In 2019, a petition of over 26,000 Sheffield voters was submitted to the council.
This petition called for the Sheffield public to decide how our city council works via a referendum. The referendum will be an additional question at our next local elections on May 6th 2021.
It’s now in our hands – all of Sheffield’s voters.
So what are our choices?
Well, we could keep things the way they are now for another ten years. Currently we have a top-down ‘Strong Leader’ and Cabinet system of governance. Decision-making power is held by the Leader of the Council – who chooses 9 other cabinet members (only from their party).
This small group holds the power to make almost all decisions. Almost all the councillors you vote for across the city are excluded from decision-making. Under the current ‘Leader and Cabinet’ model, there has been a reduction in working together and decision-making at a community level – even more power has risen to the top.
Or, on 6th May we can vote to change to a more democratic way of working, by voting ‘Committee’.
In a Modern Committee system, all 84 councillors will have power to properly represent their areas. Decisions will be made by small committees of councillors from all parties, working together with experts and communities. All of our councillors will have a voice to represent the communities they serve – not just the chosen few.
Power and resources for decision-making in local communities can also be built into a committee system. This means more decisions can be taken closer to the people affected rather than a small group behind closed doors who may be remote and disconnected.
Time to vote for a change!
The map below shows where cabinet members currently sit. They are appointed by the leader who can make changes at will.
If another party were in control, the map would look quite different, reflecting some of their strongholds.