SHEFFIELD Council leader Julie Dore has written to the Tory Communities Secretary saying she is willing to have a ‘strong working relationship’.
Before May’s local elections, Deputy Prime Minister and Sheffield Hallam MP Nick Clegg claimed having Labour in charge of Sheffield Council could lead to a return to the ‘dark days’ of confrontation between the Town Hall and Government - which caused problems in the 1980s.
But now Coun Dore has also invited Communities Secretary Eric Pickles to visit the city.
She wrote: “I wanted to write to you to state quite clearly that whilst my administration will at all times stand up for Sheffield, my intention is to adopt a co-operative stance with Government and I would seek to have a strong working relationship.
“Despite the impact of Government funding changes on the economic and social wellbeing of Sheffield, my view is that the policy differences between us should not lead to an oppositional style of working.
“I firmly believe that it is in Sheffield’s interest to work with the Government of the day guided by a strong and clear vision for our city.”
She added: “I would also therefore like to invite you to visit Sheffield and to meet with me and my political and executive colleagues to identify areas where we can work collaboratively and also to take the opportunity to explain to you specifically some of the challenges and opportunities that a city like Sheffield faces.”
Coun Dore told The Star: “I want to make it clear to the Government that we will stand up for Sheffield to get the best deal for this city, which is something that was lacking when the Lib Dems were in charge.
“Despite any areas of disagreement we may have, it is in our best interests to work constructively with the Government and hopefully through meeting with them we will be able to move this forward.”