Tree campaigners welcome independent report

Members of the Sheffield Tree Action Group have welcomed the findings of Sir Mark Lowcock’s independent report into the dispute on the felling of thousands street trees in the city. Campaigners Russell Johnson and Phillip William Yates, speaking to Sheffield Live! said they were content with the findings of the report and called for the resignation of councillors Terry Fox, leader of Sheffield Council, and Bryan Lodge who were heavily involved in the project delivery. The findings concluded the local authority should apologise for what the report described as “developing and adopting a flawed plan” to remove and replace street trees in the city. Baillor Jalloh reports.

Report highlights council failures over street trees

The independent review into the felling of Sheffield street trees, published on Monday, has described a “failure of strategic leadership” at senior levels in the city council. The report, conducted by Sir Martin Lowcock, calls on the local authority to apologise for”developing and adopting a flawed plan” to remove and replace street trees in the city. Thousands of trees were felled as part of a £2.2 billion street maintenance contract, sparking public anger and residents’ protests. Lowcock accused Sheffield council of undermining public trust and of being “economical with the truth”. Baillor Jalloh reports for Sheffield Live!

Council property repairs backlog reduced, says councillor

Sheffield Council has made improvements in tackling the repair backlogs of council properties, according to councillor Douglas Johnson, chair of the Housing Policy Committee. Last year the local authority was criticised for hundreds of repair backlogs in council properties but councillor Johnson, speaking to Sheffield Live! said there has been a “lot of good progress out there”. Baillor Jalloh reports.

Sheffield hosts climate conference

More than 20 schools from across South Yorkshire took part in the region’s first face-to-face school’s climate conference, held at Victoria Hall. The aim of the event was to engage pupils in learning about the climate crisis, possible solutions and how they can get involved. The event also included a climate related art competition. Sheffield Live! Baillor Jalloh spoke to some of the students participating and to Richard Souter, co-ordinator of the event.

Sheffield council tax to rise by nearly 5%

Councillors have voted to increase council tax in Sheffield by 4.99% for the financial year beginning April 2023 to cope with budget challenges. People living in Band D homes will pay £1,840.69 for city council services in the year 2023 to 2024 consisting of 2.99% city council increase and a 2% social care precept. Sheffield Live! reporter Baillor Jalloh spoke to councillor Douglas Johnson, chair of the Housing Policy Committee at Sheffield City Council.

Sheffield hosts community cinema conference

The 2023 Community Cinema Conference took place in Sheffield at the weekend, hosted by the Workstation and Showroom Cinema. The event, showcasing and celebrating grassroots cinema, included film screenings, workshops, discussions and seminars. Baillor Jalloh reports for Sheffield Live!

Sheffield teachers join national strike action

Hundreds of teachers in Sheffield have joined National Education Union (NEU) strike action across Yorkshire in a dispute over pay and conditions. NEU members have also voted for industrial action on 14th and 15th March. Unions are calling for above-inflation increases and want extra money for schools to ensure pay rises do not come from existing budgets. Sheffield Live! reporter Baillor Jalloh spoke to Toby Malinson, joint branch secretary for the NEU in Sheffield.

Clean Air Zone goes live across Sheffield centre

Sheffield’s new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) regulations came into force on Monday 27 February, meaning drivers of the most polluting vehicles such as taxis, vans and lorries will have to pay a charge to drive into the city centre and the inner ring road. Taxis will pay £10 while buses and HGV will pay £50 per day. The local authority says the charges will rid the city off dirty commercial vehicles, partly blamed for the poor air quality in the city. Sheffield Live! reporter spoke to councillor Mazher Iqbal, co-chair of the Transport Regeneration & Climate Policy Committee of Sheffield City Council.

Fruit and vegetable shortage to last until May

The UK’s biggest fruit and vegetable growers have warned the shortage of some fruit and vegetables could last for over two months. The Lea Valley Growers Association said major UK growers were delaying planting some crops due to high energy costs. Earlier this week several UK supermarkets, including Tesco, Asda and Lidl, announced restrictions on some fruit and vegetable sales due to the shortages. Sheffield Live! reporter Baillor Jalloh spoke to customers at Tesco’s Saville Street store.