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

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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.  


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.


Another week of visiting diverse Sheffield

October 28, 2009
Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall – ‘Off the Shelf’

I was delighted to introduce Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall at the Cathedral as part of the ‘Off the Shelf’ event. This is now seen as one of the North’s best and biggest reading and writing festivals. It is wonderful, and in its 18th year and I was glad to introduce Hugh. However, after introducing him I realised that I kept referring to Rose Cottage rather than River Cottage!

Just say no to knives

Showroom 012

Me and with Tapton School pupils who were at the launch of the DVD. I'm pictured with: Fraser Steele, aged 16, Keziah Abbotson, 16, Oliver Kavianih, 16, Lauren Henry, 17 and Harriet Dearden, 16.

I went to the launch of a very moving and shocking DVD about the effects that knives have on young people. I met some mothers who had lost their sons and it really brought home the stupidity of young people carrying knives. It’s really, really shocking that so many people in the UK lose their lives in this way and we need to do everything possible to work with young people so that they can lead fulfilling and positive futures.

Cricket, Football, Badminton

Cricket Badminton

Meeting with representatives from the Pakistani Muslim Centre to talk about sport bring people together.

As part of promoting Sheffield as a place to get active, I met with a number of people from the Pakistani Muslim Centre, to discuss how they wanted to pursue sport across cultures and across different groups within Sheffield as a way of bringing people together. I was very pleased to hear their ideas and just hope they can come to fruition.

Hopes and dreams of homeless young people

I was able to visit Roundabout, which is a wonderful charity in the Highfield area, which works with homeless young people. I was really inspired by the young people’s stories of how they are turning their lives around supported by Roundabout. I agreed to see them again and hopefully next time play a game of basketball with them which I was unable to do this time because of the rain!

Roundabout 2

Visiting homeless young people at Roundabout in Highfield

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Winter is a coming – save energy and help the environment

OWL Smart Meter

Relaunching the OWL smart meter - available from your local library

Last week I relaunched the smart meters in the city. These are free from all libraries and help you reduce the amount of electricity you are using and help your CO² output as well. For further information, visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/smartmeters.

St Wilfrids ‘The One and Only’

I visited St Wilfids and spoke to some of the people who use the service. I was really inspired and blown over by some of the work that is done here and the positive work of both the staff and those who are using the Centre. I had a great discussion about football, but also about the hopes and dreams of some of the people who use the Centre. I agreed to go back for their Christmas meal and support them.

St Wilfrids

Visiting St Wilfrids Centre to meet service users

Backing the Bid

This week I helped kick off the business part of Back the Bid. This is about trying to get business to make sure that they promote, both amongst their customers and employees, going online and voting for Sheffield and the World Cup. It was a really wonderful event and for those of you who haven’t yet voted, please visit http://www.sheffield2018.co.uk or text ‘Sheffield’ to 62018.

As always I am here to listen to the views of local people and if you need anything then please do not hesitate to contact me as I am really trying to make this city a place where everyone does matter.


Trying to save jobs and promote Sheffield Nationally

October 21, 2009
This week has been an interesting week in terms of my focus on trying to help support the local economy, and protect local businesses and jobs.  Also, I am happy to work with large companies such as Google to look at how we can promote Sheffield nationally.

 Shhhhhhhhhh keep down the noise

I was very pleased to be on Radio Sheffield with Toby Foster last Monday morning to launch the new Night time Noise Nuisance Service.  I know that many neighbours are good neighbours but occasionally noise causes a problem for people not to be able to sleep and have a peaceful night.  I am very pleased that we have been able to establish a Night time Noise Nuisance Service that local people can use if people are causing too much of a problem.  If you’re experiencing excessive or unreasonable disturbance caused by noise that comes from loud people, parties, music, pubs, clubs, alarms, noisy animals, industrial or commercial noise then ring 101 to report it.

 Keep it Local

I have discussed with a number of people who are on the Buy on the Local Policy about how we can as a Council continue to support local business.  I am pleased to say that 64% of the Council’s spend goes on businesses from the S post code.  This helps to protect local jobs as well as help local businesses.  If you have not already seen it then visit www.buy4sheffield.co.uk and have a look at how we can help your business get on to the Council’s and other public sector organisations in Sheffield tender process as well as help to maintain local jobs.

 

googleGoogle It

I was happy to be at a Google event earlier this week at the Electric Works to promote to local businesses how they can use Google to help promote their business and promote Sheffield on the worldwide web.  I had some really interesting discussions and I hope that local businesses also found it useful.

 Celebrating the Whole of Sheffield

 I was really pleased to be able to go to Leo and Riva’s Club and look at the world premier of the photographic exhibition – My World My Dreams.  This group of young teenagers with learning difficulties who use photograph as a way to say what their dreams were.

 Keep it BiG

I was happy to go and launch the BiG challenge to local schools in terms of trying to get young people to see business as an option for them.  Teams from across the city were given £25.00 and from there they have to make a profit.  Really delighted with the enthusiasm of our young people and who knows the next Sir Alan Sugar or Michelle Badger might just be round the corner here in Sheffield!

 Order, Order 

The Youth Council

The Youth Council

I attended a debate of young people called Raise Your Voice organised by the UK Youth Parliament.  I chaired a debate in the Council Chamber which was higher than the normal standard!  This was of young people who were discussing the issue of jobs within Sheffield for young people.  Really interesting discussion regarding the need for apprenticeships and they see vocational skills just as important as academic.  Absolutely enlightening that young people really are on with this issue, and it made me think of some policy issues.

 2018 – No Red Cards Issued

 

Back the Bid day

Back the Bid day

I was really happy,  as part of ‘Back the Bid Day’ in Sheffield, to referee a match between Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday.  It was great that so many people across the city backed the bid and shouted up for Sheffield.  If you haven’t backed the bid yet then please vote online at www.sheffield2018.co.uk or text 62018 and stand up for Sheffield.

As always, I am here to listen to local views and try to make sure that Sheffield is a City where everyone matters and try to get things right for you first time.  If you have any comments or suggestions please feel free to contact me.
Ozzie Owl and Captain Blade join forces to Back the Bid

Ozzie Owl and Captain Blade join forces to Back the Bid

 

Kind regards,

 

Paul