The Woodhouse Post Monday, January 5, 2008 Issue No. 35
Kids fight off bad behaviour with anger management boxing sessions
Sheffield immigrants could face discimination with new ID card scheme
INFESTED Rats carrying deadly diseases move into a park - just meters from family homes
Flockton Park: The stream that is thought to be infested with rats.
PARENTS on a Woodhouse estate fear for their children’s safety after finding an infestation of rats near their homes. A small stream on the Badger estate is infested with the rodents, which may carry serious diseases as well as fleas and ticks. Residents have seen the rats in the street and some have been carried back to people’s houses by cats and dogs. ‘I’ve seen the next door neighbour’s cat bring one in its mouth. They’ve eaten through my shed, so we’ve had to put a
metal plate there, now they get in and out as they please,’ said Maria Thomas, of Goathland Drive, whose garden backs onto the stream. The rats are thought to be living in the adjoining field known as Flockton Park which is overgrown with long grasses but is protected as wetland. Mrs Thomas worries for her children who like to play in the field. ‘It is a worry with the children in the street. The worry is if the rats wee in the stream they could infect the water with diseases,
and children play in the stream looking for newts and things. ‘The only way to get rid of them is with poison but that would affect other wildlife,’ she said. Rachel Proctor, also of Goathland Drive said: ‘People walk across this field to get to a shop in Woodhouse Mill, but I wouldn’t walk across here and I don’t want my kids going there - nobody’s done anything about it.’ Mrs Proctor who has a fear of rats said the council is not doing enough to eradicate the vermin.
‘I’ve never seen anybody come down to sort it out but what can you do? If I didn’t pay my rent they’d come knocking but things like this, they’re not bothered,’ she said. But local Councillor Mick Rooney claims he has received no complaints. ‘Rats are very unpleasant creatures and carry something called Weil’s disease which they carry in their urine,’ said Cllr Rooney. ‘There’s a remote possibility of catching this through cuts which could lead to infection
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which would be very unpleasant so I can understand people’s complaints,’ he said. Cllr Shaffaq Mohammed, cabinet member for environment, said environmental officers have been sent to check on the site and assess any problems. In May, a woman died from Weil’s disease after she was scratched by a rat that she was trying to free from her garden bird feeder. Carol Colburn, 56, ignored pleas from her husband to wear gloves and suffered scratches
and cuts to her fingers as she struggled to free the rodent from the wire feeder. Four days later she developed flu-like symptoms, and within 48 hours she died in the Royal Sussex hospital, Brighton. An inquest heard Mrs Colburn had contracted Weil’s disease, a severe form of leptospirosis, which is caused by bacteria found in the urine of wild animals. In some cases sufferers experience severe headaches, jaundice and liver damage, which can be fatal.
The Woodhouse Post, 5 January 2009
New lease of life for burnt out bungalow
News in Brief Junior footballers pack bags for charity Birley Spa Junior Football team are raising money for charity this weekend by swapping the football pitch for the food isle. The youngster will be helping shoppers pack bags at Fargate’s M&S this Saturday from 10am till 4pm.
Credit crunch crime on rise
By Stephanie Maskery An abandoned bungalow that has been ransacked, burnt out and left to rot, is finally to be sold at auction thanks to new laws adopted by the council. 15 Sandy Acres Drive, in Waterthorpe, has been empty for over 11-years after its owner who suffered from dementia died. Barry Moulds who owned the property was admitted to Beighton Hospital in 1997 leaving the property empty because the council couldn’t find any relatives to claim the house. According to neighbours who complained about the building, the property has been vandalised and set on fire. ‘It was burnt out by youths late at night who took the washing machine and sofa out and put
through all the windows. That washing machine ended up being thrown over a bridge into a river,’ said resident Eunice Wood. Under newly adopted laws the council have issued an enforced sale procedure which means the house can now be sold at auction without the relative’s permission. Mrs Wood, who lives on the street said: ‘I’m so happy that it will be put to auction because it means someone will be able to do it up. ‘I wouldn’t want to tackle it, the house is a state, all the floorboards are gone due to flooding and the fire, but it wouldn’t be a problem for builders,’ she said. The sale which was approved by councillors at a planning
15 Sandy Acres Drive: Left derelict for eleven years. meeting yesterday came after years of trying to track down relatives of Mr Moulds. In February 2008 the council spent £2,250 tidying the garden and making repairs on the house but it was vandalized yet again. Until recently the council could not take control of the house only make repairs and charge the costs to the elusive relatives. But new laws that have been adopted by the council allow them to seize privately owned
property and sell it at auction. ‘We’ve had loads of builders over the years knocking on our door wanting to know who owns it so they could buy it and do it up. ‘Once Barry went into Beighton hospital the rest of his family moved out and we never saw them again’ said Mrs Wood. The eye-sore has even stopped people on the street moving house. There’s a property up for sale on the street but they can’t sell it.
I think people drive up the road see the abandoned bungalow and then drive straight back down again,’ said Mrs Wood. But Mrs Wood is worried about another growing problem on the street. ‘There’s another one that’s been empty for two years after the lady who lived there died. ‘Her husband got put into Tapton Residents home with dementia and it’s been empty since. It’s an absolute tip and must be crawling with rats.’
New housing Kids light up streets in is threat to new high-vis jackets wildlife
Residents are petitioning to keep a wildlife green at the bottom of their street after it was revealed that ten homes may be built on the site. Fourteen letters of objection were filed after a proposal to redevelop the land at the bottom of Meetinghouse Croft, in Woodhouse. ‘I agree with the objections from residents it’s an overdeveloped site and bit by bit the greenery is being eaten away,’ said Councillor Mick Rooney who backed the petition. ‘It’s not an easily accessed site as its one narrow road and there’s already enough houses in that location,’ he said. At the planning meeting resi-
dents said the plans would be a loss of habitat to local wildlife in an area that is already too developed. But the council have recommended the plans for approval after officers said the land was not of sufficient ecological merit to protect it from redevelopment.
Children at Brunswick Primary School are to light up the streets of Woodhouse after being given 50 high visibility jackets. The generous donation was prompted by what could have been a serious road accident. Paul Grantham, a director of skip hire M&M, was driving to work one morning and when he narrowly avoided knocking down a small child. ‘A little lad walked out in the middle of the road in front of me and I could barely see him because he was wearing dark clothes,’ Mr Grantham said. ‘I thought kids these days
should be wearing brighter jackets.’ After realising the risk children were in, Mr Grantham telephoned several Sheffield schools asking them if they would like high visibility jackets. Two schools were pulled out of the hat, giving 100 jackets to primaries in Woodhouse and Gleadless. Sheryl Tuton, a spokeswoman for Brunswick primary, said she was ‘delighted’ with the donations, which were used to identify pupils on a school trip to the Eureka museum for children last week.
‘We got the jackets in the largest size possible so the whole school can benefit. ‘We do quite a bit of road safety especially with year six before they go to high school, its very important,’ she said. Mr Grantham has urged South Yorkshire police and Sheffield city council to become more involved in road safety. ‘We might do something else in the future - we’ll probably donate more jackets and get the kids to go to a talk about road safety,’ Mr Grantham said.
Healthy heart training for Asian men Asian men who suffer from heart disease and diabetes were given the skills to self manage their health thanks to a course set up in Darnall. 15 men from the Pakistani Muslim Centre on Woodburn Road, Darnall, took part in NHS Sheffield's Expert Patient Programme which is the first of its kind to exclusively treat ethnic minorities. The course runs for six weeks and makes every student complete an action plan each week outlining targets to
achieve for the next meeting. Tahira Faiz, Coronary Heart Disease Development Officer for NHS Sheffield taught the group breathing and relaxation techniques, pain and fatigue management, and gave dietary advice. ‘This was the first course of its kind with this community in Sheffield and it’s been such a success we will definitely be continuing with it next year. ‘It was an amazing experience and I’m very pleased these men have been given
the confidence and empowerment to make a change to their lives,’ said Tahira Faiz. It is hoped that the skills taught on the course will influence the rest of the community and that residents will use local services to ensure they stay healthy. Mohammed Rafique, Director of the Pakistani Muslim Centre, said: “We as a group are very grateful to NHS Sheffield for providing us with the opportunity to be part of this programme. ‘They have educated us about our
lifestyle and as a result we have a much healthier community. We will definitely be welcoming them back,’ she said, The next course for ethnic minorities is set to run in April 2009. Anyone interested in taking part should contact Helen Mulholland on 0114 305 1122. For more information about the classes you may be also to enrol on visit our web site at: www.woodhousepost.co.uk
Robbery and Shoplifting have gone up over 20% in Sheffield due to the recession, South Yorkshire police said yesterday. Crime figures published yesterday show robbery is up by 28% but gun crime and car theft are both down.
Discount swimming lessons for Adults All public swimming pools in Sheffield are giving discount eight week swimming lessons for adults. The lessons which would normally cost £37 are reduced to £10 under the council’s new Learn to Swim programme.
Woodhouse gets Eco School status Woodhouse West Primary was given a tour of the Town Hall after achieving international Green Flag Eco-School status. The pupils achieved this by running a healthy tuck shop, looking after their wildlife garden and recycling.
£500 donation for Handsworth club Handsworth Junior Sporting Club received £500 from Dave Wragg, of Rotherham, after he entered the BT Community Champions scheme. The BT worker was rewarded the money for his efforts in the community.
Acre Hill school in street walkabout Pupils from Acres Hill School joined officers from Sheffield Homes for a walkabout on the Littledale estate in Darnall, yesterday. The children asked for an improvement to their area wanting less graffiti and anti-social behaviour.
Police maps show high crime areas Crime maps of England and Wales can now show people crime levels in their area and allow them to see how local crime fighting partnerships are tackling any problems. The maps show information about burglary, theft, violent crime and anti-social behaviour.
Veolia assures waste is being recycled Waste contractor Veolia has reassured people that all items put in green and blue bins are recycled after it was that some contractors around Britain are sending recycled waste to landfills because economic crisis has led to a collapse in the market.
The Woodhouse Post, 5 January 2009
Silent Streets: kids banned from football Kids on an estate have been given behaviour contracts stopping them play football By Tom Ibison Kids on the Badger Estate have been given acceptable behaviour contracts that stop them playing football in the street. The acceptable behaviour contracts (ABC’s) which are supposed to curb antisocial behaviour stop children from swearing, shouting and even playing football in the street. Angry parents have slammed the contracts, claiming they are heavy handed and are not addressing bigger problems in Woodhouse. ‘It’s a joke that my children should get punished for being a bit rowdy in the street when there’s worse things’ going on in the area. ‘Kids like to play football it doesn’t mean they’re going to kick someone door in. My kids are good kids,’ said Kay Haywood of the Badger Estate whose son was given an ABC. The contracts were issued after the police and Yorkshire Housing received over 30 complaints about youths in the area.
Claire Vernon acting housing manager at Sheffield housing association said they had received more and more complaints over three years and had to act. ‘We gave out diaries for residents to fill in which complained of noise, graffiti, abusive language and playing football,’ said Ms Vernon. ABC’s are non-legally binding contracts which attempt to curb anti-social behaviour by putting responsibility on children and not parents. ‘There are lots of steps between here and ASBO’s, as they are at each end of the spectrum. We hope we can resolve the issue before asking for an ASBO,’ she said. The children were asked to attend the police station with their parents to sign the contracts, but some of them were not signed. Although they contracts were not signed by the parents the children are still asked to abide by the rules of the contract. Under ABC’s the children are banned from causing harass-
ment, alarm or distress, playing football, shouting, spitting, using abusive language, throwing stones, urinating and defecating in public. Dreamscheme, an initiative set up by Yorkshire Housing, aims to provide children with activities which give them something to do. ‘The project rewards children for every activity they complete so a day’s litter picking will be rewarded with a nights bowling. ‘There are also lots of green spaces for them to play at but many parents don’t want them there because feel they can’t watch their children properly,’ said Ms Vernon. But Howard Constable, chair of the Woodhouse tenants and residents association thinks the antisocial behaviour problems come from outside Woodhouse. ‘Being the chairman of the housing and residents association I hear both sides of the story, we’ve had problems with kids on the street but most are not even from Woodhouse. The police
Beating bad behaviour: free boxing for kids Boxing lessons for children with low self esteem and behaviour problems have been organised to help them on the right track. The twelve-week course at Handsworth Grange Community Sports College is run by ex light heavyweight boxer Ronny Tucker. The non-contact boxing sessions aim to encourage children to channel antisocial behaviour and aggression through sport. Ten pupils from Handsworth G r a n g e School are taking part in the
weekly evening training sessions. ‘We try to target boys and girls who might not be doing so well, or have low self esteem to get involved,’ said school sports coordinator, Karen Leaver. ‘Boxing is something different, not traditional. Boys can channel aggression into different routes and become constrained, level headed and grounded,’ she said. The course is funded by the Government’s Positive Activities for Young People programme, which provides over £3m for activities that try to help children stay away from antisocial behaviour. Ms Lever said the children have loved the course so much they want to keep it running. ‘Handswor th Community Forum gave us money to buy equipment: gloves, braces and sparring equipment,’ she said. Ronny Tucker Handsworth Grange Hopeful: who helps coach the Girls are being taught the basics
sessions thinks the course is a chance to change people’s lives. ‘Everyone deserves a chance in life – kids need an opportunity. Sport can give these kids something, put them on the right track, it gives them focus.’ ‘Had I not found boxing, I would have left school and got into so much trouble. I knew where I was heading. I threw my education away. I’m fortunate I got on the right track,’ he said. Mr Tucker who has run his own gym , the Aspire Amateur Boxing Club for the past 18 years is also the manager of Sheffield Youth Support Team. ‘We go to schools and talk about antisocial behaviour. We tell them that sport and physical fitness is a way off the streets. ‘We talk about the law, prison, gun and knife crime and getting into trouble generally. We combine alternatives with sport,’ he said. Girls as well as boys are benefitting from the programme. Sharon Holford, a silver medallist in the European Union Women’s Championships is also helping coach the teenagers.
Over thirty complaints have been made about shouting, swearing and graffiti
Badger Estate: Some children are no longer allowed to play football and safety wardens believe they are from other neighbourhoods,’ Mr Constable said. ‘In the past we had problems with people from Handsworth as
it was given a Section 30 dispersal order, meaning kids could be moved on if causing trouble, so they all came to Woodhouse.’ A meeting between the
Immigrants in Sheffield will be some of the first in the UK to trial biometric identity cards which will be needed to get a job, the Home Secretary revealed today The ID cards which are meant to crack down on illegal work means immigrants who want to apply for a job must have their fingerprints and face scanned. ‘ID cards will give employers a secure way of checking a migrant’s right to work and study in the UK and help people prove they are who they say are,’ Home Secretary Jacqui Smith said. But Christopher Cole, an immigration solicitor for over 17 years worries that the cards will make it even more difficult for foreign nationals to find work. ‘It seems that it is another sort of way of demonising foreigners. ‘Having something to make them stand out and make them different giving the police an excuse to discriminate,’ Mr Cole said. ‘The Home Office say that they are going to be fairly difficult to forge but people are always able to forge these things,’ he said. Biometric enrolment for the cards will take place at the newly opened UK Border Agency’s Vulcan House building in Shef-
field. The first ID cards are being issued to people applying to stay in the UK based on marriage and students who want to remain here after graduation. All new foreign nationals coming to the UK for more than six months and those extending their stay will have a card within three years By the end of 2015 about 90 per cent of all foreign nationals will have been issued with one, the Home Office revealed. But Mr Cole is worried about the card becoming a key document for discrimination. ‘I can see it as an excuse for the police to ask anyone who doesn’t look British or who isn’t white to present these cards, and if they haven’t got them they would be discriminated against’ The ID cards enrolment process has already caught a number of illegal immigrants. One illegal immigrant was sentenced to eight months in prison after the new system revealed he lied about a marriage visa Huge fines are also being given to any employer who employs any immigrant who has no right to work in the UK. This year a much tougher enforcement campaign has already issued over 1000 fines worth
families and Yorkshire Housing will take place to try and find a solution to try stop antisocial behaviour on the Badger Estate.
ID cards - ‘excuse for discrimination’
around £10 million. ‘I think that for those employers concerned about ID cards, it can be very difficult to know if people are able to work in the UK. ‘Employers will want to abide by the new law. But there are many, many businesses that will carry on exploiting foreign workers, so I don’t see how it is really going to make a difference,’Mr Cole said.
Id card facts Each ID card will be unique, and will combine the cardholder’s biometric data with their checked and confirmed identity details By the end of 2014/15 90% of foreign nationals will be issued with an identity card Three-quarters of the world’s population are covered for the biometric test. This includes everyone coming either to work or study. Foreign nationals will not be required to carry their identity card at all times
The Woodhouse Post, 5 January 2009
city schools to get £320m facelift
taking the Plunge
Steel tank could help teach kids swim Pools In Schools: The pool has bee built in an industrial lock-up.
By Katie Durose A steel tank being prepared on a Sheffield industrial estate may turn 400,000 British children into water babies. The tank will become a mobile swimming pool, transported around the country to help teach children to swim. The pool which is currently in an industrial lock-up in Darnall is the brainchild of Olympic swimming medallist Steve Parry. Steve decided to set up Total Swimming after learning that 400,000 children leave primary school every year unable to swim.
He said this was because the costs of hiring pools and buses to get there were too expensive for many primary schools ‘We thought this was terrible so if they can’t get to the pool, we’d bring the pool to them. ‘The pool is basically a 12 meter galvanised steel tank that we take to areas of deprivation, in this case it’s been set up in an industrial lock-in Darnall,’ Steve said. Fifteen primary schools in Sheffield have taken part in the Pools in Schools campaign which aims to provide intensive
swimming lessons by the best teachers available and provide fun lessons such as aqua dance and synchronised swimming. Total Swimming take the pool all over the country teaching 10,000 pupils a year to swim.
‘We’ve had the pool for six weeks now and they love it.’ The children are recommended to swim for 40 minutes every day for two weeks which will help them achieve the national curriculum target of swimming 25m.
Phillimore School in Darnall was one of the 15 schools to take part and is just five minutes’ walk from the pool. ‘We’ve had the pool for six weeks now and they love it. ‘The whole school is involved and there are pupils in there every day,’ said a spokeswoman for Phillimore School. The programme which has been running since June 2007 has had excellent feedback. ‘Parents in Sheffield are so pleased that they staged a tongue and cheek protest to keep the pool forever,’ Steve said.
School buildings are to be transformed in a multi-million pound programme adopted by Sheffield city council. Birley and Handsworth Grange are among the 27 secondary schools that will benefit from £23.7m earmarked to bridge a gap in the education budget. The scheme, expected to be approved by the next council cabinet meeting, is supposed to guarantee improvements at every secondary school in Sheffield by 2014. The £23.7m was needed for the Building Schools for the Future programme (BSF) which is investing a total of £320m in city schools. Councillor Andrew Sangar, city council cabinet member responsible for schools, said: ‘We are committed to making sure that we have good quality school buildings for our secondary pupils and our financial contribution is vital to ensure it is a success.’ The BSF is the biggest government investment into improving schools for more than
50 years. It aims to rebuild or renew every secondary school in England in the next 10-15 years. ‘This transformation programme is aimed at improving every aspect of teaching and learning, as well as providing joined-up services to families and pupils so they can take full advantage of the educational opportunities available,’ said Cllr Sangar. ‘It’s not just about improving school buildings. This programme will have an effect on improving motivation, behaviour, attainment, and improving local neighbourhoods by making sure that we help our young people to realise their ambitions by supporting them in best way possible.’ If agreed in next week’s cabinet meeting, the project will be funded over the period 2008/9 to 2015/2016.
To see the proposed plans in full, and a list of the schools involved, visit: www.woodhousepost.co.uk
Prevent and cure health centre to have ‘huge’ impact A new health centre for Darnall will be built within the year, it was revealed at a meeting last night. Plans to build a community health centre in Darnall were proposed nearly ten years ago, but at a meeting last night councillors seemed confident the centre would be built this year. People in Darnall have one of the poorest health levels in Sheffield and have a life expectancy
ten years less than more affluent areas such as Hallam. The meeting held at Darnall Forum Community Learning Centre last night focused on locating a sight for the new centre, narrowing it down to just two. Maine Road and Station Road are the final two contenders for the centre which will combine two existing practices as well as physiotherapy centre. Attercliffe MP Clive Betts
said the health centre will help prevent as well as cure people’s health issues. ‘The current doctors surgeries do a wonderful job in what are inadequate facilities but it’s not just about treating people when they’re ill, it’s about stopping them getting ill. ‘The people of Darnall deserve health facilities fit for the 21st century and which are easily accessible by all. It’s impor-
tant that what is provided really meets the needs of people in the area,’ said Mr Betts. Simon Kirk, Sheffield’s NHS director of strategy said the process of merging these practices which have 7500 patients has taken over two years He said: ‘It will be something bigger and better than currently exists…at the end of the day we have to look at price, it is after all public money.’
But Sylvia Hamilton, Chair of Darnall Forum, worries that after so many delays the project will never happen. ‘This development is long overdue, both for the people of Darnall and the health providers in the area,’ she said. The meeting which was arranged by the Darnall Community Forum aimed to keep the public involved in the plans, after it was feared residents were
being pushed out. ‘You can have a state of the art building but it’s the people that will make it happen,’ added Mrs Hamilton. Darnall councillor Mazher Iqbal said: ‘This project will serve people’s health needs in Darnall for many years to come. ‘It’s important that we get it right. The impact that it could have on the wider generation of the area could be huge.’
Tributes to crash death couple Tributes have been paid to a young couple killed in a car crash on New Year’s Eve. Liam Oliver, aged 33, and Sarah Kate O’Melia, 23, died when their car smashed head on into another travelling in the opposite direction in Woodhouse. The accident - which left two others seriously injured - happened on Wednesday afternoon on Beaver Hill Road. Bob Worm paid an online tribute to his friend Mr Oliver, who was a father of three and a former musician in local band Gledhill. ‘The world has lost one of its special souls and we have lost a beautiful friend,’ Mr Worm said. ‘Our thoughts and love are with his family and loved ones. It will be a long time before my smile feels right to return, but your music will play on forever.’
The red Vauxhall Astra the couple were in was travelling toward Woodhouse when it crashed with a white Mini Cooper coming the opposite way. The driver of the Astra, an 18-year-old man from Sheffield, who has not been named, suffered serious internal injuries, and is detained Northern General hospital. The driver of the Mini Cooper, a 34-year-old Sheffield man, suffered serious injuries, including a broken left arm. Mr Oliver’s cousin said in a message posted on the Sheffield Forum web site: ‘As you can imagine both families are devastated. My cousin leaves behind three beautiful sons and a loving family and will be deeply missed. Not to mention his girlfriend. - our thoughts are with both families at this very sad time.’
Floral tributes mark the spot on Beaver Hill Road where Lliam Oliver, 33, and Sarah Kate O’Melia, 23 died.