Group set to give Sheffield tenants a united voice

Winnie Smith, of Arbourthorne TARA
Winnie Smith, of Arbourthorne TARA
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TENANTS and residents from Sheffield’s council estates are to be given a new voice - through an organisation being set up to represent the views of people across the city.

Sheffield has not had a city-wide group to represent its 42,000 council residents since a previous group, START - Sheffield Tenants and Residents Together - folded more than a decade ago.

Together: The new Escafed association aims to bring together tenants and residents from estates across Sheffield, from Gleadless Valley, pictured, to Parson Cross

Together: The new Escafed association aims to bring together tenants and residents from estates across Sheffield, from Gleadless Valley, pictured, to Parson Cross

A vote of all Sheffield’s current tenants’ and residents’ associations was held and 49 were in favour of a new group.

Just three areas were against.

Preparations are under way to create the new body, and a meeting of people from across the city will be held tomorrow evening.

Winnie Smith, of Arbourthorne TARA, one of those spearheading the new organisation, said: “With control of housing going back under council control, we need a new body to represent the views of people across the whole city.

“The overwhelming majority of tenants are in favour.”

The new organisation will be called EscaFed and will be independent of council control.

Similar organisations exist in Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster.

EscaFed will have a board made up of people from TARAs around Sheffield, and hold regular meetings.

The group will lobby for tenants, and present a ‘united voice’.

“In this way, we can represent the tenants and residents of Sheffield, ensuring they get the services they deserve,” Mrs Smith added.

A draft constitution, policies and full details of the organisation are still being thrashed out.