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Birley Ward support No to Grammar Schools Campaign

Spot the Birley Ward Councillor Karen McGowan (centre of picture just peeping out from behind a guy with glasses!)


Birley Ward member Ken Curran amongst supporters of the campaign

It was great to see such fantastic support at the campaign to say no to Grammar Schools that was held outside the Sheffield Town Hall yesterday. Over 600 signature were collected.

Cycling 100 miles for Lord Mayors Charity


Lord Mayor of Sheffield Birley Ward Councillor Denise Fox’s son Jordan Fox and family friend Ray Mason will be cycling from Sheffield to Skegness on Saturday 9 October to raise funds for the Lord Mayors charities. Jordan says “I only started cycling at the beginning of the year and I got addicted straight away. I wanted to join a club and thanks to the great set of fellow riders at Sitwell cycle club, I joined. My other goal was to complete a 100 mile bike ride. What better way to do this then to help my mum who is the current Lord Mayor of Sheffield raise as much money as she possibly can for her four chosen charities which are close to her heart. The four charities are:
Army Benevolent Fund – supporting soldiers, former soldiers and immediate family of the British army.
St Luke’s – supporting a hospice which helps people through a difficult journey.
Sparkle – supporting disabled children, young people and their families.
Support Dogs – supporting a Sheffield based national charity helping children with epilepsy, physical disabilities and autism.

I hope you all give generously as I am going to kill myself doing this ride. Thanks to Cllr Karen McGowan for generously putting the accommodation up for me. Thanks to Cllr Terry Fox for being the support on the way down. And thanks to Ray Mason for taking me on the route and looking after me or killing me.”

If you would like to donate please go to Jordan’s just giving page on facebook

Lord Mayors Launch of Nightstop in Sheffield



On Friday 16 September Councillor Karen McGowan, Cabinet Assistant for Housing and Planning attended the launch of Nightstop in Sheffield. This event was officially launch by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield Birley Ward Councillor Denise Fox.

Nightstop provides overnight accommodation in the homes of trained and vetted volunteers in the area. The Nightstop service is designed to stop young people, aged from 16 to 25, entering the cycle of homelessness and unemployment that can lead to this devastating outcome. Nightstop teams work with homeless young people, in partnership with local agencies, to help them address the issues that caused them to become homeless, providing family mediation and securing long-term settled accommodation.

At the launch attendees heard from a family who had been volunteering for 2 years and from a young person who said he had only been homeless for 11 nights thanks to Nightstop who helped him get his life back on track, but he didn’t know what would have happened if the volunteers hadn’t been there to help him.

The new service, is funded by a £200,000 grant from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. They are aiming to recruit 45 volunteer hosts to provide around 400 nights of accommodation in its first year. Once the service is established in Sheffield they are hoping to expand across South Yorkshire.

If you would like to find out more about volunteering for Nightstop Sheffield, please call 0114 278 7152 or email amy.smith@depaulcharity.org.uk For more details and photo’s see the facebook page https://www.facebook.com/NightstopSouthYorkshire/photos/?tab=album&album_id=1127375057346197

Streets Ahead Scheme Feedback Survey

The Streets Ahead Scheme in Sheffield is the city wide highways maintenance project currently upgrading the condition of the city’s roads, pavements, street lights, bridges and other items on or around the streets.


A feedback survey has been re-launched with the aim of asking residents what they think about the upgrades that have been carried out across the city so far.


This survey is open until the 7th October with the results available in late Autumn.


All the team at the Streets Ahead are interested in any feedback you want to share.


You can complete the survey in less than 10 minutes at the following link:





Birley Ward Stall at the Basegreen Shops – 10th September

Your Birley Ward Councillors will be holding a stall outside the shops at Basegreen, Jaunty Way on 10th September between 10am and 12 noon.  Everyone is welcome to stop by for a chat as we want to:


  • Talk to as many local residents as possible


  • Provide more information on the recently formed Environmental Group and their plans of a litter pick in October in Jaunty Park.


  • Offer Crime Prevention Packs to residents who haven’t previously received one from the supply we have left.


  • Answer any questions you may have on whats happening in your local area


If you are free and interested in coming along, we want to encourage everyone to come and talk about any of the above issues, any other others you may have, and share all ideas on what we can do in the community.

Birley Environmental Group – Next Meeting 21st Sept

On Wednesday 21st September at 7pm there will be a community meeting to discuss the green and open spaces in the Birley Ward. These meetings are a chance for local residents to express any views and share ideas they have on your area. Previous meetings have been successful in raising new points and gives all who attend the chance to put their views forward and help make a positive difference in our community.


The meeting will be held at the Gleadless library on White Lane, S12 3GH. For any more information you can contact Councillor Karen McGowan on Karen.mcgowan@sheffield.gov.uk



The Launch of a new Power Cut Number – 105

Please see below information from Northern Powergrid regarding the launch of a new phone number:


On 6 September a new national phone number ‘105’ will be launched by electricity network operators for customers to call should they need to report or get information about a power cut in their area.


We want to work with our stakeholders to help build a strong awareness of this important new service.


We’d be grateful in the weeks prior to the official launch if you could consider any opportunities, and where possible prepare, to help support the communication of 105 so together we can maximise awareness from 6 September and beyond.


Key points about this service are:

  • Dialling 105 will put customers through to the electricity network operator who manages the cables, power lines and substations that deliver electricity into homes and businesses in their area.
  • 105 is just one of the ways that customers will be able to contact their electricity network operator. They can also contact them by phone or via their website, and most network operators, including Northern Powergrid, are on social media too.
  • 105 is a free service for people in England, Scotland and Wales.
  • Customers can call 105 no matter who they choose to buy electricity from.
  • Customers can also call 105 if they spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put anyone in danger. If there’s a serious immediate risk, they should call the emergency services too.

An awareness campaign will run from September through to next spring and will include PR, media advertising, social media and coordinated messaging through partner channels.


Hopefully you can help us to raise awareness of this important new national 105 service through your channels, once the service is launched.  We can provide you with the following materials for use from 6 September:

  • Copy for newsletters, websites and magazines
  • 105 imagery
  • Tips on what to do in a power cut
  • Comment from our spokespeople
  • Images which can be used on your social media pages
  • An animated film explaining 105
  • We can also work with you to co-create bespoke content specifically for your channels, where appropriate.

We will also want to continue to work with partners to raise awareness of 105 in the longer-term.


If you have any questions or would like any further information, do let us know.  Also, if you’re able to support awareness raising of 105, please can you let us know when, where and how you can help by emailing yourpowergrid@northernpowergrid.com


Thank you for your help.

The Problem with Marie – Live Band Sunday 3rd July

This Sunday (3rd July) local band – The Problem with Marie – will be playing at the Cross Scythes pub for the Heeley Constituency Labour Party….and everyone is welcome!Marie

The Cygnets are going strong!



Anybody who has walked around the Frecheville pond recently will have seen that we have a family of young cygnets that have recently joined us.


Since their birth unfortunately one didn’t make it but we still have 6 that have made the pond their home.


Thanks to everyone who uses and looks after the pond and park area, it is down to you that the pond is such an inviting area to both humans and animals alike!


And a special mention to the Friends of Frecheville Park and Pond for all their hard work in maintaining the area.

Referendum … This is it! 2016. – A sonnet from one of our members

One small cross (x), we know what’s at stake,

No turning back, our future we’ll take.

Parliamentarian’s, resigning, with spin,

We’ve voted for out, closely, not in.

Family and friends split, the last, our Civil War,

Rift, as deep as a gorge, for both rich and poor.

Consequence we’ll live with, accepting the score,

Whether were harmed, refreshed, or forlorn.

Do not harbour loud distain,

We’ll negotiate out … Starting the chain.

Do not families split or, part,

Family chasms … Bridge a restart.

Do not sustain an unhappy heart,

Agree a truce … Forge together a chart.

Fund Raising for the Lord Mayors Charity

Lord Mayor 25-6-162
On Saturday 25 June Cllr Karen McGowan and Marie Lodge who are part of the Lord Mayors Fundraising Team attended the Yorkshire Regiment’s Freedom Parade. This year the Lord Mayors Charity is supporting: The Army Benevalent Fund, Sparkle, St Lukes Hospice and Support Dogs

The Lord Mayor and Colonel George Andrew Kilburn MBE DL undertook an inspection of the service personnel and made speeches in Barkers Pool. The Freedom Parade then proceeded up Devonshire Street to Devonshire Green which Karen and Marie joined with collection tins. The Lord Mayor then hosted a Civic Reception in the Town Hall for the Regiment.

Referendum … (Britain v Europe) 2016 – A sonnet from one of our members

Referendum … (Britain v Europe) 2016


One small cross (x), that’s all it’ll take,

No turning back, the future’s at stake.

Parliamentarian’s, subjective, with spin,

Encouraging us out, or, maybe stay in.

Friends and family split, the last, our Civil War,

Rifts, as deep as a gorge, for both rich and poor.

Consequence, we’ll live with, accepting the score,

Whether were harmed, refreshed or forlorn.

Do not harbour loud distain,

We maybe out, or perhaps remain.

Do not families split or part,

Family chasm’s … bridge a restart.

Do not sustain a failed heart,

Agree the truce … set together a chart!