Changing local government
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Sheffield City Region Mayor Manifesto 2018

Democracy in South Yorkshire is broken. All constituent councils have large majorities for one party, and a culture of secrecy and lack of proper scrutiny has led to national scandals. Research has shown 'one party councils' are not only bad for democracy but are also bad value for money, as contracts are not negotiated properly.

I have been a City Councillor in Sheffield for nearly 10 years and I've seen scrutiny and public participation eroded by a Council with too much power. The Mayor will chair the Sheffield City Region Combined Authority, the members of which will serve as the Mayor’s Cabinet. It is important that meetings of the Combined Authority and private sector partnerships are open to public scrutiny. The Combined Authority is funded with public money, and the public has a right to see how it is spent.

As elected mayor I will:

  • Ensure all public meetings of the Combined Authority are recorded and made available to the public via the internet.
  • Ensure all future public/private contracts with a value of over £500 are open to public scrutiny.
  • Arrange public question and answer sessions to allow public scrutiny of the Combined Authority's actions.

The role of the City Region mayor has the potential to become a powerful political role. It is important that the mayor is properly scrutinised and held to account for their decisions. To do this properly it is important that the views of more than one political party are represented in this process.

As elected mayor I will:

Ensure the membership of scrutiny boards is based on proportional representation, where proportionality is decided on the actual votes of residents, not the make up of the constituent councils.

I am a supporter of wider Yorkshire devolution. With a population larger than Scotland and a geography larger than London, Yorkshire is the appropriate size to devolve powers away from Westminster and Whitehall.

As elected mayor I will:

  • Support moves towards wider Yorkshire Devolution.
  • Oppose attempts to impose a metro mayor for Yorkshire and work instead for a Yorkshire Assembly to properly represent all of the diverse population.
  • Ensure the final decision on devolution for Yorkshire is made by the people through a Yorkshire-wide referendum.

My proposals represent a significant cultural change in local government in South Yorkshire, A new era of openness, transparency and accountability is necessary if our institutions are to regain the trust of the people they represent.

Read Rob's