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.

Cllr Denise Fox as Sheffield’s new Lord Mayor

We would like to congratulate Councillor Denise Fox who is now Sheffield’s new Lord Mayor.

 

Denise is the 120th Lord Mayor of Sheffield, and the 17th female, and has been a loyal Labour Councillor for the Birley Ward since 2005.

 

Denise said ‘I will carry out my role as Lord Mayor the 1st citizen of Sheffield to the best of my ability, and I look forward to the year ahead’.

 

Congratulations Denise and good luck in your new role!

Mayor

Lord Mayors Civic Award for Dr Heatley

Civic Awards - 8 December 2015

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On Tuesday 8 December Birley Ward Councillors Karen McGowan and Denise Fox were proud to see Dr Heatley of Birley Health Centre being presented with the Sheffield Lord Mayors Civic Award for his contribution to the Ebola crisis. Councillor Karen McGowan said “Dr Heatley put his life on the line to help others and it was a real honour to nominate him for the award. His whole family were affected by his devotion to help others not only worrying about him whilst he was away but for the time he was in quaranteen on his return”. Well done Dr Heatley it’s a real honour to have such a dedicated professional in our community.

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.

Fashion Show

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This years Fashion Show will take place on Thursday 15th May at 6.30 for 7 p.m. at Club Baize, Beighton (in walking distance from Crystal Peaks). Tickets are £3.00 each and includes a free goodie bag and a bar is also available. The clothes are ex-chain store fashions at reduced prices and are for women and children. If you would like tickets please email either Karen.mcgowan@sheffield.gov.uk or Denise.fox@sheffield.gov.uk stating how many tickets you would like. Please feel free to pass the details to family and friends – the more the merrier.See more

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

Councillors Visit Rother Valley Church in Hackenthorpe

Cllr Bryan Lodge, Cllr Denise Fox, Chris Jeavons (Senior Pastor) and Cllr Karen McGowan outside Rother Valley Church on Spa View Road
Cllr Bryan Lodge, Cllr Denise Fox, Chris Jeavons (Senior Pastor) and Cllr Karen McGowan outside Rother Valley Church on Spa View Road

Birley Ward Cllrs Karen McGowan, Denise Fox and Bryan Lodge took up the invitation to visit the Rother Valley Church on Spa View Road in Hackenthorpe and see for themselves the various activities that take place there. Most people will be aware of the building but not necessarily the range of events that the church supports. In addition to the regular Sunday Worship, the church hosts Toddler Groups, ‘Messy Church’ -(activities for families), Youth events, Craft Days and Coffee mornings. The church also provides a Drop-In Centre with toasties and hot drinks. “It was an interesting visit where we really got a feel for how the church works within the community” commented Cllr Lodge. The invitation came from Chris Jeavons, Senior Pastor, who saw it as an opportunity to seek the Councillors views on their ambitions plans to become a focal point for the community.  “Chris explained their aspirations on providing a community cafe, along with improved facilities for children and young people” said Cllr Fox,”I was pleasantly surprised by what we heard”. The church has occupied the site for around 17 years and the range of facilities is surprising. Cllr McGowan said “I’ve been past the church so many times but have never been inside. It’s a lot bigger than it seems from the outside. Before we went into the building, Chris spoke of their plans to install a soft play area and I envisaged it to be of a medium size. Having seen inside, I think it’ll be big enough for adults to enjoy it, not just children!”.

Further information about the church and it’s activities can be found on their website:  www.rothervalleychurch.co.uk

Your Councillors are always happy to visit community groups, schools, churches, etc within the Birley ward. If you would like to visit you, please don’t hesitate to get in touch

20mph Zone For Charnock

Charnock 20mph zoneFormal consultation on the Charnock Estate 20mph zone begins this week with the distribution to all homes in the area of information about the proposals. Delivery will take place between the 15th – 17th May and asks for comments back to the council by 7th June. In addition to the proposed 20mph limit throughout the estate, measures to improve safety around the school are to be introduced with tougher controls on vehicles parking on the zig zag lines.

Look out for your copy of the leaflet coming through your door. If you have any comments or concerns, please feed these in to the consultation, through the details on the form.

Further information regarding 20mph zones can be found by clicking on the following link: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/SCC-Home/roads/works/schemes/new-20-mph-speed-limits

A Fair Deal For Sheffield

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There are just ten days left for you to add your signature to The People’s Petition for a Fair Deal For Sheffield. Signatures from the online petition will be collated with the thousands of signatures already collected.

On Tuesday May 14th a delegation of Sheffield’s political, faith and community leaders will take the Fair Deal for Sheffield campaign to London. The delegation, including the Bishop of Sheffield and Bishop of Hallam, will hand in the Fair Deal for Sheffield petition to the Prime Minister at Number 10 Downing Street.
The Fair Deal campaign was launched earlier in the year by Sheffield’s faith leaders, the voluntary and community sector, trade unions and local politicians to highlight the unfairness of the Government’s cuts on Sheffield, compared to wealthier areas which are receiving much lower reductions in funding. Thousands of Sheffielders have signed the petition to show their concern and anger about the Government’s unfair cuts, and to call on
the Government to give fair funding to Sheffield and South Yorkshire.

Cllr Julie Dore, who will lead the delegation, said:
“Sheffield has borne the brunt of this Government’s unfair cuts and I think local people believe it is wrong that Sheffield Council is receiving devastating cuts whilst some of the wealthiest areas of the country receive almost no cuts at all.
“I would like to thank everyone who has been involved and hopefully the strength of force behind the campaign which has included people from a wide range of sectors across the city will make the Government sit up and take notice of the impact that the cuts are having in Sheffield, when so far our concerns have fallen on deaf ears.”
Paul Blomfield MP, who raised the campaign in Parliament, said:
“Churches and mosques, community groups and trade unions, have come together with thousands of Sheffielders to raise their voice about the unfairness of the cuts on our city and on people’s lives. You only have to read some of the comments from those who signed the petition. Community services are closing, jobs are going and some of the most vulnerable people are facing real hardship. And it will get worse unless the Government listen to the people of Sheffield, change course and allocate funding fairly. It’s not right that parts of the country, far wealthier than Sheffield, are only seeing minor budget reductions. Unless there’s a change, Sheffield’s cuts will reach £200 per person by 2015 – over 5 times the amount taken away from wealthy areas like Windsor, Guildford, and Wokingham in the south of England.”

The Sheffield delegation who will travel to London to hand in the petition will
be:
Cllr Julie Dore – Leader, Sheffield City Council
The Rt Revd Steven Croft- the Anglican Bishop of Sheffield
The Rt Revd John Rawsthorne – the Catholic Bishop of Hallam
Abtisam Mohammed- Chair, Sheffield Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Network
Sue White – Chief Executive, Voluntary Action Sheffield
Mohammed Aslam – Chairman of the Madina Mosque
And they will be joined by Sheffield Members of Parliament at the hand-in.

The Fair Deal for Sheffield campaign was endorsed by Sheffield City Council at the Full Council meeting on March 1st and has also received the backing of a wide range of local organisations, charities, churches and individuals. Supporters include Voluntary Action Sheffield; the Third Sector Assembly; Sheffield LINK; Church Army; Sheffield Wildlife Trust; Sheffield University Students Union; Sheffield Hallam University Students Union; Yorkshire and the Humber TUC; the trade unions Unite, Unison and the GMB; and the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright.

For more information, visit the Fair Deal For Sheffield Website

http://afairdealforsheffield.com

Nick Clegg and Lib Dems deliberate attempt to mislead the Sheffield public.

There’ve been so many stories in the media recently regarding the Council’s reserves that you’d think that Mr Clegg and his Lib Dem party in Sheffield would have checked their facts before launching in to their pathetic claims that Sheffield is sitting on huge reserves that could be used to protect front line services. In an open letter, Nick claims that Sheffield has £167m reserves, a figure he has taken from the Council’s ‘statement of accounts’ that has a line labelled ‘useable reserves’. What he conveniently failed to say was that many of these are earmarked to cover committed expenditure, some as the result of national legislation.  For example, it includes £26 million that we are looking after for, and belonging to, Sheffield’s schools; £25 million that can only be spent on council housing; and, £57 million that is committed to our ‘capital programme’ – the really big projects that span a number of years like rebuilding schools, new road schemes, major building repairs and so on. Government rules are very clear that we cannot spend this money on services. Other committed reserves for major capital projects, such as ‘Streetsahead’ of around £48million leave a true ‘useable reserves’ figure of around £11million. Now we could, in theory, use this money to support services, but would that be wise? To put this in context, when Sheffield was devastated by flooding a few years ago, the council spent over £7million that wasn’t recoverable from government compensation schemes; recent bad winters have seen an additional spend of over £2millon to support measures across the council. Our reserves are in fact equivalent to a household that spends £20,000 per year and keeps just £170 in case of emergencies. It makes sense to keep some cash back ‘just in case’.

Leader of the Lib Dems in Sheffield, Cllr Shaffaq Mohammed, seems equally inclines to mislead the public as he too has indicated that he would use reserves to support next year’s budget. Is this a case of misrepresentation of the facts, or an attempt to mislead the public? Or maybe it’s more an indication of just how little Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems in Sheffield understand about economic and accounting procedures. Time for Nick and Shaffaq to apologise, but I wouldn’t hold your breath.