Mark Bennett, Director of HR and Customer Services at Sheffield City Council, sa ...
Council pledges "Big Conversation" as petition passes threshold
Sheffield City Council has today confirmed that the petition submitted last month, calling for a referendum to change the council’s governance arrangements, has reached the required number of signatures of 5% of the electorate to trigger a referendum on the issue.
The Council is currently developing options following July’s Full Council meeting where a review was agreed, findings of which are due to be reported on within six months. The review will include input from a cross party group of councillors as well as stakeholders, to help inform the proposals for how a committee system could work.
As the petition has received the required number of signatures, the council has confirmed that a referendum will be held on or before the day of the next local elections, which are scheduled for 7th May 2020.
Councillor Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, said:
“It’s a fantastic achievement that 5% of the electorate have signed this petition and I would like to thank the people who have signed as well as those who have organised the petition.
“This is a positive opportunity to improve how the council works and gain a wide range of views from different people, groups and partners across the city. We want as many people as possible to engage in this debate, and reach as many as possible of the remaining 95% of the people in this city, which is why, as well as looking at governance systems, we want to listen to people about how the council engages and serves the people of Sheffield regardless of which governance system is in place.
"We will also be speaking with all of our partners, across the public, private and voluntary sectors, who we work with to make the right decisions, making Sheffield a great place to live, learn, work and enjoy.
“We want a big conversation about how we make the decisions that affect and improve people’s lives. Our cabinet always meets in public, we have held them in the community, on the radio and in local newspapers, to make sure that the people of Sheffield can get involved in the decisions we take. All of the Cabinet’s decisions are open to call in by the council’s Scrutiny Committees.
“We always look to improve and know that we can do more, so we want to listen to people’s views about how we can best approach this.”
Councillor Terry Fox, Deputy Leader of the Sheffield City Council said:
“I will be leading a review which includes the options for governance models, looking at the different benefits of the Committee System and the current Leader and Cabinet system.
"I will be carrying out the wishes of Full Council agreed in early July, and I am dedicated to working with a wide range of local people and groups in doing this.
"Public engagement is important to me and I am looking forward to presenting a report that takes into account the views of the wide ranging stakeholders in our city, to summarise the results of those discussions.”
The notice of valid petition can be found here.
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