What do you think?
YES: Avril Critchley
Totley Residents’ Association
“WITH how the election turned out, there is a possibility that we are heading towards a single party system at Sheffield Town Hall, which can’t be an advantage for the city.
“To be honest, a lot of people are just sick to death of all the three main parties and are not interested in politics at the moment.
“If things carry on the way they are, with the Lib Dems losing more seats and Labour dominating, it could mean fewer people turn out to vote because they don’t think it will make a difference. The danger then is the ruling party is able to do what it wants without scrutiny.
“There needs to be more effort to get people interested in politics.
“Politicians don’t come out and talk to us like they used to as it stands, they just do things like ring us up and ask which way we are going to vote.
“That is not going to make somebody more likely to vote and it is not any of their business.
“They would be better trying to win arguments about particular issues to get people’s votes.
“It’s just one of the things political parties are doing that put voters off. I have always voted but I now have great difficulty in deciding who I should support.
“I didn’t hear a thing or receive leaflets from the Labour Party before the election, when they are in control of the Town Hall chamber and supposed to be running the whole of the city.
“There should be a strong opposition on the council so voters have more than one party to choose from at an election.
“It would be even better if there were more than two parties to choose from.
“Another thing the parties could do is stop assuming everyone wants to do things online – they should keep on with traditional methods. Not everyone wants to go on the internet and use websites.”
NO: Mick Daniels
Brushes Tenants’ and Residents’
“I THINK the situation we are in with Labour dominating the Town Hall is a temporary blip rather than a permanent change.
“Whether things go back to normal in future years and people return to voting in their traditional way, we’ll see.
“The national situation changes over time and could shift again – with effects on who runs local councils around the country.
“I am not really political but with having the number of seats they do, with 59 of 84 councillors, Labour can use their majority to push what policies they want through and get their own way.
“Because there are not enough people in the Town Hall to put them under pressure, the council needs to go out to the community more often to make sure it is being democratic.
“A couple of years ago, I can remember when the two Green Party councillors were a minority group which had the balance of power because neither Labour nor the Liberal Democrats had a majority.
“Their support would be needed for either group to win a vote. That does not happen any more.
“No matter what is being proposed, Labour will be able to get what they want passed in the council chamber.That has already happened with the bins and green sacks. Sheffield Council should look at what goes on in neighbouring areas such as Barnsley and make sure the public gets more involved in how the council is run.
“You often read in The Star how councillors in Barnsley go out on walkabouts of their wards.
“Even the council leader is involved, going out to see what local concerns are and speak to residents about their views.
“It would be a good idea if Sheffield did something similar to ensure members of the public have their views taken into account.”
PLEDGE: Julie Dore
Sheffield City Council
Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore has pledged to ensure the authority involves the public in local politics and that her party will not take voters’ support for granted.
She said decisions made by her and her cabinet would ‘not be any different’ whatever the majority.
Coun Dore said Labour has already held cabinet meetings out in different neighbourhoods to ensure members of the public could meet those in power and put their views across on public services.
She added the exercise would be repeated over the coming year ‘so residents have a chance to meet us’.
She said: “If I had a majority of five, 15 or 30, decisions would not have been different over the past year.”
OPPOSITION: Shaffaq Mohammed
Liberal Democrat opposition leader
Sheffield City Council
LIBERAL Democrats now have just 23 councillors in Sheffield after successive elections where they have lost nine seats after each poll.
But Coun Mohammed is undaunted by the current, uphill task of providing a strong opposition.
He said: “We will continue the job the people of Sheffield have given us, which is to hold the Labour administration to account.
“The current situation is difficult but times like these test character.
“The challenge for us is to continue to work hard to raise issues of concern and ensure the council’s leadership is acting in everyone’s interests.
“Where it is not, it is for us to ask the difficult questions.”