Agenda item

Public Questions and Petitions

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


(NOTE: There is a time limit of up to 30 minutes for the above item of business. In accordance with the arrangements published on the Council’s website, questions/petitions at the meeting are required to be submitted in writing, to, by 9.00 a.m. on Tuesday 12 December 2023).



A petition was received from Akra Shaibi who did not attend the meeting. The petition had received 6 signatures. The Chair read out some of the petition details as follows:


“We the undersigned petition the council to to fix the flats from outside and inside so the rats and mice don’t go in. Block the holes and gaps between our flat and the neighbours. Sort out all the flats instead of just one because the pests come back. Fix the mould and damp problems that we all have. We all pay rent and we need this problem sorted.”


The Chair responded with the following:


“The North East Housing Team Environmental Services have also been commissioned by Housing to carry out a full external technical survey of each block and feedback any actions and recommendations to prevent any further infestations in the future. Housing are working with the Repairs Service to ensure that any entry points are sealed.


Prior to baiting all tenants and residents will receive correspondence to support the treatment work.


The Housing Repairs Service are prioritising reports of damp and mould. The service has undertaken work on 38 properties at Verdon Street to date. Where tenants have reported damp and mould in these blocks we aim to attend within 5 working days. A long term solution for the blocks on Verdon Street is being explored and work has been commissioned to look at this.

Officers have visited the block the petition relates to and also the neighbouring 4 blocks. Officers from the team have visited all properties in the 5 blocks, 20 flats per block. They have successfully spoken with the majority of tenants and residents, leaving contact cards for those who have not been at home encouraging them to contact their local Housing office to discuss any concerns they may have.


The Housing team have recorded full details were tenants/residents have mice within their flat and were there are reports of damp and mould.


These reports are being taken very seriously and the Housing team have met on site with officers from our Environmental Team to establish the best treatment for the infestations. Orders have been placed to bait each block at a cost of £1,866 per block.”



Some debate and discussion took place regarding the petition. Members gave comments and asked questions. Officer responses were provided surrounding damp, mould and the ongoing work around tackling infestation. It was stressed that work had been undertaken to the Verdon Street properties prior to the petition being received. It was also explained that the CoL crisis was exacerbating the issues. It was suggested and agreed to receive an update on the response to the petition at the January meeting. It was highlighted that there would be the anticipated updates on damp and mould across the city too. The Chair requested that the petitioner be specifically invited to the January meeting


Alexandra Odelga attended the Committee meeting and asked the following question:


“Is the committee able to give assurance to tenants of Sheffield City Council who have dogs already living with them as their pets or as assistance dogs on 31/12/2023, and whose dogs may fall under the type of XL bully as defined in the statutory instrument, that they will be allowed to keep their dogs in their properties”


The Chair responded with:


“This is a topical and relevant question. There has been some work carried out amongst staff within the Housing Service about how we as a council and landlords deal with this issue to safeguard the interest of all tenants and the dogs. The context is that the XL Bully has been added to the list of dangerous dogs and as a council we cannot ignore that and that there needs to be respect for the dog owners and non-dog owners.


The Tenancy Conditions are:


18. Unless you live in sheltered housing, you may keep domestic pets in your home subject to conditions 19-21.

19. You must not keep any animal or number of animals which could cause a danger or nuisance or which is not suitable for your property

20. You must properly look after any animal in or visiting your property and not allow it to do anything which could cause a danger, nuisance or annoyance to other people or to cause damage

21. If we tell you to remove an animal or animals from your home you must do so. You must not allow the animal or animals to return. We will tell you in writing, giving the reasons why and the date by which you must comply.


From 1st February 2024 it will be a criminal offence to own an XL Bully dog in England and Wales unless the owner has a Certificate of Exemption. For a tenant to continue to keep an XL Bully dog in their home following the aforementioned date, they must be able to produce the Certificate of Exception on request to Sheffield City Council. In addition, the tenant must, for the lifetime of the dog, hold third party public liability insurance and be able to produce evidence of this on request. That is the framework for making the decisions in.


So there will Not be a complete blanket ban but tight control to keep everyone safe”



The Chair promised a copy of the response in writing. The Director of Housing and Neighbourhood Services gave some clarity around tenancy conditions and responsibilities and suggested the intention to used letters and bulletins for conveying the correct information. It was also suggested to bring a report to the committee in the New Year regarding this matter.


Maggie Young attended the Committee meeting and asked the following questions:


1) What is the current timetable for the start and completion of building work on the GV Estate? 

2)What is the housing offer for those people who    may have to be moved? 

3) What is the delivery plan for bringing the housing up to EPC Level C? 

4) What are the proposals for installing renewable energy infrastructure in line with SCC’s commitment to zero carbon by 2030? 

5) What’s the timetable for delivery of training and job opportunities for young people on the estate? 

The Chair responded with:

A1: As you will know, inflation in the construction sector has escalated and means the £98 million doesn’t go as far as when the plan was first agreed. As a result, the team has had to re-think a lot of the delivery.

The Gleadless Valley Regeneration Team is working with colleagues in other Council departments such as the Capital Delivery Service, Planning, and Housing Growth to understand construction costs for various capital elements of the project, as well as lead times for beginning major works. At present we are still determining what a phased delivery plan will look like and the cost implications.

This means we can’t give dates for the start of work, never mind the finish.

However, the next things that we should see are (1) demolition work on the Castelayn and Paddock Hill former care homes so the sites can be secured to deliver new housing and (2) a MUGA (or multi-use games area) on the Spotswood site.

Both should be underway in 2024.


A2: Elected members are agreed that it’s essential to deliver new housing that residents can choose to move into before enforcing any clearances of existing homes and that is learning from previous demolition schemes.


A3: As we progress each project, surveys will be carried out to understand the level of investment needed to ensure compliance with Part L of the building regulations. This is an ongoing piece of work.


A4: A commission has been made to the council’s external consultant, RLB (Rider Levett Bucknall) to co-develop a ‘route map to net zero’ for the Council’s housing stock. This will provide a basis for asset planning and capital investment.

A lot is yet to be determined. Plans should include the installation of PV (photo voltaic) solar panels. We will need to develop a funding strategy for this, as well as policy for how the energy generated is utilised.


A5: The Gleadless Valley Regeneration Team are in partnership and working collaboratively with Opportunity Sheffield, the DWP and local GV organisations to support an employment and skills package for the people in Gleadless Valley.  The funding has been confirmed, is for anyone 16+ and contracts are due to commence early in the New Year.  As soon as the delivery partner/s have been confirmed, information on this will be on the Regeneration team’s Facebook page and other channels.

It is also worth noting that the council employs around 125 apprentices which is in important way of training up new people to do important jobs.


A written response was promised by the Chair. It was also highlighted that the PERP period was underway.