Frecheville Hotel pub – update.

Information from Councillor Bryan Lodge.
Many residents in the Birley Moor Crescent area have been very concerned about the poor condition of the former Frecheville Hotel pub. The pub has been closed for some time and despite several attempts by councillors to ensure the owners of the building take more responsibility for its condition, it has been allowed to deteriorate badly.
We now have some more positive news. The council has received a planning application to demolish the building and to build 11 new two and three bedroom apartments on the land.
Further information is available through the planning portal at: https://planningapps.sheffield.gov.uk/online-applications/

City Council Supporting Laptops for Kids.

Councillor Bryan Lodge with information from Sheffield City Council.
Sheffield City Council will provide thousands of additional laptops to support children who are currently having to home school, without the devices to do so.
1,000 pre-used laptops will be provided to school children of all ages and funding will be made available to purchase at least a further 5000. In addition, connectivity will be funded for children who do not have access to this at home. The investment into this project will be in the region of £1.5 million.
Working in partnership with the Laptops for Kids campaign, this project has been supported by many partners across the city and has already generated thousands of pledged devices to support children. Unfortunately, the Government’s failure to put the necessary support in place means that many children are still without laptops and unable to continue with their studies.
This announcement follows the hugely successful Digital Summit that the council hosted on Friday 22 January, which bought together over 100 individuals and businesses across a variety of sectors, including the Voluntary, Community and Faith sectors, to collectively address the digital divide across the city.
As part of the project, the council has been working with Learn Sheffield and schools across the city to identify those children and young people who do not have access to a device.
Birley Ward Councillor, Bryan Lodge said:
“It is fantastic news that the council is supporting this work. I know many individuals in the Birley ward have donated devices to ensure our young people can learn at home effectively. All three councillors from our ward attended the recent Digital Summit and of course we are now very happy to support this additional action by the council, which will help young people locally and across the city.”
If anyone has a device to donate to Laptops for Kids please use this link.
https://www.ltfk.co.uk/

Thank You NHS and all services


Yesterday I took my mum for her COVID Vaccine at Beighton. I want to say what a safe and sleek process they have set up. I also want to thank the staff and volunteers for all they are doing. The video by Birley Health Centre which I showed my mum before the visit really helped. This is what our NHS is trained for and brilliant at – rolling out the biggest vaccination programme for decades and they are doing us proud.

This thank you also goes out to all our services from nursery and teaching staff, to care home, post office workers and public services that have kept this country running – THANK YOU EVERYONE.

Councillor Karen McGowan thanked by resident

Councillor Karen McGowan helped local resident with request for a tree to be planted on grass verge outside his property. The resident found a novel way to acknowledge the work Councillor McGowan had put in by placing this notice on the tree. Councillor McGowan said “It is nice to be thanked and to have your work acknowledged – it brought a smile to my face. It took nearly a year to achieve this result but we got there in the end. I’d like to thank the resident for his patience. We can not always deliver on every request but as Labour Councillors we can promise to always try out best”.

Holocaust Memorial Day – January 27th – City Council online memorial service.

Holocaust Memorial Day takes place on Wednesday January 27, 2021.
It commemorates the devastation of six million Jews killed during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of others who lost their lives under Nazi persecution and in genocides that followed in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
Each year a theme is chosen for the day and for 2021 it is ‘Be the light in the darkness’. The theme is intended to encourage “everyone to reflect on the depths humanity can sink to, but also the ways individuals and communities resisted that darkness to ‘be the light’ before, during and after genocide.”
Due to the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions, the usual commemorative event held at Sheffield’s Winter Garden cannot take place. Instead, event organisers are planning to host and stream this year’s ceremony online which will be available to watch for free via Zoom from 5:45pm – 7pm on Wednesday 27 January 2021.
The vigil will feature reflections from the Lord Mayor, the Leader of the Council, Jewish Congregations and key members of the local Community.
The new format for the event has been created to help curb the spread of Coronavirus across the city whilst ensuring people can still pay their respects and participate safely from home.
Sheffield’s Town Hall clock face will also be lit up in the colour purple, the Holocaust Memorial Day branding colour, as a nod to this year’s theme.
Leader of the Council, Councillor Bob Johnson said,
“Holocaust Memorial Day provides a significant opportunity for the people of Sheffield to remember the lives and bravery of those who were persecuted in the Holocaust, and subsequent genocides, and to pay tribute to the survivors.
“It is important that we take time to remember and reflect on the events of the past, but that we also acknowledge that tragically, many people are still facing oppression and are forcibly being separated from family, friends and wider-society because of political or religious persecution and war.
“Now, it is more important than ever, that we unite to stop discrimination, hatred and the isolation of people in our society.
“With the current health crisis preventing an in-person ceremony from taking place, we have had to alter the way in which we honour Holocaust Memorial Day this year. I’m sure everyone will appreciate that due to the ongoing pandemic, an online virtual event is the safest way we can mark the occasion.
“I look forward to seeing people from all faiths and communities joining us for this commemorative service from the comfort of their homes.”
You can watch the service on this link:  Holocaust Memorial Day Vigil – Wednesday, 27th January 2021 at 5:30pm – Sheffield City Council Webcasting (public-i.tv)
The events locally are part of international Holocaust Memorial Day commemorations, details of which can be found here: https://www.hmd.org.uk/

Public Transport. Latest information from SYPTE.

Apologies for the length of this post, but it contains a lot of useful information and links to the latest information from South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICE REDUCTIONS in response to Covid-19 crisis – from Sunday 17 January
I am writing to advise you of changes to public transport services in South Yorkshire in response following the introduction of the latest National Lockdown.
Passenger numbers continue to fall and are now between 20% and 25% of pre-COVID levels, and operators have been approached by DfT to reduce service levels to more appropriately reflect current demand and reduce the call on financial support that is required.
Following discussions with operators the following changes will be taking place.
What changes are being made to bus, tram, tram train, and train services in South Yorkshire?
Due to the current situation, operators have proposed a reduced service in response to falling passenger numbers and staff shortages due to Covid-19. Through collaboration with partners, it is hoped these changes will help to stabilise the network and ensure that customers are kept up to date with accurate information.
A summary of changes for each mode of transport is provided below:
Bus
Local bus services
A revised timetable, broadly similar to the one in operation in June last year, is being discussed with operators. The aim is to maintain network coverage with reduced service frequencies on routes. Timetables will be confirmed later this week and details circulated to stakeholders shortly. The majority of changes are planned to take effect from Sunday 24 January, although some minor changes are planned for Sunday 17 January.
All timetables will be available at www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges ahead of the changes taking place.
School Services
We are currently seeing higher than expected numbers of school journeys being made and as such are working with each school to understand what provision is required. In general terms dedicated services will continue to operate unless the school is closed or there is no requirement for public transport. In some cases, services may switch to ’open’ services to allow adult fare payers to use the service where this better reflects the number of journeys being made.
Up to date information is available on our website at https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/en-gb/journeyplanning/school-buses
Supertram
Supertram will be making some changes to its timetables with effect from Sunday 17 January. These changes will ensure continued service reliability.
From Sunday 17 January Supertram services will operate as follows:
Blue and Yellow routes will operate a 15-minute frequency throughout the daytime Monday to Saturday, with a 20-minute frequency early morning and 30-minute frequency from 7pm.
• Purple route will continue to operate at the current frequency, although some timings may be altered
• Sunday frequencies will be every 30 minutes on all routes.
• Tram Train services will continue to operate two services per hour.
• Start and end of service times will be unchanged across all routes on all days.
The latest information and up to date timetables are available at https://www.stagecoachbus.com/news/yorkshire/2020/june/st-current-timetables
Network provision will continue to be monitored to ensure provision matches demand as closely as possible. If you have any questions or require any further information, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Train
Train operators will be reducing the number of services operated to reflect the reduced passenger demand, with some changes coming into effect from Monday 18 January.
Further information and revised timetables can be found on the operators’ websites or at https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
What we want customers to do?
Do not use public transport if you or someone in your household is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 – a new continuous cough, loss of sense of taste or smell or a high temperature.
Stay at home, do not travel out of their local area and only travel if they need to for things like work, to meet caring responsibilities, for medical appointments or to buy essential goods and services.
With COVID-19 cases rising across the country, it is more important than ever for everyone to play their part so those who need to can travel safely. Please think and check before you travel and only use public transport if you have no alternative. Wear a face covering, keep your distance and wash or sanitise your hands before and after using public transport.
How is this being communicated to customers?
Operators are keeping customers up to date via their websites and social media channels.
Details regarding how and where public transport services are operating in South Yorkshire can be found at https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges/ via twitter at https://twitter.com/TSYalerts or by calling Traveline on 01709 515151.
How can you help?
Passengers are being urged to only use public transport if they have no alternative and check before they travel. It would be appreciated if you could please help by advising those who still need to travel by public transport to plan their journey ahead using the up to date timetables on operators’ websites or via www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges.
Please remind customers to keep a safe distance, wash or sanitise their hands frequently and use contactless payment or mobile tickets, where possible. Please inform customers that wearing a face covering on public transport, in stations and interchanges is mandatory. If they do not wear a face covering, they will be breaking the law and could be fined.
If a customer feels they are exempt they can download and print our exemption journey assistance card, available at travelsouthyorkshire.com/en-GB/LandingPage/Journey-Assistance-Cards, which they can show the driver or conductor to let them know. These will also be available on request from the customer service desks in our interchanges.

2020 – The Year That Never Was…..

As we enter the final few days of the year, it is hard not to think back to the dawn of a new decade and all the hopes, plans and aspirations that come with the New Year. I don’t think any of us could imagine how quickly the world would be turned upside down to deliver changes and heartache not experienced for over 75 years. So many people have suffered the loss of family and friends, difficult at the best of times but more so when isolation and lockdown denied the opportunity to be at the bedside of loved ones, frightened and in alien surroundings of visors, gowns, and gloves; to be denied the opportunity to be with family to offer comfort and support or share precious memories; and so many people unable to pay their respects and grieve with restrictions on funerals and gatherings.
There’s been cancelled holidays, festivals, events, sports; restrictions on meeting family and friends, and all travel curtailed except for essential journeys. Grandparents unable to see grandchildren, parents their children, partners forced apart and friends isolated. We emerged from the first lockdown, keen to rediscover our previous freedoms that we so easily took for granted – meeting friends, joining in team sports, eating out – but all in new and slightly uncomfortable environments. And then the infections started to increase, and restrictions returned, rising through the tiers, and culminating in a second national lockdown. Hopes were raised for families to meet up at Christmas and enjoy a respite from the restrictions, only to be dashed as the virus once again spread across communities. Even now, the days ahead are not clear with the shadow of rising infection rates and busy hospitals hanging heavily around us.
But throughout the year, beacons of light have been shining in the dark. Communities have been reborn, with volunteers stepping in to help near neighbours and those further afield. Support groups started up, looking after those shielding or on their own. Great stories of the little things being done that are making huge differences.
We’ve adapted and learnt new skills. Thousands working from home were considered the lucky ones, others not so lucky facing cuts to income or even loss of jobs. Prior to March, if you spoke of Zoom to anyone over 50, chances are they’d think off the Fat Larry’s Band hit of the 80’s rather than the video conferencing to which we’ve all become so adept. It’s not just businesses but families and friends using Zoom to keep in touch. Zooming has become so quickly accepted that the new standard Zoom meeting starts with the inevitable “Hello! Can you hear me or am I muted?” and saying goodbye becomes like the ending of an episode of The Walton’s!
The daily exercise became ever more important in relieving the tensions of staying at home, with discoveries of the wonders that lay within your neighbourhood. I live in Frecheville and for several years, residents have enjoyed the sight of a pair of Swans raising their young on the pond. This year, due to the lockdown, many more people have become aware of the swans and social media has been full of pictures of them, on and around the pond, even walking through the surrounding streets taking the eight cygnets for tour of the neighbourhood. Across the city, people passing in the streets or the fields have stopped to have a chat, obviously observing the new norm of social distancing. Neighbours are gathering for daily workouts on the traffic free roads, singers are entertaining with impromptu kerbside performances, fund raising has taken on local actions but with national support. Footpaths that seldom saw more than a dozen or so people walking across them in a week have become well-trodden routes linking newly discovered green and open spaces. Wildlife and nature have prospered with the reduction in traffic, air quality has improved, and we have all recognised that it’s possible to get about on foot or by bike. Deer spotted in the city centre, badgers and foxes more visible in the daylight, with bird song louder and sweeter in our back gardens: all signs of how nature has adapted to the change in circumstances.
And will we ever forget the way the whole country came together to thank the NHS and other key workers? That first night when we clapped and cheered just after sunset, the sky suddenly awash with fireworks! As the weeks progressed, the volume of clapping, whistles, cheers, horns and pan rattling increased, the sun appeared a little higher in the sky each week and the dwindling fireworks replaced with flocks of birds raised from their roosting by the sudden noise.
We are living through a period of our history that will be studied in schools for years to come, and there will no doubt be the questions raised by children in the future: “ Grandpa, what did you do during the Covid-19 lockdown?” Indeed, it is already become part of everyday life, raising questions among children. After the first few weeks in lockdown, my 5-year-old granddaughter asked her dad “Did you have a virus (lockdown) when you were little?”.
We’ve seen fundamental changes in all aspects of our lives and been presented with a chance to rethink what we do, raising questions around the when, the how and the where. It’s almost like someone has pressed the reset button and we are now in Life Version 2.0.
Sheffield has always been viewed as the country’s biggest village and we must make sure that our communities continue to enjoy the newfound feeling of belonging and identity developed over the last eight months. Neighbourhood groups that have grown up through necessity need to be helped to make that step change to formally constituted groups. Community spirt arising from helping with shopping or collecting prescriptions, from social calls to check on health and wellbeing, the daily exercise sessions, socially distanced VE street parties, Neighbourhood WhatsApp groups and quizzes – all have presented the opportunity for people to start talking to their neighbours and develop their community.
We, as a City, can stand proud of our achievements of the past and it has long been said that our resolve and determination has been forged in steel. Although local politicians across all parties will have differing views on how limited resources should be allocated, I am sure we are united in wanting the absolute best for Sheffield’s constituent communities. So, in this new world that we now find ourselves in, it is time to look to the future. Businesses will be changing how they do things, the council needs to review how we deliver services, we need to look at what we all want for our communities. We will not be forgiven if we waste this chance to build on the changes brought about through necessity – let us all get behind developing the absolute best opportunities for our communities!

Fireworks – concerns raised with government office.

In November, many residents raised concerns with Birley Ward Councillors about the unsupervised use of fireworks in areas around the ward. There were many incidents of distress caused to animals and extreme noise levels.  Councillors did take people’s concerns seriously and the Police intervened in a number of incidents after these had been reported to them. Councillors also raised the matter with Councillor Mark Jones (Cabinet Member for the environment, Streetscene and Climate Change) who took this forward on behalf of Sheffield City Council and contacted Government with the suggestion that legal noise levels should be reduced from 120 decibels to 90 decibels.

This is the response received.  As you will see, the government appears reluctant to change current legislation.

How should we let our new build council homes?

We would like your views on how we should let new council homes that are built across the city.
Our proposal includes making adjustments to our usual Allocations Policy, so we:
• Offer a percentage of all properties to people with a local connection
• Carry out affordability assessments on anyone offered a new build property
By doing this, we aim to:
• Improve access to social housing in local areas
• Help local people stay or return to the area and maintain links to employment, support or education
• Ensure the new communities are a successful place to live
• Promote sustainable tenancies
Please spare ten minutes to complete our online survey and let us know what you think.
Click Here for online survey

Free weekend parking across the city in run up to Christmas

Free parking across the city will be available every weekend in December in the run up to Christmas as we move into Tier 3 restrictions.

Sheffield City Council pay and display parking will be free to use on both Saturdays and Sundays in December to support local businesses recovering from the impact of the Covid-19 restrictions this year.

In previous years, free parking has been provided in the city centre on Sundays in the weeks before Christmas, but the initiative has been expanded this year to include Saturdays and to also benefit shoppers and businesses in local communities.

The usual Christmas celebrations including the Christmas light switch on have been held virtually this year due to Covid-19, and the Council has encouraged people to visit the lights in their own time safely.

Councillor Bob Johnson, Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability at Sheffield City Council, said:

“2020 has been a very difficult year for people in Sheffield and we know that a lot of businesses have struggled with severe restrictions on their trading. As our non-essential retail sector reopens, we want to show our support and give them a much-needed boost in the run up to Christmas. We have therefore extended our free parking offer to include Saturdays as well as Sundays, as well as offered it outside of the city centre for the first time ever.

“As we come into the festive season, we want to make it as easy as possible for people to really support their high street and buy local wherever they can. Sheffield’s businesses have shown great resilience in how they have adapted to the challenges of this year and we hope that this final push will make for a brighter 2021.”

Diane Jarvis, Sheffield BID Manager:

“This is a very welcome decision by the local authority and a material demonstration of support to our local business community. The recent lockdown has been very difficult so it’s crucial we now work together to help the local high street get the most out of the festive season by enhancing the shopper experience as much as we can. All our businesses are working hard to ensure their customers have a safe and pleasant experience as the city once again starts to reopen. Free parking is an added incentive to boost much needed footfall as we welcome people back safely to support our local shops and services.”

Sheffield’s Christmas ‘Make Yourself at Home’ campaign also kicks off this week, with lots of ideas for how to support Sheffield businesses this festive season.
See more information on the Welcome to Sheffield website here: http://www.welcometosheffield.co.uk/makeyourselfathome and look out for Visit Sheffield’s activity on social media. @VisitSheffield #SheffieldMakes.

More information on parking in Sheffield can be found at: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/parking.
The offer will include Council car parks and on-street parking and will apply on the 5-6 December, 12-13 December and 19-20 December 2020.

Parks car parking, with the exception of Hawksley Avenue at Hillsborough, and privately run car parks, are not included in the offer.

Those using the Council’s free parking spaces can simply park up and do not need to get a ticket from the parking machine.
Shoppers are reminded to stick to social distancing guidelines, regularly sanitise their hands and wear face coverings whilst shopping to help protect themselves and others.

South Yorkshire returns to Tier 3 restrictions from 2 December 2020 – impact on public transport

South Yorkshire returns to Tier 3 restrictions from 2 December 2020 – impact on public transport

As you will no doubt be aware from Wednesday 2 December, South Yorkshire will return to the Very High Local COVID Alert Level (Tier 3) after national restrictions end.

What does this mean for public transport services in South Yorkshire?

SYPTE are following Government advice to help control the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and ensuring South Yorkshire’s public transport network is still available for those people who need to travel to work or access education, as well as to venues and amenities that remain open across the region.

We are asking customers to aim to reduce the number of journeys they make and avoid travelling into or out of Tier 3 areas, think about how and when they travel, check for the latest travel updates and cycle or walk if they can.

The safety and wellbeing of public transport customers and staff is a priority and operators are following government guidance on social distancing on board their services. We are confident that these measures, combined with the enhanced cleaning procedures in place will continue to keep passengers and staff as safe as possible.

Currently, service levels are not expected to change, however, increases in COVID-19 cases may have an impact on operators’ resources as staff self-isolate or are absent due to illness. We will be working closely with operators to help manage and minimise any disruption this might cause.

What do we want customers to do?

Do not use public transport if you or someone in your household or support bubble is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 – a new continuous cough, loss of sense of taste or smell or a high temperature – or if they have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Try to avoid travelling, other than for things like work, education, to access youth services, to meet caring responsibilities, for medical appointments, to buy essential goods or services, or to exercise.

It is important for everyone to play their part so those who need to can travel safely. Please think and check before you travel and only use public transport if you have no alternative. Wear a face covering, keep your distance and wash or sanitise your hands before and after using public transport.

Travel information and advice

We are following Government advice to encourage people to help control the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) when using public transport, to travel safely to minimise their journeys, stay local, and walk or cycle if they can. If they need to use public transport consider if their journey is necessary before travelling, and to think about the times, routes and ways they can travel, so that everyone has more space to stay safe.

Due to social distancing, there is reduced space on transport services and customers may have to wait. We are asking them to please be patient and flexible when they travel, avoid peak times and consider others.

A face covering must be worn when using public transport, in stations and interchanges. This applies to all passengers aged 11 and above, including on dedicated school buses, unless they are exempt. Customers are advised to keep a safe distance, wash or sanitise their hands frequently and use contactless payment or buy their ticket in advance.

Those using public transport are being advised to check the latest advice before they travel.

Up to date information about what South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive and Operators are doing to keep customers and staff safe can be found at https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/coronavirus/

Travel disruption information can be found at https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/disruptions

The Traveline team are also available on weekdays between 7am and 7pm and at weekends between 8am and 6pm on 01709 515151 to answer customer queries.

Details regarding how and where public transport services are operating in South Yorkshire can be found at https://www.travelsouthyorkshire.com/servicechanges/ via twitter at https://twitter.com/TSYalerts or by calling Traveline on 01709 515151.

Some people do not have to wear a face covering for health, age or equality reasons. Further details can be found at gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-safer-travel-guidance-for-passengers#exemptions-face-coverings. If a customer feels they are exempt they can download and print our exemption journey assistance card, available at travelsouthyorkshire.com/en-GB/LandingPage/Journey-Assistance-Cards, which they can show the driver or conductor to let them know. These will also be available on request from the customer service desks in our interchanges.

Thank you

SYPTE

Update from Police for Birley Ward (for week ending 27 November 2020)

Anti-Social Behaviour (ASB): The team have dealt with 4 incidents in relation to nuisance neighbours across the area and one in relation to nuisance youths on White Lane.

Other: The team has arrested a male on suspicion of commercial burglaries in the Frecheville, Birley and Mosborough areas. He tried to hide under the floorboards of his address but showed up on camera with the use of some Dyno Rod employees working nearby putting their camera through the holes in the floor. He’s currently in custody and being processed. Hopefully charged today and remanded.