Sheffield Labour back safer streets campaign

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A motion for Sheffield Council to support a student-led campaign that aims to tackle catcalling and street harassment has been put forward by Sheffield Labour.

The motion pledges support to the University of Sheffield student-led Our Bodies, Our Streets Campaign and will be voted on during a full council meeting next week.

Councillor Mary Lea, who is set to present the motion, said: “We have been working with Our Bodies, Our Streets, to speak about how we can take forward their proposals and I would like to thank them for everything they have done.

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“We are giving the council’s backing to their campaign. This is such an important issue and we know that the campaign have been working on some detailed and pragmatic ideas to make a real difference for improving safety in our public spaces.

Councillor Mary LeaCouncillor Mary Lea
Councillor Mary Lea

“We will take forward this work within the council and with other organisations such as South Yorkshire Police as we look to secure additional funding for some of the proposals such as improved lighting in parks, as well as looking at what works in other areas and this is something Our Bodies Our Streets have also worked on.”

The motion asks the council to work with the police and crime commissioner, businesses, community, student and voluntary groups and prepare a bid for funding based around the proposals outlined by Our Bodies, Our Streets.

This includes improving lighting in parks and other open spaces and also seeks to learn from best practice in other places.

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It also asks for a report on how local action can be taken, working across partners to address a range of ideas including tackling the root cause of misogyny and public sexual harassment, genuine community consultation with women and marginalised gender groups, inclusive gender design and greater recording of experiences.

The campaign group petitioned the council for better lighting in parks earlier this year, which gathered more than 5,000 signatures.

Sheffield’s full council meeting will take place on Wednesday, May 16 from 2pm. It will be held at Ponds Forge in the city centre, and will also be webcast live.