Email sent 10th July to Cllr Olivia Blake (Deputy Leader), copied to Cllr Penny Baker (Leader, LDs) and Cllr Douglas Johnson (Leader, Greens), also Cllr Jack Clarkson (UKIP).
Dear Cllr Blake
In order to assist with your decision-making, we wanted to keep you up to date with our plans for submitting Sheffield People’s Petition signatures. We are very confident we have collected more than the (verification) number required to trigger a city-wide vote, and have worked hard to minimise non-valid signatures.
We will continue to formally submit batches of signatures throughout July, in line with the process agreed with Democratic Services.. We are continuing to collect signatures and so are likely to continue to submit signatures up to 23rd August (the final petition date)..
So, towards the end of July we anticipate we may well have submitted, or be close to, the verification number of signatures (precise numbers will depend on validity). We understand this (the date at which 20,092 valid petition signatures are received) is the point at which it is no longer possible for SCC to take its own decision about changing to a (modern) committee system – a referendum will be statutorily required. In exercising our community rights under the Localism Act, this is what we have alerted you to over the course of the last year, in order that the Council can make its own choice about whether it wants to commit monies to a referendum, or not.
It does not seem from full Council last week that your position has changed, despite cross-Sheffield enthusiasm to sign. However, if, even at this late stage, the situation does change, we would, of course, consider delaying slightly our late July petition submissions if this enabled Council to complete any necessary last minute actions to agree a change to a committee system, thus minimising the risk of this being too late. Please do get in touch if this becomes applicable.
I have copied in opposition leaders (and Cllr Clarkson) so they are in the loop, as I know you may be liaising cross-party here.
Co-chair, It’s Our City!