A Crookes & Crosspool councillors motion caused a stir in the Sheffield Council Chamber this afternoon as members were accused of breaching purdah.
Purdah is where a government body must remain neutral in an election period.
Councillor Mohammed Mahroof, Liberal Democrat, seconded Councillor Steve Ayris’ motion entitled ‘Mental Health, Homelessness and Brexit’ at this afternoon’s full council meeting.
While the motion was passed, Lord Mayor Tony Downing had to repeatedly remind councillors not to make political statements in the chamber, as this breaches purdah.
The Lord Mayor said: “You’re making this very difficult for me in the chair today. I asked you not to bring party politics into this, but you have. I hoped you would have more respect for me than that.”
Numerous councillors were stopped during speeches after making political comments. Questions were also raised when Sheffield Central candidates Alison Teal and Colin Ross did not declare an interest at the start of the meeting.
There is no clear indication of serious wrongdoing by any members of the chamber despite the Lord Mayor’s warnings.
On the motion itself, Cllr Mahroof said: “It is a privilege to be seconding this very important motion. One in two of us will be affected by mental health, i.e. 100-200,000 people in this city.
“There is a huge amount of underfunding in this area. GPs have quite clearly said to me that you could be waiting eight months to a year for an appointment. That is wrong in my opinion, if you break a leg, you don’t wait a year to have it treated.”
Cllr Penny Baker of Stannington, Liberal Democrat, added: “It is good to hear that despite all our political disagreements, really on this item we are in agreement. We have to do something to remove the stigma of mental health.”
The motion was passed by the full council on Wednesday.
You can read the full proposal here.