Elected in 2023 Local Elections

Laura McClean

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I have lived in Walkley ward for over ten years. I love this area and I want to help to make it an even better place to live.

All my working life I’ve worked to help people. I work for a charity that supports people going through the court process who do not have a solicitor. I have worked as an adviser for those struggling with debt.

I know first-hand that it is a tough time for many people in our area. I am standing for election here to fight for everyone in Walkley ward.

What do you think makes a good local councillor?

A good councillor knows the area well and understands its needs. My greatest motivation for being a councillor is to make a difference to the lives of residents in Walkley. In order to do this, it is important to be available to them, to listen and to respond to them.

A good councillor will advocate for both individuals and the whole area; they bring people together to help to resolve local issues, and they are a champion for their ward. If I’m elected on May 4th, this is what I will do.

Tell us three things you're aiming to focus on or achieve for your ward during your term as councillor

1. Delivering more affordable housing is so important. It helps to tackle the housing crisis, provides job opportunities, supports the local economy and, for those able to access affordable housing, it improves their quality of life. I will campaign for more affordable housing, like the new council homes that will be built at Bole Hill View.

2. Better buses. The inadequacy of the bus services in Walkley ward mean residents are not able to rely on our buses to get them to where they need to be so that they can go about their everyday lives – from going to work, hospital appointments and visiting family. I will campaign for Labour’s plan to bring our buses back under public control.

3. I want to work with and support local businesses, organisations and groups. I want to listen and work with the many Tenants and Resident Associations in our area. I also want to encourage residents to participate in our Local Area Committee so that local voices are heard.

Tell us three things you're aiming to focus on or achieve for the city of Sheffield during your term as councillor

1. Support residents with the cost of living. I know how tough things are. I will always work hard to ensure households in Walkley and across Sheffield get the support they need. Labour will further boost the Household Support Fund for residents, providing extra support to those in greatest hardship. Labour will also reduce energy bills and create warmer homes by improving energy efficiency in thousands of council homes.

2.Invest in our neighbourhoods. We need more affordable housing in our area and across Sheffield. Labour will deliver 3100 new affordable low-carbon homes by 2029. Labour will solve the housing repairs backlog with new long term investment.

3.Make Sheffield more connected. Sheffield needs a public transport system that works for us. Labour will bring buses and the tram back under public control to take control over routes and fares.

Labour’s local manifesto lays out our vision for our city.

Environment: Sheffield City Council has stated that to reach its aim of net-zero by 2030, "change will be difficult... we will have to take hard decisions as a council on behalf of the city". If elected, what changes will you make to enable Sheffield to reach net zero by 2030?

Labour in Sheffield is committed to reaching net zero by 2030. There is much to be done to achieve this target but Labour has a plan to do this.

Addressing transport in the city is key to this. Labour is committed to bring our buses and trams under public control. If people can rely on our transport system this will in turn reduce dependency on private cars. I will continue to campaign for this. Labour will also keep pressing the government to help us deliver an adequate electric vehicle network citywide. We need an effective charging network so that people are able to make the switch to electric cars.

Labour is committed to expanding retrofitting of homes. This will reduce emissions and help to tackle the cost of living crisis by reducing bills for residents. To support this expansion we will work our education and training providers to establish Sheffield as a Centre of Expertise for Housing retrofit, to ensure more people learn the skills needed to do important retrofitting work

Labour is committed to decarbonisation and bringing all council homes up to at least EPC ‘C’ Energy standard by 2028 to save on energy costs and help towards net zero targets.

Transport: Sheffield City Council, and the Mayoral Combined Authority, have been awarded multi-million pound pots to improve cycling and walking networks. What are your priorities for transport infrastructure in Sheffield?

Labour’s plan to bring our buses back under public control is a key priority for transport in Sheffield. We need routes and fares that work for the people of Sheffield. Active Travel and low traffic neighbourhood schemes are important as we want our streets to be places where everyone feels safe and move around freely. We need to consult with residents and businesses so that our schemes work and are evidence based.

We need to improve our public spaces and footpaths to make moving around our city on foot as easy, safe and accessible for all. Labour is also committed to transforming the city’s cycling infrastructure by delivering easy-to-follow cycle ways from the city centre to inner city neighbourhoods and key employment areas.

I also want to see more 20mph zones in Walkley and in more areas across our city. It is important that we ensure children have safe walking routes to school. I want to see safe ‘School Streets’ continuing to be rolled out across Sheffield.

Local Economy: Sheffield City Council has a forecasted cumulative budget gap of £111million by 2026/27. How would you raise revenue for the city going forward?

A core commitment for Sheffield Labour’s 2023 election campaign (manifesto here) is to “grow our local economy”.

Key to to achieving this, Labour will:
1) Support the creation of thousands of new jobs in green manufacturing through the Advanced Manufacturing District
2) Deliver a Local Plan focused on local sustainable growth. You can read the draft Local Plan here.
3) Make Sheffield a global hub for sporting and cultural events, and deliver a Gallery of the North creating a new regional flagship artspace. 4) Develop a Local Industrial Strategy.
5) Establish Sheffield as a Centre of Expertise for retrofitting homes
6) Increase the number of apprenticeships.

Housing: On 14th December 2022 the council adopted a motion asking the housing policy committee to consider adopting further selective licensing throughout the city. Do you think Landlord Licensing in Sheffield should be extended, from currently applying to Abbeydale Road, Chesterfield Road and London Road, to covering more wards?

  • Yes
  • Unsure
  • No

If you'd like to add details on your position, please do so here

Sheffield Labour is committed to using all powers available to improve housing standards throughout the city, whether for social tenants or private renters – including implementing selective licensing schemes.

Such schemes have proven success in promoting clear expectations, targets and progress metrics, as well as transparent, robust enforcement measures.

Licensing reduces the risk of illegal property conversions, poor fire safety, and poor management standards.

View the Labour Party policies