Contractor will work with affected Sheffield residents

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SHEFFIELD Council today pledged the contractor chosen to carry out a £2 billion upgrade of the city’s roads will work with residents and businesses in areas affected by the work.

Contractor Amey, which was appointed yesterday, will have a dedicated official to liaise with groups in each of the authority’s seven community assembly areas.

Michael Platt, in charge of the massive 25-year programme for Sheffield Council, said: “They will provide a point of contact for people in all the different areas and will be able to listen to any local concerns and inform people what the contractor is going to do.”

Mr Platt said the community officials will also be able to receive concerns about protecting historical features such as old lampposts and kerbstones.

Broomhill Forum has voiced concern that period features in conservation zones should be protected.

But Sheffield Council chief executive John Mothersole said: “Victorian edifices will not be ripped out.”

Instead, the council and Amey will look to fit new lighting within old columns where necessary.

Sheffield Council also said new street lighting being provided will use much brighter, with LED bulbs giving a white light to make streets safer at night. The lights will use one third less electricity than conventional lights.

And the council said up to 30 of the 170 new jobs being created as part of the project will be for apprentices and graduate trainees.

Some 500 workers at Sheffield Council’s Street Force department will be transferred to Amey with their existing terms and conditions protected.

Green Central Ward councillor Rob Murphy said his party had ‘concerns about the cost to the taxpayer’ with the actual investment in roads being around half the money being borrowed, with the balance paying interest.

But Mr Mothersole said the £1.2 billion of borrowed money to fund the project would be repaid by the Government so would not impact on the council’s budget, while the remaining £800 million was the council’s ordinary highways maintenance budget.