Battle steps up to reclaim Sheffield park from drug users and sex workers

People have complained about it being rife with antisocial behaviour – but the fight is on to reclaim a Sheffield park for law-abiding residents.

By David Kessen
Friday, 10th September 2021, 10:10 am
Updated Friday, 10th September 2021, 10:10 am

With its trees, grass and landscaped footpaths, locals feel Ellesmere Green, in Burngreave, should be a beautiful haven for residents, alongside Burngreave Road and in the shadow of the landmark Victorian Vestry Hall, just a few yards down the road.

Instead, residents have complained to community leaders about concerns including fights, drug abuse and sex workers using the area.

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Ellesmere Green in Burngreave. Picture Scott Merrylees

Now, ward councillor Safiya Saeed says it is time to reclaim the area for the people of Burngreave – and has organised what she hopes will be a vital step in the battle.

That step will be the Ellesmere Green Fun Day, which will see food and drink stalls and activities taking place on the green, with stalls also manned by services including the police and other important community organisations.

The idea is to help make contact with residents so they know where to turn for help, and put the focus back on residents.

Ms Saeed said: “It has been a very well used area, but residents are being pushed out.”

She believes the problem is that drug users are being driven out of the city centre, with some now using Ellesmere Green instead.

There are also concerns that sex workers have started to use the area, she added, which has been shocking for many residents, and reports of fights.

Nearby businesses, concerned about the effect the antisocial behaviour is having on trade, had called for a meeting.

"I think we need action,” said Ms Saeed, who is known in the area for her work with the charity Reach Up Youth, which organises activities for young people in Burngreave.

"Businesses are losing customers because people don’t go there any more.

"Ellesmere Green has been done in a really nice way, where you can go and have somewhere to sit.

“It is a city problem, not just a Burngreave problem.

"Everyone needs to be working together and not blaming each other.”

South Yorkshire Police and Sheffield Council will both have a presence at the fun day, which runs from 11.30am until 2.30pm on Wednesday September 15.

Local journalism holds the powerful to account and gives people a voice. Please take out a digital subscription or buy a paper. Thank you. Nancy Fielder, editor