The Green Group has called on Sheffield City Council to look for new opportunities for funding to upgrade public transport, improve the energy efficiency of homes and protect our natural environment.

Green Councillor Toby Mallinson who is a member of the Council’s Finance Committee said.

“The Council has many challenges and ambitions which cannot be met within the financial constraints we are given.

“We know that if the Government changes following a General Election that the Labour Party has decided to continue the Conservatives spending plans. Many are dismayed that there are no plans from them for a Wealth Tax. Green Party proposals to tax the wealthiest 1% more would raise £50 Billion for public services. We believe this would make us a fairer country, fit to fight the environmental challenges we face.

“There will be no cavalry coming over the horizon to save the day after the General Election. Many fear that it will be a seamless continuation of failed destructive austerity policies.

A workman making repairs to a house
Councils can set up companies that not only provide council services, but can do a range of other paid work, working flexibly and sustainably

“The Nature and Climate Emergencies are not going away, neither is the Council’s Commitment to have a Net Zero Carbon City by 2030. There are huge benefits that we can realise whilst achieving this goal. With targeted investment we can achieve warmer homes, affordable energy bills, secure sustainable local food production, cleaner air, safer streets, affordable and reliable public transport and a rich diverse natural environment.

“To address these huge challenges we need to generate new sources of funding to bring in the millions we need to upgrade our public transport, to insulate our homes, to generate renewable energy and to protect our city from the climate change impacts that are already happening and likely to get much worse.

“We need to hardwire resilience into our local economy. A city that generates a large proportion of its own energy, produces more of its own food and a city that can withstand extreme weather events is a city that will have a more secure future.

“In our amendment we are asking the Council to look beyond a one year budget. No more tinkering around the edges. We should set ourselves the task of identifying proven sources of income that can generate significant amounts and that will make our city ready for the future.

“All of the proposals we are asking the Council to consider have been successfully implemented in other parts of the country but never have they all been brought together in such an ambitious programme. This is a huge opportunity for us to show we are boldly taking opportunities that are available to us. That we are real leaders in local government.”

Hillsborough Green Councillor Christine Gilligan who seconded the Green Party amendment said,

“The proposals in our budget amendment could raise millions to tackle climate change, improve homes, generate clean local energy and will use the resources we have within the city to benefit the city

“We are proposing that the Council investigate developing a model of a directly-owned company (like Oxford Direct Services that is wholly owned by Oxford City Council) It could provide services to householders such as gardening, household repairs, heating system servicing and replacement and retrofit works. Providing services that local people need and value whilst and a useful income stream for the Council;

“Forest Heath District Council recoups nearly £400k per year in revenue from its Council owned solar farm. Other Councils have developed solar farm projects such as West Sussex County Council who have a 7.4 megawatt solar farm on a former landfill site. So why not Sheffield?

A field covered with solar panels angled to catch the sun
Solar farms like this one have been built and owned by councils to generate sustainable income

“At least 9 Councils have raised funding to support climate change related projects from the community by issuing municipal climate bonds These have successfully raised millions of pounds of investment for several councils from community sources at a lower rate of interest than the Public Works Loan Board. Why not Sheffield?

Nottingham has an Employer’s Workplace Parking Levy that provides substantial funding to support public transport, active travel and electric vehicle infrastructure.

“In Nottingham, the levy has raised more than £9 million each year, with the revenue used to fund tram infrastructure, a smart card scheme, electric buses and cycling facilities. It has also levered in 100s of millions of pounds of external investment.

“South Yorkshire Pensions Authority has over £8 Billion of funding and some of this could be used to invest in large-scale energy-saving and power-generation schemes. This will bring steady financial returns to both the lenders and the council and keep the South Yorkshire pound in South Yorkshire.”

You can read more about Oxford Direct Services on their site, and get more information about Municipal Climate Bonds on the Green Finance Institute page. See the East Anglian Daily Times for more on how Suffolk council’s solar farm out-performs on predicted electricity output.

Our website has more about the Employers Workplace Parking Levy and how the Corporate Opportunities Register was agreed by Sheffield City Council in June 2022 to encourage the Council to seek external sources of funding.

Councillor Douglas JohnsonSheffield City Council today (2 March 2022) voted against setting a lawful budget for the next 12 months. Green councillors voted against the budget after Labour councillors had voted to reject the Green councillors’ amendment.

By contrast, Green councillors had voted for the Labour amendment in order to secure a substantial investment in community renewable energy generation, something the Green Party has long campaigned for.

What happened next? Cllr Douglas Johnson explains,

“After Labour failed to get its budget passed, the LibDems offered to change their vote if Labour would drop its amendment. However, Greens fought to keep the amendment with its significant investment in community renewable energy and we then formally abstained on the budget so that this could be secured.

Councillor Douglas Johnson said,

“The Green Group looked at all the amendments. Though there were things in the Labour amendment that we had reservations about, we thought it was important to recognise the good things in Labour’s amendment and not make the mistake of just voting along party lines. That sort of tribal politics should be the politics of the past and is no good for the people of Sheffield.”

The Labour Group and the Lib Dems all voted against the Green Party Amendment, however.

Councillor Johnson said

“I was disappointed that Labour were unable to see beyond party politics on something as important as the City Council’s budget. I firmly believe that the spirit of our Cooperative Administration should be about being open to ideas from outside our own political groups”.

One of the sticking points for Labour in the Green Amendment was support for establishing an Employers Workplace Parking Levy to help pay for improvements. In Nottingham, the levy on large employers raises more than £9 million each year, with the revenue used to fund tram infrastructure, a smart card scheme, electric buses, cycling facilities and grants to businesses. Leicester City Council are also looking at introducing a levy based on Nottingham’s success.

Councillor Johnson said

“We believe that establishing a workplace parking levy to support public transport and active travel is progressive and vital if we are going to have the investment to deliver the public transport system we need to address the climate emergency. Small employers with fewer than 10 parking spaces pay nothing at all. It is the larger employers offering more than 10 parking spaces who pay a fee of £1.17 per day per parking space. There are exemptions for local emergency services, NHS frontline staff and blue badge holders. What is really important to understand is that funding improvements to public transport and facilities for cyclists and pedestrians in this way means we have more flexibility in council budgets to pay for things like Adult Social Care where the demand is huge and finance is limited.”

“It is astonishing that councillors would rather cut social care than put up parking charges.”

“I am aware that for the Labour Party this is a real problem and I have to confess I’m perplexed by that. I would love to say this is a scheme dreamed up by the Green Party but actually both Nottingham and Leicester Councils are led by Labour Administrations. It is an example of best practice that we should follow. I don’t care where good ideas come from, I think we should back them. That is what all forward-thinking, responsible councils should be doing.”

Climate Action Now
Climate Action Now

Green Party councillors proposed this amendment to the Labour budget proposals in March – it was voted down via the Labour majority. It is our manifesto for the council elections – a programme of council action to address the climate emergency. Our press release from March 2nd introducing the proposals follows.   

Cllr Douglas Johnson will say: “Unlike the Chancellor, Sheffield Greens are serious about doing what we can to address the climate emergency and to protect the poorest in society.

Headlines from the Green budget proposals:

  • A whole staff team to work on the climate emergency, warmer homes and local, clean energy production, such as solar farms;
  • £3 million Carbon Reduction Investment Fund
  • Better walking, cycling and public transport; and the return of the Electric FreeBee
  • Helping the poorest with £2 million to offset higher council tax bills
  • Supporting businesses coming out of lockdown
  • £1m for solar panels on council housing; £500,000 for schools
  • £1m for low-traffic neighbourhoods / active travel
  • Free buses and trams at Christmas
  • Cheaper bulky waste collection for low-income households
  • Over 50 new direct jobs

Douglas Johnson, Green Councillor for City Ward, said,

“Unlike the Chancellor, Sheffield Greens are serious about doing what we can to address the climate emergency and to protect the poorest in society.”

“The climate crisis needs government spending on the scale of what was available for the Covid pandemic.  At a local level, our budget proposals focus on what is achievable here and now.”

“These proposals will make people’s lives better, especially for the poorest households and small businesses who have been worst affected by Covid.  As well as a major investment in climate jobs, we offer real help for low-income families with substantial extra funding for advice work, a big boost to the council tax hardship scheme and lower heating bills in warmer homes.”

“I don’t expect the Chancellor to recognise the reality of low-paid work or applying for universal credit but our budget shows these go hand-in-hand with tackling the climate crisis.”

Cllr Alison Teal (Nether Edge and Sharrow Ward) said,

Since 2008 the Green Party has been proposing a Green New Deal to address the climate emergency we face and create green jobs.  The Covid-19 pandemic has only increased the urgency for action.”

“We must address the massive changes needed and we must stop waiting for the government to rescue us.  There are many things we can do as a city which we have outlined in our budget amendment.  It is not exhaustive by any means, but we must make a start.”

“From properly insulating homes to building new infrastructure to generate energy.  Creating low traffic neighbourhoods and investing in biodiversity and urban horticulture. I’ve no doubt the people of Sheffield will see the benefits of so many positive changes, and work with the council to make them happen.”

Cllr Angela Argenzio (Broomhill and Sharrow Vale Ward) added,

The pandemic has shown us how important the local environment is: during the lockdown, Sheffield residents have learned to enjoy the green spaces on their door steps, they have taken up cycling and walking because there were less cars around but the COVID crisis has also brought inequalities into sharp focus, highlighting how people who live in smaller housing with no green spaces have suffered more deeply.  Our budget offers solutions that address the environmental crisis at local level by supporting the most vulnerable and enabling the economic recovery of our local communities.”


For more information please contact Douglas Johnson on 07981 860 662 or at


The Council budget will be set at its meeting on Wednesday 3rd March at 2pm.  The agenda with the Administration’s spending plans are at:

Sheffield Green Party’s full budget amendment is available here:

Previous budget proposals from Sheffield Greens can be found at:

  1. March 2020:
  2. March 2019:
  3. March 2018:


The Green councillors have set out their proposals to amend the council budget, which will be debated and voted on at the council meeting on 3rd March.

The full text of the amendment is below:

Amendment to be moved by Councillor Douglas Johnson, seconded by Councillor Alison Teal

RESOLVED: That this Council:-

  1. recalls the Director of Public Health’s briefing to this council, at the March 2020 budget-setting meeting, where it was advised that coronavirus was a developing situation and changing rapidly but there were no cases in Sheffield;
  2. notes how the global and local situation changed so dramatically so soon after that, in ways that were then unimaginable; and believes that the global pandemic has changed all of our lives for ever;
  3. reminds itself of another global issue with local impacts, namely climate change, and notes the need to address it as the emergency it is;
  4. believes that central Government has failed to manage the coronavirus pandemic well and that too many premature deaths have resulted from inadequate and ineffective testing and tracing at a national level;
  5. therefore has little confidence that central government will rise to the challenge of tackling climate change;
  6. believes it is therefore vital for councils to take a lead on acting locally; and that cities, in particular, are uniquely placed to respond to climate change;
  7. notes the shifting burden of local government funding from central government (through national redistribution of wealth) to greater taxation on Sheffield residents;
  8. acknowledges the very substantial need for care of older and disabled people and in children’s services and that, even passing on extra costs through council tax increases, the sum raised is still wholly inadequate to meet the cost of social care;
  9. nevertheless, supports the necessary increase in council tax rates, whilst remembering the need to protect the poorest households;
  10. notes, 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 ten years; and that long-term costs of finance stretch into Sheffield’s future until 2057;
  11. believes that Elected Members in Sheffield, however difficult the crisis we face, have a responsibility to do the best we can for the people of Sheffield, prioritising the available resources to protect communities and the most vulnerable and working towards a more equitable and resilient city;
  12. thanks staff in the Council, voluntary and private sectors for the way they have responded to austerity, worked through the pandemic and made sacrifices;
  13. welcomes the progress now being made on issues in previous amendments submitted by the Green Group, including:-
    1. webcasting of council meetings;
    2. mental health resilience work in schools;
    3. steps towards re-opening the Don Valley Railway;
    4. supporting the least well-off with council tax bills;
    5. funding to prepare brownfield sites for development, in order to save greenfield locations;
    6. The recruitment of safer neighbourhoods co-ordinators with a focus on young people;
    7. Bolstering the work of the private sector housing team to take enforcement action on substandard rented housing in the private sector;
    8. Putting greater resources into working in local areas
    9. Recognising climate change as a priority for the housing service
    10. Commitment not to hold any direct investments in fossil fuels or companies involved in tax evasion or grave misconduct
    11. More resources into cycling and walking infrastructure
    12. A scheme to provide e-cargo bikes
    13. Electric vehicles charging points in and around the city centre
  14. believes that the city’s resilience will be tested by the climate crisis and is therefore disappointed that, despite declaring a “climate emergency” in 2019, no substantial proposals appear in the Administration’s revenue budget to address the climate emergency;
  15. will therefore provide funding to recruit an entire team of environmental sustainability officers to address the need for warmer homes; locally-owned, clean energy production, such as solar farms; increased walking, cycling and public transport; and to support businesses and householders to make carbon-reducing changes in response to the climate emergency;
  16. will support this with funds specifically to investigate a large-scale solar farm;
  17. will support this further by the creation of a Carbon Reduction Investment Fund of £3 million, setting aside funds to complete new sustainability projects that reduce carbon consumption in order to avoid unnecessary delay in achieving a 2030 net carbon zero targets;
  18. regrets the lost opportunity of jobs in the renewable energy industry and thousands of cheaper energy bills for council tenants when proposed by Green Councillors in 2014;
  19. will, however, still promote energy efficiency schemes in maintained schools by using £500,000 of unallocated Community Infrastructure Levy receipts;
  20. will go further and set aside £1 million of unallocated New Homes Bonus to introduce solar panels on council housing, to generate energy and to reduce tenants’ bills;
  21. will build climate resilience into the city’s housing stock by ensuring that all funding for new-build council housing is only used for housing designed at high standards of thermal efficiency, so that future tenants do not risk fuel poverty;
  22. will earmark £1 million for walking and cycling, offering people riding bikes the protection of segregated cycle lanes and secure bike storage, thereby increasing the numbers of Sheffield citizens cycling to work and contributing towards improved physical and mental health and better air quality;
  23. will recognise the failure to build this city’s cycling infrastructure and will therefore appoint a cycling officer to promote the ability of Sheffield residents to choose this form of transport;
  24. welcomes the take-up of the e-cargo bikes promoted in the Green Group’s 2020 budget proposals; and will develop this idea further through working up ideas to create a zero-emission last-mile distribution hub, to allow the Council, businesses and organisations to deliver goods around the city in a cleaner, quieter, more sustainable way;
  25. will ensure that all future Local Transport Plan spending is used only on sustainable modes of transport that do not have any adverse impact on air quality;
  26. in line with this principle, will encourage use of public transport by providing free bus and tram travel on the six Sundays before Christmas, in place of the current subsidy for free car parking in the city centre;
  27. will take steps to reduce the demand for individual car ownership by investing in a new scheme to develop car-sharing in line with the “liftshare” scheme;
  28. believes the public is becoming more aware and concerned at the dangers of illegal levels of air pollution and will therefore invest in public-facing visual displays on the city’s air quality monitoring stations, to ensure the public can see and monitor the measure of air pollution affecting them in real time;
  29. will stop reimbursing car-parking claims for Elected Members who do not have a blue badge;
  30. will tackle dangerous and irresponsible parking, by creating 6 new jobs for parking enforcement officers, to be provided with e-bikes instead of patrol cars, where possible;
  31. 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;
  32. will reduce the price of residents’ parking permits to 2010 levels and dissuade commuters from driving into the city centre by increasing on-street parking by 40p, meaning that people living in some of the most congested and polluted areas of the city are not subsidising other transport services;
  33. will re-introduce the FreeBee bus service in the city centre, operating every 10 minutes, 12 hours a day, 6 days a week, by investing in 3 new electric buses owned directly by the local authority;
  34. will take steps to increase the potential for more affordable housing in the city by funding a pilot project of a small number of energy-efficient “container homes”, such as those already being pioneered at Heeley City Farm;
  35. will create an additional officer post to bring empty homes back into use, in order to tackle the blight and waste of empty houses and increase housing supply with far less energy consumption than new buildings;
  36. will reduce the cost to low-income households for bulky waste collections, reversing the Administration’s previous cut imposed on the poorest households and reducing fly-tipping and the burden on volunteer litter-pickers;
  37. notes the growing demand for food waste collections and better recycling and will therefore examine a wider recycling offer, including food waste and further plastics collection, as well as repair and reuse models;
  38. recognises the cultural and economic importance of the city’s heritage and will therefore expand skills in the Planning Service with funding for a dedicated heritage officer;
  39. asserts that in a properly regulated planning system, it is essential that developers comply with planning conditions and will therefore fund an additional planning enforcement officer to maintain high standards for the benefit of the public;
  40. will maximise the expertise of our planning officers and bring fees for pre-application planning advice for larger property developers into line with other major cities;
  41. will improve transparency by separately publishing the accounts of the licensing service, which are still not made available, despite statements to the contrary by the Leader of the council;
  42. will cut political spin from the Town Hall and will remove the posts of Group Policy Officers from the Council payroll, requiring politicians to do their own research and press work;
  43. will support the voluntary sector with a substantial increase of £142,000 for anti-poverty work in advice centres, which was previously cut by this Administration, thus protecting jobs and helping people facing the real difficulties of universal credit and other issues arising from the Covid pandemic;
  44. and, recognising the number of people in serious financial hardship, will increase the council tax hardship fund to £2 million, to protect the poorest families in the city;
  45. will recognise the expertise of the voluntary sector in obtaining external funding by providing money for a post in a voluntary sector organisation to assist the council in monitoring and applying for funding from central government and elsewhere, thus maximising future revenue to the city;
  46. recognises the particular difficulties faced by young people leaving care setting up their own homes for the first time and will therefore set aside funds to meet council tax bills paid until the age of 25;
  47. recognises the ongoing value of the city’s library service and rewards the hard work of volunteers who have supported their local branch libraries by providing funding to ensure a paid, professional librarian in every branch library;
  48. will pilot the development of a “Library of Things” in a staffed library to reduce individual consumption of occasionally-used household items;
  49. will continue funding for music lessons for children from low-income households, who experience significant barriers to culture and learning;
  50. notes that Green councillors first proposed the council adopt a Living Wage in 2008 to address low pay and will now tackle the principle of income inequality head-on by reducing the pay of senior officers on salaries over £50,000 a year, narrowing the gap between the highest and lowest paid in the Council to within a 10:1 ratio;
  51. will further reduce eight posts in the HR function to protect frontline services;
  52. notes that the proposals in this amendment will provide over £1 million in every future year for social care;
  53. will promote health, activity and fun by funding outdoor gym equipment in the city’s parks and developing the network of park runs throughout the whole city, working alongside community organisations;
  54. will commemorate the very origins of a municipal authority for public health by providing the public with clean, fresh water through the provision of new drinking fountains in major parks, thereby reducing waste and litter from single-use disposable plastics;
  55. will also support community environmental activism through Friends of Parks groups;
  56. recognises the benefits of community growing schemes and will therefore fund initial work on urban food production;
  57. remembering that parks are for people, not cars, will support these further improvements in the city’s parks by increasing car parking charges for those who choose to drive to them;
  58. will also invest in planting trees bearing edible fruit in open spaces and parks, to be decided and distributed fairly on a Ward basis;
  59. will promote the city’s economic opportunity of specialist tourism by engaging two part-time ecologists to market and lead specialist nature tours on Sheffield’s nearby and unique moorland, thereby generating further income for the Council and for the city’s economy;
  60. will fund an extra four Police Community Safety Officers (PCSOs);
  61. will support the many voluntary, business and public sector agencies trying to address homelessness, substance misuse, anti-social behaviour and aggressive begging in the city centre, by providing funds for a new worker under the Help Us Help umbrella;
  62. will put further resource into prevention work by supporting an additional substance misuse worker;
  63. will extend the contracts of the business advisers to the end of 2021 to support local businesses with recovery from lockdown and the coronavirus pandemic;
  64. notes that these proposals will result in over 50 new jobs, in addition to the increased employment from capital investment;
  65. recognises the hard work of Sheffield citizens who have highlighted the economic risks attached to fossil fuels and the need for Sheffield City Council to do business ethically, and welcomes the inclusion, in its Treasury Management Strategy, of commitments not to hold any direct investments in fossil fuels or companies involved in tax evasion or grave misconduct;
  66. approves the updating of the statutory Regulation 123 list to include the spending of unallocated Community Infrastructure Levy within the limits set out above;
  67. therefore requests the Executive Director, Resources, to implement the City Council’s Revenue Budget and Capital Programme 2021/22 in accordance with the details set out in the reports on the Revenue Budget and Capital Programme now submitted, but with the following amendments:-


Revenue budget spending proposals:

Spending proposals (£’000)
Recruitment of a 6 person sustainability team (1xG10, 4xG8 and 1xG5 – 9 months allowing for recruitment of full team) 212
Cycling officer (grade 8) 48
Free Christmas bus / tram travel on 6 Sundays before Christmas 66
Recruitment of 6 extra parking enforcement officers at net £4k each 24
Reduce Parking Permit Fees to 2010 levels 322
Re-introduce the Free Bee Bus – low emission vehicle at 10 minute frequency, 12 hrs/ day , 6 days / week 427
Additional Empty Homes Officer to bring empty properties back into use (grade 7) 42
Reinstate reduced-cost bulky waste collection for low-income households 25
Heritage officer (grade 8) 48
Extra Planning enforcement officer (grade 7) 42
Publish licensing accounts 10
Increase funding to voluntary sector for advice work 142
Increase Council Tax hardship fund to £2 million 200
Fund voluntary sector (SYFAB) to work on external grant funding for SCC including green grants 40
Provide Young Care Leavers with a fund to cover Council Tax bills 30
Staff for branch libraries (based on 16 PT members of staff) 336
Fund for music lessons for children from low-income households (to replace lost grant) 17
Investment in parks, including maintenance of drinking fountains (8k) & gym equipment (4k), & developing park runs in all areas of the city 50
Community liaison officers for parks (G6) 36
Ecology officers to promote nature tourism (2 half-time G8 posts) 48
Four extra Police Community Safety Officers 138
Help Us Help worker (grade 5) to assist DACT with admin work, liaison and co-ordination with relevant agencies. 32
Additional substance misuse worker in DACT 48
Sub-total 2,383
Feasibility study on a Warrington-style solar farm 25
Feasibility study on a zero-emission last-mile delivery hub 25
Promote car-sharing with “Liftshare” scheme 100
Workplace Parking Levy Study (Grade 8 post to develop work) 48
Feasibility study in to a wider recycling offer, including food waste and further plastics collection, repair and reuse 50
Library of Things pilot 30
Feasibility study in to urban food production 25
Continue team of business advisers (2.3 FTE) to support local businesses for a further 6 months 95
 Spending – subtotal 2,781


Revenue budget saving proposals:

Savings proposals (£’000)
Remove Elected Members’ car parking claims 2
Additional 40p on street parking charge 772
Increase fees for pre-application planning advice for larger property developers 74
Remove Group Policy Officers (half year saving) 51
Reduce pay on employees paid over £150,000 by 20% (assume 6 month saving) 67
Reduce pay on employees paid over £100,000 by 15% (assume 6 month saving) 57
Reduce pay on employees paid over £50,000 by 10% (assume 6 month saving) 1,033
Remove 8 posts in HR (assume half-year saving) 162
Increase parking fees in parks from 50p to £1 per hour 82
Remove  free city centre parking at Christmas 83
Use of New Homes Bonus 398
Savings – subtotal 2,781

Capital budget spending proposals:

Introduce further Solar Panels on the HRA Estate 1,000
Creation of a Carbon Reduction Investment Fund 3,000
Purchase of 3 x Electric Freebee buses 1,080
Fund to establish low-energy “container homes” pilot 250
Improved transport infrastructure, including segregated cycle lanes & bike storage 1,000
Air Quality Monitoring Digital Displays 54
Energy efficiency for schools fund 500
Outdoor gym equipment in parks 40
Provision of fruit trees on a ward basis 100
Drinking Fountains for City Centre & parks 24
Capital spending total 7,048


Capital budget saving proposals:

Savings proposals (£’000)
Use of unallocated New Homes Bonus 1,000
Use of unallocated New Homes Bonus 3,000
Use of unallocated New Homes Bonus 1,080
Reprioritise funding for acquiring new council homes 250
Use of unallocated Local Transport Plan spending if available (figure not confirmed yet) – if not use CIL 1,000
Use of unallocated Local Transport Plan spending if available (figure not confirmed yet) – if not use CIL 54
Use of unallocated CIL 500
Use of unallocated CIL 40
Use of unallocated CIL 100
Use of unallocated CIL 24
Financing of capital proposals total 7,048

Green councillors have welcomed success with support for items in previous Green council budget proposals.

Late additions to the council’s spending plans – set to be approved at the council’s Cabinet meeting on Wednesday – include several items included in previous Green budget:

• £300,000 extra for the council’s private sector housing teams. In previous budgets, the Green councillors repeatedly proposed extra resources to help tenants and take enforcement action on substandard rented housing in the private sector.

• £1.1 million for community safety. In March 2020, Green councillors proposed to employ four “Safer Neighbourhoods Officers,” with a focus on youth work, to support young people and their families. They also found funding for 4 extra PCSOs.

• £500,000 for new neighbourhood working. In their March 2020 budget proposals, Green councillors said the public wanted to see more active work in local areas and proposed to reverse the Administration’s cut to locality working.

Douglas Johnson

Douglas Johnson, Green Councillor for City Ward, said,

“These are all good spending proposals and align with proposals in our previous budget amendments which Labour councillors have repeatedly voted against.

“We want to see more council resources put into working in communities, enforcement of private tenants’ rights and safer communities.

“Better local working is a key demand of the It’s Our City campaign for better governance of the council. The irony is that this spending decision was made a fortnight ago by the Labour group, without opposition councillors being made aware of the new funding.

“What’s disappointing, however, is the absolutely zero resource put in to sustainability and achieving a zero-carbon city. There still needs to be a substantial change in Sheffield’s actions to address climate change and we would like to see this brought in to the council budget.

Alison Teal

Cllr Alison Teal (Nether Edge and Sharrow ward) added,

It’s great to see Labour have taken on Green ideas and we are pleased they will be adopted. Imagine how much better the people of Sheffield would be served if all of their elected councillors worked together!

There is a glaring problem which Labour have failed to understand, however.

This budget ought to reflect the seriousness of the climate and ecological crisis we are facing. For example, where is the money to fund the new officer positions we need, with the expertise and knowledge to enable the city to realise our carbon reduction targets?

The emergency is real and yet it is not accounted for in Labour’s spending plans. Bob Johnson is setting us up to fail, and this is profoundly unacceptable.

Sheffield Green Party Councillors
Sheffield Green Party Councillors

Green Party councillors have submitted a raft of proposals to the full meeting of Sheffield City Council in February, including:

  • Calling for the Climate Emergency to become a priority for the Housing Service
  • Supporting older and disabled tenants with keeping gardens clear
  • Supporting a change to the way the council is run so that all councillors take on responsibility for decision-making
  • Calling for more support for small businesses, independents and not-for-profits, like those on Chapel Walk
  • Calls to abolish business rates in favour of a land value tax
  • more tree-planting and re-wilding; and preserving Open Spaces like Owlthorpe Fields, the General Cemetery and the Ponderosa
  • making the most of government grants for parks
  • calling for more green space in the city centre
  • ending the routine use of glyphosate

Cllr Douglas Johnson said,

“It’s one year since the council formally declared there was a “Climate Emergency” but it doesn’t include climate change as a priority for its housing service.

That’s a big omission and wipes out any suggestion that the council is serious about climate change. Domestic heating is one of the big issues for CO2 emissions and another is the huge amount of carbon released in traditional construction.

It’s absolutely critical for the service-wide plan to have climate change as a priority as it takes time to face up to the serious challenge ahead of us.

Our range of other proposals will offer protection to older and disabled tenants from new charges for gardening. We want to support local businesses that face constant problems with business rates. We want to see real action on preserving and maintaining open spaces that are so much under threat at present.”

The amendments come after Green councillors submitted a motion calling for a cross-party Climate Emergency Committee and more green jobs.

Cllr Alison Teal added,

“Our Green Group motion urges the Council to act on the Climate Emergency, which we declared a year ago, yet no changes have been made. Our amendments show we want to work with the residents of Sheffield and we want to bring not just our own ideas into reality but theirs too. We need a more co-operative, less tribal structure in Council, which is why we support the need to change to a committee system.

“Too much power in the hands of one councillor leaves most people in Sheffield without representation.”


  1. The council meeting agenda is at
  2. The amendment from Green Party councillors are:

Housing Revenue Account – item 5

Amendment proposed by Cllr Douglas Johnson and seconded by Cllr Alison Teal

Approve with the following modifications, the recommendations made by Cabinet:

  1. Notes that, despite recognising the impact that housing can have in addressing the climate change emergency, no such proposals feature in the selected priorities and, therefore, requests the Administration to prepare an urgent plan of action for the Housing Service to reduce carbon emissions.
  2. In respect of garage rents, will substitute “2.7%” with “3.7%” and will commit the increase in revenue to offset the new cost of the paid-for gardening scheme for older and disabled tenants.

Governance – Item 6

Motion proposed by Cllr Douglas Johnson and seconded by Cllr Angela Argenzio

To Propose the full council resolves to adopt the recommendations set out in the report with the modification of paragraph 3.3 in that Full Council should be the body that takes the strategic decisions with substantial implications for the city and its communities.

Business Rates – Item 7

Amendment proposed by Cllr Paul Turpin and seconded by Cllr Martin Phipps

Inserts the following after (k) and before (l), relettering accordingly,

l) Notes that business rates reliefs are set by Government and this Council cannot claim credit for granting mandatory awards;

m) believes that far too many small businesses, independents and not-for-profits in Sheffield experience real difficulties in obtaining even the mandatory reliefs they are entitled to;

n) Regrets the lack of support offered to independent businesses on Chapel Walk facing poor trading conditions for years under the scaffolding;

o) Notes that businesses currently pay for business rates instead of the land owners, who have enough money to own the land;

p) Calls for the outdated and unfair system of business rates to be scrapped and replaced by a land value tax on the owners of land and buildings rather than the occupiers;

Inserts in the original motion’s paragraph (l), after the words “reform the rates system” the words, “by replacing it with a land value tax,”

Parks – Item 8

Amendment proposed by Cllr Alison Teal and seconded by Cllr Paul Turpin

Delete (e) and replace with –

(e) with an ambitious programme of planting we could become the greenest city. Sheffield has rural land within its boundary which provides opportunities to achieve net zero carbon targets, through rewilding and planting the right species of trees. In urban areas we must preserve our existing green spaces and increase green coverage in every ward.

(f) believes that reassessing some decisions to fulfil the council’s ambition to be the greenest city could help, such as:

  1. retaining Owlthorpe Fields as a greenfield site
  2. not building a car park in Sheffield General Cemetery or breaking its historic perimeter;
  3. ensuring officers always bid for Government grants for pocket parks, so opportunities like Duchess Road Open Space in the deprived Highfields part of City Ward are not missed;
  4. streamlining and encouraging the access to grants from members of the public wanting to create pocket parks and community gardens in their communities
  5. ensuring safeguards against damage to green spaces so that situations like Fire in the Park Festival event at the Ponderosa will not deprive local residents of its full use;
  6. gradually increasing the number of meadows and where appropriate ‘rewilding’ land which is currently grass requiring regular maintenance, in order to increase biodiversity and reduce costs and use of chemical pollutants;
  7. Providing more green spaces in the city centre, with it being the most polluted area in Sheffield, including the original plan for a park on the historic site of Sheffield Castle
  8. committing to stopping the routine use of toxic chemicals, including glyphosate

“People and Power” – item 9

Amendment proposed by Cllr Douglas Johnson and seconded by Cllr Angela Argenzio

Add at end,

(m) and therefore supports a change to the committee system of governance.

Climate Emergency – Item 10

Amendment proposed by Cllr Peter Garbutt and seconded by Cllr Alison Teal

Add at end,

(f) notes the increasing public concern about the Climate Emergency and acknowledges the hard work of the community groups lobbying the Council and demanding we respond urgently to the crisis we are facing.