More than 10,000 now back campaign calling for change in way Sheffield Council makes decisions

Campaigners hoping to force a change in the way Sheffield Council makes decisions are now halfway towards reaching the number of signatures they require to prompt a referendum.

By Sam Cooper
Tuesday, 09 April, 2019, 09:10

Community group It’s Our City launched the Sheffield People’s Petition in August, with the intention of changing the decision-making process at Sheffield Town Hall.

The group is hoping to take action under the Localism Act 2011 to prompt a change from the council’s current ‘strong leader and Cabinet model’ to one where decisions would be taken more by committees, involving more councillors in key decisions.

The group launched their campaign in August 2018.

The legislation requires a petition signed by five per cent of those on the Sheffield Council electoral roll to trigger a referendum, which dropped from 20,956 to 20,092 in February instilling new hope into the campaign.

Nigel Slack, co-chairman of the group, said campaigners had now gathered more than 10,000 signatures and gained the support of the Sheffield Central Constituency Labour Party.

Mr Slack said that in February, the CLP passed a resolution calling on the ‘Labour group at the council to move towards a committee structure, rather than the strong-leader model for running the council’.

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He added: “The coming summer months will surely see the campaign achieve further traction as more and more people understand the need for better and more accountable decision making with the continuing austerity under which our city is suffering.

“We look forward to more constituency groups from all parties committing to this change in their own resolutions.”

The group has until August 24 – a year after it launched the campaign – to reach the required number of signatures.

Fylde Borough Council saw a similar change in governance in 2015 following a referendum 12 months previous and West Dorset District Council also made changes following a vote in 2017.

 For more information visit www.itsoursheffield.co.uk or to sign the petition visit www.ipetitions.com/petition/sheffield-peoples-petition.