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Agenda item

Notice of Motion Regarding "Working Together To Deliver A Better Future For Sheffield" - Given By Councillor Angela Argenzio and To Be Seconded By Councillor Marieanne Elliot

That this Council believes:-

 

(a)      that thanks are due to the people of Sheffield who took part in democracy and voted in recent local elections to choose who will represent them;

 

(b)      that thanks are also due to those who voted in the May 2021 referendum which established a new, modern committee system that needs political groups to work together in a more collaborative and less adversarial way of working;

 

(c)      that the Council and the communities we represent face the multiple challenges of the cost of living crisis, overstretched and underfunded Council services and a growing demand for those services from the public;

 

(d)      that new initiatives, detailed below, are needed and we call on all groups on the Council to support them;

 

(e)      that people’s experience of engaging with the Council is not always positive and poor access to services has a worse impact on people already disadvantaged for other reasons; people experience difficulties engaging with the Council and in getting responses to local concerns and issues;

 

(f)       that local Councillors are often the ones most aware when the Council's processes are not working because local people contact them when the system doesn’t work;

 

(g)      that due to the cost of living crisis our services will be in even higher demand and need, and making them more accessible must be prioritised in light of this;

 

(h)      that the challenge for this Council, like other councils around the country, is to play a leading role locally in addressing the cost of living crisis that our communities face;

 

(i)       that the cost of living crisis is caused by a combination of corporate greed, rising prices, low incomes and policy choices made by national governments, condemning millions to increasing levels of poverty which disproportionately affects women, children, disabled people and members of marginalised and minority communities;

 

(j)       that we must seek to address both immediate need and also make our communities resilient to future crises through a combination of measures, such as retrofitting homes to high energy efficiency standards to reduce energy usage, and provision of skills and training;

 

(k)      that whilst all councils operate a Corporate Risk Register, where all the risks the Council faces are detailed and a risk management plan is produced to mitigate those risks, this approach can mean that councils focus on risks rather than opportunities;

 

(l)       that the Council’s financial sustainability now depends on funding opportunities, not further cuts;

 

(m)     that to act as a balance to the Corporate Risk Register, there should be a Corporate Opportunities Register, detailing new funding opportunities, partnership opportunities and initiatives that will help deliver the Council's objectives, such as supporting those affected by the cost of living crisis;

 

This Council resolves:-

 

(n)      to recommend that the Council’s Strategy and Resources Policy Committee notes this Motion and requests a Customer Services Improvement Plan to be in place within 4 months, to show how it will aim to improve response times and accessibility to services, regardless of the community that customers come from or their background, language or disability; and recognising that the Council’s services also need to be available to people without access to the phone or internet;

 

(o)      to recommend that the Strategy and Resources Policy Committee establishes a Cost of Living Crisis Working Group, together with other public and voluntary sector partners, to be tasked with producing a Cost of Living Crisis Action Plan within 4 months;

 

(p)      that progress on the delivery of this action plan be reported regularly to the Strategy and Resources Policy Committee; and

 

(q)      to recommend that the Strategy and Resources Policy Committee requests a Corporate Opportunities Register to be in place within 6 months, kept up-to-date by Executive Directors and reported regularly to the relevant committee, noting this motion.

 

 

Supporting documents: