New Council year, still working for Sheffield

May 26, 2010

After the recent Elections I am very pleased to have been re-elected as Leader of the Council and give my absolute commitment that the Council will work to ensure that there is a fair deal for everybody in Sheffield.

Some the highlights that have happened recently include:

1.  Food Glorious Food

I am absolutely delighted that the Sheffield Food Festival is taking place from the 1st to 6th June.  This will be highlighting and showcasing the wonderful local food and drink that Sheffielders make every single day and we want every community to get involved.

Sheffield's Food Festival

Councillors Colin Ross and Gail Smith enjoy some delicious food at the launch of Sheffield's Food Festival in the Peace Gardens

2.  City for Everybody

I was very happy to speak at the International Day against Homophobia to celebrate the contribution that lesbian, gay and transsexual people make to our City.  It is important to point out that regardless of who you are in this City, first and foremost, we are Sheffielders and we will not tolerate prejudice and will work to ensure that everyone can achieve their full potential.

Presenting the bid document

3.  Let’s Create Something Amazing Together

I was really delighted to be involved in ensuring that the final bid for the UK City of Culture has  been handed in  and that Sheffield is now working with the local people to ensure that together we can create something amazing.  I know that the people of Sheffield have got great ideas and full of innovation and if you have an idea for the City of Culture, log on to www.sheffieldcityofculture.com and give your idea  – we want a thousand of them.

 4.  No Score Draw  

Celebrating about receiving the England World Cup Bid with local children in the Winter Garden.

Still involved in doing our best to help England  be selected as the host nation for the 2018 FIFA World Cup . 

Despite recent events, be absolutely assured that Sheffield and Sheffielders are working to bring World Cup football to England and I  was delighted to be able to be part of a national campaign to promote Sheffield and England’s bid in 2018.

Finally, I am committed to making sure that Sheffield is a place  where everyone matters and gets a fairer deal.  If you have any ideas or any suggestions then please don’t hesitate to contact me.


The great diversity, spirit and vibrancy of Sheffield

March 23, 2010

First of all I am sorry for not doing the blog, but I have been rushed off my feet – which you will be able to read about. Also to let you know with the forthcoming Elections, a period of what is known as Purdah is coming, which means that this will be the last blog I am able to do until after the Elections on May 6.

Some of the highlights since the last blog, which again shows off the great diversity, spirit and vibrancy of Sheffield.

Sheffield is looking cleaner than ever

I helped to launch the Spring Clean which is a 2 month festival of local community groups and people coming together for the annual spring clean. If you would like to help please visit our Big Spring Clean webpages.

Local Volunteers Helping with Sheffield Big Spring Clean 2010

I was involved in the Wicked Waste conference, which was encouraging school children on the theme of football to get involved in spring clean. Captain Blade and Ozzy Owl were there to help out.

Sheffield's Big Valentine Market

Showing Love for Local Business

I was able to attend the Big Valentine Market which was a celebration of local businesses. I am always impressed with the entrepreneurial spirit of Sheffield people and their determination to improve local jobs.

 

The Year of the Tiger

I was really delighted to be able to share with the local Chinese Community their celebrations to welcome in the year of the Tiger. Sheffield’s Chinese Community is growing and is an important part of the growth and future of the City.

Celebrating Chinese New Year in Sheffield 2010

Young People into Parliament

I was asked to announce the results of the Sheffield Youth Parliament. The astonishing thing was the number of people who voted, which shows that across the City young people are interested in politics, and do want to make sure that they have young people speaking up for them. They were delighted with the results and I hope that our young members of the Youth Parliament go on and shout up for Sheffield’s young people.

One Millionth Visitor – A Special Museum

I welcomed the one millionth visitor to the wonderful Western Park Museum. A great family museum that has been refurbished and is now a gem in Sheffield’s Museum’s crown.

Sheffield's Weston Park Museum

Crucible – A Royal Blessing

I was really delighted to be able to accompany Prince Edward to the launch of the new Crucible. It was a very relaxed time with Prince Edward, and I was really pleased that the Crucible was able to be reopened and launched. I know that Daniel and his team will allow the Theatre to go from success to success.

More Tea Vicar?

I was delighted to launch Fair Trade Fortnight with young people across Sheffield in the Winter Garden. This is a campaign to ensure that producers of goods get a fair price for the products they produce in developing countries. Sheffield is a Fair Trade City and it was great to help launch the fortnight.

Fairtrade Fortnight 2010

Snow Glorious Snow

I was on the TV, radio and newspapers to launch the great snow debate in Sheffield. We promised that once the snow had gone that we would have a debate, with the people of Sheffield, about how best to improve the snow clearing operation across Sheffield. Make sure you get involved by clicking on (insert link) and helping to improve how we can all keep Sheffield moving.

Run, run, run

I was able to help launch the Great Yorkshire Run. Some great names will be running it this year in September. I have also commited to running the event as well. It is a great family day out and really brings visitors into the city, and also local people are able to join in the fun and excitement.

Launching the Great Yorkshire Run 2010 in Sheffield

50 plus – Old People Having their say

 I was delighted to be able to speak to the 50 plus elders congress here in Sheffield. These people are elected by people of the same age, to represent them on a city wide level. Really usefully questions were asked, and I am really delighted that some of the issues that they raised we will be able to look at to help to improve services for those over 50 plus living in the city.

A sticky problem

As part of the Spring Clean event I was able to get involved with removing chewing gum from the City Centre. It is amazing how much this costs to tax payers, and therefore if we can just encourage people to put their gum in the bin it would save thousand of pounds a year and help keep the city looking more spic and span.

Clearing chewing gum in the city centre as part of Sheffield's Big Spring Clean 2010

Young People Give a Thumbs up to Local Playgrounds

I was delighted to attend Broadfield Road Park to celebrate with young people the fact that there has been a 15% increase in young people’s satisfaction of local parks and playgrounds this year. We are really trying our best to ensure that across the city every young person has a quality park and/or playground to go to.

Driving the Environmentally Friendly Way

I was able to go to Polestar – a huge printing works in Darnall – to celebrate with them their 5 stars that they have received as part of the Eco Star Scheme. This encourages businesses to run their vehicles more environmentally friendly, as well as helping them to save money. It a win, win. I was really pleased that Bedfords, who work with Polestar, got 5 stars for the work they have done.

Keep our Footbridge Open

I was delighted again to be shoulder to shoulder with the people of Sheffield in the name of keeping our Railway Station open and not having the footbridge, which the public have paid for, cut in two by ticket barriers being installed.

Roundabout

I was delighted to go to Roundabout which is a charity which helps teenagers who are homeless. I am really, really impressed by the work this charity does in trying to get young people back not just a home, but also employment and training so that they can have a better start in life.

As always, I am here if you need to contact me to ensure that Sheffield is a place where everyone matters.

Best wishes

Paul


Snow, Taxis and Sheffield Legends

February 10, 2010

The last couple of weeks have been really showcase for the diversity and brilliant spirit of Sheffield people.

Snow, Snow and more Snow 

I have been out to thank the people who have helped to keep Sheffield moving. Not just Council staff but also the sturdy and hardy volunteers of Sheffield, who have helped to look after others and keep Sheffield on the move.  It is really important that we now review the gritting situation and have a discussion with the people of Sheffield on how we can improve.

Me with one of Sheffield's gritting lorries - invaluable during the recent snow and icy weather

Listening to Sheffield

Great news that the people’s panel, which has helped steer the bids to Government for the Sustainable Communities Act, has been successful in getting all four schemes accepted : 

  • Sheffield taking over the post office franchise
  • Growing local food on derelict land
  • Skills and Apprenticeship Model without having to go through national hoops for Sheffield
  • Asylum Seekers whose asylum case has been processed being able to work and contribute to society.  

This is what happens when real people power takes over and local people have their say, not only does the Council listen, but it would appear the Government is listening as well.

Hail a Taxi

I was delighted to go to the Taxi Association driver’s annual meeting, on behalf of the Council, and help present some long service awards.  Many times taxis do a very good job quietly, and do not get the recognition they deserve.   I was therefore very happy to deliver a goodwill message from the City, as well as hand out the prizes to some of the taxi drivers.

Great Graduation

As Leader, I attended the graduation ceremony for students who have received brilliant education from the University of Sheffield, and celebrate in their success.   I was really proud of such a good University and also the students who will now become ambassadors for this wonderful City.

A True Legend  

I helped to unveil, with the Lord Mayor, the Walk of Fame plaque for Sean Bean.     A great man and a great ambassador for the City, very shy and unassuming, but he really has put Sheffield on the map.   I was really pleased that the people of Sheffield turned out to thank Sean for all he has done for the City, both Owls and Blades!

Food, Glorious Food

I met with organisations wishing to run the first ever Sheffield Food Festival.  Really exciting that the festival will be coming, and celebrating Sheffield’s food and drink in June of this year.   I’m really looking forward to the summer and experiencing with Sheffielders a wonderful festival.

Supporting Local Troops

The Lord Mayor and I attend the exercising the freedom of the City by the Local 38 Signal Regiment Volunteers Squadron within the City.   Really pleased that people of Sheffield turned up to thank them for the work they do, whether they are regular or a member of the TA.

 V & A Museum – Sheffield!

I was delighted that the partnership between Museum Sheffield and the Victoria and Albert Museum has been extended by another 5 years.  On behalf of the city, I was able to showcase Sheffield to the Director of the V & A Sir Mark Jones, and looking forward to the exhibits which start again in 2011, with the first of the history of couture with such designers as Dior.    It is marvellous to know that such an important Museum still rates Sheffield as a great international City to exhibit its important collections.

Keep the Cold at Bay

Free Insulation for Sheffielders - Promoting the scheme through the Sheffield Showcase

I was one of the people involved in a photo session to highlight the free insulation scheme which we have here within the City.  A delightful and funny photo opportunity which showed that you don’t have to be cold in Sheffield and that you live in private accommodation, there are ways in which we can help you not only to keep warm but to reduce your bills as well and help save the environment.    Further details (link to go in here and photo from Andy which was taken in the shop window)

As always the City Council and I are here to ensure that we listen and try to get things right for you first time so if you have any issues you would like me to be aware of please do not hesitate to contact me.  


We are Back!

February 4, 2010

Can I first of all apologise for not doing this Blog for a while – so here are the highlights of what I have been involved with as Leader of the Council over the last few weeks.

I went to BBC Sports Personality of the Year.  It was brilliant to show Sheffield Showcase to the world through the BBC as Sheffield hosted this prestigious event.   Those of you who saw would have seen a great event and Sheffield mentioned on many occasions.   The only sad bit of the evening was that our Jessica Ennis didn’t come first, but we were really pleased that she got third place, a great honour for Jessica.

I went to the Adoption Christmas party at Sheffield United.   It was great to see so many young people and their adopted parents having a great time in the City, and thanking them for the great work that they do.   It was a wonderful family event and very pleased to attend on behalf of the City Council.  

World Cup 2018

We did it! We celebrated great news for Sheffield in terms of us now being chosen as a Candidate Host City for the 2018 World Cup as part of England’s bid.  Sad it wasn’t both grounds that were chosen, but I am sure we will all get behind the bid now to get England and Sheffield as part of the World Cup in 2018.   Well done to all concerned and lets keep shouting up for Sheffield.

Midland Mainland

As Leader of the Council, I was down in London to make the case in Westminster for why Midland Mainline should be improved.   I was able to speak to the Transport Minister and other influential people to highlight the fact that Midland Mainline should be improved and electrified as it would bring great economic and environmental benefits to Sheffield and the local region.

Keeping Sheffield moving

Could I thank local Sheffielders for doing their bit to try and keep Sheffield moving, in the really bad snow and ice which we have had.  I went out with the local gritters to see the work they do and see at first hand what improvements could be made.   While Sheffield City Council has not been able to grit every road and pavement, the staff did their best to keep Sheffield moving, and some great work was done by the gritting team who worked round the clock since mid-December.

New Entrepreneurs

I was delighted to go to the DLA Offices to present certificates to some young people who are taking part in the enterprise scheme across Sheffield, called ‘Big’.   These are school teams who were given £25 and have started a business within school to give them entrepreneurial skills.   It was great to see so many good ideas from Sheffield young people.  We were blown away by the main prize donated by DLA – a five day trip to their Hong Kong office for the winning teams, this is something for them all to aspire to.

Sustainable Communities Act

Sheffield ideas have been taken up.   I chaired the Sustainable Communities Panel and the ideas that Sheffield people had come up with have now been presented to Government to change national laws to try to get some new initiatives here in Sheffield.   They include:

  1. Green Spaces which have been derelict for over 6 months being taken over locally so that people can have areas to grow local food.
  2. That Sheffield gets control of Post Offices and is able to provide Post Offices based on local need.
  3. That Asylum Seekers who are waiting for their Asylum application to be processed can work and contribute to the local economy.
  4. For skills we are able to get our own approach to providing apprentiships and skills courses based on Sheffield’s needs rather than through a range of other organisations.

Great ideas and we wait to see what happens.

Dr Ennis 

I was able to attend, on behalf of the City Council, the graduation ceremony at the University of Sheffield.   It was great to see so many young people who have been educated in Sheffield and have got that “made in sheffield” stamp in them from their degree, getting their certificates at the University.   Also Dr Jessica Ennis was getting her own doctorate, and I was glad to see a Sheffield girl who was educated at Sheffield University being recognised by the City.

Volunteering

I was able to launch the Volunteering Strategy at the Circle on Rockingham Lane.    Seeing so many people who have given their time and effort free to help others was very inspiring.  It is really good that we have now launched  a strategy in the City to try and get more people to volunteer, and I would encourage anybody who wishes to join to click onto the link and join up to Volunteering within Sheffield. (link to be inserted)

Keeping Services Running Despite the Snow

I was able to go down to the Love Street day centre to visit some young people with learning disabilities who had kept their day centre open during the harsh weather.  I listened to some of the stories of hopes and aspirations of people of this centre and great to know that they really enjoy their work and contribute so much to the City.

As always, the Council is here to try and make Sheffield a better place for everyone and if you have any comments or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Shouting Up for Sheffield

December 16, 2009

This week was another case of showing that Sheffield is both an international city and one that cares about local people.

CHENGDU – SISTER CITY

I met with people from Chengdu, which is the 17th largest economy in China, to discuss Sheffield arranging a sister city agreement.  It is agreed that this is the right way forward and subsequently will help jobs, the economy, culture and leisure activities by sharing and learning from both cities.

HEALTHIER AND MORE INDEPENDENT SHEFFIELD

With other councillors, I met the Primary Care Trust which provides health care to discuss ways in which we can make Sheffielders even healthier.  We discussed ways of working together closely and ensuring that we try to promote ways of preventing people becoming unhealthy and keeping them independent.

PROMOTING SHEFFIELD TO INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS

I held a meeting with the universities and the member of the Malaysian community within Sheffield.  We talked about possibly working with the Trade Union in Malaysia on building student accommodation for Malaysian students within Sheffield.  This would obviously help the universities promote themselves as well as ensuring that Sheffield keeps its special relationship with international students.

2018 – BANGING THE DRUM FOR SHEFFIELD

We were able to push our chests out and beat the drum for Sheffield last week by delivering the 2018 bid document to Wembley.  Sheffield wants to be part of the England bid for the FIFA 2018 World Cup.  It was an absolutely brilliant ‘Team Sheffield’ event with the band and everyone from 10 year old youngsters, right through to ex-footballers.  We really were able to show off Sheffield at its best and say that we could be a great city to host the 2018 World Cup.


Preparing for Sheffield’s Future

November 23, 2009

Last week was a great week for making sure that both, in terms of our environment as well young people ,we are preparing for Sheffield’s future.

Recycling – An Award for Sheffield

I was happy to celebrate Sheffielders great passion for recycling.  Sheffield has won a national award for our plastic recycling sites such as the one I visited in Waitrose.  It is really great that Sheffielders are rolling up their sleeves and recycling for the future as well as the Council providing such sites with local private sector businesses to ensure that people can recycle easily.

Eating for Sheffield

I was delighted to attend the Eat Sheffield Restaurant Awards.  No matter what your tastes in food, Sheffield has some great eateries, whether it be a slight snack or a great gourmet meal.  These awards celebrate the restaurants and eateries within Sheffield and I was very happy to present a prize as well as celebrate the wonderful work that the hospitality industry does for our city.

My Place, My Future, My Voice

Listening to Young People at a new development in Lowfields, Sheffield

I was really happy to listen to some young people who are spreading the voice of young people at the centre of the new development in the Lowfields areas of Sheffield.  I listened to their views and was absolutely bowled over by their determination and their vision about what they want.  I will make sure that their vision is listened to and part of the vision for the new My Place development in the area.

Celebrating Young People Leaving Care

I was delighted to be invited to share the success of a number of Sheffield young people who have been in care and now, having left care, have developed fruitful and successful lives.  It was really heart warming to hear the stories of young people who have started work, started families and really making a difference, not only to themselves but also the area of the city they live in.  Absolutely bowled over by the fact that this was hosted and developed by young people who had left care and a real, real credit to the determination and spirit of young people.

Future Jobs

I hosted some Senior Executives over from the Hitachi Group and spend an evening with them to discuss Sheffield’s approach to try to ensure that the Hitachi train development which will be their European Headquarters comes to Sheffield.  They fed back how much they enjoyed the city and I just hope that for Sheffield jobs and the future of hi-tech manufacturing in Sheffield, that we can get Hitachi to locate here.

Dreaming Bigger Dreams

I showcased the positive work that many students do in Sheffield.  Quietly behind the scenes students from the two wonderful Universities we have, day and day out volunteer and raise money for charities and organisations in Sheffield.  I was able to hand over cheques for £117.00 to local charities and listen to the heart-warming stories of how students volunteer and making real differences every day to local people.

Bag a Book

Painting a plant pot as part of Bag a Book Week activities, with children in Sheffield

I was delighted to go down to an event we have in Sheffield to give each young person who has either been adopted, or been fostered, a book token to improve their reading skills.  A number of activities took place including me painting a spotty plant pot as part of showing my creative side.  I was really pleased to join so many young people as well as their carers and adopted parents.


International status for Sheffield…

November 20, 2009

Sheffield was beamed into over 70 million households across the world recently, as the International Open Table Tennis finals took place here.  I didn’t actually realise just how big a sport it was in the Far East, and so Sheffield was truly world famous.  I was delighted to have as a guest, the Consul General Mr Ni from Manchester.

The winning team!

 The event was hosted at the English Institute of Sport and what a wonderful place it is. Out of the four finals I saw, China won three.  I’m afraid that England didn’t win any!

Attercliffe Gateway

 I was able to meet a number of people who have committed to improving the Attercliffe Gateway.   We were talking about big ideas to try and ensure that Attercliffe becomes a great place to live, work and invest.   I met with a couple of business people – David Slater and David Frost, to discuss their ideas and am trying to ensure that Attercliffe’s vision is one of a global green gateway.  Further work will be done on this to see what we can do to ensure that Attercliffe really does meet its full potential.

Core Cities of England

I recently went to Liverpool to work with the other eight core cities (Liverpool, Manchester, Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds, Nottingham and Manchester) to discuss how we can work together to pursue ideas that the Government need to adopt if our cities are to become the same economic and social power houses as our European counterparts.   One of the ideas we discussed, was to look at how we can work to help our manufacturing economy, as well as helping local workforces to ensure that people can economically meet their potential.   

 Full Council

The first Wednesday of the month is always Full Council.  As ever it was a lively experience!  Members of the public came to give petitions and ask questions.  The views of the people of Sheffield are always very welcome and important to me.

 The main issues discussed included the fact that we do not welcome ‘Carnage UK’ into the city. The general feeling is that they should be made to pay for the clean up and other problems caused from such an event.    We also talked about how we can continue to tackle inequalities within the city. It is important that we do not have a post code approach to action, no matter where you live in Sheffield.  We, as a Council, must target priorities to ensure that people can reach their full potential.   Also,  Sheffield has recently signed up to the Pen Campaign, which means that  we are determined to cut out our CO2 output by 10% by the end of 2010.

 Sparkling and Shining in Arbourthorne

I was absolutely bowled over when I went to watch the ‘Spark and Shine’ assembly at Arbourthorne School.  Young people were being rewarded for some of the wonderful things they’ve done at school to help others, and to set an example of how teamwork gets the best from us all working together.   The choir was outstanding and I have invited them into the Town Hall nearer Christmas to sing to us and to show exactly what some of our young people are capable of doing.   Well done Arbourthorne you certainly ‘Sparked with a Shine’.

 Sheffield HIV and Aids

I went to listen to a speaking tour to hear some of the stories from people who are living and coping with HIV and Aids.   It is really important as a city, to open our arms to everybody and ensure that everyone matters.  People suffering from the stigma of HIV and Aids need to know that our city will do all we can to ensure they have equal opportunities and can live fulfilling and rewarding lives.   Some of the stories were very moving and I am committed to ensuring that Sheffield truly is a place where everyone matters.

 Never forget the service

Sheffield Armed Forces tendered the Remembrance Sunday Service at Barker’s Pool on the 8th November.  Their role was to lead the city, Lord Mayor and other dignitaries in showing our respect for service men and women who have laid down their lives or been injured in the course of duty.   We also remember those who are at present serving in areas of war.   Sheffield is very proud of our service people, and we always remember the sacrifices that they make on behalf of the country, at this special time of year.


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