Sheffield Council to hold first transitional committee meeting

Sheffield Council will hold its first transitional committee meeting next week, marking a key step towards a committee system of governance.

Thursday, 30th September 2021, 11:07 am

The climate change, economy and development transitional committee will be the first of the meetings, which are being introduced to provide an early opportunity for councillors to work on a cross-party basis ahead of a shift in how it makes decisions.

It will take place on Thursday, October 7 from 10 am.

Items on the agenda include an introduction to transitional committees (TCs) and discussion topics titled: our future approach to priority budgeting, central area strategy and pathway to net zero – update on the 10-point plan.

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Town Hall.

In an introductory brief on TCs, council officers said: “This is the way decisions will be taken once Sheffield’s Committee system is introduced (May 2022).”

Sheffield emphatically voted for the council to switch from a strong leader and cabinet model to a committee system at the local elections this year but this change will not be implemented until May 2022.

However, council leaders were keen to pilot committee ways of working as soon as possible in preparation.

At the first full council meeting following the elections, councillors established four transitional committees which match chapters of the council’s One Year Plan and are: climate change, economy and development; communities and neighbourhoods; education, health and care; and our council.

Each is politically proportionate and includes representation from executive members.

In the briefing on TCs, council officers said a commitment to openness and transparency will be vitally important.

They said they are purely advisory and not decision-making because decisions can only be taken by executive members of no more than 10 while it is operating within a strong leader model.

The TCs can decide how they work and therefore may end up working in different ways to each other.

Officers warned testing or piloting new ways of working will have to be “fast and focused” as each TC will only meet about half a dozen times before it is disbanded.

Recommendations from the TCs will be made to full council ahead of the transition to a decision-making committee system next year.