Alt Sheff

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News Stories

Food Works Not Food Waste Campaign

Deadline 4pm on 24th December 2018

The Real Junk Food Project has been working for the last three years as collecting and redistributing perfectly good food that would have gone to waste, turning over 300 tonnes into thousands of meals. Their strong community of volunteers, suppliers and sponsors could do more if they had a long term lease on a warehouse with proper big fridge/freezer storage and a kitchen on site, so they are running a Crowdfunding appeal for £50,000. They´re already halfway to that target; can you help? Please take a moment to take some action, and share the campaign with people you know.

The campaign closes on Christmas Eve at 4pm. They´ll be open well into the night at the Sharehouse Market and all are welcome to come down and join them for mince pies. Full details including video on this website.

Food Works Not Food Waste crowdfunder

Christmas campaign to support the vulnerable and homeless

December 2018

Tracey Ford of Sheffield Council’s Drug and Alcohol Co-ordination Team spoke to Sheffield Live! TV on the complex issues of homelessness. Outlining the various services in Sheffield, she pointed out that giving money on the street is not always the best option. People may be sympathetic but short of money themselves, instead they can help in other ways like giving time, clothing or other goods.

Christmas campaign video on Sheffield Live

Stopping pollution at the school gates

Updated December 2018

Sheffielder Graham Turnbull started a petition on the 38 Degrees campaign website, to protect children from traffic and air pollution. It simply asks Sheffield Council to close roads at school entrances to motorised traffic during school opening and closing times. Hundreds signed it within the first weeks. It was delivered to Jack Scott, the Cabinet Member for Transport and Development, at a meeting of Sheffield City Council on 5th December.

Sheffield has a clean air strategy supposedly taking action on poor air quality, but many schools are in areas of high pollution (some over legal limits). Even air quality in classrooms can be poor. The results are respiratory illnesses like asthma, and reduced lung capacity for life. 20mph speed limits and anti-idling initiatives are not enough. Edinburgh, Southwark, Hackney and Solihull have already got schemes like this to encourage non-motorised travel to school.

Every bit of pressure keeps the politicians focussed on health in our communities, where change is desperately needed.

School Streets for Sheffield petition

Fracking consultation

Deadline 7th January 2019

The Government is asking for views on whether there should be pre-application consultation with local communities prior to planning applications for shale gas development, as if it isn´t obvious.

Go online to tell them. The consultation closes at 11.45pm on 7th January 2019

Government shale gas consultation

Campaign for rented property licensing

Autumn 2018

ACORN Sheffield wants to get rid of slum landlords. Currently, just one in 40 private renters are protected by landlord licensing in Sheffield, and one in three rented homes fail the decent homes standard. Selective licensing means that landlords have to get a license from the council to let property. This lets the council make sure that properties are safe, and that tenants are not being illegally evicted. Please sign their online petition in support.


Diversity Fest 2019 planned

Nov/Dec 2018

The Diversity Fest group have set pre-Christmas meeting dates to allow interested people to get join in and help.

It is decided already that the event will happen on Sunday 29th September 2019, and they will work towards making Diversity Fest an official organisation for next year so that external funding can be applied for. A constitution, bank account, elected officers and core policies will be set up over the next few months.

The group have alternate monthly planning meetings on Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings, at different venues. Newcomers are welcome. The pre-Christmas meetings are:
Thursday 22nd November, 7-8pm, Rutland Arms, 86 Brown St. S1 2BS
Sunday 16th December, 3-4pm, Hagglers Corner (in the cafe), 586 Queens Rd. S2 4DU

Diversity Fest

Reprinting Edward Carpenter’s "Towards Democracy"

November 2018

To celebrate the 175th birthday of famous Sheffield radical and LGBT icon Edward Carpenter, the newly formed Sheffield-based Millthorpe Press Co-operative is republishing some of Carpenter’s best work, starting with a new edition of his classic poem, "Towards Democracy". The edition will include the original poem and a selections of contemporary reviews and critical articles about the poem.

A minimum sum of £4,000 will launch Millthorpe Press and cover the costs of printing a high quality hard back edition of the poem by a local printing company. Typesetting is largely completed. All that is needed is the printing fee, and finance to launch the co-operative, so that its members can continue onto further projects.

In his lifetime, Edward Carpenter was a prominent literary and political radical, who wrote dozens of books, and lectured around the country, using his home at Millthorpe, near Chesterfield, as his base.

Though efforts have been made to remember Edward Carpenter, his writing has been largely forgotten. Even in Sheffield, for example, it is not possible to walk into a book shop and buy a copy of even Carpenter’s most famous work, but Walt Whitman’s "Leaves of Grass", the poem that inspired Carpenter to write "Towards Democracy" is on sale.

Millthorpe Press is a co-operative that will be largely led by its members, who will have a vote in further publications by the co-operative, as well as receiving a newsletter, and invitations to stand for its board. Ideas for future publications include Edward Carpenter: "My Days and Dreams"(1916); Carpenter’s autobiography; "Towards Democracy: The Complete Four Volume Edition" (1903); "Chants of Labour" (1888, a collection of songs and hymns, including "England Arise!"); Mary Hutton: "This Fair Isle" (a 1842 collection of political poems by a working class Sheffield woman and a rare example of a woman writing on Chartist themes); John Holland: "Sheffield Park" (1820 classic long form poem about Sheffield written by James Montgomery’s close friend).

So please invest, and help revive Carpenter’s legacy in Sheffield and across the world! The deadline is during December, more details at the link below.


Sheffield anti-fracking protestor jailed

October 2018

Update: The trio have been released in October as the sentences were criticised as too harsh. The justice secretary has been urged in Parliament to investigate whether the judge who jailed them followed official codes of conduct. He has family links to the fossil fuel industry, it was revealed. Watch the defiant video by these protesters (before the trial).

Sheffield anti-fracking protestor and soil scientist Simon ‘Roscoe’ Blevins has been jailed for 16 months, and two co-defendants were also imprisoned, all for peaceful protest action, climbing onto lorries taking drilling equipment into the fracking site at Preston New Road near Blackpool. After Lancashire County Council rejected the application to frack from Cuadrilla in June 2015, this was overturned by the then Communities Secretary (now Home Secretary) Sajid Javid.

They received wide support amongst local people while occupying the lorries and outside their court appearances.

They are believed to be the first environmental protestors to be imprisoned in the UK since the 1932 Right-to-Roam mass trespass on Kinder Scout. His partner, speaking to crowds in Barkers Pool at the Global Frackdown Carnival on 13th October, told of their shock, anger and determination.

Sheffield is surrounded by three drilling sites where anti-fracking protests continue, at Marsh Lane, Tinker Lane and Misson, all threatening further expansion of fossil fuel use and damage to the climate.

Sheffield Against Fracking

Sheffield hostel fears for migrant children

December 2018

Campaigners have handed a petition to Sheffield Council to end the use of the Earl Marshall Guest House in Burngreave to accommodate children of migrants and refugees. The guest house houses single homeless men, and concerns have been expressed at the safety of co-housing vulnerable mothers and children.

Campaigners claim bed and breakfast accommodation is expensive and challenges human rights. Previous assurances by the council the practice will stop have not been implemented.

Watch Baillor Jalloh´s interview of John Grayson, on Sheffield Live!

Enviro-pressure on City Council

December 2018

There is more environmental pressure on Sheffield City Council, as Sheffield Climate Alliance has turned its massive attention towards our poor quality air.

In November a proposed “clean air zone”, was announced, which is now going through committee stages, and the inevitable arguments with taxi drivers. Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Transport and Development was handed the "Safe School Streets for Sheffield" petition at the monthly Full Council meeting on 5th December. (He spoke in favour of clean air, which is only right.) Along with the trees protest, and attention/pressure from walkers, cyclists, users of the parks, and even vocal objections to proposed destructive ’development’ of the much-loved General Cemetery, they are surely focussed on the city environment now.

Online, the Council’s ’latest news’ for 5th December (day of the Full Council) read: "Leader says: Big employers in the region create great opportunities". Julie Dore has apparently been in conversation with the Editor of the Sheffield Star, Nancy Fielder, and Rotherham Council’s Chris Read, at an event on McLaren and Boeing moving to the region.

Oh dear.

Sheffield People´s Petition

Autumn 2018, petition open until Sep. 2019

A petition is aiming to improve the system Sheffield Council uses to make decisions. It urges a referendum to move from the current undemocratic "strong leader" system (just 10 councillors have the power to make nearly all decisions) to a modern committee system where all councillors have real power to represent the communities that elected them. This is a big issue for local democracy, it was covered in an Alt-Sheff article in Now Then magazine.

The petition is being run by It´s Our City, a non-party-political community network in Sheffield.


Guitar classes at Foodhall

November/December 2018

Foodhall community-managed open public dining room and kitchen now offers guitar classes. Learn to play your favourite songs, music theory, techniques, and making music with others. There are many events such as this, see the website for what else is on.

Thursdays, 3-4pm, 4-5pm, etc. Suggested donation £5-£10. Sign up by email to


Birley Spa Bath House may be saved

November 2018

Birley Spa Bath House fell into disrepair under the ownership of Sheffield Council, which planned to sell it off this year. Now, after a huge outcry, it will be registered as an ‘Asset of Community Value’ by the Council. They have given the Friends of Birley Spa group six months to develop a bid for renovation. Otherwise they will again potentially try to sell it.

Built (in Hackenthorpe) in Victorian times as a community bath hall, a playground was added in the early 20th century. It was used for events by clubs, wedding receptions and plunge pool tours. The site may date to the pre-Roman period.

Birley Spa news from Sheffield City Council

Palestinian Olive Oil on sale

Autumn 2018

Olive oil from Zaytoun makes a great Christmas present, and supports Palestinian producers fighting Israeli settler aggression. It is available from Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign, call Sheff 2582734 or email (Please put "olive oil" in the subject line)

Sheffield Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Asylum seekers need the right to work

Autumn 2018

SYMAAG (South Yorkshire Migration and Asylum Action Group) is one of over 80 organisations calling for people to be able to work legally while claims for asylum are processed. They are supporting the Lift the Ban Coalition campaign launched recently. People seeking refugee status are banned from working while they wait, usually for several years of their lives, for a decision on their asylum claim. They are left to live on just £5.39 per day, struggling to support themselves and their families, as the Government wastes the talents of thousands of people. Asylum seekers suffer poverty, even destitution, or the dangers of working illegally, with no rights or protection at work, unpaid wages, a weakening of all workers’ rights, and the risk of deportation to a dangerous country of origin.

Ironically, people detained in immigration removal centres work for as little as £1 per day for global corporations like G4S, Serco GEO and Mitie who run them, but are banned from work when they are released.

To support the campaign see this Lift the Ban Activism Pack for resources and ideas. In Sheffield you can join free campaign training sessions on asylum seekers right to work organised by Everyday Activism. Reasonable travel expenses can be paid. All are welcome, not only people seeking asylum, and whether it’s your first campaign or not.

Everyday Activism

Ask Chatsworth Estate to stop killing badgers

Autumn 2018

Derbyshire Against The Cull asks you to sign a petition urging the Chatsworth Estate not to be involved in the cruel slaughter of the badger cull in Derbyshire. The Chatsworth Estate, owned by the Duke of Devonshire, has 35,000 acres (140 km2) of land across Derbyshire, including beef and dairy farms, home to hundreds of badgers.

The petition urges Chatsworth to support badger vaccination instead of killing, in an attempt to prevent the spread of bovine tuberculosis (bTB). 2018 is the 6th year of these government-sanctioned death trials. DEFRA (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) wants to reduce the badger population drastically by 70% in a 25-year plan, even though it is estimated this will only reduce bTB by 16%. The science linking badgers to the spread of bTB is dodgy. Issues such as cattle movements, farm bio-security and bad animal care are more likely causes of the spread of bTB.

20,000 badgers were killed last year alone. In Derbyshire a successful badger vaccination programme started in 2014, but now not even vaccinated badgers are safe.

Petition at

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