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.

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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.


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.


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


What a week for Sheffield…

July 29, 2009

This week has been another week of celebrating the success of Sheffield people and exactly what Sheffield and Sheffielders are about.

Students graduating from Sheffield University this week

Students graduating from Sheffield University this week

 Graduation

I was able to celebrate with the young people of Sheffield University who graduated.  It was good to see so many people with their new degrees although I acknowledge it’s hard at the moment in terms of the economic climate.  One thing I am certain about is that with a University of Sheffield degree they will make significant contributions, not only to the city, but to our society as well.

Our Economy
The economy is very important at the moment, and I sat down for a general review with the Chamber of Commerce to discuss the city’s economy, and from a Chamber of Commerce perspective how the City can help businesses in the present economic climate.  We particularly talked about our role in supporting manufacturing.

 2018 World Cup Bid – Sheffield Back the Bid

Sheffield children back the bid

Sheffield children back the bid

I would like every Sheffielder to go on the website www.sheffield2018.co.uk  to register your support as we launch the 2018 World Cup bid.  The World Cup is such a big sporting event, and I was pleased that we are looking to be a host city for the England 2018 bid.  The delegation that came to have a look was very impressed with what Sheffield has got to offer and we now have to build on this. 

It was brilliant being with the youngsters, who are the future, and who clearly will benefit from the World Cup.

City back the bid

City back the bid

 
 Out about about in local communities
xxxx

Talking to local residents in Darnall

 I went to Darnall to speak the local Bangladeshi Community who have got problems with their community building.  I listened to their concerns and tried to find a way forward to ensure that this city is a city where everyone matters, and the Bangladeshi community, like all communities in Sheffield, can flourish and meet their full potential.  I have promised to go back to them in the near future.

 

Sheffield Wheel provides a backdrop to our first ever Music Festival

Sheffield Wheel provides a backdrop to our first ever Music Festival

Reaching new heights!

One of the things about being Leader is that sometimes you have to do things that you may not wish to do, and my fear of heights is something that I have had to get over this week, as I launched the 197 feet or 60 metre Wheel of  Sheffield .  I had a wonderful interview with Charlotte, from Look North, the problem was that we were both scared of heights and therefore the interview was somewhat a nervy experience for both of us.  However, from the top there are some brilliant views of this great, great city, and I know that will be an attraction for visitors and locals alike to see their city from a very different perspective.

 Training and Skills for Sheffield people

I had a Board Meeting this week of Creative Sheffield, which is the economic board for the city to deliver jobs and prosperity.  Key issues we have looked at were training and skills and how Sheffield can really begin to move forward its training and skills.

No to bus cuts

I also met with senior managers from First Bus Group this week to talk about how the Council will not sanction bus cuts and service changes within the city.  I think it is very important that at a time of economic uncertainty like this, that we have a bus service that is clearly meeting the needs of Sheffielders.  It was an important meeting and I made it very clear that we would not support any reduction in the total bus coverage within Sheffield as a City Council. 

Crowd at Devonshire Green bask in the sunshine at the festival

Crowd at Devonshire Green

Music City

 Over the weekend Sheffield really did showcase itself

Just Jack perform for the crowd

'Just Jack' perform for the crowd

to the world, with a superb music festival in cooperation with Tramlines.  I saw many of the events, and walking around town on Saturday and Sunday the buzz was absolutely phenomenal.  People were friendly, particularly on Saturday basking in the sunshine and listening to the free music and events throughout the city.  It really shows what Sheffield can achieve when it raises its game and that Sheffielders are really up for showing their city off to the world.

 

As always you can contact me at leader@sheffield.gov.uk

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Paul