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”.
The Streets Ahead Scheme in Sheffield is the city wide highways maintenance project currently upgrading the condition of the city’s roads, pavements, street lights, bridges and other items on or around the streets.
A feedback survey has been re-launched with the aim of asking residents what they think about the upgrades that have been carried out across the city so far.
This survey is open until the 7th October with the results available in late Autumn.
All the team at the Streets Ahead are interested in any feedback you want to share.
You can complete the survey in less than 10 minutes at the following link:
Please see below information from Northern Powergrid regarding the launch of a new phone number:
On 6 September a new national phone number ‘105’ will be launched by electricity network operators for customers to call should they need to report or get information about a power cut in their area.
We want to work with our stakeholders to help build a strong awareness of this important new service.
We’d be grateful in the weeks prior to the official launch if you could consider any opportunities, and where possible prepare, to help support the communication of 105 so together we can maximise awareness from 6 September and beyond.
Key points about this service are:
Dialling 105 will put customers through to the electricity network operator who manages the cables, power lines and substations that deliver electricity into homes and businesses in their area.
105 is just one of the ways that customers will be able to contact their electricity network operator. They can also contact them by phone or via their website, and most network operators, including Northern Powergrid, are on social media too.
105 is a free service for people in England, Scotland and Wales.
Customers can call 105 no matter who they choose to buy electricity from.
Customers can also call 105 if they spot damage to electricity power lines and substations that could put anyone in danger. If there’s a serious immediate risk, they should call the emergency services too.
An awareness campaign will run from September through to next spring and will include PR, media advertising, social media and coordinated messaging through partner channels.
Hopefully you can help us to raise awareness of this important new national 105 service through your channels, once the service is launched. We can provide you with the following materials for use from 6 September:
Copy for newsletters, websites and magazines
Tips on what to do in a power cut
Comment from our spokespeople
Images which can be used on your social media pages
An animated film explaining 105
We can also work with you to co-create bespoke content specifically for your channels, where appropriate.
We will also want to continue to work with partners to raise awareness of 105 in the longer-term.
If you have any questions or would like any further information, do let us know. Also, if you’re able to support awareness raising of 105, please can you let us know when, where and how you can help by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
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!
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.
Over the coming weeks your Birley Ward Labour Party will be conducting interviews with local Councillors so that we can get to know them better and find out what motivates them to get involved with community issues.
First, Denise Fox was interviewed.
Denise, why did you first want to become a Councillor?
I am passionate about helping community projects succeed. I also want to make things fairer for residents and help reduce inequality. Starting as a Trade Union representative, becoming a Councillor was the natural extension of the work I was already doing.
Jan Wilson, the leader of the Sheffield Council at the time, first approached me about standing; she said ‘we need strong women in our party’, words which I took as a compliment and that have stuck with me ever since.
What’s been your best moment as a Councillor?
When the new houses on Silkstone Road were completed. I believe in quality housing for everyone. It was a struggle to get that far but was really worth it when the work was done and local residents could move in.
I also love getting local school children involved with playing and singing music, I’m part of a music hub board which organises a concert at City Hall every year, I love watching them and it always brings a tear to my eye!
Do you have any hobbies?
Spending time with my family is a always a favourite pastime of mine, especially my grandchildren. I have also recently discovered running, which I’m really enjoying. It all started last year when I decided to enter the Great Yorkshire 10k Race for a local charity.
Having never run before I quickly realised I only had 10 weeks to get myself ready, which meant learning everything from scratch. It was hard work but I’m very proud to have completed it – and I’m now hooked and love running!
Part two of the interview with Denise will follow where we discuss her views on Sheffield, the Labour Party and balancing family life with serving the community.