Councillor Angela Argenzio
Cllr Angela Argenzio

For the first Full Council meeting under the new Committee system, Greens have proposed 3 major initiatives to take the Council forward in what are challenging times financially, both for the Council and local people.

The first initiative is for the Council to develop a Cost of Living Action Plan within 4 months,

Councillor Angela Argenzio, the new Deputy Leader of the Green Group who proposed the motion said,

“Rising costs for food and fuel are not being matched by rising incomes and the poorest are suffering disproportionately because more of their income is spent on the essentials of life. But the number of people who are severely affected by these changes is growing. Though many of the policy solutions to the current crisis are the responsibility of national government that does not mean that we should do nothing locally and that is why we are calling for a Cost of Living crisis action plan so the Council can lead along with our other public and voluntary sector partners in agreeing effective action at a local level to address this crisis.”

The second area the Greens proposed was to be the first Council in the country to introduce a Corporate Opportunities Register,

Councillor Argenzio said,

“All Councils are required to have a Corporate Risk Register where senior officers of the Councils demonstrate that we are properly prepared for things like changes in legislation that impact on the Council, emergency situations, things like cyber attacks and natural disasters. What we don’t have is a Corporate Opportunities Register where our senior officers are reporting on new funding streams from Government and other sources to help us achieve the council’s objectives and on partnerships we can develop with the private and voluntary sectors to help us to work together effectively. We have a structured approach to dealing with risk and we need one to identify the opportunities we can take.”

The third area that Councillor Argenzio identified was the need to improve the service that people receive from Sheffield City Council,

“As Councillors, we are all on the front line when it comes to helping people with their everyday problems and issues. We know when the system is failing because people come to us if they can’t get through to the right officer, if they don’t get a response to a concern they have raised or if the Council’s web-based services do not work for them because they don’t have online access. This is why we are asking the Council to produce a Customer Services Action Plan so we can drive improvement in the service we offer to the people of Sheffield”.

Cllr Argenzio concluded by saying

“I recommend these policy initiatives as ones that we can call our own across the party political boundaries. Let us work on delivering them together and build a new way of working that demonstrates that while differences exist that we have common cause in wanting a better future for Sheffield.”