Sheffield councillors annoyed after climate change report given to the media before them

Councillors in Sheffield have criticised a delay with a climate change report after it was given to the media but not to them.

Tuesday, 2nd February 2021, 4:45 pm

A scrutiny committee was due to hear an update on the council’s plans to tackle the climate emergency, first declared two years ago.

Officers said the report was delayed due to staff being off with Covid but a press release had been sent out by the council the day before, leaving councillors unimpressed.

Labour councillor Cate McDonald said: “I want to emphasise that this was a formal request. If it’s not forthcoming shortly this should be escalated because it’s not good enough, it’s too important to be left adrift.

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Green councillor Douglas Johnson

“The whole gist of our comments was that we felt it was urgent, we wanted to be part of the process and support it.

“Can I ask this is treated as a matter of urgency and escalated as appropriate if reports are not forthcoming.”

Liberal Democrat councillor Tim Huggan said he was surprised the report hadn’t been presented.

“I was at a Green City Partnership board where there was a full report and everything in detail about what was going to happen,” he said.

“It wasn’t as if there was a lack of a body of work that could have come to this committee from that. If this is a result of Covid that’s very sad, but we do need to get a move on with this.”

Green councillor Douglas Johnson said he wanted to formally record his disappointment.

He said: “I think it’s discourteous as there has been a substantial amount of work, officers have spent a lot of time going for the publicity and releasing the press release but there’s been no briefing of councillors, let alone the scrutiny committee which explicitly requested this item on climate change.”

Coun Mick Rooney, chairman of the committee, said he would pass on comments.

“I have expressed my frustration that almost two years after we declared a climate emergency, the progress has been stunted and we will keep pushing it as hard as we can,” he said.

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