ePetition details

STOCKSBRIDGE TOWN DEAL

We the undersigned petition the council to We the undersigned call on Sheffield City Council to step in as the Accountable Body for the Stocksbridge Town Deal funds and insist on full publication of the business cases or other relevant reports for all projects active and paused, followed by fresh public consultation and a complete review of rprsentation, governance and transparency of the Board to ensure compliance with Government guidance and City Council policy.

In 2021 Stocksbridge was granted £24m Levelling Up funding for ten projects spanning economy, health, environment and leisure aimed at reviving the whole town and its quality of life. (see below for a summary )
A ‘Town Deal’ Board was established to guide the programme and represent and consult the community.

Almost three years later the Board has just announced that £20m (or 84%) of the total is to be spent just on a new Library and Community Hub, replacing the existing one, with public spaces on Manchester Road.

Apart from some improvements in Oxley Park and possibly a new Hopper bus route all the rest of the programme is therefore unfunded and on indefinite hold.

No reports or factual justification for this drastic decision have been offered to the public beyond general reference to ‘inflation’ and no consultation on the decision or public reports or minutes have been offered, contrary to Government guidance for the Levelling Up Funds.

BID SUMMARY (FROM TOWN DEAL WEBSITE)
‘’The plan for Stocksbridge will benefit all parts of our town and all sections of our community. We have put together an ambitious and coherent programme of interventions which respond to the issues and opportunities, and reflect the priorities of local people and businesses.

Levering in additional public and private sector funding, the Towns Fund will create a lasting legacy by re-focussing our economy, upgrading the physical fabric of our town, raising the aspirations of adults and young people and improving the health and wellbeing of our residents. The Towns Fund monies will strengthen existing community assets and deliver new facilities which improve the town as a place to live, work and visit.

1. Manchester Road Community Crossover Hub – as the first phase of a transformation of our traditional high street, we will create space for entrepreneurs to start and grow the businesses of tomorrow. Encouraging collaboration, the Hub will create an enterprise eco-system where businesses in the digital, tech, creative, clean growth, professional, scientific and technical sectors can create highly productive, high value jobs. Education and skills provision will enable local people to acquire the skills needed for the new growth sectors, and a 21st century library will offer residents the latest in digital connectivity, as well as a modernised library service.

2. Town centre place-making – transforming Manchester Road and enhancing the experience of all who use it, new public realm and public spaces will create an environment attractive to workers, shoppers and visitors, and stimulate investment along Manchester Road and at key gateways into the town.

3. Town Centre Funicular Lift – this project will provide a highly original solution to the topography issues of this steep sided valley, as well as being a tourist attraction in its own right. A funicular railway will link the revitalised high street with thriving Fox Valley, serving a practical purpose and carrying bikes, walkers and shoppers, as well as becoming a great unique selling point for Stocksbridge.

4. Cycle and Walking Trails – building on Stocksbridge’s position as a gateway to the countryside, we will invest in improving and extending cycle and walking trails, including the Upper Don Trail and a new off-road loop around Underbank reservoir, attracting more visitors and leisure users, and supporting the move to active modes of travel. A new visitor hub and cycle hire facilities will encourage people to start and end their trip in Stocksbridge.

5. Buses for Stocksbridge – transforming local connectivity, we will focus Towns Fund investment on new bus services connecting the outlying areas and core residential areas within Stocksbridge and Deepcar with key destinations within Stocksbridge. We will seek to ensure that proposals for passenger services on the Don Valley Railway are taken forward through the Restoring Your Railway fund.

6. Post-16 education hub – this project will transform part of the existing estate at Stocksbridge High School to bring post-16 education to Stocksbridge, raising aspirations amongst young people and parents.

7. Stocksbridge Sports Hub – working with a consortium of local sports clubs, we will enhance the quality, suitability and sustainability of sport and activity provision within Stocksbridge, including the development of an all-weather 3G pitch and associated infrastructure.

8. Wellbeing Approach and Hydrotherapy centre – investment in a facility to improve physical and mental wellbeing, building on the existing facilities at Stocksbridge Leisure Centre, and ensuring maximum wellbeing benefits from all Towns Fund investment.

9. Oxley Park phase 2 – building on the investment made with accelerated funding, to provide a new skatepark and improved footpath network, connecting the leisure centre to the park.

10. Little Don River Improvements – creating a resilient, biodiverse river with enhanced opportunities for residents and visitors to experience the river, its plants and animals, and its role in the area’s industrial heritage.’’

Started by: Simon Ogden (Various)

This ePetition runs from 23/01/2024 to 23/03/2024.

326 people have signed this ePetition.