I am writing this letter after spending the morning clearing snow and ice in my local area as a snow warden a volunteer role I have committed to every winter since the scheme was introduced during the bad winter of 2010.
When the scheme began there were around 100 volunteer snow wardens and each warden was provided with a high vis jacket, snow shovel and one tonne bag of grit to spread salt and clear snow from local roads and pavements which are not on the winter maintenance schedule drawn up by Sheffield City Council.
The scheme was very successful with snow wardens, their friends and neighbours clearing paths and making the immediate area and services accessible to residents who may have struggled to leave their homes during the big freeze.
Since then snow wardens no longer receive the bag of grit once provided to them and are forced to clear pavements and local roads with just a snow shovel. This is inadequate and does nothing to either clear the paths of ice or prevent slips and falls.
The location of Amey grit bins are a mystery to the Sheffield residents who do not have access to the internet and once covered in a layer of snow the yellow that marks them out is hidden.
The best practice is to provide snow wardens with the grit which they are able to use to make their local area safe and accessible.
I am asking Sheffield City Council to reconsider its decision to not give snow wardens the much needed grit which makes their role so valuable to the local community especially over the recent weather.
Coun Shaffaq Mohammed
Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group and snow warden volunteer
Few inches of snow
I have been unimpressed by the reaction to a few inches of snow in our city.
I dug the car out this morning and went for a drive as I couldn’t get a bus, despite local bus companies having skilled staff perfectly capable of driving in these conditions. All the major roads were black. Side roads were passable with care although no sign of any salting even on comparatively busy ones like my own.
And our local supermarket, with empty shelves reminding one of the best of Soviet era Russia and milkless like everywhere else in town, had closed their car park rather than grabbing some unemployed or homeless folk and giving them a bung to dig out the access road.
Sadly, the skills of driving in snow and ice seem to have been lost by a modern generation, much skidding around at totally inappropriate speeds and don’t start me on the incompetents in the latest model cars with spinning wheels failing to do hill starts.
I passed quite a few of them in my 1955 Austin A30 at a steady 10mph.
I know it’s different out in the rural idylls that some people insist on inhabiting – but the city centre is affected only by the inhibitions of those who insist on listening to government babytalk red warnings instead of making their own risk assessments, assessments which are not assisted by the manifest refusal of the Met Office and broadcasters to give snowfall in feet and inches!
What would happen if it was winter?
Mi Amigo plane crash
Two items which were featured in The Star brought back some vivid childhood memories for me.
One was a photo in Retro of a favourite place I used to visit when I was a young girl and the other was the front page story, (Star February 27), of the Mi Amigo plane crash in Endcliffe Park on February 22, 1944 which claimed the lives of 10 American airmen.
I was extremely moved by Tony Foulds’ poignant account of that fateful day, but he should never have felt ‘lifelong guilt’ about the crew in their stricken plane as he was an innocent young boy who just had the misfortune to witness a terrible event which he could have done nothing to prevent.
At the time I was a very young child living with my parents at my former family home overlooking Endcliffe Park and on the day of the crash my mother heard the plane flying over our house and realised by the sound that it was in trouble.
A few minutes later it crashed into the park and my mother ran across carrying me in her arms and was distraught that she and others could do nothing to save the doomed crew of the ‘Mi Amigo’.
Up until her death some years ago whenever the dreadful incident was mentioned she became very tearful and so every year on the anniversary of the crash I lay flowers at the memorial stone as I have done this year on behalf of my mother, and also for myself and my daughter, as we would not be alive today had the plane crashed on our house.
Those airmen will never be forgotten as their courage in steering the plane away from the houses and children playing on the green saved many lives.
Like Tony Foulds, I hope when I am no longer here my daughter will continue the tradition of laying flowers in this peaceful little corner of England in gratitude to those brave young American air crew who tragically were destined never to return home.
Westminster Crescent, Lodge Moor, Sheffield, S10
Thieves in Sheffield
Is the correspondent from Birmingham suggesting all thieves come from Sheffield?
I can make the same case for any country, city, town, village, street or house. Of course breaking the law is wrong.
Congratulations to the Star for printing the letter. I suspect few other papers would do the same.
Broom Crescent, Rotherham, S60
We in Sheffield will soon have jobs galore with top brands names such as Meadowhall complex, Ikea, BooHoo, and Amazon, let’s hope they are worthwhile and lasting occupations. After all at the end of the day money talks.