Action to address 'simmering tensions' in Sheffield neighbourhood welcomed
Action to address simmering tensions in a troubled Sheffield suburb has been welcomed by residents.
Page Hall has long been plagued by divisions between the different communities living there – driven largely by concerns about overcrowded private rented homes, littering and other anti-social behaviour – but relations appear to have deteriorated alarmingly in recent times.
In October last year, police flooded the area amid reports of a near riot outside Fir Vale School, said to have been sparked by a fight in the school canteen, and just last month a video was shared online which appeared to show people running in panic from what was described as a mass brawl involving up to 100 people.
Fearful residents have demanded action, threatening to stage protests and block roads in the area should nothing be done, and Sheffield City Council has now announced a raft of measures which it hopes will get to the root of the problems.
Those steps include writing to all landlords in the neighbourhood, offering to help them address problems like rubbish, rat infestations and antisocial behaviour by tenants at their properties, but warning they could face prosecution if they fail to seek support and the council identifies shortcomings.
The move has been welcomed by Star readers, many of which took to Facebook to make their feelings known on the issue.
Karon Bowness said it is “time something positive was done” and added: “Some of these measures should be extended to the whole of north Sheffield.”
Duncan Strafford believes this is “proof, if any were needed, that the licensing of landlords was just a money making exercise.”
Steve Circuit posted: “The littering is an issue on its own that should have been sorted years ago. Its a health hazard down there.”
As part of the raft of measures, dedicated council officers have also been promised for the area – encompassing not just Page Hall, but stretching from the Northern General Hospital and Firth Park to Grimesthorpe – to deal with housing enforcement, pest control and the provision of new activities and services such as English lessons and youth clubs to improve relations and get people off the streets.