Tell us a little bit about yourself
Hi there, I have lived in Hillsborough for 32 years and have always found it a great place to be. I was an engineer and then a teacher, parent and union officer. I got very involved in the local community when Wisewood Secondary School was threatened with closure and led the campaign to try to save it. I have been a campaigner for human rights and social justice all my life. I am very worried about the climate crisis and increasingly aware about its links to resolving inequality in society.
What do you think makes a good local councillor?
Through my union work, I believe that I have developed good skills in listening, understanding a wide variety of viewpoints and finding solutions to problems. It is important that Councillors give time, energy and enthusiasm to their role in helping improve their local area as well as the wider city. Green councillors believe that such improvements are best achieved in the long term by improving social inequality and the environment.
Tell us three things you're aiming to focus on or achieve for your ward during your term as councillor
I enjoy meeting local people and want to help to get the right funding and services to the right places. This will help build the work already begun by Green councillors in the Ward in developing a stronger and more resilient community spirit.
I want to encourage the Council to be less partisan, working across parties in finding solutions.
Support and signpost to help and advice those individuals or families who are in difficulties due to the cost of living crisis and breakdown in public services.
Tell us three things you're aiming to focus on or achieve for the city of Sheffield during your term as councillor
Supporting a circular economy so that more money spent in Sheffield stays in Sheffield. This means supporting small businesses and encouraging and supporting such groups as Hillsborough Together.
Campaign to reverse bus service cuts and for improved bus services. The cuts to the 52A are a scandal that has thrown many residents into great difficulty. Public transport is a public service that should be publicaly operated.
Demand that the Government restores proper funding to deliver local public services. Austerity is a political choice. There is ample funding available through sensible taxation on wealth and profit to properly fund all public services. This is achieved in many comparable countries.
Environment: Sheffield City Council has stated that to reach its aim of net-zero by 2030, "change will be difficult... we will have to take hard decisions as a council on behalf of the city". If elected, what changes will you make to enable Sheffield to reach net zero by 2030?
We need to create a Local Area Energy Plan for Sheffield that has the buy-in of the wider community and leads to a local area energy planning process.
We have to look at best practice from around the country and apply it here. In Exeter the Council have constructed all their buildings to the Passivhaus standard with very low energy demand. In Nottingham the council is retrofitting council homes to a very high standard to ensure residents have a comfortable home that is affordable to heat. We should incorporate solar panels into all new council buildings.
We need to find new sources of funding to ensure we can make improvements to public transport, support cycling and walking. The Employers Workplace Parking Levy brings in £9 million/year to help Nottingham City Council fund its improvements and it could work in Sheffield as well.
We need to find ways to help people make their own homes energy efficient. Our proposal to help people make improvements by releasing the capital in their own homes is innovative and has been trialled successfully before by Kirklees Council.
We need to establish strategic partnerships with renewable and energy efficiency installers to help ensure certainty on cost and delivery of measures.
We should use funding available for solar installations from Cooperatives on Council Buildings and encourage take up by large commercial organisations.
We need to encourage wider community investment in local renewable energy projects through a range of measures including Community Share Offers & Municipal Bonds.
We need best practice in Planning to support renewable energy installations by developers and to create a low carbon energy supply.
We need to encourage renewable and energy efficiency skills by making links between the Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency sectors with appropriate local training providers.
Government needs to be a partner and be aware of its role to help SCC achieve Net Zero.
Transport: Sheffield City Council, and the Mayoral Combined Authority, have been awarded multi-million pound pots to improve cycling and walking networks. What are your priorities for transport infrastructure in Sheffield?
Sheffield Greens have produced a vision document on transport ‘Get Sheffield Moving’ where quality public transport & safe walking & cycling could replace most routine car journeys.
Our vision for cycling and walking is:
A safe and convenient network of fully-protected cycle ways that connect homes, workplaces, shops & leisure areas.
Secure cycle parking at all public amenities including parks, shopping areas, libraries & leisure facilities.
Facilitate on-street cycle hangars according to local demand.
Cycling fully integrated with public transport, including spaces/racks for bikes on trams, bike racks on priority (commuter) bus services, and cycle parking at interchanges.
Make walking safer by removing obstacles from pavements (including parked cars) and properly enforcing parking laws.
Give pedestrians priority at crossings, provide wider pavements and clean, well-lit paths.
Local Economy: Sheffield City Council has a forecasted cumulative budget gap of £111million by 2026/27. How would you raise revenue for the city going forward?
As Sheffield knows all too well, bad decisions are very costly. The new Committee System means there is far more scrutiny of council policies at an early stage in their development. It is hard to quantify the benefit of good decision making but we do know that the legal costs for the Sheffield Tree Scandal were more than £413,000.
The funding settlement the Council receives from the government is unfair to Sheffield. The Council has had a 50% cut in government funding since 2010 in real terms. So our first demand is that the Government restores proper funding for local public services.
Housing: On 14th December 2022 the council adopted a motion asking the housing policy committee to consider adopting further selective licensing throughout the city. 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?
If you'd like to add details on your position, please do so here
Sheffield Green Party supports city-wide landlord licensing and we have been arguing for more protection for private tenants in Sheffield. Privately rented housing often inflicts extreme economic and social hardship on the tenants and contributes to a lack of community cohesion in areas of high renting. Landlord licensing means saving tenants from poorly maintained homes and creating a level playing field where landlords are rewarded for investing in good quality accommodation.