Petition to protect Sheffield’s name

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Readers are being urged to join the campaign to keep Sheffield’s protected status as a business name – by signing The Star’s 10 Downing Street petition.

The city’s six MPs and business community are against the change.

Master Cutler Neil MacDonald at Cutlers' Hall, Sheffield.

Master Cutler Neil MacDonald at Cutlers' Hall, Sheffield.

Our petition reads: “Sheffield’s unique status as a protected name for companies should be kept.

“Currently, all companies wishing to use the name must ask permission of the Cutler’s Company – to ensure there are no poor imitations of Sheffield’s high quality steel and other manufactured goods.

“The protection is now at risk, even though there have been no complaints about it, under the Government’s Red Tape Challenge to reduce restrictions affecting business.”

Sheffield is believed to be unique in having its name protected by law.

The Star’s petition will be considered by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills as part of its consultation process into whether to remove protection from Sheffield’s name.

Master Cutler Neil MacDonald said companies fear that, if protection is lost, the Sheffield name could be used on cheap imitations from countries such as China, undermining the value of the brand.

Mr MacDonald said: “I’m delighted that The Star has taken up this story. It is important to protect the name of Sheffield and I would urge everyone to sign.”

Sheffield Central Labour MP Paul Blomfield, who hopes to call a debate in the House of Commons about the issue, added: “It’s good that The Star is supporting this important campaign by launching the petition.

“I hope that people across the city will sign up to make their views known.”

Fellow Sheffield Labour MPs Angela Smith, Meg Munn, Clive Betts and David Blunkett, along with Deputy Prime Minister and Hallam MP Nick Clegg also oppose loss of Sheffield’s protection.

The Star’s editor, Jeremy Clifford, said: “This is a very important issue and I urge readers to give a strong message to the Government.

“The reputation and success of Sheffield’s manufacturing stand at risk.”

■ To sign the petition visit http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/50916.