Last night the first East Sheffield Local Area Committee meeting was held at the EIS in Attercliffe. Darnall is one of the four council wards included in the East Sheffield LAC, with our other four wards of Beighton, Birley, Mosborough and Woodhouse falling within the South East Sheffield LAC.
The meeting was chaired by Darnall Ward Councillor Mary Lea. Other councillors in attendance were Cllr Anne Murphy, Cllr Sioned-Mair Richards, Cllr Dianne Hurst, Cllr Ben Miskell and Cllr Zahira Naz. The meeting was also attended by a number of council officers as well as the new manager of the East Sheffield LAC, Huda Ahmed. The audience consisted of a mixture of local residents as well as representatives from a number of local community and faith groups from across the four wards of Darnall, Manor Castle, Park & Arbourthorne and Richmond.
This initial meeting was all about introductions. Introducing the members of the LAC and also introducing its mission statement which is to engage, empower and enable local residents and local organisations and to bring decision making closer to our local communities. This includes producing an ambitious but achievable annual Community Plan as well as working with local partners, stakeholders and council services to meet the needs of those local communities. The work with local partners and community groups will be especially important to help ensure that those seldom heard voices within our communities are fully involved and can have their say.
Each LAC has been allocated a budget of £100k to spend on the local issues that matter most to their local community. Additional funding is also available within each council ward thanks to the doubling of this year’s Ward Pot budgets. There is also a share of funding available from the city-wide Fly Tipping and Graffiti budget.
After introductions had finished there was a very informative Q and A session where both residents and the representatives of the local community and faith groups were given the opportunity to ask Councillors and council officers more about how the new LAC will work to benefit the local area.
Most questions were about how to access the funding available, what the LAC’s priorities were, when would the Community plan be finalised and how would local residents and groups have their voices heard.
The answers given were that the £100k budget would be used primarily to forward the aims identified within the Community Plan which would be finalised by January, however the plan itself would be dictated by the needs of the local community and would be flexible and open to change, as and when necessary, to meet local needs. Funding for local groups and causes was available immediately through the enlarged Ward Pots as well as existing Community Infrastructure Levy funds.
The LAC’s priorities will be the priorities and the issues that local residents and local groups/organisations tell them about through the Council’s LAC survey (online link below) as well as the extensive public consultation that will take place over the next few weeks where local residents, local community groups, local faith groups and other local organisations will all be invited to have their say and help formulate the annual Community Plan which will be put forward at the January meeting of the East Sheffield LAC and once agreed will be quickly implemented.
If you have not already done so please fill in the East Sheffield LAC online survey by clicking on the link below and ensure that your voice is heard. Survey closes October 31st 2021