A carrot to go with the stick

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ONE of the biggest blights in our communities is the trouble caused by problem families - those who engage in anti-social behaviour, have children truanting from school or engage in youth offending.

And councils often appear powerless to take action to curb their behaviour.

The only weapons they have are punitive, through anti-truanting measures or anti-social behaviour orders.

Now, as well as the stick, the Government is handing councils a carrot to try to bring problems caused by these households under control.

The new Troubled Families Initiative will set targets over the next three years which, if met, will unlock central funding.

The rewards are twofold. On the one hand, it will give councils money to invest in schemes to tackle the causes of the problems the Government has highlighted. But there is a longer-term goal - and that is a reduction in those problems that can cause such a misery to other people’s lives.

That is why the initiative is a welcome one and one that hopefully will deliver a marked improvement to society.

The reason why it’s good to talk

WE are pleased to see the GMB union seeking talks over plans to cut hours and jobs at recycling centres in Sheffield.

We understand that they are concerned about the threat which faces them and they have a right to voice that concern.

But to move direct to industrial action without at least meeting management is rarely a good move.

The public needs to understand why it is being inconvenienced and why this case merits industrial action at a time when jobs are being cut across the board.

The key to good industrial relations is to talk so all parties know their case is being listened to. Then the art of compromise is necessary to avoid a lengthy and unnecessary strike.

We hope a peaceful solution can be found to spare us industrial action which will serve little purpose.

Skilful surgeons

THIS city’s surgeons have a fantastic reputation and it is well-deserved.

The feature on these pages gives readers a rare insight into the brilliant work they do.

Marvel at their skill as they remove a man’s brain tumour through his nose.

And be grateful that such talent is on our doorstep should you need it.