reduced because the smaller electoral register would be used for the next boundary review in 2015 and could see another Sheffield constituency axed.
Paul Blomfield MP said; “Moving from household to individual voter registration will see voter registration decrease in poorer, urban areas where the population is more transient. It will lead to young people, poorer people and people in BME communities dropping off the register. Nick Clegg’s plan will profoundly undermine our democracy and he should think again.
Labour Leader of Sheffield City Council, Councillor Julie Dore, has called on Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP, Nick Clegg, to follow up on his word that the Government “are not going to do anything which simply willy-nilly exacerbates a north-south divide”.
In a letter to Mr Clegg, Councillor Dore points to the fact that the actions of Mr Clegg’s Government, are strongly exacerbating the north-south divide. As a result of the Government’s Local Authority Spending Review spending cuts have been targeted at councils in the north of England at the same time as wealthier councils in the south are receiving almost no cuts at all.
Research shows that the level of cuts per person in different local authority areas is as follows:
Sheffield -£123 per person;
Doncaster -£144 per person;
Barnsley -£111 per person;
Newcastle upon Tyne -£144 per person;
Manchester -£190 per person.
Richmond-upon-Thames -£4 per person;
Wokingham -£1 per person;
Windsor & Maidenhead -£5 per person;
East Dorset £0 per person;
North Dorset -£3 per person.
Councillor Dore is calling on Mr Clegg to back up his words by taking action to reverse the unfair policy of targeting northern council’s such as Sheffield with such disproportionate cuts.
Explaining why he is backing the Rev Dr Alan Billings for nomination for the Police and Crime Commissioner David Blunkett said: “As a former Home Secretary, I am in a position to understand the role and importance that will be attached to the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire.
“Having opposed the post, particularly in relation to the dangers of maverick or partisan political opportunism, I am very keen indeed that the post should be filled by someone who can command respect and support, not only across the whole of South Yorkshire as a geographic entity, but also across the political spectrum.
“Alan Billings is such a person. He has the experience, the local links, the detailed national engagement, an appreciation of the big issues. He also understands the way central and local government and a wide range of other agencies and voluntary organisations work. All these will be essential for doing the doing the job effectively.
“Alan has his main (and only) home in South Yorkshire. As deputy leader of Sheffield City Council for many years in the difficult period of the 1980s, (and as Chair of Finance) he played an absolutely crucial role in combating the worst effect of local government funding cuts, initiated by the then Conservative government.
Labour Leader of Sheffield City Council, Councillor Julie Dore, has announced the new Cabinet to meet the challenges faced by the city and to take the council forward for the coming year.
Councillor Harry Harpham, Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods, is the new Deputy Leader of the Council, replacing Councillor Bryan Lodge who stood down from the position to give more focus to his small business, Councillor Lodge will continue as Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources.
The Cabinet includes the creation of a new Business, Skills and Development portfolio to build on the council’s commitment to focus on the economy, be business friendly and focus on jobs, priorities outlined by Labour last year when they took control of the council last year.
The proposals are cost neutral as the deletion of other Councillor posts finances the creation of an additional Cabinet Member.
Leader of the Council – Julie Dore
Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods – Harry Harpham
Cabinet Member for Finance and Resources – Bryan Lodge
Cabinet Member for Business, Skills and Development – Leigh Bramall
Labour MP for Sheffield South East, Clive Betts, has accused the Minister for Cities, Greg Clark, of misleading the public about the powers of Mayors.
Clive Betts said that Greg Clark’s statement – that cities with Mayors will be given more powers than those without – is a direct contradiction of a commitment made by the Prime Minister, David Cameron, last month.
Clive Betts said: “At the House of Commons Liaison Committee in March, I specifically asked the Prime Minister to confirm that cities which don’t vote for Mayors will have the same access to additional powers as cities which do vote for a Mayor.
David Cameron responded:
[Although I am strongly supporting the view that cities should have a directly elected Mayor] I can absolutely assure you that the City Deals we are doing… [any additional powers] will apply, whether or not they have a Mayor.”
“I invite anyone interested to watch the Prime minister giving this absolutely categorical assurance.”
Clive Betts asked: “Who are the public meant to believe?
Sheffield Central MP, Paul Blomfield today gave the welcoming address to the 90th Annual Conference of National Union of Students’ (NUS) which is being held in Sheffield at the City Hall. Describing Sheffield as a “student city”, Paul paid tribute to the contribution that Sheffield’s two world-class universities and their students make to the city, and challenged students to help undo the damage done to politics by Nick Clegg’s betrayal on tuition fees.
Paul Blomfield said: “I’m really pleased to welcome you to Sheffield. I’ve lived here most of my life and over my life time our two universities have grown from the margins to take centre place in the city. Sheffield’s past is based on traditional industries, with skills and expertise giving a world-wide reputation for excellence in steel and engineering. But our city’s future lies in combining that traditional expertise with the research and innovation excellence of our two universities, and the work of Sheffield College in developing our skills base.
“But the contribution of students goes well beyond that their contribution to the economy. Sheffield is a livelier and richer city, socially and culturally, because of the contribution of students and the work of our students’ unions.”
Angela Smith has shown her commitment to protecting elephants by pledging her support for the International Fund for Animal Welfare’s campaign against the ivory trade.
Angela recently sponsored an event in Westminster for IFAW’s campaign as Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Conservation and Wildlife Group. Key speakers included Rt Hon Nick Herbert MP, Minister for Policing, and IFAW’s Asia Regional Director, Grace Ge Gabriel.
Angela can be seen posing with a large confiscated elephant tusk to highlight the issue and send a clear message that she’s wants the UK to take the lead in the international community to stop elephants dying to fuel the ivory trade.
Recent months have seen the shocking scenes of massacred elephants killed by poachers for their ivory tusks.