New leader of Sheffield Council warns of “tough times ahead” but vows to protect city
The new leader of Sheffield Council officially started this week and promised to do all he could to protect the city during the pandemic.
Hillsborough councillor Bob Johnson has taken over from Julie Dore, who was leader for almost a decade and is standing down as a councillor in May.
Coun Johnson, who was previously Cabinet member for transport and development, said he was delighted and honoured to be leader in his home city.
Stocksbridge councillor Julie Grocutt will replace him in the transport role. As yet, there has not been a Cabinet reshuffle.
Coun Johnson said he understood leading the city through Covid-19 would mean there were great challenges ahead.
“I’m under no illusion that I have a big job ahead of me – we are in the middle of a pandemic and the council plays a major part in looking after residents, ensuring that everyone, particularly the most vulnerable in the city are looked after, businesses are supported and critical services can continue to operate,” he said.
“Tough times lie ahead and I will make sure to do my utmost to protect our city through the next stages of this pandemic.
“I am feeling excited about the future and believe that Sheffield has huge potential, and I am wholly committed to maximising what we have to offer.
“Over the next few months, I’m looking forward to working with people to understand what they want to see from their local authority, and I can’t wait to put things into action.”
Coun Johnson also paid tribute to his predecessor at a meeting of the full council.
He said: “Julie’s led the city through one of the most challenging times in our history, dealing with a decade of austerity and the pandemic over the past year.
“She should be proud of everything that she has achieved and I would like to thank her personally for the support and the work that we have done together.”
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