Thanks to all those who came to this evenings public discussion regarding a Birley Environmental Group.
Councillors Bryan Lodge, Karen McGowan and Denise Fox were all in attendance and answered questions from members of the public, before the evening turned into a group session on what current problems the community faces and how these can be addressed in future.
A second meeting will be held in January 2016. If you would like to get involved please keep checking our website for updates.
Continuing the Birley Ward Labour interviews, the second part of our conversation with Councillor Denise Fox is below:
Denise, what do you see as the main role of a Councillor?
It all starts with serving local residents. As a Councillor I represent every member of the community and also sit in full council meetings, debating issues that are important to all of Sheffield. I also feel its important to help people with issues they feel are significant, and help people understand the political process better.
What do you like most about Sheffield?
I love Sheffield. I think we have everything a city needs, from great education, theatres, football, cinemas and shops, and to top it all off we are surrounded by lovely countryside!
How do you fit the Council duties around your day job and family?
You need to have the support of your family, colleagues and friends. Being a Councillor never stops, and so understanding from those around you is key. I like to think I balance the different responsibilities well, and sometimes even combine them by bringing my grandchildren along to the Birley Blitz litter picking events!
Saturday 21st March saw the latest Birley Blitz litter picking event take place around Birley Spa Primary School. Organised by the Birley Ward Councillors, the open space outside the school was tidied with the help of several volunteers.
At the event Councillor Karen McGowan said “we are very grateful to both the Sheffield City Council Parks & Countryside and Sheffield Youth Justice Service for supporting all of these events, we definitely couldn’t do it without them”.
This Birley Blitz tied in with the ‘Spring into Action’ and ‘Help Clean up your Community events’ which are national initiatives aimed at helping improve local areas.
Afterwards, Councillor Denise Fox commented, “when we first looked at the area we didn’t know where to start but the difference when we’d finished was impressive, thank you to everyone for helping out”.
Councillor Bryan Lodge added that carpets, a flat screen TV, kids bike, shelving, and car parts were just some of the items removed “It amazed me as there’s no way of getting a vehicle near so people have been carrying this stuff to fly tip it. It took two people to carry the TV so someone must have seen them!”.
Check back on our website, or follow us on twitter for information on future events. Everyone is always welcome to come along and get involved!
On Saturday 21st March the next Birley Blitz litter picking event will be taking place around the Birley Spa area. Volunteers led by your local Birley Ward Councillors will be meeting at 10am outside Birley Spa Primary School.
This will be the 7th Birley Blitz litter picking event to take place and all volunteers are welcome. The event will finish around 12pm and all equipment will be provided. If you’d like to get involved please contact Councillors Denise, Bryan or Karen, or meet us on the day.
What: Birley Blitz litter picking event
When: Saturday 21st March at 10am
Where: Meeting at Birley Spa Primary School
Who: You can join in with other local volunteers led by your local Councillors
How: Contact Councillors Denise, Bryan and Karen for more information, or simply turn up on the day – all equipment will be provided
On Saturday afternoon a group of over thirty local volunteers led by the Birley Ward Labour Party removed nearly sixty bags of litter from Jaunty Park. The fifth time a ‘Birley Blitz’ event has brought the community together to make a real impact in Sheffield.
The volunteers included local labour councillors Karen McGowan, Bryan Lodge and Denise Fox, as well councillors Mike Drabble and Lynn Rooney from Arbourthorne and Richmond wards. The East Youth Forum, Sheffield Youth Justice Service, Labour Party members, local residents and Labour Parliamentary Candidate for Sheffield Heeley Louise Haigh rounded off the volunteers. All taking time out of their day to spend over two hours collecting litter and helping make the park a cleaner and safer place for everyone to enjoy.
The grey clouds did little to put off any of the volunteers according to Councillor Bryan Fox who said it was fantastic to see so many people come together, and that it was really encouraging to see the amount of litter actually being dropped in the area was reducing compared to the amount removed during the last Birley Blitz litter pick. Evidencing the positive differences the Birley Ward Labour Party is having in Jaunty Park and across the Birley area.
Local resident Janet Betts pulled on a pair of gloves and grabbed a litter picker to help out, afterwards with a smile on her face she said the event was ‘a great atmosphere with everyone digging in together to make a real difference to the area’.
A special thanks is also extended to Sheffield Parks and Countryside for providing equipment and removing the litter filled black sacks, to Peter Wolstenholme for taking photographs of the hard working volunteers, and finally to Sheffield Housing Services for providing a free of charge room for everyone to enjoy a much deserved tea and cake afterwards.
This is your invitation to join the third Birley Blitz event on Thursday 31 October.
Your local Councillors have joined together with the East Youth Forum, Sheffield Youth Justice Service and Sheffield City Council Parks and Countryside Department to undertake a litter pick around the Hackenthorpe Skate Park area. We hope that litter picking events become a regular feature around the Birley Ward. Please come and join us everyone is welcome.
We will be meeting at 1.30 p.m. at Hackenthorpe Skate Park. From 2.30- 3 p.m. light refreshments will be available in Rother Valley Church on Spa View Road. From 3-5 p.m. your local Labour Councillors along with members of the East Youth Forum will be on a walkabout around the area to talk to residents if they have any issues.
Your Birley Ward Labour Councillors have organised a second Birley Blitz Litter Pick event to take place on Saturday 14 September. The area to be cleared of litter is the open space between the Eastglade and Scowerdons estates. They will be joined on the day by the Youth Justice Service, members of the East Youth Forum and local residents as well as the local MP Clive Betts. They will be meeting at Scowerdons Community Centre at 10 a.m. Gloves, Litter pickers, sacks and wheel barrows etc have been provided by Sheffield City Council Parks and Countryside. The event will end at 1 p.m. and light refreshments will be available. Everyone is welcome so please come and join us.
As part of the preparations for the successful Birley Blitz litter-picking event, Birley ward Councillors Bryan Lodge and Karen McGowan held a roving surgery on roads surrounding Jaunty Park. Unlike normal sugeries, where constituents come to the councillors, in a roving surgery the councillors walk round the area, assessing potential problems and talking to residents. This time they had the support of local PCSO Roger Shalome, who was able to give advice to residents on issues concerned with crime and public order.
The roving surgery was very successful, with the team able to meet many residents and deal with the issues that concern them. Further, they noticed an overgrown footpath which they were able to bring to the attention of Amey, with the result that it is now cleared and suitable for public use once more!
Councillor Karen McGowan said: ‘It was good to get out and meet local residents and talk to them about how we can all improve our community. We certainly had many useful discussions today about what can be done.’
Councillor Bryan Lodge added: ‘These roving surgeries are essential as they allow us to get out and see people where they live. Residents of other parts of Birley Ward should look out for us as we’ll be doing more walkabouts very soon. You don’t just see us at election time!’
The first Birley Blitz event took place on Thursday 25 July. In response to complaints of litter in Jaunty Park by local residents your local Labour Councillors have joined together with local residents, the Youth Justice Service, staff from Parks and Country side, Sheffield Futures and the East Youth Forum. Also helping out on the day were Richmond Ward Councillor Lynn Rooney and Clive Betts, Labour MP for South East Sheffield.
Councillor Karen McGowan said “a big thank you to all those who took part, they worked extremely hard and we managed to collect over 50 bags as well as some other more unusual items such as a headboard, a carpet, a leather jacket to name but a few.”
Staff and young people from the Sheffield Youth Justice Service participated in the Birley Blitz – ‘keeping our communities clean and green’. Armed with gloves, brushes, bags, barrows and litter picks this was an opportunity for young people working with the Youth Justice Service to make a restorative contribution to the local area whilst also developing links with local residents and increasing their awareness of environmental issues. A lavish spread was provided and prepared by other Youth Justice staff and young people which was a welcome sight at lunch time for hot and hungry volunteers.
Sheffield Futures East Youth Forum joined in the Birley Blitz to clean up Jaunty Park as litter is one of their priorities this year. Ryan Pickersgill is taking the lead in this area on behalf of the East Youth Forum and said “we are here representing all young people of the East to keep the area clean and tidy. I hope in the future that people will use bins and also come and join us in future clean ups”
Councillor Bryan Lodge said “It was a great turn out for this first event and I hope people will join us for the next Birley Blitz event which will be on Saturday 14 September 2013. We will be meeting at Scowerdons Community Centre at 10 a.m. the event will end at 1 p.m. and everyone is welcome”.