A letter to the Sheffield Star
Sometimes I am perplexed by your choice of front-page story. Today you lead on another revamp of Fargate, but on reading the article there are few details of the plan apart from the Council takeover of one shop.
On page 16 in a single column, you hide the momentous story that Sheffield City Council have unanimously declared a Nature Emergency, recognising that our country is one of the most nature depleted in the world. All parties on the Council backed the Green Party motion. The Council have committed to developing a comprehensive Nature Emergency Action Plan (NEAP) for Sheffield, in association with partner organisations. This will feed into the local plan ensuring developers take far more care with our environment and hopefully preventing schemes that destroy our natural environment.
We can look forward to Sheffield’s green spaces, parks, riversides and verges becoming havens and corridors for wildlife. Changed mowing regimes and reduced use of chemicals, air pollution reduction and sympathetic planting choices will all help stop the decline of insects and pollinators that are vital for our survival. The Council aims for 100% of waterways to have water quality that supports healthy wildlife by 2030. Council understanding that good design of the built environment can help anchor wildlife in urban spaces will have to be addressed fully in the local plan.
The Council have recognised that the Climate and Nature emergencies are intrinsically linked with each other and also to social justice and by building a better world to deal with the Climate and Ecological Emergency we will also be building a better society. They have at last formerly committed Sheffield to be carbon neutral by 2030. The Council will be advising Sheffield businesses to help them understand how their procurement decisions impact ecology in Sheffield.
If ever there was a story worthy of front-page coverage, this was it!