Tell us a little bit about yourself
I have lived in Sheffield since 1983. I met my Wife here and raised two children – both are now grown up. We have lived in Foxhill which is part of Southey Ward since 2009. For most of my working life I worked as a postal worker and although I retired in 2020. I am a member of the Communication Workers Union. My core values are equality, co-operation and friendship and as one of three local Councillors, work as part of a team for our community alongside Jayne Dunn and Tony Damms.
What do you think makes a good local councillor?
An ability to listen to what people are saying, including those I may disagree with. An ability to advocate for the people I represent. A willingness to challenge assumptions in proposals and reports because not all information presented as evidence is reliable. An ability to co-operate, negotiate to help the people I represent get a good or better deal. Patience and a determination to keep going is necessary because there are frustrations, demands and challenges in this role.
Tell us three things you're aiming to focus on or achieve for your ward during your term as councillor
1) Improve the quantity and quality of council housing stock along with housing repairs. In Southey we have recently opened Buchanan Green to provide supported independent living homes for the elderly and this frees up two and three bedroom homes for young families.
2) Improve the Youth Services, activities and work opportunities available to our young people. This is vital to to steering young people away from the dead end of crime and towards more fulfilling lives. For example, we have increased the number of council apprenticeships and those offered by contractors employed by Sheffield City Council.
3) Protect our community from the cost-of-living crisis. We have a network of community hubs and welcoming places where people can get advice, support and stay warm. Our Local Food Access Plan provides extra support to organisations to help prevent food poverty. I support investment in energy efficient housing and prioritising services to protect the most vulnerable.
Tell us three things you're aiming to focus on or achieve for the city of Sheffield during your term as councillor
Our Labour Manifesto sets out how we can plan to drive Sheffield forward in 2023-2024 and beyond.
In the manifesto we have set out 10 objectives. I will summarize three of them here:
1) Bring Sheffield City Council closer to the people we serve by delivering services at a more local level and redesign this organization so that it is more accountable and responsive to local needs.
2) Ensure that every child and young person has the best start and that everyone has access to the care they need throughout their life.
3) Rapidly reduce our carbon emissions and protect our environment.
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?
Some examples of our commitment to moving to net zero include:
1) Expanding the District Heating Network.
2) Introducing a net-zero test for council spending so that council projects are in line with net-zero commitments.
3) Expanding the retrofitting of homes.
4) Adopting “fabric first” planning policies that eliminate domestic fossil fuel burning in new developments.
5) Supporting community energy schemes.
6) Continuing our support for smaller businesses to improve their energy efficiency.
7) Continuing to work with South Yorkshire Mayor, Oliver Coppard to bring re-skilling and training opportunities to Sheffield, building a new workforce to deliver carbon reduction projects.
8) Continue with our commitment to get buses under public control so that people have genuine options to avoid dependency on private cars.
9) Press Central Government for funding to enable us to deliver an adequate EV charging network.
10) Pro-actively implement our commitment Community Wealth Building using local supply chains.
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?
We are committed to bringing buses and trams back into public control. We want our communities to be connected by good bus services that get people to where they need to go. This is vital to the larger picture of providing alternatives to car-based travel.
We support active travel and low traffic neighbourhood schemes but understand that these need public buy-in. We will work with communities to ensure that such schemes deliver for residents. Using the power of local expertise, Labour believes we can enable a wider pool of people to take up active travel. With the support of Active Travel England, we want to take a more informed , evidence-based approach to future active travel and low traffic schemes.
Whilst developing active travel networks are essential, we will never sideline those people whose physical need prevent them from walking or cycling.
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?
A core commitment for Sheffield Labour’s 2023 election campaign (manifesto here) is to “grow our local economy”.
Key to to achieving this, Labour will:
1) Develop a local Industrial Strategy
2) Support the creation of thousands of new jobs in green manufacturing through the Advanced Manufacturing District
3) Deliver a Local Plan focused on local sustainable growth.
4) Make Sheffield a global hub for sporting and cultural events, and deliver a Gallery of the North creating a new regional flagship artspace
5) Establish Sheffield as a Centre of Expertise for retrofitting homes
6) Increase the number of apprenticeships.
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 Labour is committed to using all powers available to improving housing throughout the City, whether for social tenants or private renters. This includes selective licensing schemes. These schemes have proven success in promoting clear expectations, targets and progress metrics as well as transparent and robust enforcement measures.
Licensing reduces the risk of illegal property conversions, poor fire safety and poor management standards.