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Agenda item

Public Questions and Petitions

To receive any questions or petitions from members of the public.



The Committee received the following questions from members of the public who had submitted the questions prior to the meeting, and who were in attendance to raise them: -


(a)  Dawn Spicer


1.    Who will be driving the LAC groups forward in the future?


In response, the Chair stated that each Local Area Committee would be driven by its committee members in response to the priorities that were highlighted from the current consultation and also existing priorities. He added that the LAC would develop a Community plan which would have achievable targets which would be reviewed regularly.


2.    Who will decide which groups already in operation will be supported?


In response, the Chair stated that this would again be determined from the priorities that were gathered from the consultation and that all local groups could receive support and guidance, some of which might be at ward level.


3.    Will there be any financial or operational support for the groups and how will this be prioritised?


In response, the Chair stated that there was currently £100,000 attached to each LAC that was allocated to be spent on the priorities determined from the local consultation currently taking place. He added that there was also ward pot funding that groups could access, and that the local ward Councillors and LAC officers could help support groups bid for this money as well as support the groups with organisations who might be able to exist with external funding.


(b)  Christine Lupton


1.    Issues with parking outside Reignhead School – parents parking on pavements, over other people’s drives, reversing along the pavements, etc – this is dangerous for pedestrians. Recently meant that an ambulance attending an elderly resident was unable to leave because they were blocked in. What can be done to alleviate this problem?


Councillor Bob McCann responded to this question, and stated that residents should report these incidents to the Police to allow them to handle this fully and address the issue. Councillor McCann stated reports could be anonymous but suggested that if these instances weren’t reported they were more likely to continue to occur. Councillor McCann mentioned the off-road bike team which he said had worked well to date.


2.    Can there be a greater police presence in Beighton to deal with issues such a young people racing up and down Grange Road on motorbikes/quadbikes?


Councillor Bob McCann stated residents should report these incidents to the Police to allow them to handle this fully and address the issue. Councillor McCann stated reports could be anonymous but suggested that if these instances weren’t reported they were more likely to continue to occur. Councillor McCann mentioned the off-road bike team which he said had worked well to date.


(c)  Lynne Williams


1.    Can the speeding issues on Handsworth Road be resolved? Nobody drives at 30mph and there are no signs highlighting the speed limit.


Councillor Tony Downing responded, highlighting that these are the rules on a 30-mph road – signs can be only at the beginning and end of the road.

Councillor Paul Wood stated that speed calming measures could be brought in. He invited Ms Williams to leave her details and stated he would contact her following future meetings on the subject.

Nik Hamilton stated that the Council was currently working with colleagues in Highways regarding issues such as these and added that it would be possible to discuss this further after the meetings.

Councillor Lodge added that working in road safety was challenging, as there was a good deal of legislation limiting the changes that could be made.


2.    How much funding would be available for road safety in the South East area?


The Chair responded and stated LACs could look into this.


(d)  Fiona Miller


The Friends of Birley Spa is collaborating with the University of Sheffield on a project and has submitted an application – how long will a response take?


Councillor Karen McGowan responded and stated there had been some illness within the department, but that a response would be given in due course.


(e)  Michael Meredith


Unelected civil servants in the planning department and planning inspectorate are ignoring decisions made by democratically elected Councillors and MPs who speak on behalf of their constituents. The Inspectorate then hides behind the High Court in the full knowledge that is virtually impossible for local constituents to raise funds to fight undemocratic decisions in the high court.


In response, the Chair stated that as a member of the Planning Committee he found this frustrating.


Councillor McGowan stated he was also a member of the Planning Committee and said that the presumption of a planning application was now that it would be granted. He said that he felt planning board members needed to consider whether buildings were good for the city.


(f)    Jackie Choo


Why is Badger Road being resurfaced? This is the 3rd time it has been done.


Councillor Mick Rooney responded and stated he felt it was the fault of Amey’s execution of this task. He stated it was his understanding that the firm would be fined for the way in which this work had been carried out.


Councillor Gail Smith stated this was a ward-wide issue, and echoed Councillor Rooney’s remarks regarding the quality of Amey’s work.


Councillor Downing stated that should work not be carried out well Amey are obligated to pay for the repairs.


(g)  Howard Smith


How do we get young people involved in LACs? Why do you think they’re not involved currently?


Councillor Tony Downing suggested it was apathy which prevented young people from getting involved in politics. Councillor McGowan mentioned a South East Youth Forum that existed which was requested by young people in the area. Councillor McGowan stated she would suggest going to young people and asking them directly, and said she would fight to gather the views of young people through the South East Youth Forum.


Councillor Downing stated there is some funding for youth engagement in LAC funding.


Councillor Lodge added that visiting academies can allow face to face discussions with young people. He stated that generally it was possible to get your message across to young people in these environments. He added that all Local Councillors were committed to engaging young people within the community. He suggested that finding spaces for young people to socialise would lower rates of antisocial behaviour.


Councillor Smith stated she felt that young people should be vital in putting together the Local Plan.


Councillor Rooney stated he felt one key role of Councillors was to engage younger people in politics in general. He said focusing on issues which concerned young people would encourage their engagement. 


(h)  Richard Teesdale


What will be done to fight the climate and ecological emergencies declared by Sheffield City Council?


Councillor Wood stated that Councillors were working through the ward maps to improve a number of things with regards to nature, include more wildflowers and the planting of fruit trees. Councillor Rooney stated that he felt there needed to be a sense of realism in relation to this issue, as he felt there needed to be a significant amount of investment in areas such as double glazing and insulation. He stated he felt this relied on funding from central government. He said that ground bumps were being looked at, and that not using cars was also being encouraged.


Councillor Lodge stated he felt Sheffield needed to be innovative in how it addressed these emergencies and mentioned the possibility of kinetic energy pathways and using water to create energy. He added that public transport options in Sheffield could also be improved.