Last Saturday saw a very successful Birley Federation Fun Day: a large number of community organisations and local businesses joined youth groups to create a memorable event which was well organised by the staff at Birley Community College and Birley Primary. There was even some sunshine!
Birley Ward Labour Party councillors and members were in attendance, with a stall that included swingball to win soft toys, spot the ball, a chance to win £50 and the opportunity to buy some beautiful hanging baskets created by our very own green-fingered maestro George MacDonald.
Councillors Karen McGowan and Brian Lodge, along with the other members of Birley Ward Labour Party present, would like to thank the staff of both schools as well as everyone else involved in the organisation of what was a great day for the whole community.
Birley Councillors Denise Fox, Karen McGowan and Bryan Lodge have expressed dismay over proposals for the future of bus services in the Base Green estate. Consultation is underway on the proposed Sheffield Bus Partnership and the future network to serve the city. Under these proposals, Service 44 that currently runs from the city centre to Crystal Peaks via Base Green and Birley, is facing big changes that will effectively cut off Base Green residents in the evenings. Buses will run in the day time only and will terminate at Birley, no longer providing a link to Crystal Peaks. It’s suggested that the tram will provide an adequate service in the evenings. “There is an aged population in Base Green and this bus provides a link to Crystal Peaks, Manor Top and the City Centre, especially in the evenings” says Cllr Denise Fox “The idea that elderly residents should use the tram in the evenings sounds good until you realise that it’s a steep uphill climb to the nearest tram stops”.
Many people have already contacted their local councillors as they fear it’s already agreed that the bus is to go. ” I’d hope that this can be looked at again by officers. On paper, I can understand the proposals look workable, but they don’t take account of the geography of the area and what it takes to get to the tram “said Cllr McGowan, adding “there is a fear that Base Green is becoming the forgotten estate. In recent years, the Post Office has gone and the Area Housing Office closed. On both occasions, residents were told that alternative provision was available a short bus journey away. Now we hear the bus service is to be reduced”
The bus also serves the Birley estate, again with a large number of elderly residents and there are fears that they too will face difficulties in the evenings as the alternative also involves a climb.
“I’ve been given a petition of over 900 signatures organised by the Base Green Tenants and Residents Association and they’ve asked that this be considered as part of the consultation ‘” commented Cllr Bryan Lodge “I’d like to invite the officers to visit the area with local councillors and walk the routes they are suggesting elderly residents take. I think they will be surprised at what they see”
Despite the wind and the rain, last Friday (July 6th) Councillors Bryan Lodge and Karen McGowan completed a roving surgery in the streets around Thornbridge Drive.
This was the first of many such surgeries planned, designed to highlight local issues as well as those affecting residents across the ward. A couple of days previously, leaflets were dropped through letterboxes asking anyone wishing to talk to a councillor to put the leaflet up in their window: when performing the surgery, the councillors would then call.
Many topics were raised with Councillors Lodge and McGowan, most popular being the state of roadside trees and incosiderate/illegal parking on Thornbridge Avenue at the start and end of the school day. The councillors were able to assure residents that these issues would be addressed, in particular pointing to the comprehensive new £2 billion Highways Maintenance Contact, in which all roads and pavements in Sheffield will be renewed, and seventy-five percent of trees will be replanted.
Further roving surgeries are planned soon, for different parts of Birley Ward. These surgeries will be announced here first, so make sure you check back here often for news. If you’d like a roving surgery in your area, please contact one of the councillors using the information on their respective pages. If enough people contact us, they’ll be knocking on your door sooner than you think!
Councillor Karen McGowan was proud to present the Award of Young Artist of the Year at the South East Oscars on Friday 7th July at the Town Hall. The event was to celebrate the hardwork and determination of young people in the South East of Sheffield. Councillor McGowan said “I feel it is really important to celebrate the achievements of our young people as they are our future and it was really impressive to see what fantastic talent we have got in the South East of the city”. Councillor McGowan also had the pleasure of meeting Daniel Smith who is a pupil at Birley Community College and is a Member of the Youth Parliament.
Your Labour team are in the Thornbridge Drive area on Friday between 4pm – 5:30pm. We’d love to hear from you on issues in your area. Look out for Bryan, Denise and Karen who will be walking around the area. If you’ve had a leaflet through to advise of the walking surgery, please display in your window if you’d like us to call.
Further ‘walking’ surgeries will be taking place across the ward; look out for details that will be published on the website and through leaflets in the individual areas.
Birley Councillors Karen McGowan, Bryan Lodge and Denise Fox are calling for action to improve road safety around the Birley Campus. Parents are concerned about the safety of their children in crossing Thornbridge Drive to get to Birley Primary School on the campus and have asked their councillors for help to improve it. Inconsiderate parking in the area is making it very difficult for children to cross safely and the junction has been without a crossing patrol warden for some time. “This is a very busy road in the mornings as parents bring their children to the Birley Nursery, Birley Primary school and to the Birley Community College. The road is also a bus route and all these factors are combining to make it an extremely busy junction” said Cllr Karen McGowan. “I’ve met with an officer from the council’s Road Safety service and some of the parents on site recently and seen the problems first hand. It would be great to see a ‘Lollypop’ warden back on this junction and we’re working with the Council to try to recruit someone. We’d like to make the appeal through the Star for anyone interested in taking on the role, or if they know someone who might be interested, to please get in touch”. The Star’s campaign to improve road safety around schools highlighted parents concerns around the Birley Campus. Inconsiderate parking blocks junctions, narrows roads and reduces visibility, making it difficult for all pedestrians. “But it’s not just school children who are affected by this behaviour” added Cllr Bryan Lodge “all three councillors are regularly contacted by residents who find their drives blocked, verges churned up and generally inconvenienced at school start and finish times. The schools regularly remind parents about exercising care and consideration”. Previous measures that included the installation of calming measures and a one way system have made some improvements but the volume of traffic continues to generate concerns. Cllr Denise Fox commented “We are hopeful that the new entrance to the rebuilt Community College that is being taken off Birley Lane will ease some of the problems, and we’re asking that signs to warn motorists of the schools be erected on the surrounding roads. But the biggest problem remains that of parents and their parking. Birley isn’t unique in this respect and that’s why Karen, Bryan and I are happy to add our support to The Star’s campaign to improve road safety for all children across the city”.
Hackenthorpe Community Centre has a programme of regular events, with something for all members of the community. For details, please see the following flyer, which also includes contact details. Those wishing to download a full copy of the flyer – which includes an order form allowing application for any of the activities listed – may do so from the link at the bottom of this post.
Next week sees the return of South-East Sheffield CLP’s legendary Fashion Show fundraiser. Organised by Councillors Karen McGowan and Denise Fox, it’s a night of fashion fun that also allows attendees to purchase high-street fashion labels at rock-bottom prices. Interested? For tickets, please contact the organisers using details on the attached leaflet. But make sure you hurry… there are only a few tickets left!
Residents may be aware that a scheme had been put forward to improve pedestrian safety at the junction of the above roads. Consultation has taken place with local residents and schools close by and it was proposed that the scheme was implemented in the current year. Councillors Fox, McGowan and Lodge have continued to press the Highways service to ensure that this scheme does proceed.
The Labour Party’s decision on whom to nominate for South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner is imminent. Given the importance of this post, it is essential that the best candidate is put forward to contest the full election in November.
Birley Branch Labour Party is pleased to announce a number of endorsements for Kash Walayat OBE: Councillor Bryan Lodge, Councillor Karen McGowan, Councillor Denise Fox and membership secretary Mike Drabble are all convinced that Kash Walayat OBE is the right person for the job.
His skills, experience and connections with all sections of the community mean he is better placed than any other candidate to offer effective oversight of South Yorkshire Police in what will be a challenging time for our local force. In addition, Kash Walayat OBE has demonstrated his commitment to the post by giving up his highly paid civil service job to stand: something none of the other candidates can say!
So we urge all local Labour Party members to vote for Kash Walayat OBE for South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner. He’s a long-standing Labour member that has worked hard for the party in the past, and will work hard for the people of South Yorkshire in the future.
Congratulations to the Friends group on todays event. Since the group formed six years ago, what they have achieved is amazing. It was great to go along and join in the fun at the launch of the fitness equipment. Karen, Denise and Bryan were joined by former Birley councillor Mike Pye at today’s event when Johnny Nelson and Richard Caborn carried out a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the park.
Thank you to everyone who voted yesterday and returned Bryan Lodge as Councillor for Birley ward. We had a fantastic result, echoing the success of Labour across Sheffield where we gained nine seats. “I’d like to thank everyone for their support and thanks to the whole team across Birley. Special thanks to Pat for keeping us fed and watered yesterday. With Karen and Denise, we have a great team that is committed to providing a strong voice for the Birley ward”. If you’d like to join us and continue to provide strong representation for our area, please get in touch.