Campaigners hoping to force a change in the way decisions are made by Sheffield Council have launched a fundraising appeal as part of their fight.
Community group It’s Our City! launched the Sheffield People’s Petition in August, with the intention of changing the decision-making process at Sheffield Town Hall.
The group is hoping to take action under the Localism Act 2011 to prompt a change from the council’s current ‘strong leader and Cabinet model’ to one where decisions would be taken more by committees, involving more councillors in key decisions.
The legislation requires a petition signed by five per cent of those on the Sheffield Council electoral roll to trigger a referendum, which dropped from 20,956 to 20,092 in February instilling new hope into the campaign.
Members have now launched a Crowdfunder appeal, which they say will be used to ‘create more materials’ and hold events across Sheffield.
A statement on the page said: “Your contribution is more than a donation – it’s joining with other citizens in restoring democracy to Sheffield Council and building a stronger city together.
“It’s Our City! is made up of citizens from across Sheffield. We are independent from all political parties, so we rely on support from individuals like yourself for everything we do.
“All donations will go directly towards publicity, events, and activities to spread the word about Sheffield People’s Petition to the citizens of Sheffield.”
The group has until August 24 – a year after it launched the campaign – to reach the required number of signatures, having gathered more than 10,000 so far.
“Now that the lighter evenings are coming, we have the chance to further increase all of these activities, as we get into the ‘home straight’ of achieving the required number of signatures,” the statement said.
“To maximise the effect of these local groups, and increase our activities online, we are running this crowdfunder so we can create more materials and events to reach out across Sheffield and tell everyone how the current undemocratic system can be improved for the good of the whole city.”
Fylde Borough Council saw a similar change in governance in 2015 following a referendum 12 months previous and West Dorset District Council also made changes following a vote in 2017.
For more information visit www.itsoursheffield.co.uk or to sign the petition visit www.ipetitions.com/petition/sheffield-peoples-petition.