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


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.


Hello, Hello, Hello, What’s going on in Sheffield then!!!

September 29, 2009

 This week was a way of looking at some of the Policing issues as well as bringing an old Tardis into operation!

 No Daleks but a new Information Centre

I was lucky enough to bring back into life the old Police Box outside the Town Hall by making it an information centre for local Sheffielders and visitors alike.

It was an idea to move the old Police Box to the Museum but after I stepped in it is now an information centre for City Centre Ambassadors which is open Monday to Saturday 10.00 am – 12.00 pm and 2.00 pm – 4.00 pm.  Local, smiling, helpful, City Centre Ambassadors are on hand to help you with anything you need to have a safe and pleasant stay in Sheffield.

Off the Shelf

I was able to attend the civic reception for the Off the Shelf Festival, which is one of the largest festivals of its type in the Northof England.  It is great to see that Sheffield is being profiled like this, and such wonderful documentaries and books are highlighted in Sheffield, and that Sheffield is able to showcase such a wonderful event.  Check out what’s on at www.offtheshelf.org.uk.

New Police Station

I was able to go to the start of the work to reopen the Elm Tree Police Station at the Manor Top.  Working with local Police we have been able to hand back some land so that they can extend the Police Station and bring it back to life.  This is really a strong indication of our commitment to make sure that Sheffield is a place where everyone matters, and people feel safe and secure.

 
Boeing

Boeing

Taking Off at the Advanced Manufacturing Park! 

Just a fact – did you realise that the new Boeing liner has a piece of Sheffield in it!  This is the kind of world beating manufacturing which is taking place, and I was really impressed with the work that the University and companies are doing to make sure that Sheffield’s innovation and ingenuity stays ahead of the game.

I was able to go and look at some of the world beating companies and innovation that is taking place right here on our doorstep.  I went to the Advanced Manufacturing Park to look at companies such as Boeing who are leading in world class innovation and research into manufacturing.

 Standing Up for Sheffield’s Rail Network

I meet with Chris Moles, Government Minister, to discuss Sheffield’s needs for a better rail link between Sheffield and London.  I was also able to express that we wanted a better rail service between Liverpool and Hull which would improve Sheffield’s connection to both coasts.

At the same time, I was able to stand-up for Sheffield and Sheffielders by pointing out that we didn’t want our footbridge closing at the Railway Station.  I do hope the Minister listens, so that Sheffielders can not only get around the country better, but also keep the City as one and not cut in half.

Standing Up for Small Business

smallbusinessI attend a celebration to support the 35th Anniversary of the Federation for Small Business here in Sheffield.  At the same meeting we signed an agreement so the Council can support small businesses better, and help protect local Sheffield jobs and Sheffield businesses.  Really important that we work closely with business, and I was very pleased that the Federation for Small Business felt that the Council is now much more businesses friendly and doing more to help protect small businesses and local jobs.

Wembley!
Wembley!

 Wembley, Wembley, Wembley!!!

I went down to Wembley Stadium to discuss with the Chairman and Chief Executive of the Football Association, Sheffield’s bid to be a host city for 2018 if England gets the World Cup.

 They were very impressed with Sheffield’s bid and our commitment as a City to stand up and try to make sure that Sheffield can be showcased on the World Stage.  If you have not already done so could I remind you go to on line at www.sheffield2018.co.uk or text Sheffield to 62018 and vote for Sheffield.

 

 

Finally, be assured that I am working for you and local people to ensure that Sheffield is a city where everyone matters, and that if you have got any ideas or comments, then please do not hesitate to contact me at leader@sheffield.gov.uk.  You can also browse Sheffield City Council’s website at www.sheffield.gov.uk


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


Celebrating the Success of Local Sheffielders

August 25, 2009
This week has been a week where we have been able to celebrate the success of Sheffield people from the World Champion heptathlete Jessica Ennis through to many of our local students who have had wonderful A Level successes.  As a City Council we are really proud of them all.

Celebrating Diversity in Sheffield

Visiting members of the Sheffield Pakistani Community as part of celebrating Independence Day for Pakistan

Visiting members of the Sheffield Pakistani Community as part of celebrating Independence Day for Pakistan

I was invited to be a guest at the 62nd Independence Day for Pakistan.  It was wonderful to see so many British Muslims celebrating their Britishness, as well as wanting to share with friends in Pakistan the independence of that country.  I was really delighted at the number of young people who contribute significantly from the Pakistani Community to Sheffield, and showcasing some of their talents and skills.

Independence Day for Pakistan

Having a bite to eat at Independence Day for Pakistan celebrations

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Building Schools for the Future – Community Buildings not just Education

Newfield and Talbot School - part of the city's Building Schools for the Future Programme

Newfield and Talbot School - part of the city's Building Schools for the Future Programme

I had a meeting with the project officer and the Director of Children’s Services, Dr Sonia Sharp, to discuss how we can make new school buildings a community resource.  It would be nice to try to ensure that such things as libraries, and other local community resources, are built as part of the new school building programme.

We discussed options and ideas and we are going to see what can be done.

Trying to cut red tape and bureaucracy

Meeting with people from Stuffing Oakcakes to talk about creating local jobs

Meeting with people from Stuffing Oakcakes to talk about creating local jobs

I know like many Sheffielders, I get frustrated by red tape and bureaucracy, in light of this I met with Nathan Roper and Ian Adams from a social enterprise called Stuffing Oatcakes to try and see whether we can help create more local jobs as well as helping homeless people getting employment.  They were frustrated at some of the barriers between planning and licensing within the Council.  We are going to look at their case and see how we can improve services to local businesses so that they can help create jobs.

I am particularly keen to support Stuffing Oatcakes which won the social enterprise of the year award in Sheffield, and their commitment to employment training opportunities here in Sheffield for some people who have fallen on hard times.

Going for Gold

I was able to see Paul Deighton, who is leading the organisation of the 2012 London Olympics.  We were able to showcase the strength of Sheffield businesses which could benefit from winning contacts to help him make London 2012 the best Olympics ever. I am confident that Sheffield businesses can succeed and help promote, not just Sheffield, but the UK on an international stage.

Meeting young people from Sheffield and Bradford to discuss the Olympics 2012

Meeting young people from Sheffield and Bradford to discuss the Olympics 2012

Also as part of the cultural part of the Olympics I met some young people from Sheffield and Bradford who are looking at the Olympics as a way forward to help in education and bringing young people together.  This was showcased at the Graves Gallery in the Central Library.

Green Jobs for Sheffield

Earthmine visit Sheffield

Earthmine visits Sheffield

I had another business visit, this time from Earthmine.  We discussed how the company could help cut people’s bills and also how better energy efficient homes and businesses would be in Sheffield.  We all know that Sheffielders reducing carbon is important and therefore this company can give advice, to not only save money, but reduce carbon output, is well worth looking at to see what they can do.  This is clearly the type of company we want to encourage in Sheffield which helps, not just to create local green jobs, but helps internationally reduce climate change problems.  See for yourself at www.earthmine.co.uk

 Tramlines – Feedback

Jon McClure aka 'The Reverend'

Jon McClure aka 'The Reverend'

Late this week I met with Jon McClure otherwise known as ‘The Reverend’, a Sheffielder who heads the band Reverend and The Makers, an indie rock band which performed at the Tramlines Festival which I mentioned in an earlier blog.  We discussed the recent Festival, how it went, and how the city was buzzing during that weekend and what a great success it had been.  I wished him and the band well with their current tour supporting Oasis.

As always I am looking to get feedback from local Sheffielders to try to ensure that we get things right first time for you and your family as a Council.

Please feel free to contact me at leader@sheffield.gov.uk , and be assured that I am doing everything I can to ensure that Sheffield is a city where everyone matters.