New neighbourhood committees to launch in Sheffield to give more ‘power to the people’

Residents will have more of a say over what happens in their community with the launch of seven new neighbourhood boards.

Wednesday, 10th March 2021, 12:12 pm

The new Local Area Committees, covering every part of Sheffield will begin in May and the council says they “will shift power and influence for important local decisions”.

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The announcement comes just weeks before the city holds a referendum on whether the council should keep the current Cabinet and Leader model or switch to a committee system.

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Bob Johnson.

The referendum, which is on the same day as the local elections on May 6, was prompted by It’s Our City campaigners.

They say the current Cabinet system excludes the majority of councillors and committees give more elected members a voice.

The new Area Committees are at a neighbourhood level – the referendum will decide whether Town Hall committees should be introduced as well.

Council Leader Bob Johnson said they would be a platform for communities, public services, organisations and the council to work together to shape decisions on the most important issues for their area.

They will be councillor-led, supported by officers, with no details yet on how they will be split geographically.

Coun Johnson said: “This is a huge step in empowering our communities, providing a platform for people to talk about the improvements they want to see within their local areas.

“These committees will allow for those voices to be heard. Every person in every community matters and this is an opportunity for us all to come together and shape the future of our communities and our city.

“We want everyone to get involved and have a voice in the future of their local area, working on new ideas and having an influence over local issues, in partnership with neighbours, public services, businesses and councillors.

“This isn’t about creating a different type of council meeting; it’s about giving communities real power over decisions that directly impact them. This is your opportunity to shape your Sheffield and I’m really excited about the prospects of what we can achieve together.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a digital subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.