Cllrs Douglas Johnson and Angela Argenzio
Cllrs Douglas Johnson and Angela Argenzio

Amendment to be moved by Councillor Douglas Johnson, seconded by
Councillor Angela Argenzio

That the Motion to approve the recommendations of the Strategy and Resources
Policy Committee at its meeting held on 21 February 2023, as relates to the City
Council’s Revenue Budget and Capital Programme 2023/24, be amended by the
substitution of the following resolution:-

RESOLVED: That this Council:-

(1) understands this is one of the most challenging budget situations ever, with
a total budget gap to be filled of £80m, even after a decade of government
cutbacks on essential council services;
(2) believes that the committee system, together with the Council being in no
overall control, has played a very positive role in making parties work together
to agree the vast majority of the Council’s budget this year, as noted in the
peer review;
(3) notes that the bulk of the core budget was agreed between all party groups
by December 2022, something that has not previously been achieved;
(4) conveys its gratitude to all this Council’s direct and indirect workforce, as well
as its partners in the voluntary, community, faith and commercial sectors, for
their actions in making Sheffield a better place in the face of the huge
financial challenges that have had an impact on everyone in the workforce
and in the city over the last decade;
(5) believes that austerity was a political choice made by the bigger political
parties and that the massive government intervention to address Covid
demonstrates how the money is available if the political will is there;
(6) believes that, instead of cuts to public services, real investment is
desperately needed to address inequality and urgently decarbonise our
country to address the climate and nature emergency, which is an existential
threat described by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as
‘Code Red for Humanity’ and is already affecting food supply and causing
extreme weather events, in particular in the Global South;
(7) believes, however, that long-term, outsourced contracts with big private
businesses have not taken an equivalent share of the cuts to Council services
over the last 12 years; and that long-term costs of finance stretch into
Sheffield’s future until 2057;
(8) therefore, believes it is the duty of all elected members to take on the
responsibility of running this Council in the best interests of Sheffield’s
residents, prioritising the available resources to protect communities and the
most vulnerable, and working towards a more equitable and resilient city;
(9) welcomes the all-party agreement on the financial proposals for the Housing
Revenue Account, as voted on unanimously at Full Council on 20 February
(10) welcomes this year’s new approach to recognising the need for structural
change and the allocation of £4.3 million revenue funding for a
Transformation Investment Budget;
(11) notes that in line with the decision of Strategy and Resources Policy
Committee this funding is for the 2023/24 Delivery Programme to ensure in
year budget delivery and covering many of the Council’s services to ensure
that the changes required for that purpose are delivered in a consistent and
coherent way and the 2023/24 Design Programme which is developing the
work that will need to be done over the subsequent few years to deliver the
Council’s longer term ambition;
(12) believes that in line with those purposes and having sufficiently secured
delivery of the Business Improvement Plans, then to ensure the long-term
revenue and financial stability options should be considered to promote:-
(a) substantial investment in the city’s transport through an Employers
Workplace Parking Levy
(b) methods to address health, warm homes and the cost of living through
large-scale housing retrofitting and energy generation schemes
(c) recognition of the importance of local authority ecology work in view
of the Nature Emergency and new and forthcoming duties under the
Environment Act 2021, together with the prospects of generating
revenue by promoting the natural assets uniquely available to the
(d) developing a model of community care co-operatives to reduce
reliance on profit-making staffing agencies by removing the profit
motive from the care sector;
(e) improved services to householders, such as gardening, household
repairs, heating system servicing and replacement and retrofit works,
through a model like Oxford Direct Services, which could provide
services that local people need and value whilst also providing a
useful income stream for the Council;
(f) external training and support to promote the use of Plain English in
council reports, thus aiding effective decision-making and monitoring
(g) external experts to commission a review of the use of Equality Impact
(13) believes that the principle of encouraging renewable energy generation
means the council should develop a climate- and inflation-beating offer to
householders and will therefore carry out a feasibility study into providing a
solar panel offer to owner-occupiers and private landlords to unlock the city’s
private capital in a significant contribution to tackling climate change;
(14) in order to take advantage of new and innovative technologies, will carry out
a feasibility study into the newly developed “electric wallpaper” using
graphene for more effective space heating of our tenants’ homes;
(15) recognises that promoting safe and affordable walking, cycling and public
transport over private car use is critical to both the climate emergency and
the deep-rooted inequality in our city;
(16) therefore, will provide funds to revitalise the former Walking Forum (including
updating the website) and shape it in order to make Sheffield an Active Travel
(17) will support the school streets initiative and especially those where parents
take part in staffing the street closures to make their children safe, by
providing camera enforcement at 4 schools;
(18) will act on regular complaints of illegal and dangerous parking by creating 6
new jobs in parking enforcement;
(19) recognises that many more people would cycle if they had somewhere
secure to keep a bike and will therefore begin an annual programme of
investing in secure cycle storage in residential areas, beginning on the
council’s own housing estate;
(20) wishes to promote the uptake of public transport and will therefore subsidise
free buses and trams on both Saturdays and Sundays in the 4 weeks running
up to Christmas;
(21) will increase parking fees in order to fund these improvements;
(22) will develop proposals to introduce a workplace parking levy for larger
employers, in order to generate additional long-term revenue to invest in the
city’s public transport, whilst improving air quality and encouraging more
active forms of travel to work, noting that the smaller city of Nottingham raises
£9 million a year to invest in public transport improvements, active travel and
grants to businesses;
(23) welcomes the take-up of the e-cargo bikes promoted in the Green Group’s
earlier budget proposals and the development of a zero-emission last-mile
distribution hub, and will seek to expand this idea through working up further
ideas to create to allow the Council, businesses and organisations to deliver
goods around the city in a cleaner, quieter, more sustainable way;
(24) recognises the need to address congestion, blocked pavements and access
caused by home deliveries, taxis and street clutter and so will commission an
investigation into finding solutions that will benefit residents and businesses
(25) recognises the importance of expert ecologists in the local authority and will
therefore invest in a further post of a leading ecologist to drive forward the
council’s work in this area;
(26) will initiate a feasibility study to develop a tree nursery, hence supporting our
long-term growing programme, helping address the ecological emergency
and being a potential source of future income to the Council;
(27) will reallocate the funding for so-called “green” electricity into a skills and
training programme to train a new generation of apprentices in skills for the
future such as renewable energy, installing solar panels and heat pumps;
(28) recognises the benefits of locally produced energy and will therefore commit
to the initial work to investigate the potential for a large-scale solar farm,
including looking at locations such as park and rides;
(29) recognises that the school pupils of today are the citizens of tomorrow and
that a demonstration of renewable technologies should be provided for
maintained schools in Sheffield to give them hope for the future, showing
them that renewable energy helps power their school, be it from wind, solar
or other renewables;
(30) therefore, will promote energy efficiency schemes and renewable generation
in maintained schools with £500,000, making this a positive for learning as
well as providing a source of sustainable energy;
(31) will set aside an additional £500,000 to create a Carbon Reduction
Investment Fund, to complete new sustainability projects that reduce carbon
consumption in order to avoid unnecessary delay in achieving our 2030 net
carbon zero target;
(32) recognises the power of local councillors being able to support their
communities with relatively small sums of local spending and therefore will
increase ward pot sums, for this year, by an average of £10,000 per ward,
but allocated in proportion to levels of social deprivation;
(33) will also create a Parks Safety Improvements Fund for improvements such
as new lighting, to enable all, especially women and marginalised groups, to
feel safer to use parks during winter and evenings, such funds to be spent
following open consultation;
(34) recognises growing concern about the negative impact of alcohol abuse on
physical health, mental health and on crime levels and violence, so supports
a feasibility study into introducing a night-time levy on licensed premises to
provide support on alcohol recovery and addressing addiction;
(35) welcomes the increase of the Council Tax Hardship Fund, in line with
previous Green Group budget amendment proposals, together with the
tripling of the hardship fund available in the Housing Revenue Account;
(36) furthermore, will directly tackle the impact of the cost-of-living crisis by
providing additional £200,000 funding to Citizens’ Advice for this financial
(37) therefore requests the Interim Director of Finance and Commercial Services
to implement the City Council’s Revenue Budget and Capital Programme
2023/24 in accordance with the details set out in the reports on the Revenue
Budget and Capital Programme now submitted.


2023 Sheffield city Council Budget Amendments  (Public Pack)Budget Motion and Amendments 1 March 2023 Agenda Supplement for Council, 01/03/2023 14:00 (