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jbagley

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  1. Voluntary orgs I work with in Sheffield have v. different view on system now, when theyre waiting years and years for decisions to come out of council! The 10 cabinet members with all power on their backs are so paralysed by political fallout of their decisions and so excluding vol org input they never make any. Better to reduce this by sharing out responsibility for decisions. Then weve got the yearly 'let's defer this decsion' that always happens just before each election.
  2. But t't chuffin national experts on this have docs listing positive effects of moderen committe system. Who are we to believe knows most about it?! 😀 Seriously, sounds like youve lots ofuseful experience. If council does process of designing new sys properly they should do something like peoples assembly. Please volunteer and add your experience to process. It needs skeptics to get best solution!
  3. I'll definitely be saying it when the LibDems are probably in charge again in a year or so (at the current rate of Labour vote reducing). As Labour voter, Im gonna be spitting mad that Labour-voting areas of Sheffield will have no power or representation and that LibDems on 30% of the vote can dictate everything. Spitting mad that Labour has again let down the people theyre meant to represent when they could suppport something that'll make a real difference. Really LOL yeah But never mind, the stick-in-mud Labour types will be happy in their "we can't let communities have a say coz they might disturb our cozy fantasy world". If only the sensible Labour people would rise up against their opporessors in their own party.
  4. Ha ha been working a long shift so couldnt reply. Have to work sometime. New system committees have experts+people from communities+councillors from all parties on the committee. Some of the committee chairs are from opposition partys not always ruling party. So, can get more input from different angles so decisions made with better info. There are about 3 different options for new committee system like that. The rules say council has to consult to choose the best one to suit.
  5. The most commonly cited report is this from 2012 (only 1 year after the law was changed to allow councils to change their governance system away from the one imposed on Sheffield by the Blair government). From the section on Costs: "In all instances it has been concluded that there will be no negative effect from a change [to a committee system] in the long term." https://www.cfps.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/Musical-Chairs.pdf
  6. Do you have experience of the modernised committee systems in the 30 councils that have changed, or are you talking about old-style committee systems (which everyone agrees were inefficient)? The petition is not about returning to an old-style committee system but about moving to a modernised committee system - they are different systems. The national expert on modernised committee systems, from the Centre for Public Scrutiny, has published many reports on this, where he shows that a modernised committee system is not more expensive. The CFPS is neutral about which system is best for a particular council, but they still say a modernised committee system is not more expensive. That expert has been involved in the process of change in nearly all of the 30 councils that have changed to a modernised committee system, so I think he must know what he is talking about.
  7. The current system would be replaced by a "modernised committee system", where instead of decisions about an area of council service being taken by just 1 councillor in the cabinet, the decisions would be made by a committee of councillors (in other places that use this new system there are about 8 councillors on each committee). Doesn't cost more than current system but is more democratic and all councillors can give input (say if their area would bea ffected by the decision). This change has been done in about 30 other places already. Most recent is Scarborough, where new Labour council leader announced it (without needing a petition) recently https://scarborough.public-i.tv/core/portal/webcast_interactive/419952/start_time/131000
  8. It seems that over 80% of the people they talk to on the streets (all over Sheffield) immediate;y sign the petition.
  9. The petition is being run online and on paper. The total so far is 18,500. 1,500 to go.
  10. The petition has legal power to start the process of making Sheffield Council more democratic (the national government gave the citizens of Sheffield this power). The Blair gov forced all councils to change to this undemocratic system but in 2011 that gov gave citizens of sheffield legal power to petition for change. Each electoral area in Sheffield has approximately the same number of voters, that's why the ones nearer the city centre are smaller. If you look at the results of the last local election, you'll see that also those areas tend to be the areas with the lowest turnout (e.g. 23.9% i n Park and Arbothorne). So, in actual fact, those 10 councillors probably elected by LESS people than other councillors! The Labour party only got about 31% of the vote, but have 100% of the power. A similar thing happened when the LibDems ran the city a while back - they only got around 35% of the vote but 100% of the power! It's not against any particular party - it's about making sure that the councillors that are elected actually have the power most people think they have!
  11. If you are a Sheffield voter and think it's not fair that only 10 out of our 84 councillors have been chosen to have the power to make nearly all decisions, please sign this petition https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/sheffield-peoples-petition It only needs 1500 more sigs to force the council into action!
  12. In practise, it has been found that committee systems are NOT more expensive. Try looking at the various research documents by Local Authority research organisations (like the Local Government Information Unit) and reports from the officers of local authorities that have changed back to a committee system. You'll find that they conclude that changing to a committee system is "broadly cost-neutral" i.e. they cost around the same as running a so-called 'strong-leader' system.
  13. Does anyone know what was being filmed in Chelsea Park this afternoon? Apparently there was a film unit there with vans etc.
  14. Thanks to all who responded to my question about the legal background to why candidates don't seem to be able to make comments on the Graves Park situation. However, I'm still a bit unclear. It would be nice to actually see the advice, rather than just rumours of what it is! Can't any councilors here send us the actual text of the advice, or wasn't it given to them in written form? I've looked in the online minutes of the council meetings and haven't been able to find anything there so far. The answers given here so far seem to be leaning towards that there is no 'outright ban' on councilors commenting, as long as they keep an open mind, and that candidates are not affected by the advice. But this doesn't match what is happening on the ground - that both councilors and candidates are reluctant to say anything on the subject at all. Why is this subject different to any other subject that might be decided in council meeting, that necessitates such advice? Is it because the councilors would be making a decision as trustees (and therefore the advice is somehow related to rules set by the Charity Commission, so I can probably get the relevant rules from them)? Or is it not related to their status as trustees but because it involves the councilors receiving some legal advice that they need to take into account before they decide (but surely this would apply to all sorts of decisions that are made by the councilors, so such advice would be an everyday occurrence?)? Is the advice specifically about working against the interests of the Graves Park charity, or is it about making statements of any kind? What might the consequences be for those who do not follow the advice - some kind of legal challenge to them voting, or maybe preventing them from being a trustee? Has this been explained by the person who gave the advice? redrobbo has said that he gets the impression that anyone who has given their views on the subject before the advice will not be affected - but surely, if stating your views makes you open to some kind of legal challenge or ban from voting, then a defense of 'I didn't know I shouldn't say anything' isn't valid? I'm guessing that all my questions would be answered if I saw the full text of the advice (but maybe not!) - so is it available? Thanks.
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