STAR OPINION: It’s time to talk about sell-off fears

A petition has been set up to save the cottage in Graves Park. Picture: Andrew Roe
A petition has been set up to save the cottage in Graves Park. Picture: Andrew Roe
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What do our railways, the British Steel, and Royal Mail have in common?

They have all been sold off into private ownership.

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Sheffield cottage sale is ‘attack on Graves Park’

Today, The Star can reveal the fight between campaigners and Sheffield Council over one of the city’s assets: the 17th century Cobnar Cottage on Cobnar Road, near Graves Park.

It may not seem like a big deal in isolation, but campaigners say this is a back door attempt to break the covenant on the land, leading to more assets being lost in future.

Anything that appears to threaten the future of Sheffield’s parks and green spaces is sure to get backs up.

As one of the greenest cities in Europe, with over 800 green spaces across the city, our outdoor spots could be described as Sheffield’s best asset.

Just look at the furore caused by the threat to trees: more than 10,000 signatures and placard-waving protests in the streets.

Whether any ‘sell-offs’ will happen or not, if campaigners truly believe that there might be, then it is clear there must have been a communication breakdown between these residents and Sheffield Council which must be remedied as soon as possible.

As with anything, communication is key.

We live in a democracy, and the people of Sheffield want to feel that their views are being listened to and acted upon.

It’s a lesson the council should have learned from the Castle Market/Moor Market debacle.

Today, The Star can report that the demolition of Castle Market has now fallentwo months behind schedule.

Time cannot be turned back, and we have always tried to encourage as many shoppers as possible to use the Moor Market we now have, or risk losing markets in Sheffield all together.

But even as the old site lays in ruins, there are still people in Sheffield who feel like they were not listened to when they gave their views on the future of markets in the city.

There is, though, an excellent example of partnership working in our pages today.

Sanctuary Housing has teamed up with several sports groups to offer free activity sessions for people on the Shiregreen estates.

It’s great news for the people living in the area and an excellent example of different bodies communicating and working together for the benefit of Sheffielders.