Sheffield Greens have called a Council consultation a “stitch-up,” saying the questionnaire is designed to give the answer the Labour Administration wants to hear.
The response is to the Council’s consultation on the use of the Neighbourhood Portion of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). This is 15% of the money developers have to pay towards community facilities in local neighbourhoods. The majority of the funds are already centrally controlled by the Council.
The Greens’ response says:
- The consultation is so flawed it should be abandoned
- Neighbourhood funds should be spent at ward level, not centralised
- The councillors from each ward should be responsible for making decisions on developments in their neighbourhoods.
- The Council should do more to improve its efforts to tackle deprivation, poverty and inequality.
Green Councillor Douglas Johnson said,
“This money is meant to benefit residents affected by big building developments. They have to put up with construction vehicles, noise and mud; parking obstructions and an increase in traffic; the loss of green space and open space; the loss of natural habitats, birds, plants and wildlife; restricted pavements and roads; increased anti-social behaviour; loss of views and light; and increases in litter and fly-tipping.”
“These funds could mean improving small open spaces in the city centre, addressing traffic and parking arising from new developments or upgrading children’s play facilities in Sharrow and Highfield.”
“Unfortunately, the Labour Administration wants to take this money away and reallocate it with a top-down directive.”
Green Councillor Martin Phipps added,
“If the Council is really serious about using its funds to tackle poverty, then it could start by making sure that the centrally-controlled CIL is spent fairly.”
“We challenge the Council to look again at its spending across the city and see how it relates to levels of deprivation.”
Declan Walsh, Green Party campaigner, said,
“Greens want to see greater community involvement in decision-making while the Labour Administration seems keen to centralise.”
- The Council’s consultation is at https://sheffield.citizenspace.com/communities-business-strategy/use-of-the-community-infrastructure-levy/
- Sheffield Green Party’s response is available at CIL consultation – Sheffield Green Party Response (pdf)
- The Council has collected £7.4 million in the CIL since 2015. Of this sum, £6.3m is spent by the Council’s Administration. The consultation only relates to the remaining £1.1m Neighbourhood Portion.
- Of the £1.1m Neighbourhood Portion, over £330,000 has been generated from building work in City Ward, which has three Green councillors. City Ward includes the city centre, Kelham Island, Wicker and Highfield. The next highest sums have been collected from (in descending order) Nether Edge and Sharrow, Dore & Totley, Manor Castle and Walkley wards.