Sheffield Labour Council Slams Tory “Great Train Robbery”

Sheffield’s Labour Council has blasted the eye-watering rise in ticket prices, which comes in to force today.

Rail fares will go up by an average of 3.4%, the highest increase in five years. Ticket prices have already risen by 27% since 2010, twice the rate of wages

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport at Sheffield City Council said:

“This price rise is a total disgrace and will hit hard-working Sheffielders in their pockets hard. For the tens of thousands of Sheffield people who use the trains, this ‘Great Train Robbery’ is an awful way to start 2018.

“Our railways are being run by greedy fat cats on ever higher salaries, when they should be run as a public service, for the public good, with money re-invested in the public interest. Our railway system should be run for the benefit of the many, not to enrich a privileged few.”

“Fares have risen faster wages every year of this clueless government, but the Tories still have the cheek to say there isn’t money to electrify the Midland Mainline, even though it would boost growth by £450 million and help to rebalance our economy.”

“Privatisation has been a disaster for our railways, with higher fares, lower punctuality and a focus on short-term profit rather than long-term investment. Only Labour has the ambition and courage to deliver the railway the public deserves in 2018”

Irina Amelkina of Gleadless, Sheffield works in Nottingham and commutes every day. She said:

“It’s absolutely absurd rail fares are going up yet again. It’s completely unfair that shareholders and executives at the top are making so much whilst the rest of us are being squeezed and losing out. The railways should be nationalised. It’s really galling to have to pay just to see companies make even more money for slow and unreliable services”

The RMT general secretary, Mick Cash, said:

“While workers are struggling, the private train companies are raking it in As we enter the 25th anniversary of railway privatisation legislation, the need for public ownership of rail has never been more popular or necessary.”

HELP US HELP

Councillor Karen McGowan with Help Us Help volunteers

Councillor Karen McGowan joined volunteers to promote Help Us Help which is a collaboration between services who support those who find themselves homeless or begging. Many have complex needs and Sheffield services have the experience to address these issues. Councillor McGowan said “I am member of the Safer & Stronger Communities Scrutiny on Sheffield City Council and in November 2017 we had a report on Street Culture. I knew there was support in Sheffield but I was so impressed by the work the charities are doing and how they are all working together with Sheffield City Council. When I heard about the Help Us Help I just wanted to show my support by volunteering to promote the good work being done in partnership”. There is a website www.helpushelp.uk that has been designed to educate and help inform members of the public about:

• What support is available, housing, food, health etc
• Which charities operate in Sheffield
• What commissioned services are available
• How people can help, volunteering, donating items, financial donation to preferred charities
• Improving the help for people on the streets

The reasons behind this are that there are lots of myths about vulnerability in Sheffield, we want to raise awareness and to promote the great work of the locally based charities. You can help by:

1. Give time or donations to charities that provide support – research shows that giving money directly to people who beg can do more harm than good.
2. Have a chat with someone and encourage them to access support services.
3. Give food or a drink rather than money. Some local outlets run pay in advance schemes www.pendingcoffee.co.uk
4. Buy a Big Issue – vendors buy The Big Issue North and then sell it on to their customers. Vendors are working, not begging and need public support.

To find out more and to support Help Us Help see www.helpushelp.uk

Birley councillors join picket line of DWP strike for Eastern Avenue Job Centre

Birley councillors joined the picket line in support of DWP striking to save Eastern Avenue Job Centre.

The strike is in opposition to DWP’s decision to close the Eastern Avenue jobcentre. Closing the jobcentre will remove a vital public service from an already deprived area of Sheffield. It will also force the claimants who use the office, many of whom are disabled or have young children, to make a much longer journey to access vital services.

The campaign against the office closure is getting strong backing from Sheffield MPs and other local politicians as well as good media coverage. Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, has asked further questions in parliament to find out from the minister what assessment has been made of the effect of the proposed closure of the jobcentre on the roll-out of universal credit in Sheffield. These follow the numerous questions raised by Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, who has previously tried to press the minister to provide answers around the closure of the site. Meanwhile the leader of Sheffield City Council, Julie Dore, has written to the DWP to make clear her strong opposition to the closure.

Remember When… New Café Opened by Lord Mayor

On 30 August Birley Ward Councillors Denise Fox and Karen McGowan attended the opening of a new café in Birley Ward called Remember When… The café was opened by Councillor Anne Murphy. The café is based in a building within the Frecheville Cricket Club on Silkstone Road and everyone is welcome.

Ruth the owner is serving healthy food and sweet treats in a happy atmosphere, where everyone can be themselves without judgement, regardless of age, gender, race, culture, background or disability. Food is based around home cooked and locally sourced ingredients where possible.

Ruth’s aim is to provide ambiance, surroundings and activities to stimulate memories and conversation, particularly supporting those experiencing dementia.
Further details can be found at:

Website: www.rememberwhen.online
Facebook: Remember When Sheffield
Email: rememberwhensheffield@gmail.com
Tel: 07968784092

Happy 60th Anniversary to St John Fisher Primary School

St John Fisher School 60th

On Friday 23 June Birley Ward Councillors Denise Fox and Karen McGowan joined the Lord Mayor of Sheffield Councillor Anne Murphy to celebrate 60 years of St John Fisher Primary School. The event was very well supported by pupils and there parents. Councillor McGowan said “it was great fun seeing all the teachers dressed up in 60’s style clothing.” Councillor Denise Fox said “even the Headteacher joined in dressing up” he is in the middle with the bright patterned shirt.

Keeping Safe and Well in Birley

On Monday July 3rd, the three Local Councillors for the Birley Ward (Cllr Bryan Lodge, Cllr Denise Fox and Cllr Karen McGowan) will be spending time in the area to talk to local people about keeping safe and well and distributing free information packs for residents.

Over the last few month the councillors have been working with a range of partner organisations, including South Yorkshire Police, South Yorkshire Fire Service, Trading Standards, the Housing Service and local GP Practices.

On Monday July 3rd the councillors and partners will be at the following local Co-op Stores:

Between 10am and 12 noon – The Birley Moor Road Coop, S12 4WF
Between 2pm and 4pm – The White Lane Coop, S12 3GH

This is your chance to speak to your local councillors, and collect a free pack with information to help you stay safe and well please do come along and talk with them.

Books for Charnock Hall Primary School in Memory of George McDonald

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Birley Ward Labour Party made a £100 donation towards library books at Charnock Hall Primary School in memory of George McDonald a Labour Party member who died in January 2016. George was an active member of the Labour Party and was a governor at the school (including Chair) for over 40 years. The school organised a trip to Waterstone’s and the children had a great time choosing a lovely selection of books. George loved going to school and cooking with the children and well as listening to them read. The books purchased in memory of George were on healthy eating, baking and cookery books. George was also a member of the congregation at St Peters Church on White Lane so they also chose a lovely bible story book. Other books selected were on on politics suitable for children, a book about kings and queens and some lovely story books. We are sure George would approve!

Tree Planting on Fox Lane Recreation Ground

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Saturday 21 January at Fox Lane Recreation Ground, the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, Councillor Denise Fox put on her gloves and wellies to join her ward colleagues Councillor Karen McGowan and Bryan Lodge along with Councillor Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Sport and Leisure, forestry staff, members of Hollinsend Methodist Cricket Club and the community to plant over 150 trees.

In partnership with the Trees for Cities organisation, 7,500 trees will be planted in the south-east of the city. Trees being planted include a mix of native woodland species, including English Oak, Hazel, Field Maple, Spindle, Hawthorn and Blackthorn.

This tree planting will encourage wildlife and provide residents with opportunities to connect with nature. Sheffield is the greenest city in Britain where people can do a wide variety of outdoor activities such as walking, jogging and ride their bikes.

Birley Community Primary school children will also be involved in a separate planting session on Wednesday 25 January.

Birley ward councillors would like to thanks all the volunteers for their participation and the Community Forestry Manager at Sheffield City Council for organising the events.

Friends of Jaunty Park Bulb Planting

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On 28 November the newly formed Friends of Jaunty Park were joined by Birley and Richmond Ward Councillors, Sheffield Parks & Countryside staff and pupils from Gleadless Primary School to plant 2300 bulbs. Birley Ward Councillor Karen McGowan said "it is great to work with volunteers to make our communities a nicer and brighter place that everyone can enjoy". Bulbs were planted around the Frith Road Community Centre and the fruits of our labour will be seen in early spring next year. Richmond Ward Councillors Dianne Hurst and Mike Drabble said "the pupils from Gleadaless Primary school were outstanding, they worked hard in both the digging and planting and were a real credit to the school".

Birley Ward Labour Party Social Event

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On Tuesday 15 November the Birley Ward Labour Party held a social event. This was an an informal evening giving members (new and old) an opportunity to meet over a few drinks and a chat and yes the bar was open!!!. There was also nibbles and home made mince pies thanks to Pat Emmingham our Social Secretary. The invitation was open to family, friends and neighbours and a very pleasant evening was had by all. We were joined by the Lord Mayor of Sheffield our very own Birley Ward Councillor Denise Fox. One new member that had recently joined the ward attended and we had another person joined the Labour Party on the night.

Birley Ward support No to Grammar Schools Campaign

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

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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.