Letter: Why is Sheffield City Council trying to take ice cream vans away?

This letter was written by Dr. Siobhan Laird from Sheffield 10

Tuesday, 12th October 2021, 8:53 am

Ice cream vans are part of our summer childhoods. Why is Sheffield City Council trying to take them away?

I remember as a kid rushing up for a cooling raspberry ripple scoop with multicoloured sprinkles and, if I could talk my Dad around, a chocolate flake. No wonder the Council’s proposal to ban them from our public parks is generating opposition.

That’s on top of possible job losses for ice cream van drivers. So why did the original call for this ban come from parents. Can it really be that some of us don’t want children to enjoy the same happy times we ourselves did? Surely parents in Sheffield can’t be that mean. Many of us know about the ever-increasing numbers of children suffering asthma caused by breathing in high levels of tiny particles from vehicle exhausts, particularly those using diesel.

Ice cream van at the Peace Gardens.

Children with asthma are at much greater risk of developing other diseases. Because the lungs of children are not fully developed until their teens, air pollution from diesel vans has a much worse effect on kids, than adults. Let’s have a debate about ice cream vans. But can we please make it about protecting our children’s health, while supporting working people to change some of their practices so we can have cleaner less polluted parks.