Agenda item

Public Questions and Petitions

(a)  to receive any questions or petitions from members of the public; and


(b)  to note the attached document setting out the responses to questions raised at the last meeting, which were not provided at the meeting.



The Committee received the following questions from a member of the public who had submitted the questions prior to the meeting, and who attended the meeting to raise them:-




Graham Jones, resident of Burngreave and Member of the Burngreave Clean Air Campaign




In view of the imminent introduction of a City Centre Clean Air Zone which, through traffic displacement, is forecast to worsen already illegal levels of air pollution along some of our local roads, what measures are being taken in north east Sheffield to minimise this health and life threatening assault on some of the poorest districts in the city? Is the city council giving these areas additional finance to reduce this deliberate threat to our public health? Or does our council accept that our residents are relatively expendable as we live in a sacrifice zone where our life expectancy is already up to ten years less than other some other parts of the city?




In response, the Chair advised that this issue would be referred to the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee as it affected all parts of the city. She noted that it was a Government requirement that the Council implement a Clean Air Zone (CAZ), and it was required to be in place until city centre pollution had reduced to specific levels. She added that although the Council had been given some flexibility in how the CAZ was implemented, there were restrictions placed upon how the money received from the charging of vehicles was spent. She appreciated the points raised and confirmed that many members would have preferred the funding to have been allowed to be invested in different ways across the city where levels of pollution are also high.




Councillor Mark Jones thanked Mr Jones for his ongoing work with this campaign. He believed that the Government had failed to limit pollution effectively and that they had transferred the responsibility onto the Council. He stated that the Council had received one-third of the funding that had been requested, and agreed that areas outside of the city centre would be affected by road users choosing different routes. He advised that air monitoring stations in Burngreave had shown that certain areas had high pollution levels. He noted studies that showed that becoming more active could help to tackle certain diseases, but was concerned about the difficulties faced by those with respiratory conditions. He believed that improvements could be made to this situation with more trams, improvements to bus routes and more electric buses. He added that action was needed to ensure residents did not suffer.




Councillor Price added that air quality action had come a long way since the days of ‘smog’ but there was still a long way to go, and he believed that it was important that people took some responsibility for their individual travel choice in order to help tackle the problem. He noted that the M1 motorway impacted upon Sheffield’s air quality, and believed that it was important to invest in different routes and to improve public transport options.




Resolved: That the North East Local Area Committee refer the issue around the potential impact of the Sheffield Clean Air Zone on air pollution across the rest of the City be referred to the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee.




The Committee received the following question from Jodie Marshall who was not in attendance at the meeting and had submitted a question prior to the meeting, which the Chair read out:




Jodie Marshall




As a new parent living in Shiregreen, the amount of illegal parking is forcing me onto the road, people parking on double yellow. Photos have been submitted to Parking Services.




The Chair advised that this information had been passed to Parking Services who would patrol the area. She noted that this was a problem across the region with a limited enforcement team, and she believed that it was important for car owners to take some personal responsibility.




Sergeant Scott Sarson advised that incidents causing obstruction be reported to South Yorkshire Police.




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




Mick Daniels




I thought the Local Area Committee was set up to help to tidy estates up. Why is this not happening? I have reported leaf clearing but they’ve only done half of the estate. Firth Park has the biggest tree canopy in Sheffield but other parts of Sheffield have more frequent leaf clearing. Does the Local Area Committee team walk around the estate? Flytipping is also getting worse.




The Chair confirmed that Local Area Committees had been established in response to the Big City Conversation, which had believed the Council to be a distant and centralised organisation. The aim of Local Area Committees was to connect more with residents. She noted that they were not a substitute for teams such as Housing and Amey, but aimed to make services more responsive and approachable. She advised that Amey had a street cleaning and leaf clearing schedule, and that concerns should be raised directly with Amey or via local Councillors.




Councillor Peter Price noted that it was not possible for the Local Area Committee team to walk around the whole area. He believed that it was important to enable communities so that they were able to help themselves.




Councillor Mark Jones stated that at the meeting of the Waste and Street Scene Policy Committee on 21 December, 2022, a report on Amey’s performance had been heard, resulting in Amey being required to increase investment into improving service delivery. He advised that this would be monitored, and hoped that reporting of issues would become easier. He asked that residents continue to report issues affecting them.




The Chair asked that anyone who had been affected by flooding in Longley or Southey Green contact their local Councillors if they needed any further help.




Sheena surname?




Leaves are a big problem and it is impossible for Amey to clear them because of parked cars. It would be good to have people working together to coordinate this. Flytipping is our responsibility as individuals to report either by contacting Amey or by phoning our local councillors.




The Chair confirmed that she had tried to get a cleaning schedule from Amey but had not been given a specific day when clearing would take place.




Mick Daniels wished to congratulate Councillor Mohamed on being nominated as the Labour Party candidate for the Sheffield Central constituency. He asked that she share information publicly so that people were aware that she was still working as a Councillor for Firth Park ward.




The Chair confirmed that Councillor Mohamed remained a Councillor for Firth Park Ward.








The Chair provided an update on a referral that was made to the Housing Committee regarding the regulation of private landlords. She confirmed that the Housing Committee would be looking at selective licensing as part of a wider review at their meeting in March 2023. She added that there was no longer a selective licensing scheme in place in Page Hall. There was one in place in Nether Edge, and lessons learnt from both of these schemes would be evaluated.



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