Letter: Steely anger

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IT WAS not just residual anger over the profligate waste of the World Student Games that makes Sheffielders reluctant to give back their council tax rebate ('Sheffield says 'no thanks' to a chance to give', 31 July). Services we were asked to 'restore' were cuts the council itself made in the first place. We once spent a whole year in which no new books were bought for libraries. And yet, the council could still find an pounds 80,000 write-off on a private company's 'Sheffield Festival', a pounds 5,000 contribution to a private company to defray the costs of their appeal against a drinks licence refusal; finance a recording studio; spend thousands on a 'Media Centre' project; and many more thousands earmarked for a Museum of Popular Music. The majority of Sheffielders consider our council as a disgrace to the national Labour movement. Hence their loss of eight seats in the last election. This is, I assure you, no Red Republic, just the last outpost of autocratic, centrist and apparatchik self-indulgence.

Robert Blackmore