Martin Phipps
Cllr Martin Phipps

July 2023 was the hottest month on record. In Southern Europe, there were wildfires near Athens in Greece and in Rhodes, Switzerland, Croatia and the Spanish Canary Island of La Palma with temperatures in some places in the mid-40s.

While global temperatures soar and the UN Secretary-General has said we are in an era of “global boiling”, Rishi Sunak has just approved hundreds of new gas and oil licences.

You might think that Labour, the official opposition, would oppose this and the Tory race to “cut the green crap”. It seems an obvious position to take, given the deteriorating state of the climate, that building onshore wind is the cheapest way to generate electricity and that mass insulation is the best way to lower heating bills and reduce household emissions –  but you would be wrong.

 Labour have said they will not revoke the gas and oil licences. They’ve also said they can’t commit to their already-too-small green investment plans, as they need to stick to their fiscal rules. Never mind that the cost of inaction on the climate emergency comes with staggering environmental, human and financial costs.

It’s not just nationally that Labour is siding with the Tories on fuelling the climate crisis. Here in Sheffield, Labour is well known for the tree-felling saga when thousands of healthy street trees were felled unnecessarily and against residents’ wishes by a Labour majority council.

What Sheffield Labour may not be as well known for is their politicking on transport. Labour say they want better public transport, walking and cycling. But when it comes to it, they tried to axe schemes that improve bus times and reliability. They campaigned against low-traffic neighbourhoods and red routes. At a South Yorkshire level, they failed to attract funding for bus improvement plans that were so unambitious they aimed for a reduction in passengers even if successful. And Labour repeatedly voted against investigating a workplace parking levy that would fund millions of pounds for public and active transport each year.

Whether it’s in Sheffield or Westminster, it’s clear that only the Green Party will act on the climate emergency.


Martin Phipps, Green councillor for City ward

Sheffield Green Party

AngelaArgenzio-Broomhill and Sharrow-Vale

There is a lot of misunderstanding – not least from Star contributors and journalists themselves – about how Sheffield has been governed for the past year. After the successful referendum to abolish the anti-democratic “strong leader” or cabinet system where only 10 Councillors made all the decisions, in May 2022 Sheffield moved to a committee system, where all Councillors have a say.


There were then negotiations between the three largest parties resulting in a joint administration of Labour, the Lib Dems and the Green Party, with power shared proportionately by each, based on their respective number of councillors (39 Labour, 29 Lib Dem, 14 Green).


The Conservative and the one independent Councillor were not part of this agreement and not part of the administration. 

Graph showing the Councillors on Sheffield City Council

A politically proportionate committee system – with no Party currently having a majority on any committee – has meant for better policy to be made on a more transparent and consensual basis. Yes, there are things to be improved upon: there needs to be more engagement with local communities, experts and groups impacted by policies. However, the committee system is something to be strengthened and developed. It allows politicians to concentrate on common goals rather than argue about what they disagree on, especially at a time of tough financial challenges.


The biggest threat to the committee system and to a Council which makes good decisions would be a Labour majority in the current local elections. The recent deselection of their candidate for Broomhill and Sharrow Vale for comments they made “about the need for reform, greater accountability and transparency at the council off the back of the Sheffield tree inquiry“* is a warning that the current Sheffield Labour leadership has no intention of learning the lessons of the Tree Dispute.


Cllr Angela Argenzio

Green Party Councillor for Broomhill and Sharrow Vale


*Sheffield Star 6th April.

Find out about your election candidates here.

RuthMersereau-City TobyMallinson Hillsborough PeterGilbert-Ecclesall PaulTurpin-Gleadless Valley
AshRouth-Walkley AngelaArgenzio-Broomhill and Sharrow-Vale BevNennett-Nether Edge and Sharrow

Dear Editor

G Shepherd makes some very good points about the sad state of the Labour Party. (Star letters 4th April)  I think they would be far more at home in the Green Party. 

We have been proud to support striking workers campaigning for a fair wage. 

We demand not only that the NHS is protected and safeguarded from privatisation, but that the Government funds it properly so we can once again be proud of our health service. 

We believe in freedom of speech and openness and certainly wouldn’t ban candidates from watching a film. I presume they were talking about “Oh Jeremy Corbyn:the big lie.”

Sheffield Greens have recently joined the Sheffield Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid and have no qualms about speaking out against the injustice the Palestinian people are facing.

G Shepherd does not mention the Lowcock Report on the tree dispute which showed how untrustworthy some of our Labour politicians are.   

G Shepherd would be most welcome to join us in the Green Party! 

Dylan Lewis-Creser

Green Party Candidate for Fulwood


G Shepherds letter is below. (it does not appear to be on the Star website)

Goodbye to Labour letter from G Shepherd

Find out about your election candidates here.

RuthMersereau-City TobyMallinson Hillsborough PeterGilbert-Ecclesall PaulTurpin-Gleadless Valley
AshRouth-Walkley AngelaArgenzio-Broomhill and Sharrow-Vale BevNennett-Nether Edge and Sharrow