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”.
Councillor Karen McGowan joined members of Friends of Frecheville Park & Pond to dig over an area of land ready for planting in early Spring next year. Councillor McGowan said “although it was a cold day we soon warmed up! The area dug over is next to the war memorial and will look really nice next Spring when the flowers are in bloom. Thank you to Leon and Mike for all their hard work and thank you to the member Friends of Frecheville Park & Pond who volunteer to maintain the area on behalf of the local community they do a great job”.
At the last Birley Ward meeting the hot topic was the NHS. Praise was given to local MP Clive Betts for his concern over the increasingly dangerous state of the National Health Service., and for his work on promoting the issues so far.
However, we feel this issue needs a greater awareness amongst members of the public, with local member Ken extremely passionate about the cuts that are both currently occurring, and planned for future – and the need to prevent them now to preserve the NHS as we know it.
If you would like to get involved with the debate, or have any other issues you’d like to raise then please contact the Birley Ward Labour Party online, or any of our Councillors; Bryan, Denise and Karen. Alternatively everyone is welcome to attend the next meeting, to be held on Tuesday 20th October at 7.30pm.
If you want to talk about both local and national politics, get updates from your local councillors, or join your local Birley Ward Labour Party, you can attend our next meeting, this Tuesday (15th September).
The debates will be around the leadership election and the NHS – Come along and get involved!
The meeting will be held at Frecheville library on Smalldale Road, starting at 7.30pm.
If you want to talk about both local and national politics, get updates from your local councillors, or join your local Birley Ward Labour Party, you can attend our next meeting, this Tuesday (21st July).
The meeting will be held at Frecheville library on Smalldale Road, starting at 7.30pm.
At the last Labour Party meeting plenty of new people attended, and one wrote the following article, called ‘Sweet 16’, the day after:
Last night I attended my first Labour party meeting at Birley Ward as new joiner this year.
It’s fair to say I have always been a Labour supporter, not just from the influence of my parents and family but from my last few years at school in the 80’s when I had the joy of expectation of getting a job taken from me by a Thatcher led Conservative government. What should have been the dawn of an adventure was ripped from me progressively through the early 80’s so by the time I left college in 1988 I seriously had to contemplate leaving Sheffield and my family just to get a job. Thankfully I did get a job in this city.
Since the Conservatives gained power again in May I have had those same fears I had as an 18 year old but for the many teenagers that are leaving school this year and over the next five years. This time I felt compelled to stand up and be counted as being against this government and all is stands for now and has done in the past. I feel certain that, as a leopard never changes it’s spots, the same benefit bashing, migrant lies and “Loadsa Money” culture will return with the North of Watford being left to bear the brunt of “deficit reducing measures” by this government.
Now more than ever we need a Labour party to stand up and fight for us and expose the lies we hear day in day out and we, as Labour party members, need to get behind the party.
My days of wearing my Communards badges may have gone but my sense of dread at the injustices that will surely come have not gone.
My point of writing all of this is to say I am glad I joined the party, I had a warm and friendly welcome where my views were asked and not scoffed at for not being as eloquent as some of the members plus I have the utmost respect for the work our Councillors do on our behalf and the volunteers who are with them all the way. I would urge anyone to join the Labour party and stand up and be counted.
And the title of my piece, Sweet 16? Well I am the 16th new member to join Birley Ward this year.
Local schools held a non-uniform day on Friday 17th April to raise money for Frecheville and Gleadless Libraries.
Charnock Hall Primary School raised £297 for the Gleadless library; Birley Community Primary School raised £461 for the Frecheville library, and Birley Community College raised a massive £850 that will be split amongst both libraries. Local Labour Councillors Denise, Bryan and Karen arranged for the cheques to be presented by the Lord Mayor Councillor Peter Rippon.
As most people will know, the libraries are now entirely volunteer run, and to date the staff at both Gleadless and Frecheville, have done a fantastic job in keeping these libraries open for the community to use. The council is doing what it can to support financially, for example paying the utility bills for the first 3 years of operation; however, the libraries are showing they can be financially viable which is important so services can be maintained once funding ceases.
Frecheville and Gleadless Libraries, as well as Labour Councillors Denise Fox, Karen McGowan and Bryan Lodge would like to thank all the pupils, parents and teachers of the schools for holding the event and donating all the money raised. Everyone seemed to have a great day, and it all helps keep library services in the community.
Continuing the Councillor interviews, today Councillor Karen McGowan has answered a few questions on her motivations for becoming a Councillor, what she’s most proud of achieving and how local people can get involved in community activities.
Growing up in the Birley area, Karen has been a Birley Ward Councillor since 2010. The first question we put to her was what motivated her to become a Councillor?
I’ve been a member of the Labour Party since the 1980’s and have been active within the community for as long as I can remember with things such as being a school governor at Birley Learning Community and a member of the Birley Health Centre Patient focus Group.
It was Councillor Bryan Lodge who suggested the idea of becoming a Councillor. I was hesitant at first, but after shadowing other Councillors I realised I had the passion to help make a positive difference, and if being a Councillor will help me in achieving this, then it was something I felt I should get involved in. Although if you had told me 10 years ago I’d be entering my 5th year as a Councillor I wouldn’t have believed you.
In you time as a Councillor, what have been your proudest moments?
Serving my local community is something I’m extremely proud of. I’m really passionate about making it the best place to live and work for everyone.
The development of the Hackenthorpe Skate Park was a great success. We listened to all the residents and came up with a solution that’s worked for everyone. It’s given the local youth something they wanted and has been extremely popular so far.
Working with local volunteers is also something I’m always proud of, especially recently with volunteers who are running both the Frecheville and Gleadless libraries. I’ve found it a real privilege to help support such dedicated and hardworking residents who are making our areas better.
Additionally, the amount of litter around is something I don’t like to see, and so in response to resident concerns, the Birley Blitz litter-picking events were organised and so far these have been brilliant. It’s been a great way to get others involved and really make an immediate difference to how our streets look and feel.
How do you fit all the council duties around your day-to-day job and family?
It is difficult to manage as I have responsibilities just like everyone else. As well as being a Councillor I have a husband and daughter and work for the University of Sheffield 3 days a week. I’m very lucky in that my family are hugely supportive, as it’s them that my Councillor duties impact upon most as I’m often out both evenings and weekends meeting residents, at council meetings, or getting involved in local events and activities.
How can members of the local community get involved?
They can let me, Bryan or Denise (fellow local Councillors) know of any issue that’s important to them in our community. Alternatively, they can get directly involved in any existing community group we have such as Friends of Charnock Recreation Ground, Friends of Frecheville Park & Pond, Friends of Dykes Vale Park, volunteering at Frecheville or Gleadless library or even by simply buying and donating books from the libraries. There are already a lot of local people making a huge difference to our local community and I’m always keen to help others the best I can.
And finally, what are your main hobbies outside of the council?
I enjoy swimming and also like to read whenever I can – I’m a big Nora Roberts fan.
Bill Carlin, a resident of Frecheville is seeking support to build a new war memorial in Frecheville. Below is information that Bill has supplied regarding his appeal.
Frecheville – Memorial Appeal
I have been a Frecheville Lad all my life, and having served in the RAF in the Second World War I was proud to have known many servicemen who returned from the onslaught of many battles and events between 1939 and 1945. It was an honour to have served along with them and many people from Frecheville at that time were rightly proud of the commitment they gave. Next year of course will see the 100th year of commemorations of the start of the War to End All Wars and in 2015 it will be 70 years since the end of the sequel to that event World War two. Every year at Armistice I have attended parades and the war time members are getting fewer and fewer.
Some of them of course did not return having paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Frecheville was no different and The People of Frecheville erected a small but meaningful monument to 19 young men who made the ultimate Sacrifice which is tucked away in the Frecheville Community Centre. Out of site to most but never the less erected with pride in order that they were not forgotten.
Sadly that small tribute to their bravery seems lost to those of us that still remember them, and I wonder if the people of Frecheville today know who they were, of the price they paid or the fact that there is a memorial. I would dearly love to erect another replacement monument outside the centre near the trees that still grow in their name leading to the centre.
I would love to make contact with the families of those 19 service men to let them know, they are not forgotten. When I have drummed up the support and the necessary permissions I would like to raise a small but perhaps more appropriate monument bearing their names at the back of the centre and overlooking Frecheville pond.
If you are a relative of these brave men shown below please get in touch with me and maybe when it is unveiled the families can be there to honour the promise made. Surmounted by a wreath, the monument reads:-
In Grateful and honoured memory of
The following men who gave their lives in the 2nd World War from the Frecheville Estate
J Ashford J C Harrold C Pratt
D H Beresford W A Harrison H Rastrick
R J Booker G R Hargate C A Sugden
L A Cook S Head G R Turner
P Cowlishaw R Knott E Vickers
C Haynes A E Letch S Watson A P Manning
At the going down of the sun, and in the morning
WE WILL REMEMBER THEM
Contact Bill Carline on 0114 2397796
Anyone wishing to make a donation towards the cost of the memorial can contact Bill.
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”.
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.