While the chimney sculptures may be attractive and remind us of our industrial past, they will also represent the modern-day air pollution that makes Tinsley an unhealthy place to live because it’s next to the M1. That’s only going to get worse for local people as development is increasingly focused in the east end, drawing in more road traffic.

The Council’s decision to approve the Meadowhall Leisure Extension relies on two key actions to mitigate air pollution. Firstly, the council’s out of date Air Quality Action Plan with objectives to be achieved by 2015. It has failed to meet the key objective of reducing 500 premature deaths each year in the city. Secondly, improvements in vehicle technology to reduce emissions by 2021.

Neither offers any robust, proven action that will address the air pollution and the linked serious health issues that blight the Tinsley area. This decision sidelines the Sheffield Council’s current Public Health Strategy which says “We will adopt a principle of health in all policies & systematically consider health and wellbeing outcomes, and inequalities across all of the decisions.”

Air pollution and public health cannot be swept under the carpet. People who live in Tinsley cannot be sacrificed for east end development. Meadowhall will contribute £250,000 to the chimneys artwork as part of this decision. That amount of money and more really needs to be spent on public health in Tinsley. No community in Sheffield is more vulnerable and air pollution kills people.

Eamonn Ward
Sheffield Green Party

In response to http://www.thestar.co.uk/whats-on/out-and-about/tinsley-towers-replacement-revealed-cracked-hovering-leaning-and-knotted-chimney-sculptures-to-form-huge-450-000-canalside-art-trail-in-sheffield-1-8761291

Cameron Fleming wants to hear a lot less about street trees and more about the courage of people like Dennis Skinner MP who voted against his own party over 500 times (Star letters 20 September).

I note that you simply can’t do that if you are a Labour councillor in Sheffield. The only councillor to step out of line recently was Nasima Akhter who was suspended from the Labour group in January just for abstaining in a tree-felling council vote.  Cllr Akhter (Nether Edge & Sharrow ward) resigned from the council in April.

The street trees campaign has publicly exposed Labour’s undemocratic, one party state, rule of this city. We need to keep hearing more about this campaign not less – it’s exposing the actions of the ruling Labour group to proper scrutiny. It’s acting as our “Watchdog”.

Rachel Hardy
Sheffield Green Party

Michael Gove meeting Cllr Teal, STAG and Wildlife TrustYesterday, the Secretary of State for the Environment, the Rt Honourable Michael Gove, visited Sheffield and met with Cllr Alison Teal of the Sheffield Green Party. The meeting also included representatives from the Sheffield and Rotherham Wildlife Trust and Sheffield Trees Action Groups, and was facilitated by the Editor of the Yorkshire Post.

The Secretary of State attended the meeting to learn more about the campaign groups and their supporters, and their aims and demands.

Commenting after the visit, Cllr Alison Teal said,

“Today I had the opportunity to discuss the Council’s tree felling programme and the campaign against it with the Secretary of State, who had traveled to Sheffield to discuss the situation with myself and other tree campaigners and organisations.

“The Secretary was very shocked to hear about how the campaign has been completely ignored, derided, and defamed by the Labour administration, despite us only ever wanting to sit down and have constructive dialogue.

“This Labour Council’s treatment of the many thousands of people, especially in my ward of Nether Edge and Sharrow, who disagree with the destruction of trees, is quite frankly appalling. The Secretary of State and everyone around the table agreed that the Council has handled this issue incredibly badly.

“Mr Gove said his impression was that, ‘Sheffield is losing, we are losing, an amazingly valuable resources and the justification for it seems as flimsy as an autumn leaf’.

“We want a constructive way forward and the Secretary of State was clear that he would be looking at any legal and policy options available to his Department to help us save healthy street trees.”

“It has come to something when the Environment Secretary himself feels the need to travel to Sheffield to listen to residents, campaigners, and opposition Councillors before then having words with the Leader of the Council.

“Unfortunately, this just demonstrates how the unpopular and unwanted tree felling programme continues to be a source of national and international embarrassment for  the city of Sheffield.”

Sheffield CaresHelp people in need by paying in advance for and extra drink or snack, when you go to:

The Art House
Backfields, S1 4HJ (off Division Street, beside Café Nero)

The Holt
Arundel Street, S1 4RE (near Decathlon and The Moor, next to Lord Nelson pub)

Pinstone Street, S1 2HN (Opposite the Peace Gardens)

When you buy food or drink for yourself at these cafés, you can opt to buy one or more ‘pending’ drinks or snacks. Your kind donation can then be redeemed later by a vulnerable person in need.

Find out more about Pending Coffee at www.pendingcoffee.co.uk

Anthony NaylorAnthony Naylor is the Green Party candidate for the by-election in Beighton Ward on October 12th. The election is being held following the resignation of Labour Cllr Helen Mirfin-Boukouris.

“I have lived close to Crystal Peaks for many years and The Market Place was the perfect place to start my photography business. I speak to many people, building an understanding of the issues of people living in the area. Plus the issues of people travelling from distance to shop at Crystal Peaks. Based on these conversations I recently started a petition for parking improvements which gained 600 signatures. This has been recognised by Crystal Peaks management with changes now due to improve access.

The response to the campaign to preserve healthy street trees and collapse of the Sheffield City Region devolution deal due to party in-fighting show the Labour run council are not listening to the public. Or acting in our best interests. This by-election provides an opportunity to start making the changes urgently needed by electing a councillor from a party other than Labour to represent Beighton ward.”

Please forward any enquiries to Election Agent Eamonn Ward via eamonn.ward@sheffieldgreenparty.org.uk or 07503 883740

I have been part of a working group of councillors looking at improving formal meetings, for the benefit of both the public and the council.  We welcome this, as the Greens have continually pushed for greater openness, including webcasting of council meetings, for several years. This is by far the best way of letting the public see what goes on in the council chamber.  Our full list of proposals is on the website.

September’s full council meeting was the first to start at the new time of 5pm, with shorter meetings, shorter debates and shorter speeches. Although we had worked hard to achieve agreement in the working group, the council meeting was characterised by the points of disagreement.  We objected to Labour’s proposal to limit the number of motions (pdf) we could put forward.

At the moment, the council’s constitution allows councillors to put forward motions without a limit on their number.  In the last 6 ordinary meetings, we have put forward 8 motions, on air pollution, the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) in higher education, fossil fuel divestment, diversity in the theatres, funding for buses, HS2,  trees, safety and a motion of no confidence in the council leadership.

Under Labour’s proposal, we would only be able to put four motions a year and none at all this month.  Labour’s proposal was also to change the order so their own motions would always be debated first.

We challenged Labour’s power-grab by putting forward two motions anyway, one of them on the importance of upholding the constitution.  The Chief Executive grudgingly admitted he had “no basis for rejecting the two Green motions.”

One of the recommendations from the working group was to be more open by being clear about who was proposing and seconding them so it was ironic that Labour’s proposal was put anonymously on the agenda paper.  We said that if Labour wants to use their majority to change the constitution, they must do it openly.

There were petitions and public questions.  Petitions included a request to withdraw the Freedom of the City from Aung San Suu Kyi in protest at the treatment of the Rohingya by the Burmese authorities. Although there was sympathy, this issue had to be deferred to another day.

Then there was a petition by Anthony Cunningham, with 7,538 signatures, asking to be provided with a “night-café.” This was very similar to his previous petition asking for a night-shelter. After a minor drama involving shouting and being asked to leave the council chamber, the debate was short and the issue referred to the Scrutiny Committee.

Three petitions did not have speakers so they were just referred to the Cabinet member without comment.  Unusually, the number of signatures for each was not announced until the council was challenged. Only then was it revealed that the petition to save the elm on Chelsea Rd had 3,023 signatures (enough to secure a discussion at a Scrutiny Committee) and the petition to “stop debating trees” had only eight.

In fact the public interest in trees continued. In answer to Nigel Slack, the council responded that about 100 miles of streets were yet to be resurfaced despite the Core Investment Period coming to an end. We received a written answer to our question, which showed the council’s legal costs for obtaining injunction were £150,000. We were told the “evidence collectors” were not SIA-registered or DBS-checked.  Unfortunately, Cllr Bryan Lodge side-stepped the question of why, Given that the Streets Ahead contract states that Amey is liable for any losses caused through trespass and protest, it was the Council – and not Amey –  that bore these costs.

As questions about trees were left to the end of the public session, they were hurried and Sally Goldsmith was stopped from asking her question about the Vernon Oak. The Lord Mayor ordered her to sit down, at which point she publicly gave her resignation from the Labour Party.

Interestingly, this question was similar to my written question about the Chelsea Elm – “is it not wrong and disingenuous for the Council to make completely unsubstantiated claims?”

In public questions, Deborah Cobbett asked what the council was doing about the NHS’ “Accountable Care Systems,” the replacement for cuts in the Sustainability and Transformation Plans. The Cabinet member said there would be a paper to Cabinet in 2 weeks. There isn’t.

Peter Davies from the GMB asked why Labour-controlled authorities such as this one had “gone further than the Tories” in cutting wages of Veolia staff.  The cabinet denied responsibility as it was an outsourced contract.

Once we got to motions for debate, it was about the Government and council promoting HS2 and the decision to abandon the electrification of the Midland Main Lane.  Rob Murphy was the only speaker to point out the obvious connection between the two.

Labour’s other motion, on betting shops, had no absolutely connection to Sheffield, any more than any other town in Britain. Whilst all councillors agreed that betting shops cause a problem, we pointed out the contradictions between Labour’s national position and the Labour council’s statement of “how important this sector of the entertainment industry is within the city.”

Our two motions were voted on.  We actually voted in favour of the Labour amendment to our motion on the constitution as we secured their confirmation that “changes to the constitution will only take place in accordance with the constitutional process.”

Our second motion called for an urgent reassessment of the supply and demand of purpose-built student accommodation. Our figures show that more bedspaces in these blocks have been approved for planning permission in the last 12 months than in the previous 5 years.  We believe the council needs up-to-date information on the current situation.  Labour voted against this proposal.

For a council meeting run on new lines, I thought the best analysis was from the Star’s reporter Alex Moore who tweeted “Not sure that was any more or less engaging than the previous format.”

Cllr Douglas Johnson
Sheffield Green Party

These answers were given to our questions, on the Streets Ahead contract, fire safety and recycling, at the council meeting on 6th September 2017. The full text of these are on the council website.

Felling trees and Streets Ahead

Save Sheffield treesQ: Given that the Streets Ahead contract states that Amey is liable for any losses caused through trespass and protest, why did the Council, and not Amey, take legal proceedings against campaigners?

A: The Council took legal action as it has a duty to maintain the highway under Section 41 Highways Act 1980.

Q: How much have the legal proceedings cost the Council?

A: The total legal charges to date in the injunction litigation are £150,472 made up of

  • £24,275.41 Legal Internal recharge
  • External costs (as of 14/08/17) for injunction:
  • Counsel’s fees: £94,005.70 (£112,780.24 inc VAT)
  • Process server and investigations: £12,634.75
  • Court fee: £783.00.

Q: Who is the data controller for the recently-hired “evidence collectors”?

A: Evidence is provided to the Councils legal department.

Q: Are they all SIA registered and DBS checked and does the Council hold verification of this?

A: SIA registration is irrelevant and the roles do not carry a requirement for DBS checks.

Q: Are they permitted to take pictures of children?

A: Those taking photographs have been instructed to avoid taking photographs of children if at all possible. However, if protesters choose to include their children in protests then they are creating a risk that their images might be recorded.

Q: Given that the only two expert reports commissioned by the Council on the Chelsea Elm advise the problems with the tree are “minor but rectifiable” by crown reduction to leave a “reasonably balanced and aesthetically pleasing specimen,” is it not wrong and disingenuous for the Council to make completely unsubstantiated claims that decay is “significant and extensive” and work would “dramatically alter the look of the tree.”

A: The reasons for the planned replacement of the trees are detailed on the Council’s web site. The report from the independent tree inspector carried out aerially on 25 th October 2016, states “All the topping points have decay ranging from 100 millimetres to 150 millimetres in depth. The topping points have a profusion of new growth between three and five metres in length. It was noted that a number of the topping points had died. Of particular note is a large scaffold limb 340 millimetres in diameter with a significant cavity on the south eastern canopy. The cavity was examined with a probe and found to extend beyond 600 millimetres into the limb. The limb’s residual wall is found to be particularly thin and within current scientific observations for potential failure, though there were no features in the bark to indicate the beginnings of such.” Both Council and Amey tree specialists categorise such a situation as substantial decay and they expect to have to carry out significant pruning to deal with the decay and that will in their opinion have a dramatic effect on the form of the tree. It should be noted that in order to end up with a balanced (safe) tree (as the independent inspector noted) further pruning of healthy material will be required in addition to that of the decayed material. The categorisation made by the inspector is from British Standards and it should be noted that on other trees with similar categorisation the same inspector actually recommended felling.

Q: On 1st February this year, you determined to set the record straight about street trees: http://www.sheffieldnewsroom.co.uk/street-trees-myth/. The so called Myth #2 is “It’s cheaper to remove a tree than it is to retain it.” However, you go on to explain the truth of the matter is that, “The costs associated with removing an existing tree followed by sourcing, planting and maintaining a replacement are greater than those associated with maintenance of a mature tree,” and you go on to explain a number of variables to consider. Given the huge expense of tree replacement, would it not be more prudent to retain all healthy street trees that are marked for felling due to minimal kerb and/or carriageway damage?

A: Your proposal would mean the Council would not comply with its legal duties.

Q: Will the Council quantify the overall cost of delays to the Streets Ahead works caused by the ITP process, in addition to the operating costs of the ITP? Will the costs be made available to the public?

A: Contractual matters are complex and allocating responsibility for issues depends on the circumstances. As we have stated the costs of delays to Streets Ahead works are difficult to quantify at this stage because we are still in the Core Investment Period.

Fire Safety

Q: How many organisations have been written to [about fire safety in private tower blocks] and how many replies have been received?

A: Overall, the Director of Housing has contacted over 100 organisations that we understand have properties deemed as high rise. Additional addresses have been provided by SYFRS recently. Approximately 40 organisations have responded to date and follow up letters are being sent.

Q: How many of these blocks does the Council consider to be safe against fire?

A: Most private high rise blocks in the city have been built within the past 10-15 years, so they must meet current Planning and Building Regulations and have been inspected by South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

Q: How many have failed fire safety inspections?

A: Currently SYFRS have notified us that four private sector blocks have failed the DCLG cladding test undertaken by the BRE. SYFRS have advised that appropriate mitigations are in place and three of these are actively removing cladding as part of the fire safety mitigation activity.


Q: What is the latest estimate of the number of Sheffield residents – typically, those in blocks of flats – who do not yet have facilities for recycling (a) glass, (b) plastics, (c) paper and card, (d) metal cans, to a level broadly commensurate with blue bins for kerbside recycling?

A: There are approximately 15,000 flat and maisonette properties that do not receive a recycling service broadly commensurate with blue bins for kerbside recycling. As per the policy agreed by Cabinet in November 2009, where a recycling container is shared by more than one property then residents are restricted to recycling cans and glass bottles, along with paper and card. In January, 2017 Cabinet approved changing the kerbside recycling service, exchanging the blue box for a 240 litre brown bin. When this change is implemented those flats and maisonettes that don’t currently receive a recycling service commensurate with the kerbside recycling service will be provided with one that is, including the opportunity to recycle plastics.

Giant plug travelling from London to Sheffield in call for railway electrificationLast Saturday (September 9), environmental campaigners boarded a train in London, carrying a giant electrical plug. They then passed it on at Bedford and the plug continued in a relay all the way to Sheffield.

Local groups all the way along the route called on the Government to reverse the decision made in July to cancel plans to electrify the Midland Mainline beyond Kettering. They asked the Government to ‘plug in’ their trains to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions.

On the day, both on the trains and at stations, campaigners collected signatures on a petition asking the Government not to go back on their promise to electrify the railways. The petition was created by two national organisations, 10:10 and the Campaign for Better Transport.

After the green plug arrived at Sheffield station there was a rally calling for electrification organised by the Sheffield Climate Alliance, Sheffield Friends of the Earth and Sheffield Green Party.

Beatrice Greenfield, from Sheffield Friends of the Earth said:

“Electrifying the railways would reduce the carbon footprint of travel because electricity generation is rapidly becoming cleaner. Diesel trains also contribute to air pollution, which is estimated to cause 40,000 premature deaths a year in the UK. Switching to electric trains would lead to substantial improvements in air quality in Sheffield, where it contributed to 500 deaths last year.

Natalie Bennett, former leader of the Green Party and Sheffield Green Party member said:

“This decision is a further blow to the North, while the government continues to pour money into transport infrastructure in London and the South East. The Government talk about ‘rebalancing the economy’ and the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ rings particularly hollow in the light of this decision, while we are also seeing a failure to invest in essential east-west services that should link Hull and Liverpool and all the points in between. New diesel trains are no way forward – we need the reliability, speed and cleaner option; we need electric trains.”


The 10:10 and Campaign for Better Transport petition is online here: https://secure.1010uk.org/electric-trains-not-diesel-trains

The following groups were involved in the relay: Bedford Green Party, East Midlands Rail Campaign, Northampton Friends of the Earth, Sustainable Harborough, Leicester Friends of the Earth, Transition Town Chesterfield, Sheffield Climate Alliance and Sheffield Green Party.

Sheffield Green Party welcomes the council’s recent consultation about cracking down on engine idling. If there is a strong enough response to the consultation, the council may bring in a new bye-law allowing them to enforce an anti-idling scheme and issue fines to motorists caught idling their engines for no reason.

Many people are in the habit of doing this, perhaps in the belief that it helps to protect the engine. In fact, the reverse is true: letting a modern diesel engine idle actually does more damage to the engine than starting and stopping. Much more importantly, the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence (NICE) recommends anti-idling schemes for public health reasons. So a properly enforced scheme requiring engines to be turned off when the vehicle isn’t moving would benefit everyone, at no hardship to drivers. (Running the engine of a stationary vehicle is already against the Highway Code.)

Sheffield Green Party is in favour of any new scheme that would stop motorists endangering other people’s health for no reason. However, we feel that the consultation was badly designed, with the requirement to choose which locations most deserve to become “no idling” zones (question 5). Why did the format of the consultation force residents to prioritise hospitals over primary schools, or train stations over nursing homes? We believe that clean air for everybody is achievable.

This consultation and the proposed new bye-laws are a small step in the right direction, but it comes in the context of a very poor track record on air quality.

  • Sheffield city council is now nationally notorious for cutting down mature street trees that do so much to cleanse the air we breathe.
  • Amey, the council’s chosen contractors, have been spotted many times running the engines of their works vehicles.
  • Taxis licensed by the city council drive the equivalent of 20 round-the-world trips each week and spend much of their time waiting for pick-ups. Why isn’t the council already using its powers to enforce anti-idling for the hundreds of taxis in the city?
  • A Freedom of Information request reveals that the council has never enforced any anti-idling measures before. Would a new bye-law change this?
  • The approach to pollution from the M1 has been inconsistent.

Meanwhile, the Green Party has led the way on air pollution in Sheffield. Green Party member Graham Turnbull has raised awareness of dangerous pollution levels and attempted to reduce idling outside schools as well as idling from bodies such as Yorkshire Water. Cllr Alison Teal has worked to stop Amey contractors running their engines for too long. Cllr Magid visited Hunters Bar school and talked to idling drivers outside, then followed it up with the council. Countless Green Party members and supporters have fought to save our mature street trees. All this with very little help from the ruling Labour group – and in the case of the trees, active opposition to our work.

If you missed out on completing the consultation, you can still make your views heard. We would urge residents concerned about air quality to contact Cllr Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport & Sustainability, on jack.scott@sheffield.gov.uk.

Sheffield Green Party are objecting to the Meadowhall Extension unless suitable conditions are stipulated that definitely ensure no adverse impacts on air pollution and public health. This is based on widely known health impacts on vulnerable people in the Tinsley area which will significantly worsen due to this and other developments in the east end of Sheffield. The Planning Committee considers the application on September 12th.

Eamonn Ward, who submitted this objection (and a 1300 signature petition calling for a new Sheffield City Council air pollution action plan in April), comments:

“We know how popular Meadowhall is and recognise the arguments for job creation but increased air pollution deaths linked to major developments in the east end are not an acceptable price to pay. Everyone involved knows that business models based on access via the M1 have massive health impacts and will add to the 500 premature deaths a year caused by air pollution in Sheffield.

Access will continue to be mainly by car as Meadowhall have already maximised the use of cleaner transport options for customers and staff. The application makes it clear that the Meadowhall extension will bring more traffic and worsen air pollution.

Tinsley is in Darnall council ward which has very high levels of asthma, respiratory and circulatory disorders and cancer linked to high levels of poverty. It has a much higher than average number of young children who are more vulnerable to air pollution, often leading to asthma and a lifelong reduction in lung capacity.

It is being suggested in the officers report that air pollution mitigation comes in the form of the council’s failed 2012 Air Quality Action Plan and government plans that have changed throughout 2017 as high court judges order them to go back to drawing board. Neither is a credible basis for definite action in what remains an uncertain, fluid situation on meeting EU air quality standards.

Sheffield can’t just make road changes to allow expansion in the east end knowing that it will worsen the current public health crisis and cause more premature deaths in and around Tinsley. Sheffield Council’s Public Health Strategy approved at Cabinet on March 15th 2017 states: “We will adopt a principle of health in all policies & systematically consider health and wellbeing outcomes, and inequalities across all of the decisions.” This application fails that test and should not be approved until it does.”


  1. The text of the Sheffield Green Party objection is shown below
  2. Darnall council ward health data is here http://www.sheffieldeastend.org.uk/DarnallWardHealthProfile2011.pdf
  3. The council’s action plan (signed off in 2012 with objectives to be achieved by 2015) is here: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/content/dam/sheffield/docs/pollution-and-nuisance/air-pollution/air-quality-management/Air%20Quality%20Action%20Plan%202015.pdf
  4. The petition submitted in April is www.change.org/p/sheffield-city-council-sheffield-needs-a-new-air-pollution-action-plan


Sheffield Green Party objection to 16/04169/FUL | Changes to the Meadowhall Leisure and Retail Scheme comprising of amendments to the uses and floorspace and incorporating an Environmental Statement Addendum considering the amended highway, air quality and socio economic impacts.

“The M1 has been widened to 4 lanes. Ikea opens this month. The Olympic Legacy Park is coming soon. A service station for M1 junction 33 has been proposed and the Smithy Wood service station at junction 35 is on hold awaiting that decision. Numerous developments are being proposed close to junction 34 prompting ”full and proper assessment” of congestion issues which pushed back consideration of this application.

Supporting documents appear to show an increase in car journeys by about 8%. 4 out of 5 people will continue to arrive by car and nearly two thirds of those journeys will be via the M1. The tram train to Rotherham will help a little bit from around 2019 when cleaner Northern and TransPennine Express trains are also due. Travel Plan targets shown here are optimistic to say the least including doubling the number of people cycling or walking. Few customers or staff live close enough to even consider walking or cycling as a viable option.

The location has always dictated a business model based on attracting customers by car, mainly using the M1. This will essentially continue – Meadowhall have already maximised the use of cleaner transport options for customers and staff. There is now only the opportunity for small incremental behaviour changes however good the Travel Plan is.

This application is part of a group of applications focused on the area between M1 Junctions 33 and 35, with junction 34 identified as a major stress point. This application, added to the impacts of approved applications and further applications in the pipeline, has serious implications for air pollution in this part of Sheffield (and in Rotherham close to the M1). The Highways Agency may solve the congestion issues but it’s clear that a significant increase in car and other vehicle journeys will have public health impacts. Facilitating road changes to allow this development to go ahead deliberately creates road conditions to allow more traffic and therefore worsen air pollution.

The State of Sheffield 2017 report states: “Air quality in Sheffield has not improved and remains a significant issue that impacts on citizens’ health and wellbeing.” The Sheffield City Air Quality Action Plan includes this among 7 main actions: “Mitigate the impact of the M1 motorway (particularly in the Tinsley Area)”.

We know 500 premature deaths a year in Sheffield can be attributed to poor air quality and that people living in Tinsley have maximum exposure. Tinsley is in the Darnall council ward which has very high levels of asthma, respiratory and circulatory disorders and cancer linked to high levels of poverty. It has a high number of under 5’s and under 20’s – young people are more vulnerable to air pollution often leading to asthma and a lifelong reduction in lung capacity. Schools are being moved away from the M1 because of these impacts but you can’t move the population away from where they live.

This development will significantly increase vehicle journeys. Meadowhall have already exhaustively investigated and implemented the clean transport options available for customers and staff. Statistics show that car travel to Meadowhall will still massively predominate with most journeys via the M1. A 60 mph speed limit on the M1 between junctions 32 and 35A will help if the recent consultation leads to implementation. But the overall picture remains unchanged – numerous major developments in the east end with significantly increased traffic and associated health impacts on vulnerable communities.

We are provided with statistics that clearly show this development has negative impacts on air quality across the whole of the surrounding areas. We are told this development will delay compliance with air quality standards by about 1 year. IKEA will also no doubt delay compliance by a period of years so this is just kicking the can down the road.

The basis for future air quality standards compliance is the 2012 Sheffield City Council Air Quality Plan. But there has been no significant action on “Mitigate the impact of the M1 motorway (particularly in the Tinsley Area)” and the overall plan has failed in it’s overall objective of reducing premature deaths due to air pollution.

The second basis for future air quality standards compliance is the latest version of government plans which simply cannot be relied on. The government continue to fight in the courts to avoid the production and implementation of credible air pollution actions.  Another court case could follow before Christmas accompanied by yet another government plan as Client Earth continue to fight this battle on behalf of our public health.

I ask committee members to consider these questions before making their decision:

– You are considering a revised application following representations by the Highways Agency to include measures to address congestion due to the increased volume of traffic at junction 34 of the M1 and in the roads close to it. Have similar robust revisions been made to this application to fully address the increased air pollution that this increased traffic will bring?

– The air pollution impacts are definite. It is being suggested to you that mitigation comes in the form of the council’s 2012 Air Quality Action Plan with objectives to be achieved by 2015 that have not been met with no updated plan in place. Plus government plans that have changed from month to month in 2017 as judges order them to go back to drawing board. Can you have any confidence in the mitigation assessment in this uncertain, fluid situation?

– This and the many other developments in the pipeline in the east end need to have a neutral impact on traffic movements and air pollution. Can suitable conditions be applied to enable this? Are revisions to the business model required to reduce traffic movements and enable increased use of public transport and other lower polluting or non polluting travel methods?

– Should the feasibility of a Clean Air Zone in the East End be investigated as a matter of urgency in addition to those being looked at in other pollution hot spots in and around the centre of Sheffield? Should citywide air pollution warnings be issued to allow people with health conditions to make informed decisions about going out on days when pollution is worst?

– At the IKEA decision meeting in 2014 the Council’s Director of Public health stated: “The exacerbation of poor air quality will undoubtedly cause more illness and very probably a small number of premature deaths. The adverse consequences are very unlikely to be outweighed by improvement in employment prospects and improvement in the economy.”

– Sheffield Council’s Public Health Strategy, approved at Cabinet on March 15th 2017, states: “We will adopt a principle of health in all policies & systematically consider health and wellbeing outcomes, and inequalities across all of the decisions.” How can this application proceed without significantly negative impacts on the health of vulnerable people in the areas impacted by the business undertaken on this site?

Sheffield Green Party objects to this application unless suitable conditions are stipulated that definitely ensure no adverse impacts on air pollution and public health.