Open Letter to the Leader of Sheffield City CouncilPosted: December 8, 2011
The following is a copy of our letter to Councillor Ms Julie Dore, Leader of Sheffield City Council, regarding the future of Sheffield’s seven Community Assemblies. Copies were also sent to Councillors Mick Rooney (Labour), Shaffaq Mohammed (Liberal Democrats) and Jillian Creasy (Green Party).
Dear Councillor Dore,
We understand that the future of Community Assemblies is under consideration.
I am enclosing a summary of comments from our supporters who have had experience of the work of the Assemblies: it is based on the experience of 5 out of the 7 Assemblies, and represents views from across the political spectrum. You will see that they make two points very strongly: first that the future of the Community Assemblies should not become a political football between the two main parties; second, that any proposals for change should seek to develop the good intentions of both main parties to involve local communities in decision making (albeit using different models) and should protect the positive aspects of networking and close working that is developing in some areas.
I am also including a copy of the letter I have written to the Sheffield Telegraph on this matter.
I am writing to urge you, before any decisions are taken, to ensure that a review is undertaken of the operation of the Assemblies and what they have achieved, and to consult those who have been involved in how this initiative can now be developed, in the light of experience. Our own consultation shows that despite the different views of our respondents, none of them argued for abolishing them.
We are aware that you will be visiting the Assemblies, and we welcome this degree of commitment to them. We hope that the outcome will be a commitment by yourself to their continued future.
Councillor Mick Rooney has promised to meet with us at some point, and we plan a public meeting to discuss this early in the new year.
Any comments you have for us would be welcome.
Co-ordinator, Sheffield for Democracy