Politicians urged to end the deadlock as Sheffield Council remains in limbo after local elections

The three party leaders in Sheffield need to resolve the no overall control deadlock and find new ways of working together, says a campaign group.

By Lucy Ashton, Local Democracy Reporter
Tuesday, 18th May 2021, 9:44 am

Sheffield Compass which campaigns for better democracy and electoral reform, has sent an open letter to Labour Leader Coun Terry Fox, Liberal Democrat Leader Coun Shaffaq Mohammed and Coun Douglas Johnson of the Green Party.

It’s now 12 days since Labour lost overall control of the council but politicians have not yet announced a coalition or new Leader.

Sheffield Compass says it recognises there is a lot of cynicism about the council and 66 per cent of the electorate did not vote but the leaders need to act quickly, given the scale of the challenges facing the city.

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Town Hall.

In the letter, Vivien Ellison, Ian McHugh, Roy Morris, Martin Yarnit say: “We believe there is hope and scope for a cross-party alliance around tackling these key issues with a focus on the uniting crises of climate, inequality, jobs and public services offering a way to create a common project.

“Despite difficult relationships in the past, we believe there is a lot of common ground between Labour, Liberal Democrats and Greens if we can keep open minds, listen to each other and move beyond historic party boundaries.

“For example, the Green City Partnership Board is working well and across party on the climate emergency, and there was a lot of cross party consensus at the recent hustings held by Sheffield Climate Alliance.

“We want to see all parties commit to urgent action to implement the recommendations of the recent report on pathways to climate zero in Sheffield by 2030.

“We also hope the parties will sign up to a new form of governance in place of the Cabinet system and convene a Citizen’s Assembly to consider it, making use of the expertise that has been developed through the referendum campaign.

“We must build a city where people are proud of their Council and feel that taking part in the democratic process matters to them.”

The politicians need to present a working solution at the council’s AGM on Wednesday.