Sheffield Labour Council puts affordability at heart of development

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Planners at Sheffield City Council say that developers must take more time and look again at the amount of affordability they are offering the city.

At its meeting this afternoon, the planning and development committee at Sheffield City Council deferred a decision on a four-building new development on the Stokes Tiles site on Moore Street.

The Committee did not reject the application, but agreed that more time was needed to look at the detail of how many affordable units were being offered by the developer and whether this was sufficient.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Development and Transport said:

“I welcome the Committee’s decision today. Nobody is saying that the development is wrong or shouldn’t happen. Actually, the fact we have got something that could be so exciting is a real vote of confidence in our growing and vibrant city. There are lots of things about this development that are to be really welcomed.

“But there is also a housing crisis across the country and it’s vital that developers make a fair contribution towards addressing that.

“The Council has a very clear and robust approach to affordable housing, which is based on its vision for a fairer city.

“So it’s right that we go back and double check whenever developers say they aren’t able to meet our requirements. Sheffield deserves this clarity and assurance and it wouldn’t be right to approve a development without this.

“I’m looking forward to these discussions and I hope that we are then able to make progress.”

 

Video: Jurassic Kingdom in Norfolk Park

Response to Government’s Latest Fracking Announcement

 

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Central government today announced measures to support the development of British Shale Gas through local planning systems.

Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet for Development and Transport, Councillor Jack Scott, responded by saying: 

“We need a revolution in renewable energy, not more dirty fossil fuels.

But today it is clear that the government wants to press on with a reckless dash for gas, regardless of evidence, public opinion or the impacts on local communities.

This approach is an unwelcome mix of caving into the fracking industry and ploughing ahead with existing plans for fracking regardless of local views.

Despite their empty words about local consultation, the government is setting a dangerous precedent in taking away local decision making on planning decisions, and putting it in the hands of Tory ministers. This could see fracking unfairly imposed on areas against the will of local communities.

Labour has repeatedly made it clear we believe local communities do not want fracking in their area and we will continue to support our communities working to resist the unwanted advances of fracking companies, motivated purely by the huge profits they will make and not the legacy they will leave.”

New body worn video cameras keeping parking officers safe in Sheffield

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Sheffield City Council is taking action to prevent anti-social behaviour towards its team of Civil Enforcement Officers by issuing them with Body Worn Video cameras.

The council’s Parking Services Civil Enforcement Officers – who tackle the city’s problem parkers to keep the city moving and school children safe – have recently started wearing the light-weight devices, attached to their jacket pockets.

The team, which operates across the city, can often encounter difficult situations in the course of their day-to-day activities. Civil Enforcement Officers can now choose when to film using the state-of-the-art devices – and material can be used in criminal proceedings if necessary.

Between 2011 and 2015, the number of violent incidents against civil enforcement officers increased year on year. During 2014/15, 76 incidents were reported, which is more than twice the number of those reported in 2011/12.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability, said:

“I am so pleased that we are rolling out these body worn cameras across the whole team. we acknowledge the incredibly valuable job done by our civil enforcement officers.

“Our traffic officers help keep us all safe. They make sure that our children can get to school safely and that emergency vehicles can get where they need to go.

“The safety of our staff is absolutely vital. We have a zero tolerance approach to all aggression and we will not tolerate any acts of verbal or physical abuse whatsoever. These cameras are a vital way for us to keep our hardworking staff safe.”

The devices can capture high-quality images close up, including audio recording, and work at night in low light.

The cameras won’t be used to provide evidence to support issuing Parking Fines. They are solely for the prevention and detection of crime. They are visible on an officer’s uniform.

The Civil Enforcement Officers have received training in the use of the body-worn cameras, and the devices are only used when the officer feels under threat. The cameras won’t be constantly running. Devices are securely encrypted and they are password protected, so if stolen data is secure and can’t be deleted. They’re also very robust and damaging the device won’t stop the footage from being usable.

These cameras complement the other safety equipment officers are issued with, such as the Airwaves Two Way radio system which connects Civil Enforcement Officers direct to South Yorkshire Police control, so in the case of a serious incident police can be dispatched immediately.

 

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City Council Launches Ambitious “Sheffield Green City”

Sheffield has begun the journey to becoming a zero-carbon city by 2050 with the launch of its bold new Green City strategy with an ambitious six-point plan and launch of a new partnership to tackle the issues.

The report, set to be endorsed by the Council’s cabinet tomorrow, aims to reduce the city’s impact on the climate by becoming a zero-carbon city by 2050, taking steps to move to a low-carbon economy immediately.

It also sets out plans to empower communities, residents, public sector and businesses to become resilient to climate change and ensure the city’s homes and businesses use sustainable and affordable energy.

It will enable modern, reliable and clean journeys for everyone, ensure air is clean for all and create a green and innovative economy by supporting Sheffield businesses to become more energy efficient and delivering new low-carbon jobs for local people.

Green City Sheffield builds upon the ground breaking work of the Sheffield Green Commission. Sheffield City Council has already been leading the way to becoming a low-carbon economy.

Sheffield is testing the largest fleet of hydrogen vehicles outside of London and is the first large city to introduce anti-idling measures to stop people leaving their engines running outside schools. As a further sign of its commitment, the Council has also introduced the UK’s largest dockless bike sharing scheme.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport and Sustainability at Sheffield City Council, said:

“Our Green City is a deliberately ambitious and far-reaching plan, with big implications for how we live and work in Sheffield. We believe this is the clearest, boldest and most developed plan of anywhere in Britain.

“It clearly sets out the changes we need to make to be prepared for challenges like more extreme and unpredictable weather, as well as the investments and opportunities that will help to improve our health, clear our air, make our city easier to get around and make our energy more affordable for everyone.

“I am very clear that man-made climate change is the biggest social justice issue of this century and requires bold, radical action. This plans sets out how we will respond to this huge challenge and enhance and protect Sheffield’s environment for everyone.”

Sheffield was one of the first cities in the UK to introduce district heating and implement clean air powers in the 1970s and private sector investment has created a further two biomass-powered decentralised energy plants in the city.

 

Councillor Scott said:

“We have a great track-record of delivery and we need to work collectively to achieve our ambitious goals.

“I absolutely recognise that the transition to a low carbon economy will not always be easy, and will involve difficult choices at times. But this is about doing the right thing for people across our city, in order to create a fairer city, as the effects of climate change are not just environmental or economic.

“At its heart, man-made climate change is a social justice issue that especially affects people who are less-well-off.

“We want to enable all Sheffielders, businesses, institutions and organisations to play a role developing and delivering the solutions that will take Sheffield towards a zero carbon future.

“This is a bold, ambitious and credible plan for our great city that will help us to create and protect an environment that everyone can enjoy. We all know there has been a huge amount of debate and discussion over street trees on both sides.

“But we will only be able to build a fairer city if we focus on other broader environmental issues like decarbonisation, energy generation and the green-collar jobs of the future. This plan shows how we will do that.

“This plan gives us the tools we need to achieve our vision for Sheffield, where everyone breathes clean air, can access reliable, clean transport, feels safe and secure from the threats posed by man-made climate change and has access to affordable, sustainable energy to heat and power their homes and businesses.”

During 2015 Sheffield City Council facilitated the city’s first Green Commission. This independent commission was made up of key leaders and stakeholders from across the city, including business, industry, our universities, the public sector and the voluntary and community sector.

The final report of the Sheffield Green Commission – Sheffield’s Green Commitment – was published in 2016, and set out a vision for how, working together as a city, Sheffield could become a smarter, more sustainable, more competitive ‘future city’.

The Green City strategy will initially result in a city–wide Sustainable Energy Action Plan and signing-up to a recognised carbon reporting framework.

By 2020, the Council will have achieved a 30 per cent reduction in carbon emissions, and, in the next seven years, the Council and its partners will have substantially increased the level of low carbon and renewable energy generation in the city

By 2030, a majority of the city’s energy will be supplied from low carbon and renewable technologies, with work already being progressed to determine how the Council can use its own assets to generate renewable energy, and develop its existing energy networks.

The council will also launch a debate around how the city can adopt and stay within an agreed carbon budget, that enables Sheffield to deliver its share of the Paris Agreement; this will limit average temperature increases to well-below 2 degrees Celsius, and will have the aim of ensuring Sheffield becomes a zero carbon city by 2050.

To view the report, click here.

Clean and Green Sheffield: Record breaking £1.9m investment will re-power more than 115 buses in next year

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Sheffield will be a cleaner and greener city by the end of the year as Sheffield City Council announces record new investment in the city’s bus fleet.

£1.9m will be invested to retrofit 117 buses across the Sheffield network with emission reduction technology.

Once upgraded, the buses will produce less NOx emissions per kilometre than many types of modern car. The retrofit will reduce NOx emissions of buses to Euro VI standard, complying with standards set out in the council’s own ambitious Clean Air Strategy.

Upgrade work will be prioritised on the bus routes that travel through the worst pollution corridors – particularly First’s routes 51, 52a, 75/76, 81/82, 95 and 97/98, plus the Stagecoach routes 7 and 25. These buses travel around 7.8 million kilometres each year (4.8m miles) and so this prioritisation will significantly improve air quality across the city.

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport and Infrastructure at Sheffield City Council, said:

“Polluted air is a public health emergency across our country and we need to take decisive and urgent action to clean up our air.”

“The action we are announcing today is a big step forward in achieving our bold vision of safer, cleaner air for everyone in Sheffield. I’m delighted we are making these improvements, which will mean Sheffield’s bus fleet has amongst the cleanest and greenest bus fleet anywhere in the country.

“We know that air quality isn’t just about health, it’s about fairness and inequality too. As such, I’m especially pleased to confirm that we are focusing these bus upgrades on the routes where pollution is highest and vulnerable people are most affected. This will close the gap between the communities with the dirtiest and cleanest air, which I hope everyone will welcome.

“Of course this isn’t all we are doing. We are already trialling the biggest fleet of low-consumption hydrogen vehicles outside of London. We are introducing anti-idling education and enforcement outside schools.

“I am absolutely committed to a greener and cleaner future for everyone in Sheffield and the investment we are announcing today is an important step on this exciting journey.”

The council is working with all stakeholders to ensure that the impacts of their activities contribute to improving local air quality.

Kevin Belfield, Managing Director at First South Yorkshire, said:

“We are committed to investing in vehicles with ultra-low-emissions that assist with improving air quality and we’re therefore delighted with today’s news. Road congestion continues to be one of the biggest issues facing bus services and so it’s important that alongside today’s announcement that we continue to work with the local authorities and other bus operators to encourage less car usage across the city and entice more people to travel by bus.”

Matt Davies, Managing Director of Stagecoach, said:

“Bus travel is part of the solution to improving air quality in Sheffield. These retrofit engines are ninety five percent cleaner than previous models and emit fewer emissions than an average diesel car, but have 15 to 20 times the capacity and could take 75 cars off the road.”