Demand A Better Council

Open Sheffield

What is needed?

Liberal Democrats believe in an open and transparent council that listens and acts for the interests of Sheffield residents.
We condemn Labour’s mismanagement of the ‘Streets Ahead’ contract, particularly with the felling of healthy street trees.

For more than three years the council refused to engage with residents. Now, only after thousands of trees have been felled and tax-payers money has been wasted on huge legal costs, they have agreed to work towards retaining more healthy trees.

Liberal Democrats are committed to the promotion of a flourishing system of democratic local government in which decisions are taken and services delivered at the most local level viable. Too many decisions have been centralised under Labour, making them less responsive to local need. Sheffield currently has a democratic deficit with too many decisions taken by a small number of councillors.

What we will do

Restore confidence

● Liberal Democrats will engage campaigners and communities to review the implementation of the ‘Streets Ahead’ contract.
● Public services must be responsive to the people they serve, and we will encourage variety and innovation within them and to make them available on equal terms to all.
● The City Council has restricted access to some of the contracts signed with private companies to deliver public services. We will allow more access and scrutiny of contracts by opposition councillors and local residents.
● Liberal Democrats will make City Council meetings more accessible to local residents via live and catch-up video recordings that will allow residents to make sure their elected representatives are working for them.
● We will explore the development of a council app that will provide residents with access to council information and services.
● We will press the government to introduce proportional representation for local elections, so the council more closely resembles the views of its citizens.

Devolve power

● A Liberal Democrat City Council would undertake a full review of the structure of the council to devolve power downwards and increase the influence of residents and their local representatives.
● Liberal Democrats will change the decision-making processes of the council to a system which gives all local councillors responsibility for more decisions, making them more accountable to the people who elect them.
● Give residents greater control over bus services in the city by introducing a London style bus contact ensuring it is the bus users who determine the service provided rather than the bus companies who benefit under Labour’s failed bus partnership.
● Ensure more money from new developments is retained within communities where building takes place to support local infrastructure.
● Reverse the cuts to the Parish and Town councils to enable local communities to make decisions on how money is spent in their area.