Blow to city’s new reputation

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SHEFFIELD’S reputation as a business-friendly city has certainly come a long way in recent years.

The town hall has become more open, encouraging and welcoming to fresh ideas, which are vital to help the city ride out the current recession.

But it all took on a tarnished look this week after the city council revoked the right of local firm Granelli’s to sell ice creams outside Millhouses Park in Abbeydale Road South.

The local authority says it has been forced to introduce more open tendering practices to make the granting of licences fair and equal.

That is, in itself, a good thing. But surely the council needs to take into account the consequences of their actions.

Granelli’s has been trading at this spot for more than 80 years. It is part of Sheffield’s urban culture.

We believe there is a duty to look after local enterprises, particularly when this decision is likely to see job losses as a result.

Not everything can - or should - be reduced to figures on a balance sheet.

A deeply worrying trend in job market

THE first consequences of public sector cuts are beginning to filter through to the dole queue which has seen more women claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance than any time in the last 14 years.

It is the first time since 1997 that the number of jobless women, currently standing at 4,412 in Sheffield, has reached such a sorry height.

And the realistic prospects do not seem at all encouraging for those looking for work, either.

Statistically, the public sector has relied heavily on women employees and, once this source of jobs is removed from the equation there seem to be few places for them to go job-hunting.

This is a deeply worrying trend and we hope that it becomes something of a priority for those in a position to begin planning this region’s post-recession recovery and turn-around.

Thank you, Diane

SOUTH Yorkshire mum Diane Leech has shown that the way to a serviceman’s heart is through his stomach.

For she has developed quite a reputation as a force’s sweetheart after sending thousands of food parcels to troops on duty in recent war zones.

Her gifts have gone to Iraq and Afghanistan where grateful troops have tucked into home comforts they simply cannot find while posted overseas.

This is a tremendously generous gesture from Diane.

And we are sure that we echo the sentiments of thousands of servicemen and women when we offer a heartfelt word of thanks to Diane. Long may she continue to bring a smile to our boys and girls on the front line.

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