Council candidate describes "sheer terror" as he is attacked while canvassing Sheffield suburb

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A council candidate in Sheffield was attacked yesterday (May 3) while canvassing ahead of the upcoming election, and has said the experience has made him "more determined than ever to support residents."

Craig Gamble Pugh, who is contesting the Stannington ward for the Labour and Co-operative parties, was left shaken and bruised after being thrown to the ground on a 13th-floor stairwell by a drug user who he had challenged and asked to leave the area.

"I was visiting residents door to door to discuss how we could help, after reports of antisocial behaviour,” Mr Gamble Pugh said.

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"There was a man blocking the top of the fire escape stairs smoking cannabis. I suggested he move on as residents were concerned about the situation. He lunged at me, grasped my shoulders and flung me aside- it was really violent.

Craig Gamble Puch was pushed over while canvassing for the upcoming coucil elections.Craig Gamble Puch was pushed over while canvassing for the upcoming coucil elections.
Craig Gamble Puch was pushed over while canvassing for the upcoming coucil elections.

"For a split second I felt sheer terror- 13 flights of stairs is a long way to fall. Residents have to live with this fear day in day out. Those of us in public office have a responsibility to listen and act."

Stannington resident Rosemary Telfer said: “This is not an isolated incident. As Craig has spoken to tenants on the doorstep, he’s heard the same story again and again: people are afraid to live here and the stairwells are used for the purposes of drug abuse.

"I do feel most strongly, that tenants should be able to live their lives in safety and security and free from the fear of being attacked or being confronted by drug crime.”

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Mr Gamble Pugh, a father of four who previously served on the council between 2016 and 2018, added that if he is elected he will bring Olivia Blake the local MP, Alan Billings the Police Commissioner, and senior housing officials to Stannington for a walkabout to highlight antisocial behaviour issues in the area.

Craig Gamble Pugh is standing for election to sit on Sheffield City Council for Stannington ward. The election will take place this Thursday on May 6.

Sitting Stannington councillors are Vickie Priestly, David Baker and Penny Baker, who are all Liberal Democrats.