Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Sheffield City Council 'democracy' petition: More councillors quit

Campaigners from Its Our City!
Image caption A petition was handed in at Sheffield Town Hall by members of It's Our City

A further five councillors have resigned from Sheffield City Council's cabinet over the way the authority is run.

A petition has called for a switch to a committee system of decision-making which could prompt a city-wide vote.

The council's deputy leader, Olivia Blake, quit on Friday to support the petition.

She has been followed by Lewis Dagnall, Sophie Wilson, Fran Johnson, Moya O' Rourke and Adam Hurst.

The councillors have not quit their council seats or the Labour Party, according to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Currently, the council has 84 elected councillors, but under the current model it is the council leader and nine cabinet members who make key decisions.

The It's Our City Petition wants that to change so that more councillors have a say.

A petition signed by 5% of voters in an area can trigger a local referendum and the It's Our City petition has attracted 26,000 signatures, more than the 20,092 needed.

The council has said if the petition was deemed valid a vote on changing the current system would take place by May 2020.

Ms Blake resigned on Friday and was followed by her husband, Lewis Dagnall, cabinet member for environment, on Sunday.

Councillors Wilson and Johnson, who both served as cabinet advisors, also quit on Sunday.

On Monday they were joined by cabinet assistants Ms O'Rourke and Mr Hurst.

Ms O'Rourke said it was clear people wanted more "democracy" in the city.

"So, like Olivia, Fran, Lewis and Sophie, I signed the It's Our City petition," she said.

"It's time to be brave and follow my colleagues in taking a stand for democracy."

The council has a month to verify the votes handed in.

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