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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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Streets Ahead Celebrates Second Birthday

Streets Ahead is two years old! Listen to my interview here:


From Ewden in the North to Totley in the South, Tinsley in the East to Bradfield in the West, Streets Ahead is transforming and improving Sheffield’s roads, pavements and streetscene.


The 25 year programme has celebrated its second anniversary with the announcement that nearly 250 miles of road have been resurfaced along with more than 300 miles of pavements and footpath and that over 22,000 pot holes have been repaired.


In addition, street cleaning teams routinely empty 3,334 bins each week, 14,322 new LED streetlights have been installed and 64 new traffic signal schemes have been completed.


Cllr Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene, said: “We are very proud of the Streets Ahead project and delighted to be celebrating our 2nd anniversary. Over the past two years we have seen what a huge difference the project is making across the city. We can see better lighting; smoother roads and pavements and an improving streetscene.


“We have experienced some challenges on the way but we never expected this project to happen overnight. We are working hard to address some of the challenges and are confident that the city will continue to see their streets improving for the better.”


Rob Allen the Streets Ahead Business Director said: “These figures give some idea of the scale and scope of the Streets Ahead project which was launched in August 2012 to provide Sheffield with a highways network that is second to none.


“It is the biggest, most ambitious project of its kind in the UK and as such, has provided us with some big challenges.


“Looking at highways alone, we have committed to bringing Sheffield’s roads up to standard by August 2017, from the heavily used main routes that carry the bulk of the city’s commuters to side streets choked with parked cars.


“In order to achieve this we have to send out hundreds of thousands of letters to residents, closed roads, manage traffic, put  diversions in place, worked at night and ask residents to move their cars.


“Our work does cause people inconvenience but once the first five years of the contract are over, the city and its residents will be able to enjoy the benefits of smooth roads and pavements, brighter and more energy efficient LED lighting and improved road drainage.”


Key achievements by Streets Ahead include:


  • Resurfaced roads: 246.5 miles
  • Resurfaced pavements: 302 miles
  • Numbers of reported potholes repaired: 22,682
  • New street light lanterns installed: 14,322
  • Street cleaning: 3,334 bins are emptied every week, 500-600 tonnes of litter are collected every month and street cleaning teams have responded to 23,127 reports of litter, flytipping and graffiti.
  • Grass cutting: More than 25 million square metres of grass verges have been cut, the equivalent of 5050 football pitches.
  • 141 Structures repaired, strengthened and restored: from bridge strengthening schemes to culverts.
  • Number of drainage gullies replaced: 1,349, and 131,901 cleaned.

Council steps in to deal with blaze

In the early hours of this morning, Sheffield City Council stepped in to help partner agencies tackle an ongoing fire at an industrial estate in Ecclesfield.

Fire crews have been fighting the blaze at the Yarra Plastics site in Station Road since Wednesday night.

However, their work has been made more difficult as huge quantities of plastic at the site have melted together to form one large, smouldering, mass.

In order to enable the materials to be broken up and removed quickly and safely, Sheffield City Council has moved to meet the cost of bringing in heavy machinery.

This will assist fire crews in bringing the blaze to an early end, and also minimise any risks to residents from smoke.

Sheffield City Council will be seeking the full cost of this work from the landowner.

Councillor Jack Scott, cabinet member for environment, recycling and streetscene, said: “We are working hard with partner agencies including South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue and the Environment Agency to bring the incident to a close as soon as possible.

“Clearly our main concern is for the wellbeing of residents in the area, who are still being advised to keep their windows closed while the fire continues to smoulder.

“We hope that by stepping in and assisting in this way, our colleagues at the fire service will be able to safely resolve this blaze sooner than they otherwise would have done.

“It should also be stressed that we will seek to recover the full cost of this work from the landowner, so that it is not a further drain on public funds.”

The cost of bringing in the heavy plant machinery to break up the plastics is estimated to be in the region of £10,000

Speech to Full Council: The Great British Rip Off

Anyone who has spoken to people in Sheffield will be amazed at the LibDem motion. I don’t think I have ever seen a motion that is so out-of-touch, so aloof and so smug. Crisis – what crisis?

Of course, any improvement in the British economy is very welcome, however weak and however overdue.

But nobody should be in any doubt about this change  – it is for the South East, it is for the rich and it is for the short-term.

Let’s remember that 93% of people on zero-hour contracts don’t get any benefit from the rise in tax allowance whatsoever. The increase in tax allowance is almost entirely used by people earning over £30k – it doesn’t benefit the lowest paid whatsoever.

  • So if the economy is doing so well, why is the government planning to borrow an extra £190 billion MORE than they planned?
  • If the economy is doing so well, why does the IFS say an extra 400,000 children will be in poverty by 2015?
  • If the economy is doing so well, why are Councils being told to brace themselves for another 4 years of even more savage cuts?
  • If the economy is doing so well, why are over 850,000 young people still out of work?
  • If the economy is doing so well, why are living standards still falling?

The answer is because the economy isn’t nearly strong enough. Most working people are not feeling a recovery at all. And even worse, it is built on another housing bubble AND confined to one part of the country AND helping the richest the most.

The Lib-Dems and Tories may be happy with an economy that is low-wage, low-pay and low security, but Sheffield deserves better.

  • That’s why Labour would guarantee a job for every young person out of work for more than a year.
  • That’s why Labour would clamp down on exploitative zero hour contracts.
  • That’s why Labour will freeze energy bills for homes and businesses for two years.

Our communities need real action now, not the LibDems telling people they should feel richer and should be grateful for all the kind things the LibDems have done for them.

So let me finish by saying that if the Liberal Democrats want to make this general election a fight over who can stand up best for families, who can create good jobs and who can help with the cost of living crisis – I have only three words to say to them: Bring it on.



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


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