Friends of Charnock Recreation Ground

Former Birley Cllr Mike Pye joins Cllrs Karen McGowan, Denise Fox and Bryan Lodge at the Friends fun day

Congratulations to the Friends group on todays event. Since the group formed six years ago, what they have achieved is amazing. It was great to go along and join in the fun at the launch of the fitness equipment. Karen, Denise and Bryan were joined by former Birley councillor Mike Pye at today’s event when Johnny Nelson and Richard Caborn carried out a ceremonial ribbon cutting at the park.

A Huge Thank You!

The Birley Team - Cllrs Denise Fox, Bryan Lodge, Karen McGowan

Thank you to everyone who voted yesterday and returned Bryan Lodge as Councillor for Birley ward. We had a fantastic result, echoing the success of Labour across Sheffield where we gained nine seats. “I’d like to thank everyone for their support and thanks to the whole team across Birley. Special thanks to Pat for keeping us fed and watered yesterday. With Karen and Denise, we have a great team that is committed to providing a strong voice for the Birley ward”. If you’d like to join us and continue to provide strong representation for our area, please get in touch.

Vote Bryan Lodge for Councillor for Birley Ward on Thursday May 3rd!

The elections for Sheffield Council are being held this Thursday, May 3rd. We urge all residents of Birley Ward to vote for Bryan Lodge: he is the only candidate that can effectively fight for the people of our ward.

As Deputy Leader of Sheffield Council, Bryan has a record of standing up to the coalition government, and of doing his best to oppose the punitive cuts inflicted on cities like ours by the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. Remember, a vote for either of them is a vote for the parties that are slashing funding in councils in the north of England, while leaving Liberal Democrat and Conservative council budgets in the south virtually untouched! It’s clear that Liberal Democrats and Conservatives in Sheffield can’t be trusted to stand up for us: they’re too busy helping their coalition cronies.

So if you oppose the cuts, vote for The Labour Party’s Bryan Lodge on Thursday May 3rd, and help him continue to fight for your interests.

Bryan Lodge, Karen McGowan and Denise Fox Greet Labour Deputy Leader

Bryan Lodge With Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman
Bryan Lodge With Labour Deputy Leader Harriet Harman

Bryan Lodge, Karen McGowan and Denise Fox met Harriet Harman today. She came to speak outside the City Hall and show her support to the Sheffield Labour Candidates.

The Labour’s Deputy Leader Harriet Harman took to those very same steps to launch a new Labour Party document called “Caught Yellow Handed”. It exposes the Lib Dems campaign in these local elections for what it is – hypocritical and the same old Lib Dems – saying one thing, doing another”. She said

“Lib Dem literature across the country is conspicuously lacking any trace of Nick Clegg on it. In Sheffield some of their leaflets don’t even have any Lib Dem logos on! Don’t let them get away with it send a clear message to the Lib Dems and help Labour win on 3 May”.

It was raining but the prople of Sheffield stood and listened to what she had to say. It was a moral boost to the candidates and she welcomed by the Council Leader Julie Dore.

Clive Betts MP also came and listened to Harriet.

Streets Ahead Highways Maintenance

The city council announced the award of a £2.2billion contract to Amey recently to manage the city’s highways maintenance for the next 25 years. This means that every road, and footpath will be treated to deliver a renewed and smoother surface, new or improved energy efficient street lighting provided on every road, work done on highways trees to reduce ‘nuisance’, street furniture such as railings, signs, etc renewed and all traffic signals updated. “I launched the council’s bid for this scheme when I first became a cabinet member back in 2006” saidBryan. “I’ve been closely involved in this scheme throughout it’s development so I’m really pleased by the recent announcement that work will start later in the summer. The next five and a half years will see major work across the city so we’ll be working with Amey to ensure disruption is kept to a minimum and everyone is made aware of when their area will see the work start.”

Proposed 20MPH Zone for Charnock

For many years, residents across Charnock have been campaigning for speed reductions across the area. Following changes to legislation introduced under the previous Labour government, such schemes can now be introduced at a much lower cost, without the need for humps and speed cushions. Cllr Bryan Lodge and his fellow Labour ward councillors, Karen McGowan and Denise Fox, have been pressing for a twenty zone and have recently secured funding for a feasibility study to be conducted.  “This is the first stage in preparing for a scheme to be introduced and we’re hopeful that we can persuade the South East Community Assembly to choose Charnock as its scheme for 2012/13. Traffic will always be an issue across every residential area but any steps we can take to slow it down has got to be a benefit for everyone who lives in the area”. SaidBryan

Crime and Anti Social Behaviour

In the budget for 2011, the previous Lib Dem council cut the funding for Police Community Support Officers (PCSO’s), a move that was widely criticised by residents across the City. Labour restored funding for 10 PCSO’s when they came to power last May and we are already seeing the benefit of these additional officers. “PCSO’s work closely with the community on issues such as road safety around schools and tackling ASB. They support the work of the local Tenants and Residents Association and ‘Friends of’ groups in our parks” commented Cllr Bryan Lodge, adding ”People feel safer when they see a uniformed presence on the streets; the Tory / Lib Dem government are hell bent on cutting police numbers so I’m glad that we can fund additional PCSO’s in Sheffield.  Once again, Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems are propping up the Tories in their savage cuts that will only add to peoples fear of crime”.

Lib Dem Double Standards?

Back in October 2011, repairs on the Town Hall clock were heavily criticised by Lib Dems. The repairs were deemed necessary under health and safety grounds and admittedly, the cost of repairs at approximately £19,000 were high. But clearly people walking below the clock would be at risk after harsh weather had taken its toll on the clock faces.

Wind forward a few months and we have Lib Dem Cllr Diane Stimley encouraging the council to spend £7000 to clean a statue of Queen Victoria in Endcliffe Park!. As Lib Dem leader Cllr Mohammed said at the time of the clock repair “It seems like an eyewatering amount of money to spend at a time when vital front line services are feeling the squeeze.” Will he be saying that to Cllr Stimley? I doubt it.

Dropped Kerb Woes

Cllr Karen McGowan, Mr Doug Hancock, Cllr Denise Fox & Cllr Bryan Lodge

 Birley ward Councillors Bryan Lodge, Denise Fox and Karen McGowan recently met up with Basegreen resident Mr Doug Hancock after he told them about problems facing mobility scooter users. “I’m grateful for the dropped kerbs that have been put in but they sometimes get blocked by parked cars” said Doug. “I’m not blaming drivers as they probably don’t realise that they are blocking them, but I wondered if there was anything that could be done to make it more obvious”. Bryan, Denise and Karen have arranged for a white ‘H’ marking to be installed to keep the area clear. Commenting on the news, Cllr Bryan Lodge said “As Doug points out, drivers don’t always realise the problem. I suppose until you’re faced with these types of problems, like many local residents who use mobility scooters, you don’t fully appreciate how hard it can be to get up the kerb. I tried to lift Doug’s scooter and it’s not that easy. I’m sure that drivers will respect the markings when they are put in and help to make life a little easier for everyone”

Linda McAvan MEP’s Spring Report

My Spring Report which covers my work in Yorkshire and the Humber and in the European Parliament over the past few months is now online.

You can view it at: Linda McAvan MEP’s Spring Report (report in .pdf format)

As the extent of two health scandals have become clear in recent months, both emanating in France but affecting people across Europe, much of my committee work has focussed on revising health regulations at European level. Many of you will be aware of the breast implant scandal, but an equally shocking failure of regulation was exposed after it was discovered a French drug company had left a drug widely believed to have harmful side effects on the market for several years, causing the deaths of hundreds, possibly thousands of people. As the spokesperson for the Socialists and Democrats group on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee, closing these regulatory loopholes and improving coordination between national and European regulators has been at the forefront of my work recently.

These startling cases also show how interconnected we are with other European countries. With stronger Europe-wide legislation and closer working relationships between national institutions these health scares could have been prevented or at least better contained.

In contrast to the progress we are making in reforming European health regulations, there still appears no obvious end to the Eurozone crisis. With right-wing governments across Europe determined to savagely slash public spending and with unemployment as high as 20% in some European countries, economic recovery in the short term seems unlikely to a lot of people. Across Europe millions are out of work, pensions and wages are being cut, yet still there is little to no growth, particularly in the UK. Labour and our sister parties are campaigning for more investment in jobs to kickstart the economy and drive Europe forward. Austerity is not working.

As we know, there is an alternative to cuts and it is up to us as Labour Party members to effectively communicate our vision out of economic trouble to the rest of the country. We have a perfect opportunity to make our voices heard at the forthcoming local elections.

Best of luck to all candidates and I look forward to seeing many of you out on the campaign trail.

If you are a Twitter user then please feel free to follow me on

Best wishes,
Linda McAvan
Member of the European Parliament for Yorkshire and the Humber

Tory / Lib Dem Government To Cut Helicopter

Labour Members of South Yorkshire Police Authority are fighting the Coalition Governments proposals to get rid of South Yorkshire’s helicopter. 

The original proposals from the National Police Air Service (NPAS) meant the existing South Yorkshire based helicopter would have been absorbed into the national structure, and that the county would have received air cover from bases in West Yorkshire, Humberside and Derbyshire, with significantly longer response times for most of the area. The Police Authority voted to keep the helicopter, only to be told by the government that this wouldn’t be allowed. “It’s great for the Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems to bang on about support for the Localism agenda that David Cameron and the Tories are rolling out, but when it comes down to an issue that local people really want, our own dedicated police helicopter, our views don’t count” said Cllr Bryan Lodge “Why isn’t Mr Clegg standing up for the people of Sheffield and South Yorkshire against this government? It seems localism is OK, but only where it suits the Coalition Government!”


Easter Egg Hunt at Dyke Vale Road

Your local Labour Councillors support the Living with Nature programme at Dyke Vale Road and were joined today by over 75 people who took part in the Easter Egg Hunt. Councillor Karen McGowan said “it’s great to see so many young people and their families supporting this event and enjoying the area. Thank you to all those staff involved in organising today’s event”.

Living with Nature is a three year programme, funded by the Big Lottery, focussing on improvements to sites on Sheffield Homes land, which are all currently identified as Play Areas (although many have had old equipment removed in recent years). This is a partnership which involves Wildlife Trust for Sheffield & Rotherham, Sheffield City Council, the University of Sheffield, and Sheffield Homes.

The greenspace at the junction between Dyke Vale Road and Carr Forge Road is a designated play space, managed by Sheffield Homes. It is being re-developed to provide better and more exciting play opportunities, high quality public greenspace for all and improvements for wildlife and nature.

The aims of the programme are to improve the play value of the sites, and to increase their biodiversity and value to wildlife. This will be done through an intensive process of community engagement with local tenants and residents as well as existing community groups, to create a sense of local ownership of the completed facilities; increase social cohesion in the areas concerned; and to encourage people to be more involved in terms of the ongoing upkeep and positive use of their local community greenspace. For details of the site see