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


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.


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.


Saying Hello to New Sheffielders

October 14, 2009

55,000 Students back in Sheffield

I was able to go to the Fresher Fair at the University and welcome some new Sheffielders.  I was able to discuss some of the issues that affected them and try to also balance the message with some of the issues that cause problems like ensuring bins are taken in regularly.

What did the Council ever do for me?

Children and me with the Council's new Guide to Services

Children and me with the Council's new Guide to Services

I was happy to launch the new guide to Council services which shows how your Council Tax is spent and makes it easy for you to contact the Council.  You will be aware that the Council is really keen to make sure that we are on your side and that you can contact us if you need to. 

Improving relationships through sport

I was very pleased to host the President of the Chinese Olympic Committee who was visiting Sheffield.  We showed them the Ponds Forge site and also talk about possible training facilities for some of the Chinese Olympic Committee for the 2012 Games.  I was able also to speak to the Chinese Consult General about economic links between China and Sheffield.

Meeting the President of the Chinese Olympic Committee and other guests in the Town Hall

Meeting the President of the Chinese Olympic Committee and other guests in the Town Hall

It is really important to have these kind of international links to ensure that we can help protect jobs, the economy and promote Sheffield on an International stage.


Running for Sheffield…

September 16, 2009

This week has been a week where Sheffield has been promoted nationally and internationally, as well as making some cost savings for local residents.

 Concentrating on the finish lineGreat Yorkshire Run

On Sunday I was part of the Great Yorkshire Run, and saw Sheffield from a different point of view as I panted and puffed through the streets of Sheffield.  It was great to see over 8,000 runners on the route and brilliant to see the city getting national and international exposure as part of the Great Yorkshire Run.

 My own time was just over 1 hour, not bad considering I had not done any training before hand, although I now know why you need to!  I ran with ‘Backing the Bid 2018’ t-shirt to encourage people to get on to the website and vote for Sheffield to be a host city if England gets the 2018 World Cup.  www.sheffield2018.co.uk or you can text ‘Sheffield’ to 62018. So show your support!

 Large Businesses just as important as small businesses

I went to visit the store manager at Debenhams at the top of the Moor, to discuss how we can help promote the Moor during the time that it is being regenerated. 

Debenhams - The Moor

Debenhams - The Moor

Some brilliant ideas to discuss how we can use the talent of local people to help bring people on to the Moor, as well as help shops, both small and large, which are situated there.  It is important to me that at a time of this economic recession, that we do all we can to keep the city centre vibrant and buzzing, so that visitors and local sheffielders alike get a good experience within the city centre. 

 Great Museums in Sheffield

I was able to meet the new Chair of Sheffield Museums, Sandra Newton, to discuss how we could work together to promote good educational leisure opportunities around the local Museums.

Weston Park Museum

Weston Park Museum

Sheffield is blessed with brilliant Museums for both locals and visitors alike, and we were able to discuss how we can promote the Museums to a wider range of people to ensure that whatever – whether it be Weston Park Museum, Millennium Gallery, Graves Museum or the other museums in the city – we can do all we can to ensure that local people get a brilliant experience when they come and visit.  Some exciting ideas were discussed and hopefully these will come to fruition for people in the near future.

Working for the Whole of Sheffield

My monthly chairing of the Sheffield First Partnership, the Board that brings together the Police, Fire, Education, Council and Voluntary Community Sector and business, met this week.  We were discussing a number of important issues but particularly concentrated on the next city strategy, which is a plan about the key priorities for Sheffield and how we are all going to come together to improve the quality of life for local Sheffielders, and make sure that there are opportunities for all across the city.

Key issues were about improving the chances for our young people through education, and also looking at issues of health, to ensure that our health service really delivers top quality services for local people.

Presenting certificatesA Cleaner, Greener Environment

I was able to present to the City Council and City Sameday Couriers Limited certificates for their commitments to the new Eco Stars Scheme in Sheffield.  This is a unique scheme within the UK which works on an individual basis with companies who have got fleets of vehicles to reduce the Co2 emissions that they put into the environment.  It also helps the company get more value for their pounds by reducing costs on fleet management.  This has the affect of making sure that we can all breathe easier, and help reduce the number of people who suffer health problems because of vehicle emissions.

 

Buy Local, local jobs, local businesses

When I first became Leader of the Council I gave a commitment to try to improve the Council to support local businesses.

I am pleased to say that in that time we have increased the number and the amount of money spent throughout the contracting department from 28 per cent to 63 per cent with business in an ‘S’ postcode.

I have had a meeting with the Buy Local Group – which is local businesses within Sheffield to discuss how we improve supporting local businesses to get on the ladder so that they can try to bid for local contracts.

This is unique in the fact that it is not just the Council but all public sector bodies, Health Service, Fire, Police, Universities, Sheffield College are involved.  We are really committed to try to safe local jobs and give opportunities to local businesses.  www.buy4sheffield.co.uk

International Sheffield – Saying farewell to international students

We have two brilliant Universities here in Sheffield and I was delighted to say farewell to some Malaysian and Sri Lankan students who had spend three months here in Sheffield at the Hallam University.  It was wonderful to see Sheffield helping to educate, and give opportunity to international students and they love the city that they had been in for the last three months.

 I was delighted to speak to some of them and their view of Sheffield and how they will become ambassadors for us halfway around the world in promoting Sheffield in their new jobs and whatever they do.

 Really, really important that Sheffield has an international profile to ensure that not only will we get students but also international contracts and an international profile.

 I do see this as an important part of my role as Leader to make sure that Sheffielders do get opportunities internationally.

Listening to the voice of business

This week also got me in front of local businesses at the Chamber of Commerce Council.  We discussed a number of issues including transport, Buy Local, and how we are preparing Sheffield’s economy for the up-turn.  A really enjoyable dialogue with local business people who are supportive of the Council keeping our eye on the long-term future of our economy and ensuring that local Sheffielders have opportunities for jobs, training and skills.

As ever, if I can be of any help, then please do not hesitate to contact me at Leader@sheffield.gov.uk and be absolutely assured that I am still working to make sure that this city is one where everyone matters.


Showing Off Sheffield and Sheffielders to the World

September 9, 2009

This week has been a brilliant week for showing Sheffield off to both visitors and Sheffielders alike in its full glory.

Sheffield Fair Free and Great Fun

I was able to visit the wonderful Sheffield Fair at Norfolk Park and see so many Sheffielders enjoying themselves on a sunny Sunday.  Everyone from the local community groups right through to the army were there, showcasing what they do for the city.  Really delighted to be able to hand out some of the prizes in the horticultural section and see some of the green fingers that we have in this wonderful green city.

Improvements to our Services for Sheffield Citizens

Had a meeting this week to discuss how we can co-ordinate better – what is known legally as Regulatory Services.  This includes things like Planning, Licensing and Parking Services.  Looked at how we can make them work closer and better together, and improve the service so that people are not being ‘passed from pillar to post’.  This is the kind of approach that the Council is committed to make in all services, making sure that we get it right for you – our customers – first time, and ensuring that you are not having to go through a maze of bureaucracy.

Sheffield Vibrant in the Day – Buzzing and Night

Discussed the idea of trying to improve the night time economy within the city centre.  I am sure many of you over the last few weeks will have been into the city centre, whether to go on the Wheel of Sheffield or coming to one of the continental markets or music festival.  We manage to do really well during the day in terms of organising and managing the city, but we realise that we need to improve what we offer at the night time and make it a city centre that is more vibrant for a cross section of Sheffielders.  With that in mind, we are now looking at ways in which we can do that and make sure that you have just as good an experience at the night in the city centre as you can during the day.

Sheffield’s World Champion

Jessica Ennis and Me - Backing the Bid for Sheffield 2018

Jessica Ennis and Me - Backing the Bid for Sheffield 2018

It was brilliant to be able to welcome home local girl Jessica Ennis, the new Heptathlon World Champion, back to her home city.  Despite the terrible weather hundreds of people turned up to cheer Jessica back home.  I have never met such a down-to-earth person, who despite her great success, has got her feet on the ground and is a lovely warm individual.  It is great to see Sheffielders like Jessica who are an inspiration to the city, and a great role model for younger people.  I was delighted to be able to hand over to her a handbag which she has been wanting to get for 5 years – a really nice surprise and gift for such a wonderful and great World Champion right here from Sheffield.

Bravery Awarded

I was delighted to join the Lord Mayor in awarding Amevi Kouassi the first ever bravery award from the City Council. This young man who is originally from Togo didn’t think of himself and acted without hesitation when he challenged someone who was attacking a 70 year old lady in the city centre.

The Lord Mayor awards Amevi Kouassi the first ever bravery award from the City Council.

The Lord Mayor awards Amevi Kouassi the first ever bravery award from the City Council.

The attacker was bigger than him but he apprehended the individual so that an arrest could be made, and now the person has been convicted. Again another great example of a Sheffielder, who has only been here for 2 years but exactly what the true grit and spirit of Sheffield is about. The City is really proud of you Amevi.

Sheffield Eagles – 25 Years On

I was able to attend a civic reception for the Sheffield Eagles to congratulate them on 25 years of existence.  It is really good to see a Rugby team doing so well in Sheffield considering that we are at heart a footballing city.  Great to speak to some of the players and people who have been involved in the history of the Club, and really wish that the Club goes from strength to strength.

World Cup – Sheffield can do it

Young people taking part in the official recption for FIFA for Sheffield's Back the Bid 2018 campaign

Young people taking part in a reception for the FA for Sheffield's Back the Bid 2018 campaign

Backing the Bid 2018 at the Great Yorkshire Run - 2009 09 09

Backing the Bid 2018 at the Great Yorkshire Run

I was involved in leading the Inspection Team during a visit from the Football Association who came to Sheffield to check to see whether the city could be one of the host cities if England gets the World Cup in 2018.  We were able to show them, not just the Football Clubs, but what is going on across the city and our aspirations to give football players, coaches, teams as well as fans a great time if England gets the 2018 World Cup.  The team were very impressed with Sheffield’s bid and the way we had got young people involved.  We have great Ambassadors such as Gordon Banks, Howard Wilkinson and Brian Deane.  I ask all Sheffielders to go on line at www.sheffield2018.co.uk  or text ‘Sheffield’ to 62018 and vote for Sheffield and lets make sure that we get the World Cup to England and that Sheffield gets some of those games.

As always if there is anything I can do to help improve Sheffield for you, your family or neighbours then please do not hesitate to contact me at leader@sheffield.gov.uk