Friday, 9 July 2010

Community Meeting – Gypsy and traveller site Tuesday 8 June, Church of Christ 6.30pm

Attendance: Cllrs H Harpham, M Iqbal, M Lea and 110 members of the local community.

Cllr Harpham gave an introduction and some background information about the sites mentioned in the report and the reason for the proposals. There had been no previous discussion with local councillors and they found out 10 days ago before it went to cabinet. The public meeting has been arranged to give the public the chance to air their views. The councillors personally leafleted the area to let people know about the plans and this meeting.

Cllr Harpham said we want to argue against the proposals and explain why it is wrong to have a site in Darnall. We feel that there has not been enough consultation as no one knows about the plan. It is wrong that the owners of the land didn’t even know about it and the whole community found out by reading it in the press. The purpose of meeting was

1) to receive views from the public on why we believe it is wrong

2) to apply pressure on the council

3) to encourage residents to attend the scrutiny board and cabinet meeting and sign the councillors’ petition.

If we don’t voice our opinions then the proposal will go ahead. Darnall Forum sill help to represent people’s views.

The following views/concerns were raised by members of the community:

Q1) Why not take a show of hands? The purpose of the meeting was to listen to the arguments for and against, however it was clear that the meeting did not support the findings of the report.

Q2) We already have a site, why are we getting another? Councillors and residents agreed that we can’t afford to have a site in Darnall because it is already a deprived area and it will disadvantage it even more.

Q3) Would you like it outside your door? Whitwell Street has had major problems for 33 years and nothing has been done. It has been linked to anti social behaviour, fly-tipping and prostitution and it is overrun with rats and so it doesn’t seem a suitable location for a group of vulnerable people. Councillors reminded the meeting that there has been no consultation at all about the choice of sites.

Q4) We shouldn’t just leave it to the councillors. Shouldn’t we all do something collectively to keep up the pressure up about the sites in Darnall?

Q5) What about the purpose built site near Centertainment which was wrecked/destroyed/vandalised?

Q6) How will the Lift project be affect ed?

Q7) Why should we have a site in Sheffield anywhere? What legislation is there for this? Have we voted for a site? The requirement to consider appropriate sites came from central government but councillors were not consulted about the criteria which should be followed in selecting what is an appropriate site.

Q8) Where will we park?

Q9) Can we have a list of email addresses or contact details to whom we can write? Residents can drop off comments or letters to Darnall Forum ans these will be passed onto councillors

Q10) Doctors’ surgeries are already over crowded and schools are full. Aren’t traffic problem going to increase with travellers here as well?

Q11) How can we sustain an additional community group when we already desperately need regeneration?

Q12) Why provide new sites when the previous ones have sometimes been closed?

Q13) How much will it cost for infrastructure for the site? Approximately 1 million pounds. The Council would expect Sheffield Homes to maintain the site.

Q14) What are the potential sites in Darnall? Senior Road, Greenland Road, Darnall Way, Ross Street/ Whitwell Street, the LIFT project site on Main Road, Prince of Wales Road, Ouseburn Road, Shirland Lane.

Q15) Why have so many sites been selected in our area and not in areas where the Lib Dems are in control? Why have they identified the site chosen for our medical centre?

The meeting agreed unanimously that Darnall was not a satisfactory location.

The councillors went on to say that they will do as much as they can as local representatives of the community and they are 110% behind this decision. They can represent the views of the community but their influence will be stronger if the community is seen to be behind them, which they are.

Councillors also said that it is Important to have a steering committee drawn from the public with about 5-8 members to represent Darnall to the scrutiny board and the full council meeting, and to present the petition on behalf of Darnall.

Mary Lea – Post Office Update

Darnall Forum has developed a social enterprise to run the local post office. For months now Neil Bishop, the manger, has looked into loans and funds and the Forum has also received £10,000 backing from the Council for this. He attended an interview and has been successful in his application to reopen the post office which should hopefully be completed by September. There must be an 8 week consultation process to see if the community are happy with the idea.

A show of hands was taken and everybody supported the Post Office.

The Lift Project is still going ahead.

The Ward Brothers have been asked to revise their plans and are meeting with the Council.

It was agreed that the community can come into Darnall Forum to get contact details for local councillors and also use Darnall Forum as somewhere to leave comments – so councillors can pick them up and collate the information.

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