Green Councillors challenge cuts to Street Cleaning

Green Party activists helped the Friends of the Old Town Hall with a litterpick in Waingate
Green Party activists helped the Friends of the Old Town Hall with a litterpick in Waingate

More litter likely

Sheffield’s Labour council is cutting back on litter clearance and removing 80% of roadside shrubbery in a bid to save money on its £2 billion Highways PFI contract. The plans will mean dirtier streets and less pollution absorbed by plants, and were opposed by local Green councillors.

Cllr Rob Murphy said, “Clearing litter is a core council service, but due to the eye-watering cost ofthe PFI (£79 million next year), we will be paying more money for a worse service. Sheffield Greens opposed the PFI from the start, as a bad deal for taxpayers.”

Bin problems

We helped residents get bins emptied properly at Cromford St in Highfield and at Kelham Mills.

Bins at the popular Nursery St pocket park will now be emptied more often next summer, after Green councillors took up residents’ complaints.

Safer City Streets

20 mph limit at last

After a long campaign by Green councillors, the Council has agreed to a 20 mph speed limit for most of the city centre and Kelham Island, off main roads.

Cllr Douglas Johnson said, “Experience in other areas shows a lower speed limit reduces the number and severity of road accidents. We are glad the Council has finally listened and look forward to safer streets.”

However, Sheffield Council is working on plans to widen the Inner Ring Road near Kelham Island. Residents say traffic, noise and pollution will increase and the plans neglect pedestrians and cyclists.

Green campaigner Martin Phipps said, “The last ring road scheme was massively over budget. Widening roads is not the answer when trams are to run less often from January because of increased road traffic. The Council has to learn and not make the same mistakes twice.”

Saved from prison!

Douglas Johnson helped fellow Councillor, Alison Teal, in a High Court case when the Labour Administration tried to imprison her for alleged breach of an injunction. The judge said the Council was “mistaken.”

Green Action in City Ward

City centre

Green Councillors are still pushing for a policy on off-licences around West St. The aim is to reduce street-drinking and associated anti-social behaviour and crime. We have also promoted a generous offer from Killi’s Cleaners on West St to help businesses remove graffiti.

Bus stops

After a Green petition signed by many local residents and councillor lobbying, the missing bus stop on Charlotte Road has been returned.

Two new bus stops are planned for Mowbray St in Kelham Island. Green Councillors asked for a replacement near Brewery Wharf after a previous one had been removed.

City development

Greens have commented on a redesign of Fitzalan Square. City centre campaigner John Wraysaid, “Anti-social behaviour has been a problem but we want to keep the trees and the setting of the Old Post Office.” Greens have also called for a review of the number of new-built blocks of flats.

City Centre Health Service closures

Green councillors have objected to plans to close the Walk-in Centre on Broad Lane and the Minor Injuries Unit at the Hallamshire Hospital. Cllr Douglas Johnson said, “TheseservicesareheavilyusedbyresidentsofCityWard.”

Green Party sailors took to the water at Kelham Island Raft Race
Green Party sailors took to the water at Kelham Island Raft Race

Preventing floods

Trees at Kelham Mills have been pruned back after Cllr Douglas Johnson negotiated with landlords over duties to maintain the riverside.

As well as helping residents with light and TV signals, cutting back willow trees is important to help prevent flooding.

Green Spending

Your Councillors have used money from City Ward funds to pay for:

  • Artwork on telephone cabinets to help tackle graffiti in Kelham Island
  • A river clean-up
  • Litter-picking
  • Health walks
  • Christmas events
  • Basketball sessions at Duchess Road
  • Planters at St Matthew’s Church
  • Canal trips on the “Ethel” community barge to reduce isolation for older people
  • A fence to stop cars churning up grass at the Charlotte Road car park
  • Support for Shoreham St Tenants and Residents Association and Kelham Island Community Alliance

Water and Air

We are looking at funding free air pollution monitoring kits. We also hope to offer free water butts, which can help prevent flooding. Please let us know if you are a resident of City Ward and would like either of these.

Local Charities

The Help Us Help campaign, which is to support homeless and vulnerable people in Sheffield, benefited from funding from Green councillors. Stories of how you can donate your money in the best way to help people off the street can be found at

Contact City Ward Greens

Cllr Rob Murphy, 07875 015354

Cllr Douglas Johnson, 07500 766189

City ward Greens on Facebook.

Kaltum Rivers outside Hunters Bar Infant School
Kaltum Rivers outside Hunters Bar Infant School

Save the Minor Injuries Unit!

Greens are working with Sheffield Save our NHS to head off proposals to move the Minor Injuries Unit (MIU) from the Hallamshire Hospital to the Northern General. Green activist Kaltum Rivers says: “We’re calling on the Labour-led council to press much more strongly to stop this. My family have used the MIU along with 18,000 people annually. The MIU and the Broad Lane Walk-In Centre both need to stay in a central location with good transport links from across the city.” More campaign information is at

Sharrow Vale parking

You say the big issue on Hunter Hill Rd and surrounding roads is parking. Terraced housing roads lack enough spaces, cars park on curbs and corners while shopping, schools & leisure visitors grab free spaces. A daytime residents parking scheme was previously declined by residents and the council lacks funds for new schemes. Cllr Magid says “I’m working with council officers to see what actions might be possible – please contact me with your views and information.”

Kaltum working in your area

Broomhall resident Kaltum Rivers will be the Green candidate here in May council elections. Kaltum, a self employed research and project manager, offers experience as a community worker supporting local people and projects. Kaltum has been a parent governor at Hunters Bar school and Broomhall Nursery. Kaltum worked with citywide statutory and voluntary sector organisations as a Children and Young people’s development officer. Kaltum, as a Broomhall Forum board member, co-ordinated training for mothers on safeguarding children and ran mediation projects for families going through internal conflicts. Register to vote at

Cllr Magid at the war memorial trees
Cllr Magid at the war memorial trees

War memorial tree threat

A December Labour Cabinet decision means many healthy war memorial street trees on Oxford St, Crookesmoor (pictured) and Western Rd, Crookes will be felled. Cllr Magid comments: “The evidence does not support Labour claims that tree replacement is “a last resort”. Engineering solutions available to cover damaging or discriminatory situations are not being used. Greens actively support peaceful protest to save healthy trees where there is no credible evidence they are diseased, dangerous or dying.”

Cllr Magid’s actions update

  • Helping organise event celebrating migrants and migration on February 17th
  • Supported a family facing eviction with linked benefits issues, including attending their court hearing
  • Offering support to Sheffield Women’s Counselling & Therapy Service
  • Kaltum joined the “Rail Fare Rises Day“ protest at Sheffield Station on January 2nd
  • Working with Khartoum & Thompson Rd residents to address misuse of bins causing littering
  • Arranged council officer help for Broomhall woman struggling with the Right to Buy process
  • Helped resident get Amey to pay for a wall damaged by their van

Contact Broomhill & Sharrow Vale Greens

Cllr Magid Magid, 07500 766 266

Broomhill & Sharrow Vale Greens on Facebook.

Martin Phipps
Martin Phipps, Sheffield Green Party candidate for City Ward

Even Theresa May now admits that students face one of the “most expensive systems of university tuition in the world.”

Charging students for tuition fees has been a disaster. The Government still has to pay the money to Universities. On the other hand, very many students won’t be able to pay off the thousands of pounds of debt.

The problem lies in the principle of treating university education as a commodity, only for the benefit of the individual. Medical students are the doctors of tomorrow; can we say their education is solely for individual gain?

What students do with their education benefits everyone in society. Some end up earning good money and could pay a fair share of tax based on income; others contribute to society in other ways.

The Labour Party should be ashamed of its decision to introduce tuition fees in 1998.

The Green Party’s policy is to cancel tuition fees and write off outstanding student debt. We need to give our graduates a hope for the future and allow them to flourish free of society’s debt.

Martin Phipps
Sheffield Green Party candidate for City Ward

The Green group budget amendment for 2017/18 included this: “Cut political spin from the Town Hall and will cut the posts of Group Policy Officers”. These 3 officers are paid by the Council but do research and press work for the Labour and Lib Dem groups. That amendment was rejected by the majority vote of Labour councillors.

Since the pre-dawn raid on Rustlings Rd in November 2016 we have seen the Labour spin doctors go into overdrive. “Trees are only replaced as a last resort” is trotted out again and again despite clear evidence to the contrary. We see more and more attempts to defame and deride tree campaigners with many unsubstantiated and untruthful claims. In October, a judge rejected the Council’s attempt to send Cllr Alison Teal to jail. The court found she had not broken the injunction and the council were wrong. A Freedom of Information request has since uncovered e-mails showing that council officers conspired to spin the case dismissal as “on a technicality.”

Greens will put a similar proposal to be voted on at the Sheffield City Council budget meeting on March 7th. The cost of 3 Group Policy Officers in 2018/19 is £112,000. For comparison, the cutting of 3 ½ full time equivalent library staff saved £98,000 in this financial

The last 15 months has seen a dysfunctional and dictatorial council increasingly use spin doctors to try and cover up their failings. One truth outlined by the Labour-run council is that council budgets are under pressure as never before. Council taxpayers facing a 5.99% increase in bills cannot continue to fund political spin while vital services are cut. Councillors must do the right thing on March 7th.

Eamonn Ward
Sheffield Green Party

A statement from Sheffield Green Party in support of university staff:

“Academic and academic–related staff at the University of Sheffield will join staff at universities around the country in sustained strike-action starting on February 22 to protest against the employers’ proposal to end guaranteed pension benefits. Should this proposal be approved, final pensions will not depend on contributions, but on how investments perform on the stock market. The University College Union has predicted that an average lecturer is likely to lose as much as £10,000 a year of their pension. Sheffield Green Party wishes to express solidarity with striking staff, as it is wrong to put workers future pensions at risk. We are also recognise that what is at stake is far more than money – the proposals represents yet another attempt to undermine the value of public services and education”.

Find out more at

Cllr Magid
Cllr Magid

Cllr Magid made an impact at a busy and vibrant meeting of the full Council on 7th February. As Deputy Lord Mayor, this was the first time he had chaired the whole meeting and he certainly rose to the task. Magid reminded everyone – both councillors and members of the public – to show respect to the views of other people.

There wasn’t enough room in the public gallery so many people had to wait in the overflow rooms. The audio and visual feed broke down yet again, leaving many of the public in the dark as to what was going on. Staff did their best to fix it but it was yet another demonstration of why we call for broadcasting of meetings so that everyone can hear what is being said in their names.

And there were certainly a lot of questions asked, plus seven petitions.

Petitioners and questioners described the appalling temporary accommodation provided to nearly 100 homeless children in 2017, often sharing accommodation with single male ex-offenders. They had one cooker between 20 people. It is against the law for councils to put homeless families in B&Bs except in an emergency.

One petition was about the new slippery pavements. Another asked for safe houses for men fleeing domestic abuse. The young people who represented this petition reminded us that 6,100 men commit suicide each year.

A new petition called on the council to limit work on the Chelsea Elm. The speaker said trust had broken down with the council but this iconic tree was a good place to start a process of change. In response, Cllr Bryan Lodge stated, “there’s no proposal to cut the tree down.” This may be the start of that change.

Members’ questions are where councillors get to ask supplementary questions, depending on the responses given by Cabinet members to written questions. We argued strongly that enough time should be given to this in council meetings. This month we learned:

  • That “Streets Ahead is a self-monitoring contract”
  • That Cllr Iqbal blamed the LibDems for signing the Amey PFI contract [it was actually signed by the Labour Administration in 2012, although the LibDems had agreed previous stages]
  • The Council is still “assessing” the impact on the city of Carillion’s collapse
  • The Council admitted it did not stop Sheffield Housing Company selling off residents’ leases.
  • The free public Wi-Fi contract was signed off without the Cabinet member being aware of any data protection issues
  • The Council is preparing a public consultation on the future of the Central Library, Graves Gallery and Library Theatre
  • 593 roads haven’t yet been resurfaced but should have been
  • The Council had 629 claims from trips and falls in 6 years but doesn’t have to pay anything because Amey deals with them. The number of complaints has gone up in recent years as Amey has worked on the roads
  • The council team monitoring the Amey contract has 5 vacant posts out 22

In the debate on the Housing Revenue Account, the cost of re-cladding Hanover Tower was put at £3-5 million but it won’t be done until after the final Hackett Report is published later in the year. Amongst concerns as to why the wrong cladding was installed in the first place, the cost of failed insulation and the delays, the good news is that tenants have “chosen the colour” of the new cladding.

We proposed an amendment to the LibDem motion, which called for a retired High Court judge to lead an inquiry into allegations around the Streets Ahead contract. We said the council should investigate bringing the contract back in-house if there was evidence of dishonesty. But of course, just “cancelling” the contract isn’t straightforward: Amey can’t put the trees back.

Our amendment also called for full disclosure of the contract. As Cllr Rob Murphy explained,

“The Labour group’s defence of commercial confidentiality has been blown out of the water. We’ve shown that it is a political, not a legal, decision not to release the contract.”

“Councillors and members of the public want to know what has been signed in their name, what they are paying for over the next 40 years and what the Council is hiding.”

There was no time to debate the other motions and they were just voted on. Ironically, there was a noisy outburst by Labour councillor Jackie Drayton at not being able to debate their motions.

Labour voted down every opposition motion and amendment, so voting against:

But it seems our motions had some effect. The Council will announce more council tax help for care leavers soon. It has also promised to look into funding for the Women’s Vote Centenary – which was the substance of Alison’s proposal.

After Cllr Magid had called the meeting to a close, there was more drama in the public gallery. As the councillor all left, campaigners unveiled a banner saying, “Show us the Contract please.” They later occupied the council chamber for a few hours.

The Sheffield Green Party election campaign for May 3rd will be launched in Sheffield on Friday February 9th by party Co-Leader Caroline Lucas MP. Arriving 4pm Friday Caroline will speak at a student meeting, a sold out evening public meeting and join Greens campaigning in the Nether Edge & Sharrow area on the morning of February 10th.

Cllr Alison Teal will be defending her seat in Nether Edge & Sharrow ward. Martin Phipps (City) and Kaltum Rivers (Broomhill & Sharrow Vale) will be seeking to gain seats in wards where there are already Green councillors. Former Cllr Bernard Little (Walkley) and Paul Turpin (Gleadless Valley) aim to build on strong second places in the last elections to gain seats.

Ahead of her visit, Caroline Lucas praised Sheffield Greens for their opposition to street tree felling in the city. She said:”In the face of a draconian crackdown from the council, tree protesters like Alison Teal have stood against this needless destruction. Indeed it’s Green councillors who are really standing up for what matters in Sheffield – and it’s only by voting Green that people in the city can guarantee they’ll have people on their side in the council chamber. ”

Former Green Party leader and Sheffield Central general election candidate Natalie Bennett comments: “Since the last local elections in 2016 we have seen police pre-dawn raids on Rustlings Rd and anti-trade union legislation used to arrest peaceful tree protesters. You have to question what this Labour-run council represents when it publicly states their intention to have a city councillor jailed – Cllr Alison Teal.

Natalie continues: “The Green council group has worked very hard in the last 12 months to hold Labour to account in the face of measures to restrict council motions and debate. The Labour-led Council has a big majority, and Labour councillors’ actions are fully controlled by their Cabinet. On May 3rd residents can elect more Green opposition councillors who will stand up for local residents against a dictatorial Council.”

Cllr Magid, Deputy Lord Mayor, will chair the full meeting of Sheffield City Council – a new first for the Green Party in Sheffield.

Cllr Magid
Cllr Magid

Green Party councillors have also released a number of amendments for debate at today’s meeting about:

  • terminating the Streets Ahead contract on grounds of dishonesty
  • addressing the gender pay gap
  • an apology to Councillor Alison Teal for the Administration’s failed application to send her  to prison

Green Party motions to council include calls:

Cllr Magid said,

“It is a great honour to be chairing such an important meeting for local democracy. It will no doubt bring its challenges but it is something I will revel in.

I hope to do the best I can in this role to serve the people of Sheffield.”


  1. Cllr Magid was elected in May 2016 as the new Green Party councillor for Broomhill and Sharrow Vale Ward. He is currently the Deputy Lord Mayor and is due to become the Lord Mayor at the annual meeting of the council in May.
  2. The role of Lord Mayor is largely ceremonial but the Lord Mayor also chairs the full council meetings.
  3. The Council meeting will be at 5pm on Wednesday 7th February. the agenda is at
  4. More details of the care leavers’ motion is at