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I am a Councillor on Sheffield City Council for Arbourthorne ward in Sheffield, a member of the Cabinet and a Labour Party activist.

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Barbecue Bins Installed on Devonshire Green

Cllr Jack Scott, "Phil The Bin" and Darren Butt with the new Barbecue bins

Cllr Jack Scott, “Phil The Bin” and Darren Butt with the new Barbecue bins

 

The Streets Ahead team is helping residents ‘Keep Sheffield Stainless’ by installing barbecue bins in public spaces, including Devonshire Green, this summer.

 

Phil the Bin, the city’s anti-littering mascot, paid a visit to the Green to urge picnickers to look out for the shiny steel bins and use them to dispose of their barbecues and hot coals safely.

 

Phil is on a mission this year to get all residents and visitors to help “fill the bin”, whether that means barbecue bins, regular bins or the increasing number of recycling bins that can be found across the city.

 

Councillor Jack Scott, Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene, said: “As the weather hot’s up we know that residents will be using the public spaces across the city to have barbecues and socialise. We are encouraging this but also asking them to take responsibility for their litter use the barbecue and recycling bins provided.

 

“Each month the Streets Ahead team collects over 500 tonnes of waste across the city and, while our street cleaners do a great job, we need all residents, businesses and visitors to take care of their communities and not drop the litter in the first place.”

 

Darren Butt, Operations Director for the Streets Ahead team, said: “Summer is one of our busiest times of the year because everyone is out enjoying the nice weather. We have over 120 street cleaners working day and night to keep the city spotless.

 

“However, litter is something that is very noticeable. If each resident, business or visitor disposed of their litter responsibly, then we could ensure it is a better place for everyone to live in.”

Streets Ahead Team Thank Visitors to Tour De France

 

Welcome to Sheffield!

As the city recovers from celebrating the Tour de France the Streets Ahead team has sent its thanks to all the visitors and residents who did their bit to make it such a success.

 

The Streets Ahead team worked for months in the run up to the event to ensure the route and the whole city looked its best to welcome the riders and visitors from across the world.

 

As well as surveying the whole route to ensure street furniture, trees and walls would stand up to the expected crowds, more than four miles of road were resurfaced and  street furniture – including traffic signals, road islands, speed bumps and bollards – were temporarily removed. These will be re-instated over the coming weeks.

 

Over four and a half tonnes of litter were collected along the route afterwards.

 

Cllr Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene, said: “The Tour de France was a fantastic event and we would like to thank all Sheffielders and visitors to our city for making it a success. Everyone had a great time. We have had feedback from the Tour organisers who were very pleased with our organisation, the condition of the route and the support they received from all the spectators. It’s especially good that we have been able to get the city cleaned up and back to normal at double quick time.

 

“We will build on our investment in hosting the prestigious Tour de France cycle race by using it to encourage more people to take to their bikes.”

 

Robert Allen, Business Director for Streets Ahead, said: “We had hundreds of employees working intensively in the days and nights running up to the event and over 100 were in action across the city on the day to ensure the Tour de France passed through smoothly.

 

“The clean-up operation afterwards was given a helping hand by all the spectators, who used the hundreds of litter bins and bags we provided. We would like to thank Sheffield for its support.”

Street Cleaners Fill Into Fargate to Give Anti-Littering Message

The Street Cleaning Flash Mob!

The Street Cleaning Flash Mob!

Shoppers on Fargate had a surprise when they found themselves surrounded by yellow clad street cleaners who gave their anti-littering message in their own unique way.

The cleaners were accompanied by college student Becky Friskney singing the Lulu hit ‘Shout’ as a way of shouting about the city’s new Stainless Sheffield campaign. They were also accompanied by the campaign mascot Phil the Bin who entertained on lookers with this dance moves.

The ‘Keep Sheffield Stainless’ campaign was launched earlier in the year to encourage people to take pride in their communities and play their part in keeping the city clean.

Cllr Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene, said: “We are immensely proud of our city and work hard to ensure that it is clean and stainless. We have over 120 street cleaners across the city working day in day out to ensure that the city is kept clean.

“However, litter is something that is very noticeable and if each resident, business or visitor disposed of their litter responsibly then we could ensure it was a better place for everyone to live in.”

The Street Cleaning Manager for Streets Ahead, Sara Bradley said: “People don’t always notice street cleaners but they certainly noticed them today!

“It was all a bit of fun but behind it there was a serious message we really wanted to shout about, which is why we chose the Lulu song.

“We work really hard to keep the city looking its best but everyone can play their part by using the litter bins provided, including an increasing number of recycling bins.

“These will both help the environment and reduce the amount of rubbish that goes to landfill.”

For more information on Streets Ahead works visit http://www.sheffield.gov.uk/streetsahead

Sheffield City Council Calls for Bold Action on Climate Change

Sheffield City Council has today reacted to the formal publication of two new reports into the causes and effects of climate change.

The 5th Assessment Report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the most complete assessment ever undertaken of the planet’s climate, set up by the United Nations. The IPCC does not carry out its own research, but bases its assessment on the published work of scientists across the world. The IPCC report is over 2000 pages in length and cites over 9000 scientific publications. It is the most thorough scientific document produced.

It has concluded that [direct quotes]:

• “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia.”
• “Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased to levels unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years.”
• “Human influence on the climate system is clear. It is extremely likely (95-100% probability) that human influence was the dominant cause of global warming between 1951-2010.”
• “Continued emissions of greenhouse gases will cause further global warming and changes in all components of the climate system. Limiting climate change will require substantial and sustained reductions of greenhouse gas emissions.”
• “Most aspects of climate change will persist for many centuries even if emissions of CO2 are stopped.”

At the same time, research published by the Met Office in the academic journal ‘Nature Climate Change’ has found that global warming will lead to drier, hotter summers in the UK, which are more prone to both long droughts and short extreme downpours.

In response, Councillor Jack Scott, the Council’s Cabinet Member for the Environment said: “These new reports provide strong and compelling scientific evidence that climate change is happening, is caused by human activity and will have a devastating impact if urgent action is not taken to reduce our carbon emissions and invest in mitigation.

“It highlights the need for a global, legally binding treaty to cut carbon emissions at the Paris Conference next year. We also need to decarbonise our energy supply and invest massively in clean renewable energy and create green collar jobs.

“Sheffield people remember the awful floods of 2007 and 2010 – these scientific reports are telling us that problems like those are going to happen more often and be even more severe. They paint a very bleak picture for our future, for our city and our planet, unless we take determined, consistent and bold action to reduce carbon emissions now.

“We’ve established a Green Commission to build agreement of what needs to happen and develop a proper plan to make sure we take action on the greatest threat our society faces. As one of the greenest cities, Sheffield needs to be a national leader in this work. We cannot afford to get this wrong.”

Read the full post »

Profile In The Star

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The Star have asked all candidates to provide 150 words about their election – so no length at all.

Here is what The Star published :::

Jack is the current Sheffield Council cabinet member for environment, recycling and street scene. He is the CEO of a local Sheffield charity that supports vulnerable children and families.

He said: “I’ve worked in Arbourthorne for four years. In that time, I’ve helped hundreds of local people with problems around housing, crime, anti-social behaviour and improving our environment.

“By working together, we’ve achieved some very good things, such as the new playground in Arbourthorne and the new homes in Norfolk Park. We’ve also seen new roads at the top of the estate with more to come.

“This election is about people in Arbourthorne choosing someone who will stand up for them against this government and work with everyone in our community to make it better.

“Arbourthorne ward is a great community. It is the one of the first things I think about in the morning and one of the last things I think about at night. I will always stand up for its residents.”

Sheffield Council’s Chief Medical Expert Blasts ConDems on Food Poverty

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Today the Director of Public Health in Sheffield, Dr Jeremy Wight, has signed a letter alongside other Members of the Faculty of Public Health concerning food poverty and food banks. The letter is published below.

The real question now is whether the government will listen to this latest group of experts, or continue with their reckless, heartless and useless policies?

To: Rt Hon David Cameron, MP, Prime Minister, 10 Downing Street, London SW1A 2AA

Thursday 24 April

Dear Prime Minister,

There is a worrying gap in health circumstances and outcomes between rich and poor people in the UK.[1] [2] [3]. Complex though the reasons for this inequality are, the reality is that hard-working families in the UK are living in poverty and do not have enough income for a decent diet. This not a reality that any of us should accept here in the UK, the world’s sixth largest economy and the third largest in Europe. We urge you to act on the findings of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger and Food Poverty’s Parliamentary Inquiry when it is published.

We wish to draw attention to three specific issues. Firstly, food poverty is increasing. It is not just that more people are using food banks[4]. They are a symptom of a more extensive pressure for emergency food aid. This was summarised for your Government in a report to Defra released this year.[5]

Food bank numbers are an inadequate indicator of need, since many households only ask for emergency food help as a last resort. More and more households find themselves unable to afford a decent diet and now include those in work. Reliance on hand-outs should not be part of any modern, society-wide and evidence-based approach to public health policy.

Secondly, there is the underlying issue of food costs and prices. The Office for National Statistics and Defra have shown that the rising costs of food over the last six years are proving increasingly hard for lower income households to manage. The food industry is well aware of these problems; nevertheless, food is likely to continue to cost more in the future.

Over the last five years, food has been one of the three top factors in price inflation,[6] sufficient to worry even higher income consumers.[7] In a time of high fuel prices, this has translated into families cutting back on fresh fruit and vegetables and buying cheap, sweet, fatty, salty or processed foods that require little cooking. A huge amount of on the ground experience and Trussell Trust data suggests that the welfare system is increasingly failing to provide a robust last line of defence against hunger. A vicious circle is set in train, with poorer people having worse diets and contributing to the worrying rise in obesity, diabetes and other dietary-related diseases. [8]

The third issue is the problem of stagnant incomes and wages among the low paid. In real terms, according to Office for National Statistics, incomes have fallen in the first significant manner since the 1960s.[9] ONS calculates that UK workers have suffered a 7.6% fall in real wages over the past six years.[10] Increasing numbers of people on low wages are not earning enough money to meet their most basic nutritional needs.

Our concern is that this puts an overwhelming strain on household food budgets. An affordable nutritious diet is a prerequisite of health. We view the rise of food poverty as indicating the reversal of what was a long process of improvement in food availability and affordability since World War Two. The full situation is complex. Nonetheless, public debate about food poverty is sometimes too quick to ‘blame the poor’ without understanding the pressures poorer families are under.

As public health organisations, our role is to improve, not go backwards. The CMO has recently raised concerns about obesity becoming normal. [11] Our organisations and fellow health professions are committed to assisting the public and the food industry to take the healthier route. Failure to do so will come with immense costs to individuals, families, communities, employers, the NHS and government. Food poverty has never been acceptable in a modern UK. We urge you to act on the findings of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Hunger and Food Poverty’s Inquiry [12, 13] to make clear that this injustice is not acceptable now.

The UK Faculty of Public Health urges you to instigate an independent working group to monitor UK nutrition and hunger status. We are willing and ready to offer our professional expertise to support this group, and national efforts to alleviate food poverty and improve the nation’s health.

Yours sincerely,

References:

1 DEFRA. In: Food Statistics Pocketbook. London: DEFRA, 2013: 18.
2 Wales P, Taylor C. Economic review, April 2014. London: Office for National Statistics, 2014.
3 Taylor-Robinson D, Rougeaux E, Harrison D, Whitehead M, Barr B, PearceA. The rise of food poverty in the UK. BMJ 2013; 347: f7157. PubMed
4 Lambie-Mumford H, Crossley D, Jensen E, Verbeke M, Dowler E.Household food security in the UK: a review of food aid. London: Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, 2014.
5 Office for National Statistics. An examination of falling real wages, 2010—2013. London: Office for National Statistics, 2014.

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