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 14 March 2024.)



A petition had been received from Georgia Milne which had received 12 signatures:


“Save Land at Rock Street and Neville Drive as Community Green Space


We the undersigned petition the council to withdraw the sale of the green space at Rock Street and Neville Drive (S3 9JB) to instead preserve it for use as a community green space. Recognising the critical shortage of council-run allotments and community green spaces in the local Burngreave and Kelham neighbourhoods, we urge the council to reconsider the sale of this land for private development. Instead, we propose that the space be repurposed for the benefit of the community, either as social housing or as a dedicated green area accessible to all residents. We therefore request the council to: - Reevaluate the decision to sell council-owned green spaces, particularly the 2 acres at Rock Street and Neville Drive (S3 9JB). -Consider alternative uses for the land that prioritise the well-being and recreational needs of the local community, such as community gardens, allotments, public parks, or social housing. -Engage in open dialogue with local residents to gather input on the future use of this green space.


We are greatly concerned by Sheffield Council's recent decision to put up five council-owned green spaces for private sale, including 2 acres of land at Rock Street and Neville Drive (S3 9JB). In light of the limited access to community green spaces in the Burngreave and Kelham areas, we believe that preserving this land as a community green space is crucial for the well-being and recreational needs of local residents.


The local areas of Burngreave and Kelham are underserved in their access to community green spaces, such as council-run gardens or allotments. If the council's suggestion that 24 privately owned dwellings be built on the land is carried out, this will not only remove a large area of green space from the existing community but also increase the local demand for accessible green spaces.


It is well-known that once publicly owned land is sold, the chances of it being returned to public ownership are slim. Therefore, we strongly advocate for a comprehensive plan to retain public ownership of this green space, ensuring its continued use for the greater good of the local community.”


There was no speaker to this petition therefore a written response would be provided.




Zak Viney attend the meeting and asked the following question:


On the 7th February, I attended Full Council - asking Sheffield City Council to consider more ethical policies related to outdoor advertising.

Cllr Ben Miskell, Chair of the Transport, Regeneration and Climate Policy Committee, recommended I attend today’s meeting of the Finance committee, where the council’s new advertising and sponsorship policy is to be discussed. Cllr Miskell said Sheffield would look to draw on best practice from around the country and take an ethical approach to products and services. So it will be great to see the council joining the likes of Cambridgeshire County, Somerset and Coventry City Councils who have adopted strong policies against harmful advertising.

I’m excited to attend this meeting today to share my proposals with the council, which have been advised by experts in this matter, the campaign Ad Free Cities - whom themselves this month released a startling report, showing the majority of advertisements in England & Wales were placed in poorer areas. Notably in Sheffield, 60% of adverts were placed in the poorest 3 deciles, with only 2% in its most affluent third.

As I mentioned on February 7th, these adverts thrive on insecurities, debt and unhappiness - promoting consumerism in an age of climate breakdown and economic inequality. Sheffield Green Party has asked the council to consider a policy which does not support high carbon industries and products harmful to people and nature. As a representative of the Sheffield climate and social justice movement, I’d support this approach, with such a policy seeking to regulate adverts for products such as junk food, alcohol, gambling, SUVs and all polluting cars, fossil fuel financiers, airlines, airports and destinations that necessitate air travel.

A note that advertising of these products undermines the council’s own policies related to Clean Air, health and wellbeing. The council could also consider, if for profit advertising must be used, to prioritise promotion of local Sheffield businesses, as opposed to multinational corporations that overwhelmingly pollute our public realm with their advertisements. Evidence from a ban on junk food advertising across the TFL network in London shows that the ban has not led to any drop in revenue for the authority, and once more it has prevented 100,000 cases of obesity as well as thousands of cases of diabetes and cardiovascular disease, and could save the NHS more than £200 million.

A proactive measure from the Finance committee could help us create a happier, healthier Sheffield, freed from the pressures of harmful advertising. Taking action on this issue can discourage mass consumerism, an attitude which is driving climate and ecological breakdown, as well as harming wellbeing and local resilience.

While a policy to restrict harmful advertising will be a great step forwards, many sites that are not under the council's control will still not be affected. Given the harms caused, the deliberately intrusive nature of digital advertising, and the relationship between outdoor advertising and inequalities as I mentioned earlier, I would very much like to see Sheffield ban and remove such advertising altogether.

The Chair responded with the following answer:

The Council does not have powers to ban and remove advertising out of its control, but we are going to do everything we can for advertising that is within our control.

The display of advertisements is subject to a separate consent process within the planning system. This is principally set out in the
Town and Country Planning (Control of Advertisements) (England) Regulations 2007.

Advertisements are controlled with reference to their effect on amenity and public safety.

The Council is involved in decisions about advertising sites where an application requires the express consent of the local planning authority. When making decisions the local planning authority is limited in its powers, with decisions being based on set conditions which are detailed in the Regulations at Schedule 2, as shown below...

All advertisements, whether they require consent or not, are subject to the standard conditions in Schedule 2 to the Regulations. These are:

1.     no advertisement is to be displayed without the permission of the owner of the site on which they are displayed (this includes the highway authority, if the sign is to be placed on highway land);

2.     no advertisement is to be displayed which would obscure, or hinder the interpretation of, official road, rail, waterway or aircraft signs, or otherwise make hazardous the use of these types of transport;

3.     any advertisement must be maintained in a condition that does not impair the visual amenity of the site;

4.     any advertisement hoarding or structure is to be kept in a condition which does not endanger the public; and

5.     if an advertisement is required to be removed, the site must be left in a condition that does not endanger the public or impair visual amenity.

Decisions must be assessed on this basis. However, as per number 1 of these conditions, permission must be sought from the landowner. Where the Council is the landowner, it can refuse permission for an advertisement to be displayed.

Local planning decisions can be appealed with the Planning Inspectorate, which deals with planning appeals, national infrastructure planning applications, examinations of local plans and other planning-related and specialist casework in England.

The proposed Advertising and Sponsorship Policy for Sheffield is one of the most ambitious policies in the country. It recognises the impact of influential advertising within our communities and that advertisements are sometimes targeted towards our most vulnerable, those on low-income and areas of high deprivation. The policy goes further than national legislation to align with the Council’s plan, values and commitments.

The Council is working hard to support health and environmental improvements, and it is important that action is taken where possible to minimise exposure to products to get a better outcome from our people and planet.


Supporting documents: