Referendum on changes to Sheffield Council decision-making process will not be held on same day as election

Voters at this year’s local elections will not be given an extra ballot paper asking if they would like to see changes in the way Sheffield Council makes decisions.

Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 08:21 am
Updated Tuesday, 22nd January 2019, 08:25 am
Sheffield community group It's Our City (pictured Fran Grace, Sue Kondakor, Andrew Kondakor, Ruth Hubbard and Shelley Cockayne) are joined by Lord Mayor Magid Magid at the launch of their petition to force a referendum on how decisions are made by the council. Picture: Scott Merrylees

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.

Sheffield community group It's Our City (pictured Fran Grace, Sue Kondakor, Andrew Kondakor, Ruth Hubbard and Shelley Cockayne) are joined by Lord Mayor Magid Magid at the launch of their petition to force a referendum on how decisions are made by the council. Picture: Scott Merrylees

The legislation requires a petition signed by five per cent of those on the Sheffield Council electoral roll to trigger a referendum – which the group said they’d been told was a total of 20,956.

The group said it was also told that if they reached the required number of signatures and submitted the petition to the council by January 2, a referendum would be held on the same day as the 2019 local elections.

But Sheffield Council said the deadline to trigger a referendum vote on the same date was not met.

It added the campaigners still have until August to submit a petition with the required number of signatures to hold a vote on a different date.

The online petition stands at just over 3,400 signatures and in October the group said, including signatures on paper versions of the petition, it had been signed by more than 4,000 people.

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 last year.

For more information or to sign the petition visit www.ipetitions.com/petition/sheffield-peoples-petition.