Editor: Red and green but how long will our city stall at junction?

What does amber actually mean? If you’re not red or green then how are you supposed to act on the one in-between?

Thursday, 20th May 2021, 6:44 am
Updated Thursday, 20th May 2021, 6:58 am
Are there stormy times ahead inside Sheffield Town Hall or pots of gold at the end of a rainbow?

There has been a lot of discussion around a rainbow of colours this week as Brits desperately wonder if they can look ahead to summer holidays abroad. We understand about stop and go but we all also see that people act differently at traffic lights when amber appears … let alone when vacations are on the line.

The prime minister says it is very clear but if it was, he wouldn’t ever have had to utter those words. So as we sit pondering the ever changing and ever colour lifting of pandemic restrictions, it is hard to avoid the comparisons with Sheffield’s political situation.

When the announcement about leadership comes almost two weeks after the election and just an hour before the first official meeting, you know the negotiations haven’t been easy. You might remember that as the counts were announced it was clear that Labour had taken a beating. There was no way they would still control the council, was there?

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Except here we are and there they sit, in the town hall with both leader and deputy leader as well as, arguably, all the most influential cabinet seats. Let's not forget they won’t be working within the new committee system for some time yet. And they couldn’t have done it without the Greens. Coalitions - no matter what politicians try to rename them – are never easy but you can imagine how this one has gone down with some very vocal Green voters. Will anything ever be agreed again? What change can three cabinet members really force? Will the cynical, party snipes disappear? Answers on a postcard please. Who has the most to lose if it goes wrong? Sadly, the answer is always this wonderful city of ours.

Am I surprised the Lib Dems are steering well clear? Absolutely not it and it might just prove the (re)making of them. Fun and games aside, it is the duty of every politician to make sure this city does not stall on amber for much longer. We need good leadership and we need to make it work. Whatever you think of rainbows, we're all still praying there’s a pot of gold hiding somewhere behind what will inevitably be, at times, stormy clouds.