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.
Congratulations to Councillor Bryan Lodge, Denise Fox and Karen McGowan on their re-election to represent the Birley Ward.
Thursday 5th May is the chance for Sheffield residents to use their voice (well feet) to come out and vote in the city wide elections.
We hope the residents of Birley, Charnock, Frecheville and Hackenthorpe will support your local Labour party and help us continue to make our community better for all.
On Saturday 9th April the Birley Ward Councillors joined the PCS organised march in the city centre against the hundreds of jobs under threat in our city.
Thanks to all those who came to this evenings public discussion regarding a Birley Environmental Group.
Councillors Bryan Lodge, Karen McGowan and Denise Fox were all in attendance and answered questions from members of the public, before the evening turned into a group session on what current problems the community faces and how these can be addressed in future.
A second meeting will be held in January 2016. If you would like to get involved please keep checking our website for updates.
The National Care Home Open Day is a UK wide initiative that encourages care homes to open their doors to local communities. This annual event is growing in popularity with thousands of care homes now taking part.
The aim is to show people what excellent care homes are all about, and as part of this year’s event, Cotleigh Residential Care Home invited Councillors Karen McGowan and Bryan Lodge, along with MP Clive Betts to represent Birley Ward and celebrate all the good work the care home has been doing.
The event was organised by former Cotleigh volunteer Natasha Wilson and included a garden party, getting the residents involved in dancing to live music, and was also attended by members of Radio Sheffield. After a great day Karen McGowan said “We really value the work that these carers do for our ever growing elderly population – where would we be without them!”
Saturday 21st March saw the latest Birley Blitz litter picking event take place around Birley Spa Primary School. Organised by the Birley Ward Councillors, the open space outside the school was tidied with the help of several volunteers.
At the event Councillor Karen McGowan said “we are very grateful to both the Sheffield City Council Parks & Countryside and Sheffield Youth Justice Service for supporting all of these events, we definitely couldn’t do it without them”.
This Birley Blitz tied in with the ‘Spring into Action’ and ‘Help Clean up your Community events’ which are national initiatives aimed at helping improve local areas.
Afterwards, Councillor Denise Fox commented, “when we first looked at the area we didn’t know where to start but the difference when we’d finished was impressive, thank you to everyone for helping out”.
Councillor Bryan Lodge added that carpets, a flat screen TV, kids bike, shelving, and car parts were just some of the items removed “It amazed me as there’s no way of getting a vehicle near so people have been carrying this stuff to fly tip it. It took two people to carry the TV so someone must have seen them!”.
Check back on our website, or follow us on twitter for information on future events. Everyone is always welcome to come along and get involved!
Photography by Peter Wolstenholme
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.
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.