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.


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