Why did you do it Chris?

Why did Chris Read, Labour Group Leader sign us up to the hashed up devolution called the Sheffield City Region?Something dreamed up by a Tory government that has previously opposed and resisted every form of devolution unless forced into it?

Why’d he agree to the Tories pet love; Mayors? When he knows they’re used to put the boot into traditional Councillor based democratic structures.

Why agree to another tier of government, with its extra costs and removal of power from his own colleagues?

Why didn’t he demand a local referendum on the new organisation and Mayoralty, as in other changes to democratic structures?

Didn’t Tory history and commitment to cutting local government budgets raise a suspicion or two in his mind, when he was signing away yours and my rights to decide who determines Planning Policy and decision making, Economic development and Transport issues etc?

Did he ask what democratic mandate did he have do so?

Osborne and the Tory parliamentarians don’t like local government, care for it or even believe in it. What this proposal will do is allow them to blame Labour Councils for what are Tory cuts.

The democratic debacle shows that Labour Group management remains farcically humorous….and not even slightly a democratic socialist organisation.

Chris Read trumpets that the Labour Group is now so born again brilliant that they have been given back some powers lost due to their incompetence. Failing to say that several of the powers returned to them will soon be taken away, this time to be gifted to an elected Mayor. A Turkey volunteering his flock for Christmas, Chris?

So WHY did Read save Osborne’s face at the last Tory Annual Conference, by agreeing at the 11th hour to sign up to the Sheffield City Region and an elected mayor? Allowing Osbourne to announce his success to the Tory faithful.

One suggestion is a “sweetener” from Osbourne of £5m for the Council if Read signed up prior to the Conference.

Another is the £5m plus some powers given back to the Councillors. After all if Osborne didn’t give the powers back to the local Councillors, how could those Councillors gift them back to the new Mayor?

A more cynical add-on is the likely creation of a few gold plated seats at the new Super Region trough. And the chance for Read to get his failing political career back on track.

By this perverse power hand over and exchange (probably took place in a petrol station;) Read gets to say he has Rotherham Council back on track and he has turned the Council round.

Sidestepping the fact that for the few powers he gets back, some he is giving away permanently.

Wuff Justice

PS. My inside info is that Steve Houghton of Barnsley Council is the Mayoral candidate of choice for Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham Labour Groups… The anti “Sheffield getting it” candidate. You heard it here first.

And…..….ironically Steve organised the Labour Party to oppose creation of a Mayor for Barnsley when they were offered the chance.

PPS…How is Chris Read managing to balance what was his full time job with North Yorkshire Council as Conditions Officer for UNISON, with his role as Rotherham’s Labour and Council Leader? Has he changed his employment at North Yorks? Not according to his disclosure of interests. Maybe he’s cut his hours? And his salary?

20 thoughts on “Why did you do it Chris?

  1. Er, does anyone remember South Yorkshire County Council
    Set up by the Tories
    Embraced by Labour
    Abolished by the Tories
    All at massive cost to the tax payer
    Oh and what about the Police, Fire and Rescue, Passenger Transport
    And these new ‘initiatives’ are always accompanied by big fat salaries for those who take on these enormous new responsibilities – yeah, yeah, yeah
    What goes around ………………


  2. Maybe Read is thinking stay close to Houghton and even closer to Dan Jarvis to achieve his and his little helpers ambition of safe seats in the HOC


  3. This has been happening for years, one signature by Chris is the tip of the iceberg. The £5m sweetner by George looks like a pinch of salt compared to what has been pummelled from elsewhere, just read up from below.




    SCR (Sheffield City Region) not to be confused with:

    Any SCR(s) (the actual Sheffield City Reports)

    wuff justice, well done above, definitely was done in a petrol station.


  4. The word is
    Mayor candidate Steve Houghton or Richard Caborn
    My money is on Steve Houghton who was appointed Reeds Mentor by the Labour LGA Group
    In Council one Wednesday Reed said they would not vote for a Mayor
    On the Friday after the deal with Osborn he agreed to a Mayor
    Now we have Barnsley pulling the strings in Rotherham
    It sounds like be a good little boy do as you are told and you will go far
    Just what hope is left for the people of Rotherham with this not fit for purpose group in the driving seat
    The evidence is their your choice


  5. He has no mandate to be signing up to anything. He has been put forward as a Labour councilor that’s all; probably one that struggles to get a quorum. He has no right, no authority and no support to be advocating any change in any democratic structure in our region. The man is a balloon,without any political knowledge whatsoever. And if he is a union rep for UNISON, if I was a member of that union I would be asking some serious questions about his above actions and all the job losses to his brothers and sisters that he is making as Council Leader. UNBELIEVABLE.


  6. When did Rotherham borough have a mandate to take over the old rural districts, we feel as bad about coming under the borough, as Rotherham people do coming under a Sheffield city region. Both the city region and Rotherham borough need disbanding.


  7. Read – The man is a gullible non-entity . Another of the caste who has free loaded its way along in the public/union sector based on next to no talent for anything except spending other peoples hard earned money and getting no value for it.


  8. Thanks for that Wuff. I’ve learnt from a leading member of the Sheffield business community since I did the piece on Saturday that the proposal also allows for Barnsley to vote for a Leeds Mayor as well as a Sheffield Mayor, so where would that leave a Steve Houghton candidacy, as leader of a town that is half in and half out of the city region.


    • Chris Read used to be a sevice conditions officer in North Yorkshire as was Emma Hodinott I requested if she was still on their books she was at the time I asked and had taken a year out as is allowed it was possible they said that her position at the end of that year might not be available and I am sure as you will know Robin Chris Read came in from North York’s did not say a lot when there was no one in the borough capable of taking the leaders job


    • Hands up…mea culpa…it is his partner, Cllr Emma H. Apologies…means he’s given up his other job..was that with York Council?

      But the rest holds good.


    • If the possibility is there, how clever would that be, laying the road to go where you want to go.

      fiferalfa, thinking outside the box, watch this space!


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