Sheffield Town Hall

Sheffield City Council to ‘revolutionise’ decision-making structure

Sheffield City Council is to ‘revolutionise’ how citizens influence decisions that matter to communities by setting up seven Local Area Committees (LAC) across the city.

The Local Area Committees, to be launched in May, will cover every part of Sheffield and the council plan to shift power and influence for important local decisions to those committees over 12 to 18 months.

Each of the committees will be councillor-led, accountable structures supported by officers for all areas of the city.

They will become the platform for communities, public services, community organisations and the council to work together to achieve the things that citizens want in their areas, making the most of existing local networks and relationships.

All seven of the LACs will receive £100k towards rebuilding their local area post Covid-19, with an additional £100k proposed to tackle fly-tipping and graffiti specifically.

Alongside the investment of funds, each LAC will have dedicated street wardens and officers working on matters, such as local parks, tackling parking problems, community safety, youth services, delivering cleaner and greener streets, housing and more.

There will also be a dedicated housing officer who will provide reports and details, including housing repairs, to the committee and the work of the housing service will be held to account, allowing for greater local accountability.

The Local Area Committees is part of Sheffield City Council’s plan to transform its approach to the planning and delivery of services, with greater focus, responsiveness and accountability to the different needs of communities across the city.

The council  is also committed to a modern way of engaging, empowering and enabling Sheffielders to shape their local areas and believe that the LACs will help achieve this.

Commenting, Leader of Sheffield City Council, Councillor Bob Johnson, said: “We’re serious about empowering our communities, making sure they have the tools at hand to shape their local area in a way that benefits them.

“This is far from a return to Community Assemblies, we will go much further than they ever did, with each LAC working much more closely with the council and holding us to account.

“There’s significant investment into the resource each committee will receive and this is just the start. I’m really excited to see local areas take shape and how working with our communities will make that happen.”

Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, Councillor Paul Wood added: “I’m passionate about our communities and I’m really pleased that each LAC will benefit from dedicated officers covering a variety of local issues.

“For instance, I know how important housing and repairs are to residents across the city and for the committees to have direct access to a housing officer is a huge step forward. Not only does this provide reassurance, but it provides the opportunity to scrutinise decisions and shows transparency.

“Our ambition remains the same, to engage, empower and enable communities, making sure the right decisions are made at the right times and at the right level. I hope we’ll see huge numbers of Sheffielders getting involved in the things that matter to them most and I can’t wait to see it in action.”

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