A 'rainbow cabinet' for Sheffield could see the city reach levels of collaboration never seen before, says Green councillor Paul Turpin

Sheffield could enjoy "a level of collaboration never seen before" if a 'rainbow cabinet' of different parties is formed to run the city council, a Green councillor has claimed.

Councillor Paul Turpin has called for increased levels of cooperation between Sheffield parties as coalition discussions continue after Labour lost control of the authority in the local elections.

The Green Party is currently in negotiations with Labour and the Liberal Democrats to bring about a ‘rainbow cabinet’ with cross-party support.

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Coun Turpin, who represents Gleadless Valley, said: “We want a collaborative way to do politics with all parties involved and engaged.

Talks are ongoing about a rainbow coalition in Sheffield. Pic: SakhanPhotography - stock.adobe.Talks are ongoing about a rainbow coalition in Sheffield. Pic: SakhanPhotography - stock.adobe.
Talks are ongoing about a rainbow coalition in Sheffield. Pic: SakhanPhotography - stock.adobe.
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“As a party, we don't believe anyone has the monopoly on good ideas and want all and any good ideas to be implemented for the benefit of Sheffield.”

The local elections on May 6 saw Labour lose eight councillors and overall control of Sheffield City Council. Five of these council seats went to the Green Party, including the Hillsborough Ward where Labour council Leader Bob Johnson lost his seat.

Labour losing these seats means that a coalition will have to be negotiated between parties.

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Coun Turpin said: “We will have to see what comes out of the negotiations but we hope to share power over the next year, making a greater impact on the climate crisis and social justice.

“This would bring in a level of collaboration never seen before in Sheffield. The public want to see their elected representatives working together for the common good."

With no single party having a majority of councillors, a coalition can be formed if multiple parties agree to work together. The total needed for a majority is 42 councillors; Labour have 41(down eight from before the election), Lib Dems 29 (up three) Greens 13 (up five) and Conservatives one (up one). There are a variety of combinations for a coalition and discussions are ongoing.

Coun Turpin added: “Whatever happens will continue to work hard for the communities we represent, remain honest and do what we can to get the best outcome for the people of Sheffield, whether it wins or loses votes. It's about doing the right thing when nobody is watching.”

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Sheffield City Council is also due to radically overhaul the way it takes decisions after residents voted overwhelmingly for a change to the current system in a landmark referendum.

The result announced on Monday means its existing leader and cabinet system, described by campaigners as being undemocratic, will be phased out over the next year and replaced by a model where decisions are taken by committees.

After residents voted 89,670 to 48,727 to replace the current system, an opposition councillor said the authority “was so stuck in its old, bad ways it had to be pushed out by the people’s referendum”.