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Green Party makes fresh call for rethink on City Centre regeneration

The Green Party has challenged the administration to rethink its plans for the city centre, but the Labour administration, backed by the Lib Dems, is clinging on to the stalled deal with Hammersons. The Greens want to see a stronger focus on encouraging local

Green Councillors Rob Murphy and Jillian Creasy

businesses and shops, providing a wider range of daytime and evening leisure activities and making the city centre a great place to live as well as to work and to visit. But Labour have hit back, defending their plans to demolish existing streets and bring in multinational chain stores.

Cllr Rob Murphy who, alongside Cllr Jillian Creasy, represents the city centre said:

“It’s a bit rich of Labour to criticise the Greens about the state of the City Centre when locally and nationally it is they who have overseen the economic decline of recent years. It was the Green Party who suggested in 2008 that the Sevenstone development needed a plan B. We were ignored and the last 4 years have been wasted, leading to the closure of local shops and businesses and a running sore of empty buildings in the centre of the city centre.”

He continued, “Rather than bending over backwards for big business our council should prioritise supporting the small and medium sized local businesses that are the backbone of Sheffield’s economy.”

Cllr Creasy added, “Studies have shown that for every £10 spent in an independent local shop or service, £25 is generated for the local economy compared to only £14 being generated for every £10 spent in a chain store. Labour plans will throw money at shareholders and tax-avoiding executives, whereas we want the money spent in the City Centre to be recycled into the local economy, benefiting the excellent retailers and services based in Sheffield and the surrounding region.” ENDS

For further information, contact Cllr Jillian Creasy  jillian.creasy@sheffield.gov.uk

 

Notes :

1 – At last Full Council meeting (5th December), the Green councillors sought to amend a Notice of Motion 12 by replacing Labour’s support for Sevenstones with the following clause: “Believes it is time to rethink the future of the city centre and to look away from multinational shopping chains and towards the needs of local shops and businesses, a wider range of entertainment and greater resilience in terms of community cohesion, energy supply and flooding”. For details of the agenda, go to :

http://meetings.sheffield.gov.uk/council-meetings/full-council/agendas-2012/agenda-5th-december-2012

 

2 – Labour issued this press release last week :


News from Sheffield City Council Labour Group

7th December 2012

For Immediate Release

Greens against city centre regeneration

Sheffield Green Party revealed their true colours at this month’s full council meeting. In their amendment to the Labour Party’s business friendly motion they suggest a rethink about the future of the city centre and that we should avoid bringing multinational shopping chains to the city.

This statement proves the Greens are putting ideology before the residents of Sheffield. They are against bringing big high street brands to the Sevenstone development which will give the local economy a much needed boost and bring hundreds of jobs to the city. This completely undermines the city’s plans and aspirations for development and regeneration.

The council is committed to helping small independents stores and start up schemes which can be seen through our work on Chapel Walk. We believe a mix of small independents and big high street names in needed to make the city centre competitive and sustainable.

Councillor Leigh Bramall, cabinet member for Business, Skills and Development said:

“The Greens showed that they are anti-regeneration, anti-development and anti-business in their amendment to full council. We are working hard to regenerate the city centre through projects such as The Moor development and Sevenstone as well as supporting local businesses and start ups. When there are a record number of empty shops in the city centre the Greens are putting ideology before the economy and before local residents.

“Brining multinational retail brands to Sheffield will give the city centre and the local economy a much needed boost and provide hundreds of jobs for local residents. It will also provide a better retail experience for residents and visitors and put Sheffield on a level playing field with other cities. The Greens need to put aside their ideological beliefs and support the regeneration of our city.”

Further Reading

See the New Economics Foundation report “Making the most of every pound that enters your local economy”

http://www.pluggingtheleaks.org/downloads/ptl_handbook.pdf

Topics: Central, City Wide, Councillors, Featured, Jillian Creasy, Rob Murphy

There are 3 Responses to Green Party makes fresh call for rethink on City Centre regeneration

30th December 2012

Isn’t it the case though that we need big shops and chain stores as much as small shops. Chapel Walk has been allowed to sadly decline-I remember Hartley Seeds and Methodist Book Shops down there as a youngster-and the plan to revitalise it seems sensible. Hopefully new investment will come to the Moor following TJHughes and the market moves. Two or three more big name stores including another food retailer would be a boost to the City Centre. And what is happening with disused buildings like the Old TJ Hughes/Rackhams/House of Fraser , the Co-Op on Angel Street, the Old Post Office or Court Buildings? I’m not dogmatic about what happens to these as long as they are used for something whether it be retail, leisure or converting them to flats. More people living in the City Centre means more customers for businessess. The Building that does does need getting rid of is the Castle Market-a depressing stinking hulk. It should be done carefully though so that a proper archaeological investigation of the Castle Remains can take place. Then could we have a City Centre Green Space/Gardens showing what lies beneath off?

    31st December 2012

    Thanks for your comments, Simon. The Green Party isn’t dogmatic, either. Our position is really to urge the council to think again about the balance of redevelopment. If we have too many big companies in the city, there is no guarantee the money spent in those stores will stay in Sheffield. Some, of course, will, being paid out in the wages of those employed there. But much may well be siphoned off for investment elsewhere or for distribution of profits to shareholders, most of whom are NOT Sheffield residents. That’s one reason why building in a larger share for local shopkeepers would help Sheffield’s economy, especially if those local shops relied on local suppliers. Cities such as Bristol have taken this idea one step further by introducing a “local” currency – in their case the Bristol Pound. This measure helps the city retain a greater proportion of its own business, and makes it more resilient to possible shocks in the future. I DO like your idea of building homes – as long as they’re affordable – and green spaces for growing food crops. Keep the ideas coming!

    1st January 2013

    Re Chapel Walk, there is now a new shop there called “birds yard”, opened just before christmas and the goods in it are made by local makers/craftspeople. I think some of the funding to set it up came from the Mary Portas initiative to try and revive local shops. I understand though, that it is not cheap for people to have their goods in the shop, so unless it is well supported its likely to fold. I hope people will support it and perhaps buy presents etc. from there rather than from a national chain. However time will tell if people are prepared to pay a bit more for something that is hand/locally made rather than something cheaper from a chain. Its going to take some big shifts in attitude for that to become a reality. If people buy something cheap they need to think, why is it cheap, who benefits, who is exploited. How many bewail the demise of secondhand bookshops..but have never bought a book in one. As consumers some ingrained habits need to change.
    Do we need large chain stores? Could large cities survive without them? Very interesting question and the answer may depend on the sort of cities you want, Id be very interested in more debate about this. We all complain all cities look the same..why? because of all the larger chain stores that have priced out all the independents. Keep comments coming!

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