In January, I wrote about property developers trying to get out of “affordable housing” contributions.

Now the Government has weakened Councils’ control over planning permission, it is easier for developers to avoid conditions that create affordable housing, safeguard the environment and protect neighbouring properties from nuisance and noise.

So I am very pleased to see Michael Miller’s 38 Degrees petition to “make housing developers be transparent about costs in Sheffield” has reached over 2,500 signatures. This is enough to get the issue debated at the Council’s Scrutiny committee. The petition wants developers back up their affordability claims with evidence.

Sheffield definitely needs more affordable housing (as well as decent social housing). Bristol and other councils have already introduced policies like this. It would be good if Sheffield caught up with them.

Cllr Douglas Johnson
Sheffield Green Party, City Ward

Sheffield Greens have submitted a motion to Council calling on the administration to pursue a Yorkshire-wide devolution deal, to be ratified by referendum across the whole county.

This is in light of the failure of local councils to agree to the Sheffield City Region deal.

17 of the 20 councils within Yorkshire have expressed a willingness to construct and support a county-wide, ‘One Yorkshire’ devolution package. [1]

Cllr Rob Murphy, who proposed the motion, commented

“Given that Labour Council leaders across the City Region have been unable to work together, the failure of the devolution deal was inevitable. The unlawful consultation and refusal to listen to the views of the public have added to the national embarrassment caused by this expensive fiasco.

“It is time for Sheffield’s leaders to swallow their pride. We should be working together with the vast majority of Council’s across Yorkshire, for the best for everyone here. 17 of the 20 councils in our county have expressed a willingness to work on a Yorkshire-wide devolution deal, which we think would be in the best interest of the city, our region, and the county.

“We are calling on the Council to stop following the Government’s agenda, and with the support of the public start dragging real power and finance away from London.

“Sheffield Greens insist that no deal comes into force without the say of the people. We call for any deal reached between the councils is ratified by a county-wide referendum.”

Notice of motion by Cllr Rob Murphy, seconded by Cllr Magid Magid

a) Notes the results of the 2012 referendum where Sheffield people voted overwhelmingly against an elected mayor for Sheffield

b) Notes the decision of the Special Council meeting of Friday 18th March 2016, supported by the Administration and the main opposition group, to endorse the proposed Sheffield City Region Devolution Agreement and delegating the Chief Executive to conclude the agreement.

c) Notes that despite admitting that ‘the City Region consultation was also imperfect’ the proposal was voted through.

d) Notes that after judicial review the High Court found the Sheffield City Region consultation on whether to include the Chesterfield area was unlawful.

e) Notes the failure of the Sheffield City Region devolution deal after the withdrawal of all but two members of the City Region and believes that this failure has been caused by poor leadership across the region.

f) Believes this council should stop following this government’s agenda on devolution and listen instead to the views of the people of Sheffield.

g) Believes Sheffield should join the ‘Coalition of the Willing’ 17 of the 20 Yorkshire Councils and pursue closer links and devolution for Yorkshire.

h) That a final decision on devolution for Yorkshire should not be made without a Yorkshire-wide referendum.

Sheffield Greens are delighted to report that two Green councillors, Alison Teal and Magid Magid, have been shortlisted for major national honours in the LGiU & CCLA Cllr Achievement Awards 2017. [1]

Cllr Alison Teal with residents and tree campaigners in Nether Edge
Cllr Alison Teal with residents and tree campaigners in Nether Edge

Nominations were open for Councillors of all districts and parties, and Cllrs Teal and Magid are the only representatives from Sheffield up for awards.

Cllr Teal, representing Nether Edge and Sharrow, has been shortlisted for the Community Champion award. Meanwhile, Magid Magid, representing Broomhill and Sharrow Vale, has been shortlisted for the Young Councillor of the Year award.

Cllr Teal’s nomination comes after her tireless and selfless campaigning for local residents in their on-going struggle to protect and defend street trees from the Labour Council’s tree felling programme, which has seen thousands of mature, healthy trees needlessly destroyed.

Cllr Magid has been recognised for his outstanding and dedicated work in representing residents, and in particular his campaigning on issues and concerns facing young people across his ward and indeed the city. Cllr Magid was also made Deputy Lord Mayor of Sheffield this year.

Cllr Magid Magid at the War Memorial and Tree Recognition Service in March last year
Cllr Magid Magid at the War Memorial and Tree Recognition Service in March last year

Commenting on her shortlisting, Cllr Teal said

“I am delighted members of the community have nominated me for this prestigious LGiU & CCLA Award.

“I want to thank fellow community campaigners who are from every political party, united for a common purpose, as well as the local Green Party, for supporting me in taking a stand on this issue.”

Cllr Magid also commented, saying

“I’m honoured and grateful to have been shortlisted for this award. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of my colleagues, and the amazing members of my ward whom I am privileged to represent

“It’s now more important than ever for young people get involved in local politics and anything I can do to help and promote that, I will.”

[1] Information on the awards and shortlists can be found here:

A frame of a cruck house before demolition
A frame of a cruck house before demolition

Green Councillor Douglas Johnson has lodged a planning objection to save a part of Sheffield’s heritage.

The comments are about a property developer’s plans to demolish Bennet Cottage, a medieval house in the beautiful Mayfield valley.

Douglas Johnson commented, “this house is based on a historic ‘cruck’ frame design, the traditional construction of mediaeval timber houses. It appears the developer has deliberately destroyed part of the heritage to avoid it becoming a listed building.”

“It is important for planners to stand up against developers who destroy our cultural heritage for their own profit, as happened in Bristol recently when developers destroyed an ornate Jacobean house the day before it was due to be listed, in order to build student flats.”

Download the Bennet Cottage planning objection (pdf)