Snow, Taxis and Sheffield Legends

February 10, 2010

The last couple of weeks have been really showcase for the diversity and brilliant spirit of Sheffield people.

Snow, Snow and more Snow 

I have been out to thank the people who have helped to keep Sheffield moving. Not just Council staff but also the sturdy and hardy volunteers of Sheffield, who have helped to look after others and keep Sheffield on the move.  It is really important that we now review the gritting situation and have a discussion with the people of Sheffield on how we can improve.

Me with one of Sheffield's gritting lorries - invaluable during the recent snow and icy weather

Listening to Sheffield

Great news that the people’s panel, which has helped steer the bids to Government for the Sustainable Communities Act, has been successful in getting all four schemes accepted : 

  • Sheffield taking over the post office franchise
  • Growing local food on derelict land
  • Skills and Apprenticeship Model without having to go through national hoops for Sheffield
  • Asylum Seekers whose asylum case has been processed being able to work and contribute to society.  

This is what happens when real people power takes over and local people have their say, not only does the Council listen, but it would appear the Government is listening as well.

Hail a Taxi

I was delighted to go to the Taxi Association driver’s annual meeting, on behalf of the Council, and help present some long service awards.  Many times taxis do a very good job quietly, and do not get the recognition they deserve.   I was therefore very happy to deliver a goodwill message from the City, as well as hand out the prizes to some of the taxi drivers.

Great Graduation

As Leader, I attended the graduation ceremony for students who have received brilliant education from the University of Sheffield, and celebrate in their success.   I was really proud of such a good University and also the students who will now become ambassadors for this wonderful City.

A True Legend  

I helped to unveil, with the Lord Mayor, the Walk of Fame plaque for Sean Bean.     A great man and a great ambassador for the City, very shy and unassuming, but he really has put Sheffield on the map.   I was really pleased that the people of Sheffield turned out to thank Sean for all he has done for the City, both Owls and Blades!

Food, Glorious Food

I met with organisations wishing to run the first ever Sheffield Food Festival.  Really exciting that the festival will be coming, and celebrating Sheffield’s food and drink in June of this year.   I’m really looking forward to the summer and experiencing with Sheffielders a wonderful festival.

Supporting Local Troops

The Lord Mayor and I attend the exercising the freedom of the City by the Local 38 Signal Regiment Volunteers Squadron within the City.   Really pleased that people of Sheffield turned up to thank them for the work they do, whether they are regular or a member of the TA.

 V & A Museum – Sheffield!

I was delighted that the partnership between Museum Sheffield and the Victoria and Albert Museum has been extended by another 5 years.  On behalf of the city, I was able to showcase Sheffield to the Director of the V & A Sir Mark Jones, and looking forward to the exhibits which start again in 2011, with the first of the history of couture with such designers as Dior.    It is marvellous to know that such an important Museum still rates Sheffield as a great international City to exhibit its important collections.

Keep the Cold at Bay

Free Insulation for Sheffielders - Promoting the scheme through the Sheffield Showcase

I was one of the people involved in a photo session to highlight the free insulation scheme which we have here within the City.  A delightful and funny photo opportunity which showed that you don’t have to be cold in Sheffield and that you live in private accommodation, there are ways in which we can help you not only to keep warm but to reduce your bills as well and help save the environment.    Further details (link to go in here and photo from Andy which was taken in the shop window)

As always the City Council and I are here to ensure that we listen and try to get things right for you first time so if you have any issues you would like me to be aware of please do not hesitate to contact me.  


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.


Preparing for Sheffield’s Future

November 23, 2009

Last week was a great week for making sure that both, in terms of our environment as well young people ,we are preparing for Sheffield’s future.

Recycling – An Award for Sheffield

I was happy to celebrate Sheffielders great passion for recycling.  Sheffield has won a national award for our plastic recycling sites such as the one I visited in Waitrose.  It is really great that Sheffielders are rolling up their sleeves and recycling for the future as well as the Council providing such sites with local private sector businesses to ensure that people can recycle easily.

Eating for Sheffield

I was delighted to attend the Eat Sheffield Restaurant Awards.  No matter what your tastes in food, Sheffield has some great eateries, whether it be a slight snack or a great gourmet meal.  These awards celebrate the restaurants and eateries within Sheffield and I was very happy to present a prize as well as celebrate the wonderful work that the hospitality industry does for our city.

My Place, My Future, My Voice

Listening to Young People at a new development in Lowfields, Sheffield

I was really happy to listen to some young people who are spreading the voice of young people at the centre of the new development in the Lowfields areas of Sheffield.  I listened to their views and was absolutely bowled over by their determination and their vision about what they want.  I will make sure that their vision is listened to and part of the vision for the new My Place development in the area.

Celebrating Young People Leaving Care

I was delighted to be invited to share the success of a number of Sheffield young people who have been in care and now, having left care, have developed fruitful and successful lives.  It was really heart warming to hear the stories of young people who have started work, started families and really making a difference, not only to themselves but also the area of the city they live in.  Absolutely bowled over by the fact that this was hosted and developed by young people who had left care and a real, real credit to the determination and spirit of young people.

Future Jobs

I hosted some Senior Executives over from the Hitachi Group and spend an evening with them to discuss Sheffield’s approach to try to ensure that the Hitachi train development which will be their European Headquarters comes to Sheffield.  They fed back how much they enjoyed the city and I just hope that for Sheffield jobs and the future of hi-tech manufacturing in Sheffield, that we can get Hitachi to locate here.

Dreaming Bigger Dreams

I showcased the positive work that many students do in Sheffield.  Quietly behind the scenes students from the two wonderful Universities we have, day and day out volunteer and raise money for charities and organisations in Sheffield.  I was able to hand over cheques for £117.00 to local charities and listen to the heart-warming stories of how students volunteer and making real differences every day to local people.

Bag a Book

Painting a plant pot as part of Bag a Book Week activities, with children in Sheffield

I was delighted to go down to an event we have in Sheffield to give each young person who has either been adopted, or been fostered, a book token to improve their reading skills.  A number of activities took place including me painting a spotty plant pot as part of showing my creative side.  I was really pleased to join so many young people as well as their carers and adopted parents.


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
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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