Group must leave home of 20 years

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A TENANTS’ group is being forced to leave a Sheffield Council building it has used for the last 20 years for activities including popular sessions for elderly people.

The authority has given Greenhill and Chancet Wood Tenants’ and Residents’ Association four weeks to leave the Brierley Fields building, Chancet Wood, so the room can be used by the social services department.

One pensioner, a 72-year-old woman who regularly attends the TARA’s activity sessions, said: “At a meeting to discuss the future of the sessions, a council officer told us the TARA has to be out by February 28. The council is providing no help so far in finding us an alternative venue and has offered no compensation for all the furnishings. The group have been using this communal room for over 20 years. All the furnishings in the room, carpets and decorating have been done by them.

“For Sheffield Council to throw them out without any warning is disgusting. Four weeks’ notice is not enough to find an alternative venue.

“I am one of the younger members of our group and it’s the older ones I am extremely worried for. They are in their late 70s, 80s and 90s, and this centre is their only contact with people.”

The group hosts activity sessions such as line dancing and also organises trips out.

Greenhill and Chancet Wood TARA chairman Barry Yeardley has been in talks with the council to try to get a stay of execution and help finding an alternative venue.

Coun Simon Clement-Jones, who represents Beauchief and Greenhill, and is Lib Dem cabinet member for finance, said: “The building is required so we can provide social services assessments for people in their local community rather than forcing them to travel.

“Consultations take place in the day – when most of the TARA’s activities are run, so, unfortunately, they cannot stay. We have now granted the TARA extra time at Brierley Fields after February 28 and I will be working with the South Community Assembly to help them find an alternative.”