The Women of Steel Statue Appeal

women of steelLocal 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–conservation/public-art/women-of-steel/fundraising.html

Public event on Streets Ahead Improvement works in Hackenthorpe & Frecheville

Amey are holding public roadshow events to publicise the Streets Ahead improvement works to be carried out in the Hackenthorpe and Frecheville area starting this year.

The roadshow event will take place on the 16th April at the Hackenthorpe Community Centre on Four Wells Drive from 2.30-6.30pm. It is a drop-in session so residents and businesses can attend at any time between 2.30 and 6.30pm.

B74The roadshow dates will shortly be put on the Streets Ahead web pages on the Sheffield Council website at the link below

April 1st – No Joke!

This week has seen a raft of changes that, taken together, represent the the biggest contraction in the welfare state since its foundations in the 1940s.
Millions of families – the majority being working households on low incomes – are seeing significant real reductions in their incomes. This government is committed to further real cuts in income for years to come. Bankers get bonuses, ordinary working families get battered.
The speed with which the government is moving to introduce Universal Credit is bringing considerable risks. The government had promised that the scheme was to be piloted in four areas starting this month. Now it has suddenly announced that three of those areas won’t start until July. It’s difficult to see how any lessons can be learned for a scheme to be implemented in October.
There is a very real risk that the new computer systems and software for Universal Credit will simply not be fit for purpose and, at best, there will be insufficient time to sort out any glitches. Further, the transition to Universal Credit almost certainly leaves the system more vulnerable to fraud.
Direct payment of rent to tenants rather than to landlords is almost certain to increase rent arrears, as families under financial pressure will find it difficult to resist the temptation to use their rent cash as an alternative to a pay-day loan. I don’t know of any council – of any political persuasion – or housing association which hasn’t increased its provision for rent arrears.
It is also inevitable that there will be huge confusion from the separation of housing and council tax benefits. I think people massively under-estimate the number of households and families who come in to and out of eligibility for various benefits during the course of any year. This is only going to increase as the number of temporary and short-term jobs increases.
It’s difficult to believe other than that there will be a very big rise this Autumn in the number of families who will be contacting MPs, councillors and advice bureaux wanting urgent assistance with their benefit problems.
No, April 1st is no joke this year.

Hackenthorpe Skate Park

imageIt was great to see the youths of all ages playing on the skate park today. There were up to 20 youths coming and going. It was great to see them admiring the skills of their peers and showing me what they had learnt and being courteous to each other.

They asked me if we could extend some of the equipment or add to it as it was used so much and it was the only skate park in the area. They said they were so pleased they did not have to travel so far any more and they could walk to this one.

One of the fears from the residents was that there would be more litter. I noticed the bin full and that the youths were cleaning up after themselves, when I commented on this one said “we clean up if there is any litter on the floor when we arrive. We want to keep it all nice and tidy.” I felt a great sense of pride hearing this as I realised they had taken ownership akready.

Councillor Karen Mcgowan said “I have never been so proud of anything, so many kids are using it and even my nephew has been down and they all say how great it is.”