Sheffield Council’s ruling Labour group has come under fire for appointing a committee of its own councillors to oversee a £1 million budget for projects to tackle urban deprivation.
The funding has been allocated in the wake of a report by Sheffield Fairness Commission - a group involving councillors of all parties, religious leaders and other interest groups.
The commission was asked to come up with ideas for improving life expectance and reducing poverty.
Opposition Liberal Democrat and Green councillors have queried why neither they, nor other members of the commission, were invited to be part of the council’s committee, to be chaired by cabinet member for communities, Coun Mazher Iqbal.
Coun Shaffaq Mohammed, Liberal Democrat group leader, said: “As a member of the commission, I’m disappointed that community leaders have been shut out in favour of hand-picked Labour politicians.”
Coun Rob Murphy, Green Party councillor for Central Ward, added: “I would have thought the council should have invited all the people who gave up their time for commission to be included.”
Coun Iqbal said: “Rationale for having a group of members from the ruling group enables decisions to be taken in the context of budget discussions and other strategic decisions so that we avoid duplication and have best long term impact.”