logo Burngreave Messenger Issue 28 February 2003





Letters Page.Upset? Angry? Full of Joy?
Good news or bad, we want you to have your say!

Dear Messenger,

We write concerning the recent decision by Burngreave New Deal to create new Development Worker posts aimed at “increasing community engagement" with the Burngreave New Deal Programme (BNDfC).

We would remind the more recently appointed executives in charge of our community's regeneration, that at the start of both New Deal and Sure Start there were very large numbers of local residents engaged with both programmes.

Local People Purged

Part of the reason so many got involved with BNDfC, was that local people were employed as development workers. Sadly, we then saw representatives of Sheffield City Council and other agencies insist that local people were effectively purged from all but the most menial positions in BNDfC.

Nothing Delivered

Indeed, it has seemed at times as if our partners in statutory agencies would rather see nothing delivered to the people of Burngreave than allow local people to have a real say in their community’s regeneration or how local services are run.

We would suggest that by making local development workers redundant and later creating very similar posts, BNDfC has broken with the spirit of employment legislation if not the word.

Despite all this we still encourage residents generally to get involved with deciding how the BNDfC money is spent as well as challenging poor service delivery by Sheffield City Council and others.

Eyes Wide Open

Now is the time to get involved in programmes like BNDfC and Sure Start, which claim to be regenerating our community in our name. BNDfC has slipped behind on plans for spending and needs the community to help it spend its cash, Sure Start is desperate to meet government targets for parental involvement.

But we encourage local residents and agencies to approach this new partnership with eyes wide open this time. Residents have learnt to ask whether agencies have a real commitment to involving local people in decision making and statutory agencies must realise that genuine community engagement will mean a challenge to second rate services.

Steve Cooke
Chair, Burngreave Community Action Forum

Dear Messenger,

I feel I should write to you, as the Fir Vale Forum has only got started and have bigger fish to fry. I supported Trade Base and was pleased when it went to the ‘community’ instead of minority or fringe groups. I was hoping for local jobs, courses and community projects to be set up, but I feel the base serves a few regulars and their friends.

This beautiful building is now full of junk and clothing. Instead of being welcoming, it’s dirty and messy. I agree with green issues and recycling, but this prevents the place being friendly and accessible. At least Green City Action involves local people, projects and community events.

I feel angry because we have no decent areas, building or facilities in Fir Vale. It will be a couple of years before the Fir Vale Forum makes a mark and that’s if they consult all members of the community and stick to the agenda!

I supported the changes at Firvale School and the College, but the Council and Education Dept backtracked and set up a language College, which does not serve the needs of all local women. Local teenagers must travel miles to get to college and other amenities. Fir Vale bites the dust.

Miss YB

Dear Burngreave Messenger,

I have been agitating around transport issues for a number of years. Below is the latest letter I have sent to the Council:

“Dear Mr Young

Thank you for your letter outlining initiatives for the transport strategy. I am saddened to note that none of these plans specifically addresses transport problems in my local area. My particular concern is the failure to provide the promised traffic lights at the junction of Barnsley Rd/ Scott Rd/ Firshill Ave.

Over the years, I have expressed in writing my severe concerns about the number of accidents and near misses I have witnessed at this junction. I even conducted a requested head count of the number of school children using the pelican crossing on Barnsley Road as evidence to back up this case.

I was assured that the speed control system on Scott Road would reduce the hazard here, but from what I have seen over the past few months, it has added new elements of risk. Traffic lights would seem to me to be the only sensible long-term solution. We were promised them a couple of years ago but nothing further seems to have been done.”

Graham Jones


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