Homelessness and rough sleeping among issues city’s new Green councillor aims to address

A Green Party candidate who was elected as a Sheffield councillor last night said he will aim to address the issue of homelessness and rough sleeping.

Martin Phipps, who bagged a seat in the City ward by a margin of 16 votes, said he will see how the council can better support charities helping homeless people.

He said the issue was quite prevalent across Sheffield, especially in the city centre, and he was passionate about helping to deal with it.

“People on the streets aren’t having a good time. But it’s hard to be like: ‘This is an issue [and here is a] magical policy’. I think It’s going to be a gradual process.”

Coun Phipps received 826 votes, winning the seat by a close margin. Labour’s Beverly Thomas, his closest competitor, got 810 votes.

He joins two other incumbent Green councillors in the ward, Douglas Johnson and Robert Murphy, the latter also being a Sheffield City Region mayoral candidate.

He said the victory comes after quite a long period of time working with the community.

Mr Phipps said the collaborative efforts of several members of the party and independent campaigners played a massive part in the Greens’ victory in the local elections.

“[The independent campaigners] were saying about the need for councillors that will listen to the communities and work for communities.

“It says something about the current Labour council as well that people have an appetite for more accountability and that’s what they want to see, and more democracy in the council. So I think it’s a big result by small margins.”