Agenda item

Public Questions and Petitions

To receive any questions or petitions from members of the public



The Policy Committee received five petitions from members of the public.


The Policy Committee received a petition ‘Traffic-Calming Measures on Seagrave Crescent’.  Trevor Jackson attended the meeting and presented the petition to the committee.


The petitioner explained that he had lived on Seagrave Crescent for 38 years and it used to be a quiet road.  In 1993 Supertram was installed meaning that road traffic was unable to turn right from Ridgeway Road onto Hollinsend Road, due to this Seagrave Crescent became a shortcut for getting to Hollinsend Road and beyond.  Between the hours of 3pm and 4pm, the amount of cars passing through Seagrave Crescent was 268 vehicles. The petitioner acknowledged that nothing could be done about the volume of traffic but explained that the excessive speed was an issue and was making it dangerous due to three blind bends and this was where the accidents generally happened.  The petitioners own car had been hit twice causing considerable damage, three garden walls have also been demolished by drivers coming off the road.  The petitioner also read out comments made by residents of Seagrave Crescent who fully supported the petition.  The area was surrounded by streets that had 20mph speed limits, even on cul-de-sacs.  Traffic calming measures that residents would like to see installed were 20mph speed limit signs and slow down signs painted on a red background on the roads surface.


The Chair thanked the petitioner for bringing the petition and advised that he would request that officers investigate the issues raised and a full response would be provided.  The Chair advised that he would be happy to meet with the residents and local ward councillors regarding the issues raised.




The Policy Committee received a petition ‘Re-open Little London Road’.  There was no speaker to this petition.  The petition was noted, and the petitioner be provided with a written response in respect of the issue.




The Policy Committee received a petition ‘End the closure of Archer Lane’.  There was no speaker to this petition. At the request of the petitioner the Chair read out the petition on their behalf.  The petition was noted, and the petitioner be provided with a written response in respect of the issue.




The Policy Committee received a petition ‘Access by taxis’.  There was no speaker to this petition.  The petition was noted, and the petitioner be provided with a written response in respect of the issue.




The Policy Committee received a petition ‘Barrier connecting School Road and Netheroak Drive, Beighton.  Michael Chiltern attended the meeting and presented the petition to the committee.


For the past 10 years there has been a barrier at the end of school road in Beighton to prevent off road bikers and cyclist from going down at speed.  A few months ago, without any consultation with residents, the barrier was replaced with a single bollard and this has enabled off road bikers to ride down there at very dangerous speeds.  In 3 hours, the residents managed to compile a petition of 300 names.  The two issues were that there was no consultation with residents or councillors and secondly the bollard is making it dangerous, the path was right next to an infant and junior school, which was used on the school run.  Residents were in attendance to speak and explain how dangerous the lane was. 


The Chair thanked the petitioner for bringing the petition and advised that he would request that officers investigate the issues raised and a full response would be provided.  The Chair also offered to visit the site along with ward councillors and talk to residents regarding a solution.




The Policy Committee received nine questions from members of the public. Five members of the public did not attend to ask their question, a written response would be provided.


Question from: Samantha Nicholson


When will work be starting on the speed calming measures opposite Westfield Playground?


The Chair thanked the questioner and stated that due to the limited funding that we receive from Government for transport and road safety improvements in Sheffield we have to take a worst first approach to prioritising our funding at those locations where the need is greatest. Having considered this location there are a number of other locations in the city that have been assessed as a higher priority.


However, given the desire from Local Ward Members for traffic calming measures to be introduced officers from our Transport Planning team have previously been in discussions with the South East LAC about the potential for them to support traffic calming measures at this location. The LAC have been provided with costs for a potential scheme at this location so that they can consider whether this can be funded from their local CIL allocation. At this time, we have not received confirmation that the LAC consider this scheme a priority for funding and therefore we are not able to take forward a scheme at this location.


Questions from: Richard Brogden

·       Have the committee read, and considered the details addressed within my letter (form LWT Dental Care) dated 2/2/23?

·       In view of the proposed parking alterations within the Ecclesall Road, and specifically Hunters Bar areas, where would the committee suggest vulnerable, inform, frail and elderly patients would park upon change implementation?

·       Has the committee performed a realistic analysis as to how parking would be affected, and what would happen in real terms upon implementation of this project? Could these please be made available for our perusal?

·       Has the committee given any real consideration to the adverse effects on businesses along Ecclesall Road?

·       Does the committee give due consideration to discrimination against vulnerable individuals, as highlighted within my letter, when formulating and consulting on transport and infrastructural projects?

·       Given the fact that our practice has not received direct communication relating to this project, would the committee consider extending the consultation process to allow us to engage with our patient base to discuss the implications of these changes to the highway?

·       Could you please explain why there has not been proposed changes placed on telegraph poles / signposts in and around the affected areas, in the same way as planning permission projects are subject to? With such a big highways project such as this, could the committee offer an explanation as to why the project has been so under-advertised? 

·       Specifically, to our practice, please can the committee offer any alternative suggestions for our patients as to where they are expected to park? 


The Chair thanked the questioner for highlighting the concerns regarding the Abbeydale Road and Ecclesall Road bus priority project and the project consultation. 


I have read your letter and understand your concerns.


It is worth stating at this point that following consultation on the proposed bus priority schemes on Ecclesall Road and Abbeydale Road the Council has not yet made a final decision whether it should take implement changes to junction improvements, traffic management changes, pedestrian crossings, bus lane operating hours or red route restrictions.


The consultation was undertaken between the 17th November 2021 and the 21st January 2022 and was widely advertised. A press release was issued at the commencement of the consultation to major regional and local media outlets. Key community groups and businesses were invited to webinars to comply with Covid-19 restrictions, and meetings were also undertaken with relevant ward Councillors, Members of Parliament and bus operators. Consultation postcards were posted to over 16,000 residential and business properties. In order to ensure the project plans were readily available they were put on the Connecting Sheffield website. There were over 3,600 comments received.


At present our Committee work programme sets out that a report on these schemes will be presented at a meeting in June 2023. This report will include analysis of the consultation, parking surveys, and the potential benefits and disbenefits of any changes, and where appropriate what different options have been considered. This will include an Equalities Impact Assessment and a Climate Impact Assessment.


However, it is worth reiterating that the consultation posed initial questions to gauge opinion on potential changes to bus lanes and red routes and was not a formal statutory consultation on final proposals. If at the June meeting of the TRC Committee it be determined that changes to the bus lane hours of operation or red routes should be taken forward a further statutory consultation stage on final detailed proposals will then be required. 


Questions from: Lewis Elliott

Sheffield prides itself on being one of the greenest cities in Europe, and our council has committed to ‘put climate at the centre of decision-making’. As a green city, we should make a real commitment to protect our natural spaces, by transitioning to plant-based eating and future-proofing our food system. You declared a climate emergency and pledged that the city will be zero carbon by 2030. I’m proud to be a resident of a city that clearly recognises the severity of the crisis we face and has started to act to rectify this issue.

However, this action needs to include every aspect of council activities, specifically the provision of food. Other councils, for example Oxfordshire, Cambridge and Lewisham have committed to serve only plant-based food at their events.

Within your responsibility for food provision, you could lead by example and demonstrate how to source food in a sustainable way, to protect the future for next generations, in the face of climate emergency. This can be achieved by offering only Plant-based food at council managed institutions. Food production can be a key solution as opposed to the huge problem that it currently is - with animal agriculture as the leading cause of climate and ecological breakdown. You acknowledge in your own ‘10-point plan for climate action’ one of the key benefits being reducing biodiversity loss. Our food-system is key in protecting our biodiversity, and thus you could take real steps to help here by making this change. Climate leadership will be demonstrated in this decision - other councils will follow suit, meaning that we can see real meaningful change for the better on this issue.

Sheffield, a city of sanctuary, prides itself on cultural diversity and inclusivity. Plant-based food is the most inclusive option that suits all individuals’ dietary requirements. A study at Oxford University in 2018 demonstrated that that a balanced plant-based diet is healthy and nutritious for people at all stages of life - and further studies have demonstrated how Plant-based eating is additionally a key solution to public health issues, in that it can reverse non-communicative health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes - this is in the midst of an extremely worrying NHS crisis.

On top of all this, meat and dairy are almost always the most expensive part of a meal. We can reduce food cost, and increase affordability for some of the most vulnerable in our society during a cost-of-living crisis.  

I am aware that in addition to internal catering the council also holds contracts and leases for many services and venues that include a food offer, for example leisure centres and parks cafes - at which you could make a huge savings in both carbon emissions and expense by serving only plant-based meals.

Finally, I would like to point out that normalising plant-based eating has the potential to set a precedent in our city and a really important one - that we should be eating sustainable healthy food to protect everyone.

So, I ask you, members of Sheffield City Council, will you make a commitment to plant-based catering at council managed events and institutions? Let us show the world that Sheffield is a city that takes sustainability seriously and is committed to creating a better future for all.


The Chair advised that the question was very timely.


In Sept 2021 the council committed to developing a Food Strategy linking the need to reduce carbon emissions and to boost biodiversity to protect nature, along with developing a wellbeing economy and improving health equality across the city.


Pending review, in due course Sheffield City Council will be releasing a new Food Strategy which will reaffirm the council’s position that we should use our influence as a large public sector organisation to reduce the impact of local food production and consumption on the environment. 


One of the focus of this strategy will be to have a more resilient food system that doesn’t harm the planet.  We will reference Henry Dimblebys recommendations that suggests that the national diet should contain 30% more fruit and vegetables; 50% more fibre; 25% less high fat, salt, and sugar foods; and 30% less meat by 2032 (The National Food Strategy - The Plan). However whilst supporting this, we also need to make sure that healthy and nutritious foods are more affordable, as national studies show that healthier food currently costs more per calorie The Broken Plate 2021 | Food Foundation.


As councillors we are aware of the high impact that meat and dairy consumption has on carbon emissions and biodiversity. However, there are a range of factors we would need to consider before reaching a policy position on plant-based catering. Nevertheless, plant-based policies are certainly something that will be getting our consideration as we move forward with the new Food Strategy.


SCC recognises that leading by example in this space is important and developing upstream policy measures can make a huge difference. Due to this, a public consultation will be carried out shortly to understand the publics views on implementing existing/new policies that will help improve our food environment, and safeguard against the negative impacts that unhealthy foods can have on the Sheffield public. This consultation includes the possibility of increasing plant-based food options in our venues.


An example of where the council has already used our buying power to support our environmental and sustainability objectives is the contract for school food that we procure on behalf of around half of the city’s schools.  The contract for this service has a range of requirements relating to environmental impact and sustainability.  Specific to meat and dairy reduction the provider has committed to increasing the proportion of plant based protein in their meals, having plant-based dishes available for all, not just those following a vegetarian or vegan diet, and highlighting to pupils and their families the environmental and nutritional benefits that plant-based choices bring. Over the coming year and beyond, we hope we may be able to use our buying powers to influence offerings on other sites such as the ones mentioned in your question.


Questions from: James Martin


Given the difficulties for guide dog users in particular to navigate around segregated cycle routes where level difference is not part of a scheme will the committee:

·       Be aware of this compromise in the design in discussions today and in particular that future schemes must not take Fargate as a golden reference?

·       That some of the challenges and frustration of the Access Liaison Group relate to the lack of lived experience engagement early on in the journey of changing direction from the Connecting Sheffield and Grey to Green approach that has led to a sub-optimal solution from an accessibility perspective?

·       Note the paper shared with the committee giving the rationale of the groups view given the challenges and timescales of the investment plans?


The Chair stated that he spoke to the Deputy Chair and the spokesperson before the meeting to see if they would be happy to meet with you outside of the meeting to discuss as there are some serious questions and concerns raised.  A meeting would be arranged.  The Chair also thanked James and his colleagues for the work that they do in the city.