Action needs to be taken

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The low turnout in the recent local elections (under 35 per cent) shows how apathetic people have become about local politics in Sheffield. I don’t blame them.

Action needs to be taken by all parties to better represent and listen to ordinary local people who otherwise are not engaging or voting.

The first thing we need from all parties is to refrain from the pathetic attacks on individuals and other parties which put people off voting. These seem nothing more than an attempt to avoid having to take responsibility and actually discuss track records and policy.

Despite the election being a local one important local issues like the worrying decline of the city’s library service, the seeming failure of the council’s attempts at city centre regeneration and cutting back on excessive corporate pay have been ignored by all parties. These are top priorities and need addressing.

Normal people should be able to suggest items for debate and council meetings moved to evenings or even weekends to allow people who work in the week to attend.

A full council meeting devoted to discussing only matters raised by opposition parties and the public should be held at least once a month with all councillors required to attend.

To expect people to attend a meeting midday in the middle of the week if they wish to submit a question is unfair on people who work and is excluding people from engaging.

Cabinet members should be available via online surgeries on Facebook and Twitter.

Council meetings should be webcast live and cabinet members made available for regular Q&A sessions which local radio and newspapers need to organise.

Matthew Smith

Endcliffe Vale Road, S10