Agenda item

Presentations Followed by Questions and Answers.

Presentations by:

·       Parks and Countryside

·       Sheffield & Rotherham Wildlife Trust

·       Waste Management Service

·       Sheffield Litter Pickers




Before proceeding with the items on the agenda, the Chair Councillor Andrew Sangar read the following apology:


“Before we begin, this is to be recorded in the formal minutes of the meeting, I want to address the findings of a complaint to our resident Mr Lennox. 

Mr Lennox, on the 29th September a formal complaint was submitted by you to the Chief Executive of Sheffield City Council. This was about the way in which the reply to your public question of the 28th September had been handled. A written acknowledgement has been issued and the matter is now concluded. 

We have some learning points that we are taking forward to improve how we deal with public questions and resident contacts.  We have tightened up on the triaging of public questions as a result.  I would like to formally apologise to you for the way we dealt with your question and subsequent issues you raised with us.”

Mr Lennox, who was present at the meeting, thanked the Chair for the apology.



The Chair explained that presentations would follow on the theme of the local environment, after which there would be an opportunity to speak to the panellists at stalls representing each service. There had not been capacity to include the local “Friends of” groups so another networking event regarding volunteering would be arranged in due course.



The presenters were introduced as follows:

  • Geraldine– Sheffield Litter Pickers
  • Dave Rice and Stuart Turner- Parks and Countryside Service
  • Marta Alfaro Tirado- Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust
  • Andrew France and Ian Ashmore- Waste Management/ Environmental Regulation



Geraldine Houlton of Sheffield Litter Pickers spoke first, explaining that she was an ambassador for the Sheffield Litter Pickers Facebook page which had 700 members.  This was an active litter picking community across the city which she invited attendees to get involved with.  This could be either by:


  1. Being a local litter picker, e.g. on your own road
  2. Getting involved in the events listed on the Facebook page which gave the opportunity to make friends while collecting litter.
  3. Getting involved via your local Tenants and Residents Association, as they were organising litter picking initiatives which included refreshments.
  4. Setting up a community litter picking group.  The Council would provide equipment and remove the collected rubbish.


The benefits of the types of action listed above were to the individual- i.e. fresh air, increased fitness, making friends and to the community, wildlife and children.



A presentation on the Parks and Countryside Service, subsequently published on the Council’s website, was delivered by Stuart Turner (Programme Manager) and Dave Rice (Business Manager, Parks and Countryside Service).


The presentation outlined details of the different facilities managed by the service, the reduction in budget in recent years, recent green space improvements in local parks and at Forge Dam and Limb Brook, and the Shelter café at Whirlow Brook Park.  It also outlined details of volunteering, allotments, and advised what the Services’ future priorities were.




A presentation, subsequently published on the Council’s website, entitled Waste and Recycling Services, was delivered by Andrew France (Waste Management Officer).


This outlined the services included in the contract with Veolia, the Energy Recovery facility, Beighton Materials Recycling Facility, and the Household Waste Recycling Centres.  It also reported on waste performance figures and concluded by giving details on new projects which were being planned.



A presentation entitled “Our Work in the South West Local Area Committee”, subsequently published on the Councils’ website, was delivered by Marta Alfaro Tirado (Nature Recovery Manager, Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust).


This outlined the work the Trust did in the area including on Nature Reserves, partnership working with other environmental organisations, outdoor learning with young people, and plans for nature recovery.  Additionally, the Trust had new projects underway such as the Land Management Advice Service and the development of a plan focused on young people.



Ian Ashmore, (Head of Environmental Regulation) thanked the litter pickers for the work that they do.


He advised that a leaflet entitled “Not Born Yesterday” raising awareness about scams was available.  This was particularly relevant because loneliness and a lack of feeling safe could prevent people volunteering.


Mr Ashmore outlined the services Environmental Regulation were involved with, which included work to combat illegal dog imports, high hedges, Knotweed, contaminated land, and general pollution.  They were also responsible for infection control and the issuing of business permits.


Two projects were highlighted:

  1. The Volunteering Strategy, which set out how to work better with volunteer groups in the city.  The Council wished to hear from environmental volunteering groups about what assistance they needed.
  2. Environmental Toolkit- this was being developed to make it easier for people to get involved in improving the local environment.  The Council wanted to know the top 10 or 15 issues which needed to be tackled in the local area.  These would then be put into a toolkit to advise people how to deal with them.  Case studies would also be included, such as the Kelham Island Group who had put artwork on telecoms boxes.



The Chair invited members of the public present to ask questions of the panellists and the following information was given by panellists regarding topics discussed:



Marta Alfaro Tirado advised that the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust was doing as much as they could towards rewilding.  Their Land Advisory Service has been set up and would be promoting it. 


The Waste Management Service was supporting the Species Recovery Fund to improve habitats at a landscape scale and to support nature recovery networks.



Smaller brown bins were not currently available, but the provision of different size bins was being investigated.


Flyposting on bus stops on Ecclesall Road

Owners of bus stops were responsible for removing posters, this was generally the bus company.  It could be difficult to prove who was flyposting and to catch them.  There was CCTV on Ecclesall Road, but people were aware of how to evade it.

A graffiti strategy was being developed for the city.


Unruly dogs and damage to wildlife

Dog ownership had risen and so had the damage caused by them to wildlife and habitats.  People were encouraged to keep dogs on leads.  Signage to this affect had been put up in nature reserves.  It was possible to use Public Space Protection Orders, but a need would have to be demonstrated and orders relating to dogs were especially tricky.  If there were issues at a particular site, this could be considered.  Some areas in Ecclesall Woods had been fenced off to protect them from dogs. 


Pedestrian Access to Tips

Technically all sites allowed pedestrian access but there were health and safety issues due to mixing pedestrians and traffic.  Work was being done to resolve this.


Getting young people into volunteering

The Wildlife Trust provided paid training with certification, to encourage young people into volunteering. The aim of this is to train young people to a sufficient standard to enable them to get jobs in the sector.  This was made possible by lottery funding.

Litter Pickers used posters and social media for volunteer recruitment and there were young people involved.


Cyclists causing a nuisance/ damage in Bingham Park

A member of the public stated that cyclists were taking over the Park and causing damage to footpaths in the ancient woodland. As the Council’s policy was to encourage cycling, nothing was being done about this.  She asked if the by laws could be amended to stop cyclists damaging the environment.

Panellists stated that responsible cycling was encouraged and footpath users needed to respect each other. Work was being done to produce messaging to that effect.


The Chair thanked the panellists for their contribution.




Supporting documents: