PLOUGH- Crookes Councillor's Full Speech

"Speaking out in the Town Hall is one way councillors represent local people, and achieve change," says labour's Crookes and Crosspool Councillor Craig Gamble Pugh. Following the recent success of the Save the Plough campaign, you can read Cllr Gamble Pugh's full speech to the planning board here:

Plough Planning Board Speech

"I’m here today to reflect the views of hundreds of my constituents, by making the strongest possible case against this planning application.

The City Council recognised that The Plough is a community asset. This is about retaining the community’s right to decide what the future of that asset should be, and about safeguarding an important cultural and historical landmark in the city. If Sainsbury’s application is granted, these two conditions would not be meet and this would be a travesty.

The Plough is an important part in the history of football itself. In fact, the rules of modern day football, as we now recognise it, were written here! During the 1870s, many meetings took place in The Plough which led to the development of the “Sheffield Rules” and these rules later merged with the London rules to form the first ever written rules of the modern game, as agreed by the Football Association.

The Sheffield Rules introduced the concept of corners, throw-ins and free-kicks for fouls. Games played under the rules are also credited with the development of heading and the origins of the goalkeeper and forward positions.

Myself and my fellow labour councillor in the ward, Anne Murphy, have worked tirelessly alongside the Save the Plough campaign group. On street stalls, collecting signatures on petitions, knocking on doors, we have heard and seen first hand how strongly the community objects to this application- on a wide range of planning grounds.

But members must also consider that Asset of Community Value status, and the Plough’s status as a non designated heritage asset, are considerations under planning law. You must also consider that the council’s stance is that these must be considered as Material Considerations, and accorded the maximum weighting in your decision making

The decision today must also be considered alongside the Council’s intention to continue to develop its long term strategy for pubs. Local pubs are of enormous significance to the people of Sheffield, and Labour councillors are working hard, to shape the council’s strategy, to protect more pubs, and build on our status as the capital of real ale.

In my capacity as a Fellow of the School for Social Entrepreneurs, I undertook a professional assessment of the capacity of this group to potentially run the Plough as a social enterprise should that be a desired model, I have rarely worked with a more credible, skilled and qualified group. Based on this capacity assessment, and on the commitment, skill and sheer determination demonstrated by the campaign group, I have no doubt whatsoever that the Plough has a very strong future as a pub, and I know that residents passionately believe this too, and will join me in saying, “Turn down the application before you today”.

Turn it down- and 'Save the Plough!'"

(note- text of speeches should be checked against actual delivery)