Sheffield's referendum in numbers as finishing line draws near

Residents who have spent years trying to change the way Sheffield Council is run are embarking on their ‘last big push’ in a final week of campaigning today before a historic referendum is held next week.

Thursday, 29th April 2021, 6:00 am
When It's Our City campaigners collected a petition with 26,000 names, it sparked a citywide referendum on whether the council should move to a committee system, away from the current Leader and Cabinet model.

The It’s Our City group secured 26,000 votes on a petition, representing more than five per cent of city voters, in order to secure the referendum under the Localism Act 2011.The referendum was delayed, as were local elections, last year due to the pandemic but will finally take place alongside the city council elections on May 6, with the votes counted and a result announced on Monday May 10.

Voters will be asked: “How would you like Sheffield City Council to be run?By a leader who is an elected councillor chosen by a vote of the other elected councillors. This is how the council is run now.ORBy one or more committees made up of elected councillors. This would be a change from how the council is run now.

Whatever the result of the referendum, it will be legally binding.

A co-ordinating group of 13 volunteers have run the It’s Our City campaign in a David and Goliath-esque contest.

While Covid-19 curtailed their public work, more recently they have managed through support networks to get more than 140,000 leaflets delivered to the 28 wards that make up Sheffield’s electorate .

This week they will visit 11 parks across the city in a final attempt to get the message out before polling day.