Sheffield City Council has passed its first ever budget under the new Committee system,

Councillor Douglas Johnson said,

“This is a success for the new committee system and a council under No Overall Control.

“It is really quite remarkable that the vast majority of the Sheffield Council budget was agreed informally by all three party groups by December. Detailed work by Councillors across the political divide has made this year’s council budget meeting a relatively smooth one.

“This is even more noteworthy when you consider this was one of Sheffield’s toughest budgets ever with the Council having to find nearly £80 million to make the books balance. Under the previous cabinet system we would most likely have had no agreed decisions till budget day itself.

“It is not just the Committee System though that has had a positive impact. it is the fact that we have a Council where no party has overall control. Different political groups have had to engage with each other to achieve agreement. They have had to understand the issues and not just oppose for the opposition’s sake. I’m not saying everything is perfect. We still have politicians who are tribal in their approach to politics but under the current arrangements that doesn’t get in the way of the council making the decisions it needs to make to function properly.

“As natural co-operators, Greens work well in a Committee system and we have played an important role in helping get agreement on the detail of the budget.”

All Parties on the Council put forward amendments at the Council meeting to express what their priorities would be if they had a majority. There was a debate and all the amendments were voted on and each was defeated in turn. There was then a vote on a joint Labour, Lib Dem Green Amendment which was then passed. This amendment to the budget proposed an additional £25,000/per ward (£700,000 in total) to be used to address local priorities and a further £400,000 to help address poverty and the cost of living crisis. Thanks to Green Party requests, this is to be allocated according to the levels of deprivation in the city.

Councillor Douglas Johnson said,

“Knowing the likely outcome of the vote. Parties wisely came together in advance of the meeting to ensure that they were able to get some additional funding for the people they represent and also to direct more support to those in the greatest need. This is so different from last year. It shows that, when politicians decide to work together, local people are the ones who benefit.

“I’m proud of the role the Greens have played in this, as supporters of the committee system and as councillors who can help bring other parties together. We need to ensure that this change in Sheffield politics is something that we keep and that we don’t go back to the bad old days.”