Cllr Jillian Creasy, Green Party parliamentary candidate for Sheffield Central, comments: “The government has said proposals will be announced before George Osborne’s Autumn Statement on Wednesday December 3rd, but the public have yet to be given any information.
“This may well be the single largest change in local government for Sheffield in decades. Sheffield people need to be given the chance to have their say from the earliest stage, so we can make sure that any changes work for the people of Sheffield.”
The Green motion submitted is worded as the following
That this council:
a) welcomes that a renewed debate around the UK’s constitutional settlement, including the devolution of powers to regional and local authorities, is taking place following the seismic shock to the political establishment of the close-run Scottish referendum;
b) notes that in a ComRes poll published on November 5th, 82% of respondents supported greater devolution of powers over tax raising, education and policing to local areas, indicating overwhelming public support for substantial devolution;
c) believes that local and regional government are the proper home for many powers that are currently held at Westminster, and that these powers should be devolved to the local or regional bodies that are best placed to exercise them;
d) believes that local and regional government provides unique opportunities for public participation, transparency and accountability;
e) therefore believes that nothing should be done centrally if it can be done equally well, or better, locally;
f) however believes that the only way to ensure that devolution is effective and legitimate is to open up the process to public scrutiny and participation;
g) therefore notes with deep concern that ‘devolution deals’ for the Sheffield City Region and other areas of England are being rushed through without public input or democratic oversight;
h) calls upon the Administration to ensure that any ‘devolution deal’ that includes Sheffield is not struck behind closed doors, but is instead subject to input and scrutiny by the public and elected members from the earliest stage;
i) calls upon the government to establish a Constitutional Convention to consider the future constitutional structure of the United Kingdom and its constituent nations, regions, and local authorities in an open and comprehensive way.