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“You said, we did” – Council changes how it makes decisions

Councillors in the council chamber, raising their hands, unanimously approving the new committee system
Councillors in the council chamber, raising their hands, unanimously approving the new committee system

Sheffield City Council has agreed major changes to how it will take democratic decisions.

In direct response to citizens’ views, and as a consequence of last year’s referendum result, a special meeting of the council yesterday voted unanimously to accept proposals which will replace the old “leader and cabinet” system with a number of cross-party committees.

From May 2022:

  • A new system of committees will involve all councillors in strategic decision-making.
  • Every committee will reflect the City Council’s political diversity.

Sheffield has become the first of England’s Core Cities to do this.

Deputy Leader Cllr Julie Grocutt, who proposed the motion, said:

“Our aim from the start has been to introduce a system that’s open, transparent and allows for effective engagement with our communities, residents and businesses across all of the city.”

Cllr Grocutt promised the council would continue to fine-tune the new system, with a review after six months. “We want to ensure that Sheffielders understand and can engage in local democracy.

“It’s important that we listen to the people of Sheffield, that we focus on getting this committee system right, a system that listens to and works with our citizens. As part of the review we will listen to our communities, partners, stakeholders, staff and councillors.”

Under the new system there will be eight new policy committees, which will align with our services areas and our strategic aims. They are:

  • Strategy and Resources Policy Committee
  • Adult Health and Social Care Policy Committee
  • Communities, Parks and Leisure Policy Committee
  • Economic Development and Skills Policy Committee
  • Education, Children and Families Policy Committee
  • Housing Policy Committee
  • Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee
  • Waste and Street Scene Policy Committee

The detailed proposals agreed yesterday have been developed by a cross-party group of councillors based on crucial input from a wide range of the public, partners, stakeholders, experts and academics.

The Local Area Committees, introduced last year, are unchanged by this decision and will continue their work in local communities.

More information

There’s full information on our website about how we’ve made the change, involving Sheffielders as much as possible and keeping everyone informed about progress.