Sheffield City Council’s proposals to cut conservation officers spark fear for Sheffield’s heritage

Hallamshire Historic Buildings have launched a petition to save the jobs of two part-time conservation officers at Sheffield City Council.

The role of the officers is to protect Sheffield’s heritage and HHB say their positions are essential at the council.

HHB said: “The officers have years of experience in Sheffield which simply cannot be replaced.”

The two officers also work with the Conversation Advisory Group (CAG), a volunteer group made up of professional historians and architects which give advice to Sheffield City Council.

According to HHB committee member, Robin Hughes, it is likely CAG’s will end their involvement with the council.

If the proposals by the council go ahead, outside specialists will be brought in to assess the historical and cultural value of heritage sights instead of assessments being conducted in-house.

Mr Hughes said outside specialists won’t necessarily feel that personal investment in Sheffield when making decisions.

In two-weeks, the petition addressed to Sheffield City Council Leader Julie Dore has racked up over 1,700 signatures, and is only gaining traction.

Many of the signatures are accompanied with personal messages showing their disdain for the proposal.

Jo Lea said: “Seems shortsighted – how does this save money? In practical terms, outside contractors will always charge more per job than a salaried person actually costs.”

Headed by local antique store proprietor Howard Greaves, Hallamshire Historic Buildings has been running since 1970, and boasts an impressive track record when it comes to some Sheffield’s most iconic buildings.

Its work to save the famous Lyceum Theatre is one of its signature saves for which it is particularly proud.

Mr Hughes praised the strong reception for the petition and hopes Sheffield City Council will respond in kind.

He said: “They can harness this and use it to make this city even greater.”

JUS News has contacted Ms Dore for comment but did not receive a response.