New Deputy Leader for Sheffield Council

A councillor who mounted a challenge against the Leader of Sheffield Council has a new role – as her deputy.

By Lucy Ashton
Wednesday, 4th September 2019, 5:56 pm
Coun Terry Fox is the new Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council
Coun Terry Fox is the new Deputy Leader of Sheffield City Council

Coun Terry Fox is the new Deputy Leader of Sheffield Council after he stood uncontested at a Labour Group meeting on Monday.

Coun Fox, who represents Manor Castle, challenged Council Leader Julie Dore for her position following the local elections in May. He lost after the majority of Labour councillors voted to keep Coun Dore as Leader.

He has previously been a Cabinet member for environment and transport and takes over the reigns as Deputy following the resignation of Coun Olivia Blake, who quit in support of the It’s Our City petition.

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Her husband Coun Lewis Dagnall also resigned as Cabinet member for environment, street scene and climate change and has been replaced by Coun Mark Jones.

Four other councillors, Fran Johnson, Sophie Wilson, Adam Hurst and Moya O’Rourke, also resigned from Cabinet roles.

Coun Fox said he was excited about the opportunity. “My view has always been about giving our communities a voice. How do we give Dot who lives on the Manor the opportunity to have her voice heard? We have to look at ways of doing that.

“My job will be to talk to It’s Our City, Sheffield For Democracy, opposition parties and communities about how we should look at devolving powers down. That is all up for debate and discussion.”

Some Labour Party members have added to the rift by claiming the leadership has “failed” them.

Sheffield Labour Left says it supports the It’s Our City campaign for a committee system, which it believes is more democratic.

Lee Rock, convenor on behalf of the Sheffield Labour Left steering committee, said: “We believe the Labour Group should have discussed this issue amongst Labour Party members months prior to the number of signatures being collected.

“It is the failure of the Labour Group leadership to take such action that has now resulted in a rift in the Labour Group over this issue.

“This is not the first time the Labour Group leadership has failed Labour Party members and others in Sheffield.”

The decision of a Labour council to take peaceful protestors to court, with threats of prison, over the trees issue was totally wrong. A Labour-led council should never be seeking prosecutions of peaceful protesters.

“We call upon the councillors who have resigned from their roles to put people-powered politics into action.

“This can best be achieved by those elected representatives working with members to make the Sheffield Labour Party a more democratic and campaigning body in the interests of the many and not the few.”