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Now, this is a turn-up for the books, isn’t it?

Three seemingly sensible announcements from Sheffield politicians in just one week.

First up, Harry Harpham, the city council’s cabinet member for homes, says landlords in Page Hall will now have to meet tougher standards. Quite right, no?

The area’s had a well-publicised difficult few months but at the heart of the problems is a few unscrupulous property owners taking advantage of needy new-comers. Rumours of several families sharing one property aren’t uncommon. Stamping out such behaviour is a step in the right direction.

Then, Coun Harpham popped up again to announce shops in Spital Hill will be given a revamp in a bid to turn the area into a centre which attracts people from across the city.

The businesses need to contribute, of course. But if it can bring investment into this part of Sheffield, that has to be our money well-spent.

And finally Paul Blomfield, MP for Sheffield Central, has demanded voting booths be installed in colleges and universities to encourage young people to vote.

Our politicians always complain about apathy among the new generation. So, the answer’s right there: if they won’t go to the booth, take the booth to them.


A shame, then, it was all spoiled by Sheffield City Council announcing a mammoth 6.2 per cent rise in council house rents. Six. Point. Two. Per. Cent.

Labour members say it’s all the fault of the Tory-Lib Dem government.

Really, though? They could find no way at all to keep the increase down? Hmm. Ever get the feeling you’ve become a pawn in a game of politics?