Green Councillors Alexi Dimond and Marieanne Elliot called for resignations in response to the tree inquiry.
Green Councillors Alexi Dimond and Marieanne Elliot called for resignations in response to the tree inquiry.
A recent letter to the Star stated that the Lowcock Report on the felling of 5,474 street trees “revealed the depths of the political corruption with the silence of Labour and Greens reflecting how widely the rot has set in.”

Far from the Greens being silent, the Lowcock Report only came about as it was a key negotiating point in May 2021 when the Greens entered the Council administration for the first time.

The report reveals only two councillors had publicly opposed the £2.2 billion outsourcing since it was first suggested in about 2007. They were the two Green Party councillors on the Council at that time.

During the campaign against the tree felling, Green Party councillors and activists took part in protests, risking arrest, injury and imprisonment.

Sheffield Green Party later supported the grassroots “It’s Our City” campaign, arising from the tree protests. This called for more accountability in the Council’s secretive Cabinet System which enabled just a few Labour Councillors to make all the decisions.

In May 2023 Green councillors forced an emergency meeting of Sheffield City Council to discuss and learn from the failure of strategic leadership exposed in the Lowcock Report.

The Council accepted the report’s recommendations and recognised that the committee system under No Overall Control requires a spirit of open, transparent and democratic ways of working. The council finally issued a public apology in response to the Lowcock report in June 2023.

Councillor Douglas Johnson
Sheffield Green Party

For more details on the Lowcock report and the street tree inquiry see our articles on the council actions after the Lowcock report, the ongoing ignorance and lack of apology from some councillors, and the need for honest and openness in council as the key lessons of this scandal.

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