Douglas Johnson candidate for Sheffield Local Election City

Douglas Johnson

Green Party Douglas is standing as a candidate for election in the Sheffield Local Election for City ward on May 6th 2021.

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I was elected as a councillor in 2016 and have been active in the community from Kelham Island to Highfield since then. I have worked with Rob Murphy, and then Martin Phipps and Ruth Mersereau. I lead the group of eight Green councillors on Sheffield City Council.

I worked in social welfare, housing rights and discrimination law. One of my cases forced the Royal Bank of Scotland to install access for disabled people at its Church Street branch in the city centre.

What do you think makes a good local councillor?

The ability to listen to people in the ward who ask about things and try to see their perspective. A key role is to be supportive and to help people find their way through the difficulties of life – especially life when it involves interacting with the council!

Tell us three things you're aiming to focus on or achieve for your ward during your term as councillor

The main thing is to engage people so that they feel part of the community where they live. Even where we can’t do that in person, as a ward councillor, I feel it is important to try and feed back to residents about what I have been doing and that is why we regularly produce and deliver a newsletter (about three times a year) to as much of the ward as we can cover.

In City Ward, there is a need for green space so it means that protecting what is already there is very precious.

There is also a huge turnover of residents so it is always a challenge to maintain a decent sense of community. I would therefore like to continue supporting initiatives that encourage neighbours to talk to each other and do things in common with each other for the neighbourhood’s wider benefit.

Tell us three things you're aiming to focus on or achieve for the city of Sheffield during your term as councillor

The big aim is to save the planet – that means substantial reductions in carbon consumption in forthcoming years. I want to use the council’s resources to create change, both in itself and by enabling and encouraging others to face up to the climate emergency.

To do that, we need to restore democracy to the city and the council chamber. Hopefully, the People’s Referendum vote will be won and Labour will lose overall control of the city (both very likely outcomes on May 6th) so that all three parties on the council will have to work together.

Finally, I want to value people and ensure that everyone’s contributions to society are valued as much as they can be. This means listening to people and recognising that different people and groups need different solutions to similar problems. It means ending the top-down, one-size-fits-all approach to local government.

Transport: The Sheffield City Region bus services should be taken back into public ownership

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral/Other
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

If you'd like to add details on your position, please do so here

Greens have encouraged and supported this over more than a decade as the negative impacts of privatisation on fares and services become clear. Many people are reliant on buses to get to and from their jobs and local authorities need to be in control of services and routes. Good, affordable bus services can drive the increased passenger numbers that reduce cars on the road, traffic jams and dangerous air pollution.

Economy: A Universal Basic Income pilot should happen in Sheffield

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral/Other
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

If you'd like to add details on your position, please do so here

The Green Party is a long standing supporter of UBI. Sheffield Greens have consistently supported a pilot in Sheffield. The Green Party supports scrapping Universal Credit, means-testing and the cruel benefit sanctions regime, which have been found to push people further into poverty and destitution. UBI provides a non-means-tested safety net. People will have more choices, and more people will be able to cut working hours to retrain, start new green businesses, take part in community action or simply improve their well being.

Democracy: How would you like Sheffield City Council to be run?

  • By a leader who is an elected councillor chosen by a vote of the other elected councillors (this is how the council is run now)
  • By one or more committees made up of elected councillors (this would be a change from how the council is run now)

If you'd like to add details on your position, please do so here

Sheffield Green Party is a registered supporter of the Sheffield People’s Referendum. We were asked by the It’s Our City campaign group if we would deliver their leaflets and have been doing so across many council wards.The last few years of “one party” state rule by the Labour group have been damaging to local democracy. Vote for Change on May 6th!

Social: Do you agree with the finding of the Government's Sewell Report stating the UK is no longer institutionally racist?

  • Strongly Agree
  • Agree
  • Neutral/Other
  • Disagree
  • Strongly Disagree

If you'd like to add details on your position, please do so here

Sheffield Greens posted this on our Facebook page on the morning the report was published: “Priti Patel described Black Lives Matter protests as “dreadful”. This whitewash report from the government dismisses institutional racism. They say the report is a “major shift in the race debate”. It’s a disturbing and dangerous shift that must be opposed. Stand up to Racism!”

I actually write for a legal magazine and have an article on institutional racism due in the next issue.