Agenda item

Public Questions and Petitions

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

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



Question 1.  Two questions were asked from the Secretary of the Banner Cross Neighbourhood Group regarding the Active Travel Scheme in Nether Edge.  She said that when the scheme was first consulted upon and Archer Lane was closed, a large number of residents said that the closure had affected their lives and these comments were collected and it was found that 90% of residents opposed the scheme.  She said that with regard to emissions, the volume of traffic had moved from Archer Lane to adjoining streets. She said that a survey had been carried out along Sheldon Road and that 800 cars had queued along the road in a short period of time.  She said that she had contacted the Council via a Freedom of Information request asking whether air quality had been taken into consideration and if so, had emission readings been obtained, especially around Nether Edge Primary School, and was awaiting a response.




Secondly,  she asked whether Members were aware of the diversity in the area and the potential impacts in terms of community cohesion. As at the top of the hill, the residents were mainly white, middle-class people, whereas at the bottom of the hill, which was affected the most by the scheme, the residents were largely Asian and levels of deprivation were higher.  She said that she had met with officers and had been told that the scheme was to be extended by a further six months, due to end Summer, 2023.  Her questions to Members were:

(a) Can residents be given a definite date that the scheme will end and also a date for when the decision will go to Elected Members?


(b) Can we have an assurance that before any recommendation goes to Elected Members, that the public will have the chance to see all the data; along with details of the data gathering approaches used, before the data goes to the committee to inform a decision?




Councillor Simon Clement-Jones said that he would make sure that written answers would be provided.  Councillor Peter Garbutt said he had received a briefing on the possible outcome of the scheme and would ensure that members of the public were given an update.  He said that there would be an opportunity for members of the public to be involved in the consultation, and that there were three possible outcomes to the scheme namely, leave it as it is, take it away or change it. In terms of change, options could include alternations so that the traffic lights had definitive timings or had one way traffic travelling uphill but not down.  Councillor Garbutt said that he had received positive feedback on the scheme and that Nether Edge Primary School were happy with the scheme.  With regard to Sheldon Road, residents had asked whether a crossing could be installed.  Councillor Nighat Basharat said that she had held meetings with officers and had asked whether there could be a crossing installed on Sheldon Road for easier access to the swimming baths, the park and the school.  She said that initially the scheme was to have run from April to October, 2022 and she would make enquiries as to the end date for the study.  She said the focus was on Archer Lane and questions were asked regarding the first six months.  Statutory consultation runs out in 18 months.  Councillor Basharat said that she would ensure that any future communication was spread widely not just on social media.  Councillor Richard Shaw said that the Council had 12 months to decide on the scheme and that a report would be submitted to a meeting of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee and that that meeting was open to all members of the public.  Councillor Alexi Dimond said that the trial had been hampered due to vandalism and that schemes such as this one took time to test out, and if approved, embed, and that it was normal  for the displacement of traffic to occur, especially in the early stages, but that Active Travel was designed to reduce overall traffic and congestion.  He said that the main focus had to be on road safety as many of the roads were dangerous.


A local resident who lives on Sheldon Road, said that traffic and emissions had been like this for seven to eight months now and pollution from 2-6pm was particularly awful.  Active travel related local road closures (Archer Lane) were causing the issues and felt that it was a factor between the better off and the poorer.  The resident asked when are we going to have the end of this terrible road closure?




Question 2 from a resident of Folds Lane.  He said that he had lived on Folds Lane for 30 years and it had become a “rat run.  He asked if Folds Lane/Dalewood Road could be designated a 20mph zone.  He said that large lorries and cars travelling at speed were using these roads.




In response, Councillor Simon Clement-Jones said that the locality of 20mph schemes were due to be considered and he would give his support to Folds Lane being included.  Councillor Richard Shaw said that Folds Lane was not in the current programme of schemes, but City Council policy was for 20 mph schemes to be implemented along as many roads as possible. The next scheme would commence at the end of 2024.  Councillor Paul Turpin said that when 20mph schemes were first introduced in Sheffield, the Green Party had wanted to implement them on every residential road, but the Labour Party had introduced them piecemeal.  He urged residents to contact their local Ward Councillors about specific roads, if they had concerns. Councillor Clement-Jones said he would support Folds Lane/Dalewood Road being included in the current programme.  The service would be asked to provide a written response in relation to this question.




Question 3 regarding the Gleadless Valley Masterplan.  The questioner said that she had looked at the Masterplan and the quality of housing on the Gleadless Valley estate and said that it would cost £90m to refurbish the houses to provide low carbon housing.  She said that not all residents wanted their homes to be retrofitted as they did not want the disruption caused while works were being carried out on their homes. She asked the following five questions:


1.       Is there a programme of dates yet for the refurbishment of houses on Gleadless Valley estate?


2.       Will residents be consulted on what materials, technologies and standards will be used, and if so, how will they be consulted?


3.       What provisions were being made alongside the masterplan programme, for local skills training to involve, educate and train young people for jobs in low carbon construction, design and engineering?


4.       What provisions were being made in the masterplan programme to train local people and construction workers to provide support and information for people facing major building works in their homes?




5.       Was the Local Authority intending to decant residents whilst the works were taking place?




In response, Councillor Simon Clement-Jones said that when the Council carried out the decent homes programme in other areas of the city, lessons had been learned from it.  He said that he would get back to the questioner with written answers. Councillor Paul Turpin said that he had been involved with the development of the Masterplan and had fought to improve it.  He said that five Green Party Members and one Labour Party member had pledged to employ and retrain local people, however trainers were few and far between.




Question 4 regarding the “Connecting Nether Edge to the City Centre Scheme


Concerns were raised about plans to close the underpass at the bottom of Cemetery Road and to fil it in (a stream runs underneath it) and put a crossing over the road.  This was part of the Connecting Sheffield: Nether Edge – City scheme.  Post covid, it was felt that more people were using their cars and public transport was not great.  It was also felt that most people wanted to use the underpass to keep away from the traffic.  It was appreciated it was ugly at the moment and for people who use mobility scooters or prams the access wasn’t brilliant, but it was wide enough to make improvements and do something really creative.  Can the South LAC Committee help the community find out why the Council was sticking to this proposal when it didn’t make sense and why the community was hitting such a stumbling block?




In response, Councillor Simon Clement-Jones said that he would look into the matter and would request a written response from the service.  Councillor Peter Garbutt said that he would obtain information regarding the Connecting Sheffield scheme, but he felt that the underpass was not within the remit of the South LAC, more likely to be part of the Central LAC.




Question 5 regarding Boston Street. 


The questioner said that the size of the local community around the bottom of Cemetery Road, Boston Street, London Road (heading towards Aldi) had grown substantially over the past few years, but the junction traffic light settings at this junction had not been adjusted accordingly, and there was no proper crossing, so it was very dangerous for pedestrians trying to cross the road.  The timings made it slow, and many people cross when the traffic was moving.  Connecting Sheffield have said they can’t do anything about this issue as its outside of the scheme.  Can the Council look into this issue?




In response, Councillor Simon Clement-Jones said that the matter of traffic lights was not within the remit of the Local Area Committee; but that he would request a written response from the relevant service.




Question 6 regarding The Independent Caribbean Kollective (TICK)  The questioner (Beverley Bennett) said that she had applied to the South LAC for funding to support TICK who ran activities in the Nether Edge and Sharrow areas and had been told that applications had been oversubscribed and that funding for this group had been refused.  She said that she had grown up in Nether Edge and wanted to bring joy back into the area and make it more diverse.  She said that she felt that the Caribbean community was always left out, and she had funded many events out of her own pocket over the years.  She asked why she was always refused grant funding?




In response, Councillor Simon Clement-Jones said that regarding the allocation of funding from South LAC Community Capacity Building Grants, the LAC had consulted with groups to design the funding; and that the grant schemes were designed to make it as fair as possible when considering applications for support, including from Ward Pots.  He apologised but said that the funding had been heavily oversubscribed and that the Committee was entirely fair across the process.  Councillor Peter Garbutt said that he would contact Ms. Bennett direct on this matter. Councillor Nighat Basharat said that with regard to granting funds from the Ward Pot, every effort was made to make sure that everything fair and that diversity and inclusion were considered.  She said that she had taken everything on board in terms of what had been said, adding that there was a limited pot of money and there were many organisations needing assistance, especially with the current cost of living crisis. Councillor  Basharat also offered to speak to Ms. Bennett directly outside of the meeting.




Question 7 regarding the Mosque on Wolseley Road.  The questioner said that there was a take-away across the road from the Mosque, but there wasn’t a litter bin.  He said that some people took their litter  home with them, but many dropped empty cups on the street.  He asked if a litter bin could be provided?  It was also stated that there was a litter bin outside the gates of Sharrow School, but the bin was not emptied on a regular basis and so the questioner asked who was responsible for emptying litter bins?




In response, Councillor Peter Garbutt said that he would follow up the question regarding the supply of a litter bin on Wolseley Road and enquire who was responsible for emptying litter bins and the frequency of collections and would get back to the questioner.




Question 8 regarding the Community Plan.


Would local young people be involved in the street art project e.g. Double Six Youth Club at Woodseats




In response. Diane Owens confirmed that there was an intention to involve local young people in the street art projects. Ms. Owens  confirmed that the likely approach would be to establish one project per ward; and that it was intended to use some of the funding (or possibly explore additional funding) to support the engagement of young people directly in the street art projects.