COUNCIL leaders in Sheffield said they will not allow the city to take part in trials of the Government’s identity card system after Manchester signed up for a pilot project.
Sheffield Council leaders will place a motion before the council next week proposing the city rule itself out of any future project to test the cards.
Liberal Democrat leader Coun Paul Scriven said the announcement that Manchester would take part in a trial beginning in the autumn should not prompt Sheffield to follow suit.
“”Labour’s plan to force compulsory ID Cards on us is waste of money and it won’t stop crime or terrorism. Liberal Democrats fundamentally disagree with the introduction of ID Cards and we believe that the majority of local people in Sheffield wouldn’t be interested in being volunteered as guinea pigs.”
Mr Scriven also hit out at the projected £5.2bn cost of introducing the scheme nationwide and criticised the fact that individuals would be expected to pay more than £90 for their ID card.
He added: “In this time of deep recession £5bn pounds could be better spent on supporting local businesses and low income families. I hope that all the political groups on the council will back our proposals and send a clear message to the Government that we don’t want them to waste money on expensive, intrusive and ineffective ID cards.”
The motion, which will be placed before members of the authority on June 3, also proposes that the council affiliate itself to national ID card opposition group NO2ID.
Speaking at the launch of the Manchester pilot scheme last month, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith hinted that other large cities would be expected to sign up to the scheme. “Our next steps will be for other cities to follow…before full national coverage from 2012.”