Public apathy towards Sheffield Council Referendum

Written by Seb McCormick

Much of the Sheffield electorate still has no knowledge over the proposed changes to the governance of Sheffield Council.

A referendum is set to be held on 6th May, alongside the Council elections, over whether Sheffield Council should switch to a committee model or retain its current cabinet model.

We went onto the streets of Sheffield to gauge the public’s perspective on the upcoming vote and were largely met with apathy.

While most knew the Council elections were approaching, none were aware of the proposed changes to governance.

Tom Eso, 22, said it was the lack of information in the news which prevented him from voting.

He said: “I just hear the bigger news on the BBC and not really about my local council so I doubt I’d have the knowledge to vote.”

Josh Warburton, 21, said he was not sure that the issue really mattered to local people and was unsure as to the purpose of the referendum.

The prevailing mood among people in Sheffield on this issue was one of apathy.

This is shared around the country, with many local referendums struggling to overcome low voter turnout.

Even on a national level, turnout for referendums on the structure of the government have had low turnout in the past, with the exception of the European Referendum of 2016.

The 2011 referendum on switching to a proportional representation style of government only had a turnout of 42.2%.

It remains to be seen if Sheffield citizens will come out and vote but if you want to know more about the referendum, check out our quick explainer.



Written by Seb McCormick

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