BREAKING: This is how Sheffield Council will work in future as Labour and Green parties join forces in co-operative announced today
A ‘new era of collaboration’ at Sheffield Council has been announced today as the new co-operative administration is revealed.
The council has been in limbo since May 6 when voters called for change and left no party in overall control. Since then the city’s political parties have been in discussions about how the council will be led.
Today’s announcement said that the Labour and Green parties will work together in a new co-operative agreement. It said initial discussions were held to form a joint administration included all Labour, Green and Liberal Democrat Groups but the Liberal Democrats declined to join the Executive.
"If they were to reconsider this decision, both parties have made it clear the door remains open for the Lib Dems to join the new collaborative working in the council”, said the statement.
Labour leader Coun Terry Fox will be council leader and Coun Julie Grocutt deputy, which the announcement said was supported by both parties.
There will be seven Labour members and three Green members in the cabinet.
To support the result of the Sheffield governance referendum – a new politically proportionate transition committee model will be introduced, piloting a new way of working in the council to facilitate the transition to the committee system.
In order to support Sheffield’s recovery and renewal following the impact of the global pandemic, the co-operative administration set out a number of first-year steps and has committed to:
Implementing the new Local Area Committees, giving power back to Sheffield’s communities, devolving services to local areas, and giving local people a real say over decisions that affect their communities. They will seek to revolutionise how residents can influence the decisions that matter to them.
Introducing a new approach to community safety, with additional safer neighbourhood wardens
Providing additional investment in young people
Supporting the renewal of Sheffield’s district centres, right across the city
Implementing the recommendations set out in the Arup report to create a pathway to deliver the shared ambition for net zero
Appointing an independent person to conduct a local inquiry into the management of the street trees dispute.
Coun Terry Fox, leader of the Labour group, said: “We are delighted to announce this agreement today which represents a new era of politics in our city. Our priority is to put Sheffield first and party politics aside.
“We have worked together to develop this new way of working, with parties coming together and we are committed to making this succeed for the people of Sheffield. Now is a crucial time for Sheffield as we come out of the pandemic and it is more important than ever that we can provide the leadership the city needs.
“We had hoped to make this a triangular arrangements, but unfortunately the Lib Dems didn’t want that, but the door is always open.
“I know that many people thought that this sort of agreement would not be possible and parties wouldn’t be able to work together. I would like to thank the Greens for the way in which they have conducted the negotiations. I look forward to working with them in this partnership.”
Coun Douglas Johnson, Leader of the Green Group, said: “This heralds a new way of working. For the first time, more than one party is represented in the council leadership.
“I am delighted to take part in delivering what the people of Sheffield have voted for in the referendum – a vote for change. That change means dialogue with other parties, cross-party commitments to provide leadership and a commitment to respect each other. I am pleased that the last week has proved that our two parties can reach consensus on many issues.
“We will put meaningful action to address the climate emergency at the heart of what we do and look forward to a new period of co-operation.”
The cabinet will be as follows:
Leader – Terry Fox
Deputy Leader -Julie Grocutt
Finance -Cate McDonald
Housing, Roads & Waste Management -Paul Wood
Sustainable neighbourhoods, wellbeing, parks and leisure -Alison Teal
Climate change, environment and transport -Douglas Johnson
Inclusive economy, jobs and skills -Paul Turpin
City Futures, Development, Culture, Regeneration -Mazher Iqbal
Education, Children and Families -Jayne Dunn
Health & Social Care -George Lindars-Hammond