Elected in 2022 Local Elections steve-ayris-local-election-candidate-graves

Steve Ayris

Tell us a little bit about yourself

Graves Park councillor eight years. Previously as Heeley councillor parts of Woodseats and Norton Lees.
Work: former Midland Bank, voluntary sector and translator, all in Sheffield.
Campaigns: road safety across our area and tackling parking issues; against plans that impact badly on our precious local green spaces and heritage; protecting Graves Park from Council sell-offs; that the Labour/Green-run Council to allow former Norton Nurseries site on Graves Park to be restored back to parkland.

What do you think makes a good local councillor?

I believe a good local councillor is one who is a local champion who stands up for our community; one who has a record of working hard all year round, not just at election times. A good councillor is one who listens to and represents the views of all constituents; one who is prepared to challenge ideas or decisions; and one who is always prepared to learn.

Tell us three things you're aiming to focus on or achieve for your ward during your term as councillor

Three priorities (though there are many) for Graves Park ward that I’d like to see during my term as a councillor:

• Improve access to and protect our local parks and green spaces and to get the Council to honour their agreement that goes back 12 years to find an alternative site for their depot on Graves Park and allow the former Norton Nurseries back to be restored back to park land;

• I’d like to see consultation on 20-mph schemes extended for Norton Lane from the Water Tower to Jordanthorpe Parkway and for local distributor roads to Woodseats: Warminster Road, Hemsworth Road and Derbyshire Lane. Local highway schemes generally make neighbourhoods safer to get around;

• Help our local retailers & businesses recover from the Covid pandemic, while tackling graffiti & fly tipping in our area.

Tell us three things you're aiming to focus on or achieve for the city of Sheffield during your term as councillor

Three priorities (though there are more) for the city that I’d like to see during my term as a councillor:

• an integrated public transport system including a London style bus service, where need of passengers determines routes & frequency, to replace Labour’s bus partnership which has failed to deliver for the people of Sheffield to improve the local bus services;

• ensure the local plan is delivered and that developers make maximum use of brownfield sites; protect the greenfield sites in the green belt and maintain access to green space for all communities;

• improve social care by improving the conditions and training of our vital social care workers and tackle staff shortages to provide the best possible support to those who need their help.

Transport: “Air pollution contributes to 500 deaths a year in Sheffield. Living alongside a busy road carries the same risk as passively smoking 10 cigarettes a day.” https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/cleanair. Supported by better public transport and disabled accessibility, do you think private motor traffic should eventually be excluded from Sheffield city centre?

  • Yes
  • Unsure
  • No

If you'd like to add details on your position, please do so here

I believe that excellent public transport and people-friendly neighbourhoods are key to reducing pollution, traffic congestion, improving health and contributing to zero carbon. In order to encourage active travel & use of public transport, Sheffield first needs to ensure good public transport is in place. Labour’s bus partnership has failed to deliver for the people of Sheffield to improve local bus services.

To ban all private vehicles is currently neither desirable or appropriate for some people e.g. with poor mobility (not every person with reduced mobility is registered disabled); people travelling at late or very early times of day. People travelling longer distance into the city or with large items to transport, use of a private car may be the only or most practical means for some people, some of the time.

Housing: "The introduction of Selective Licensing can bring widespread benefits to the local community. In particular it will ensure that all private rented property within the designated area is safe and well managed" www.sheffield.gov.uk/selectivelicensing. Do you think Landlord Licensing in Sheffield should be extended, from currently applying to Abbeydale Road, Chesterfield Road and London Road, to covering more wards?

  • Yes
  • Unsure
  • No

If you'd like to add details on your position, please do so here

Licensing can be a valuable tool to help where there is an issue with properties across an area that is poorly maintained or otherwise below an acceptable standard. It can help improve standards and therefore should be an option.

However, where property in an area is generally a good standard there is no need for this & any individual issues can be tackled separately.

Local Democracy: “The primary purpose of the Local Area Committees (LACs) is to promote the involvement of local people in the democratic process and to bring decision making closer to local people.” www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/your-city-council/local-area-committees. Do you think Local Area Committees should be further developed?

  • Yes
  • Unsure
  • No

If you'd like to add details on your position, please do so here

I believe that more powers, with associated budgets, should be delegated to the Local Area Committees to bring real decisions as close to local people and communities that are affected by them as possible. This could include small highways projects; youth services; work to support isolated and vulnerable people; funding to maintain & improve our parks & open spaces and engagement with local business forums.

There should be a fairer and more proper funding formula than present for distribution of Community Infrastructure Levy via the Local Area Committees for those areas most impacted by new developments.

I firmly believe that management of charitable parks such as Graves Park should be brought under local control.

Local Economy: "Community wealth building (CWB) is a people-centred approach to local economic development, which redirects wealth back into the local economy, and places control and benefits into the hands of local people." https://www.gov.scot/policies/cities-regions/community-wealth-building. Do you think Sheffield City Council should support community wealth building?

  • Yes
  • Unsure
  • No

If you'd like to add details on your position, please do so here

I am not sure that this is the best solution for Sheffield.

Sheffield should be a great place to do business and should welcome new investment. Therefore, we should ensure a great place to do business and for the city to welcome new investment and that new businesses and businesses hoping to relocate to Sheffield have access to advice and support.

I would like to see the development of local business networks, working with the Local Area Committees, to channel investment into district shopping & business areas.

We should work with the business & retail community to develop the city centre and attract investment, reflecting a growing importance of leisure and culture to the city centre.