By Joel Course
The new leader of the Sheffield Liberal Democrat group has declared his intent to make his city better than Leeds and Manchester.
Shaffaq Mohammed told Shef News today that he wanted to develop the city and to take Sheffield out of the shadows of others in the north of England.
“I want to make my city the best; I don’t want it to play second fiddle to Leeds and Manchester,” he said.
Mr Mohammed also added that his ambition was to become the leader of the city council. The Liberal Democrats won 19 seats in the elections on 6 May, but Labour held a majority of 57 out of the 84 seats. The next step for Liberal Democrats in Sheffield, Mr Mohammed declared, was to overthrow Labour’s hold.
“Otherwise what’s the point? It’s not the Olympic Games; you don’t get anything for being second,” he said.
The new leader said he believed the party needed to reach out to the public, by being in the communities, talking to the people, to students and to journalists.
Mr Mohammed put his accomplishment down to his own self-belief.
He said: “Every person brings their own qualities to the job. If I didn’t think that I could succeed, I wouldn’t have come forward. It’s always a good feeling when people have confidence in you. I am looking forward to starting the job.”
Mr Mohammed officially takes over the leadership of the group from Coun Colin Ross tomorrow.