Birley councillors joined the picket line in support of DWP striking to save Eastern Avenue Job Centre.
The strike is in opposition to DWP’s decision to close the Eastern Avenue jobcentre. Closing the jobcentre will remove a vital public service from an already deprived area of Sheffield. It will also force the claimants who use the office, many of whom are disabled or have young children, to make a much longer journey to access vital services.
The campaign against the office closure is getting strong backing from Sheffield MPs and other local politicians as well as good media coverage. Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, has asked further questions in parliament to find out from the minister what assessment has been made of the effect of the proposed closure of the jobcentre on the roll-out of universal credit in Sheffield. These follow the numerous questions raised by Louise Haigh, MP for Sheffield Heeley, who has previously tried to press the minister to provide answers around the closure of the site. Meanwhile the leader of Sheffield City Council, Julie Dore, has written to the DWP to make clear her strong opposition to the closure.
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”.
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.
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.
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 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.firstname.lastname@example.org or Denise.email@example.com stating how many tickets you would like. Please feel free to pass the details to family and friends – the more the merrier.See more
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
Formal 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.
Local Birley Ward Councillor Karen McGowan joined Sheffield’s Labour Leader Julie Dore and other Labour Councillors to raise money for a statue for our Women of Steel. They took part in The Star Walk held at Hillsborough Park on 28 April 2013.
This special group of Sheffield women worked exceptionally hard in the steel factories and played a vital role in the war effort during both World Wars. By the end of the war, instead of being celebrated and congratulated, the women were simply dismissed from the factories as the men returned from war to work. The Women of Steel returned back to their normal lives of running homes and raising children and for years their outstanding effort went unrecognised, until now…
Councillor Karen McGowan said “These women are now in their late 80s, 90s and even 100s, and it was great that some of them were able to join us in Hillsborough Park. We had a very enjoyable morning and the weather stayed on our side as well. Thank you to all those who took part, also The Star newspaper and Sheffield City Council for their support”
If you want to donate or to get involved please visit https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/planning-and-city-development/urban-design–conservation/public-art/women-of-steel/fundraising.html
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.
A local resident raised concerns about the litter and general debris that is accumulating in the car park of the former Frecheville pub. He contacted his local councillors as he felt that the problem was likely to encourage further fly tipping if it wasn’t dealt with. “There is a piece of legislation, the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act, that gives local authorities powers to ensure land owners tackle litter and fly tipping on their land if it is becoming a blight” commented Cllr Lodge “I raised this with the SE Community Assembly team who passed this site on to Tommy Rush, the assembly’s Environment Protection Officer. I’m pleased that Tommy has made contact with the current owners who have pledged to conduct a clean up”. The clean up is anticipated to be done around the 18th December.
If you are aware of similar problems then please pass them on to your local councillors.
Cllr Bryan Lodge was pleased recently when he received a telephone call from a very grateful resident of Charnock who wished to thank her Birley Councillors for helping resolve her heating problem. In early October, the lady’s fire was reported as not working and a repair ordered. When the engineer called, it was realised that the fire was obsolete and beyond repair. The fire was removed and a large, empty hole was left behind. Due to a communications problem, it appears that a replacement fire wasn’t ordered and inspite of a number of calls, the resident was no further forward as we progressed in to November. In desperation, the lady contacted her councillors. “We managed to quickly establish the facts and arrange for a new fire and surround to be installed. An email confirmation from Sheffield Home was received that said the job had been completed and so we closed the contact. It was really pleasing to get a call from our constituent to thank us for everything we had done to resolve her problem” said Cllr Bryan Lodge “I generally think that people contact councillors when they’ve exhausted the usual options and seem to be getting nowhere so it’s always a great feeling when we get a good result. This was made all the better when this lady took the time to call and pass on her thanks.”
Your councillors are always happy to assist if you are experiencing problems with council services. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch, our details can be found on the links to the left.