Keeping Safe & Well In Birley

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On Monday July 3rd, the Birley Ward Councillors (Cllr Bryan Lodge, Cllr Denise Fox and Cllr Karen McGowan) did a morning outside the Co-op on Frecheville with partnerships from Trading Standards, Housing Services, Community Support Workers and Sheffield City Councils Locality Support Officer. Together they handed out free Community Information packs and talked to local people about keeping safe and well.

In the afternoon they had a stall inside the Co-op on White Lane and repeated the activity. Councillor Karen McGowan said “the people we spoke to really appreciated the information they were receiving and thought it was a good idea. I would like to thank our partner organisations for joining with us and supporting this initiative”.

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.

Tree Planting on Fox Lane Recreation Ground

tree planting

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.

Thursday 5th May is Voting Day

Thursday 5th May is the chance for Sheffield residents to use their voice (well feet) to come out and vote in the city wide elections.

 

We hope the residents of Birley, Charnock, Frecheville and Hackenthorpe will support your local Labour party and help us continue to make our community better for all.

Birley Environmental Group – First meeting a success!

Environmental - Birley

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.

Birley Ward Labour Party celebrates National Care Home Open Day

 

 

 

The National Care Home Open Day is a UK wide initiative that encourages care homes to open their doors to local communities. This annual event is growing in popularity with thousands of care homes now taking part.

 

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The aim is to show people what excellent care homes are all about, and as part of this year’s event, Cotleigh Residential Care Home invited Councillors Karen McGowan and Bryan Lodge, along with MP Clive Betts to represent Birley Ward and celebrate all the good work the care home has been doing.

The event was organised by former Cotleigh volunteer Natasha Wilson and included a garden party, getting the residents involved in dancing to live music, and was also attended by members of Radio Sheffield. After a great day Karen McGowan said “We really value the work that these carers do for our ever growing elderly population – where would we be without them!”

Birley Blitz Litter Picking Event near to Birley Spa Primary School

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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!

 

Community comes together to tidy Local Park

Litter pick (2)

Photography by Peter Wolstenholme

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.

Frecheville Trees of Remembrance

A poignat and moving service to re dedicate the Trees of Remembrance on Heathfield Road , Frecheville was attended by over a 100 people last Saturday (15/3/14) including veterans, cadets and members of the local community. Nineteen trees were planted in memory of the nineteen Frecheville servicemen who gave their lives during the Second World War and there used to be a small plaque at the base of each tree but these disappeared many years ago. Cllr Bryan Lodge has been investigating some form of replacement plaque for some time and is pleased to have now secured funding to do this. With the support of his fellow Birley Councillors, Cllrs Karen McGowan and Denise Fox, funding has been identified to produce and site an interpretation board close to the trees to explain why the trees were planted.  It is also hoped to replace three trees in due course as there are currently only sixteen trees remaining.“There’s a whole generation that’s grown up without any knowledge of the significance of the trees and now is an appropriate time to redress this. I remember the Royal British Legion organised a parade to St Cyprian’s Church and the laying of wreaths afterwards at the trees on Remembrance Sunday each year and I used to take part as a Scout, along with members of the Boys Brigade, Guides and Brownies, and many members of the local community.   Sadly the parades ceased some years ago as membership dwindled within the Royal British Legion.  I’m extremely pleased that we have secured the funding and have worked with officers of the Council and the local Veteran’s Association on the wording. It was great to see so many people there including ex servicemen and women, Cadets and pupils from Birley Community College”.

Cllr Fox, Lodge and McGowan with local resident and veteran Bill Carlin

This installation of the interpretation board also ties in with the proposals of local resident and veteran Bill Carlin, seen in the photo with Cllrs McGowan, Fox and Lodge,  for a new war memorial to be built within the boundaries of the Frecheville Park and Pond. “When we were looking at getting the board installed, we became aware of Bill’s aspiration and felt that this complemented his wish. It’s fitting that everyone passing by will now be aware of the significance of the trees, maybe calling to mind the sacrifice shown by local families”.Bill is well on the way to raise the funding needed for the new war memorial and it is hoped that work will enable the new memorial to be officially unveiled in the near future.

Hackenthorpe Tenants and Community Association- a Clairification

Please see below a combined statement from the Birley Ward Councillors, Beighton Ward Councillors and Clive Betts MP providing in response to an article published in The Star.

In a recent Viewpoint published in ‘The Star’,  concerns were expressed around the suspension of the Hackenthorpe Tenants and Community Association (HTACA). The piece finished by making an inference that local councillors from Beighton and Birley wards, plus Clive Betts MP, appear to be disinterested due to there being no elections this year. Nothing could be further from the truth. The councillors and MP have been working with the association for many years but have been more closely involved recently as the problems surrounding the TACA’s operation have unfolded.

For clarity, a number of facts regarding the association need to be understood:  HTACA, covering a vast area that spans both Beighton and Birley Wards, has been in a state of turmoil for a number of years. Over two years ago, following changes to the committee and officers of the association, an Independent Auditor was asked to conduct a review of the association’s previous year’s accounts and identified some discrepancies that required further investigation. This highlighted additional areas of concern including items of expenditure of the association, the commissioning and awarding of works conducted in the gardens of the association’s office, and around individual expense claims. Further instances of fraud were uncovered and police proceedings followed. After a period in which the committee and officers tried to stabilise and rebuild the TACA, the Chair, Secretary, Treasurer and some other committee members took the decision to resign. They cited problems within the committee, expressing concern that some committee members were making it difficult to conduct the functions and operation of the association. They effectively closed the association, returning the keys of the TACA premises and transferring the balance of the accounts to Sheffield Homes to hold in trust. Due to the difficulties the association had experienced, and a number of outstanding issues that had still to be resolved, the Local Area Board of Sheffield Homes (now Council Housing Service) concluded that a full and frank investigation in to the association was the best way to resolve the issues and plot a way forward. This course of action received the backing and support of the local councillors, Clive Betts MP, the Cabinet Member for Homes and Neighbourhoods and his Cabinet Assistant. Consequently, a panel made up of independent tenants that include the former Chair of Sheffield Homes, plus Cllr Tony Damns, Cabinet Assistant, and the Council Housing Service Area Manager, is currently conducting the investigation. As this complex investigation is still ongoing, and until the investigation is completed, the association remains suspended and the Council Housing Service holds tenant’s levies.

This is a difficult time for the TACA and everyone involved in trying to resolve the matter. Whilst we recognise the frustration experienced by the ongoing suspension of the TACA, we are disappointed with a piece that attempts to paint a picture of disinterest and apathy.  We are united in our desire to ensure that a properly constituted and well-run organisation emerges from this process; an organisation that is fit for purpose and is focused on its members.

In the meantime, tenants and residents across the Hackenthorpe, Birley, Frecheville and Scowerdons estates continue to receive support and assistance from their elected councillors and MP through regular surgeries or by contacting them directly.

Cllr Helen Mirfin-Boukouris, Cllr Ian Saunders, Cllr Chris Rosling-Joseph
Members for Beighton ward

Cllr Karen Mcgowan, Cllr Denise Fox, Cllr Bryan Lodge
Members for Birley ward

Clive Betts MP
Sheffield South East