Butlin’s ought to think again

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www.thestar.co.uk

BUTLIN’S should find some way to open their doors to a party of Sheffield people with learning disabilities, and their carers, who have been told they are not welcome at their Skegness resort.

The official reason is that the holiday company does not welcome large groups of adults as they intimidate family parties at their camps. But there is surely a difference between the Sheffield party, which includes a 59-year-old Down’s Syndrome sufferer, and a party of hell-raisers on a stag night.

People from a weekly club which meets at the Milan Centre at Firth Park each Friday, have been visiting the Butlin’s camp for the last 19 years.

And the popularity of the annual holiday has grown to such an extent that the party, now consisting of some three dozen individuals, is deemed to be a nuisance by camp managers.

It is odd that this has not been mentioned before, as the party size grew.

Butlin’s say they would accept the party in two batches. But there ought to be some way of allowing them all to holiday together.

Think again, please.

Make sure every penny counts

THE war of words currently being waged between Sheffield’s Labour and Green party councillors is all about money. The Greens say Labour reneged on a pledge to reinstate cuts to budgets for Sure Start centres across the city, which had been announced by the previous Lib Dem council. Labour deny the claim and point out that they have brought back subsidies for child care.

The arguments seem set to last for some time with each picking away at the interpretations of what Labour has managed to do with funding for this particular sector.

But what both sides ought to be concentrating upon is not how much goes into the Sure Start programme, but how much comes out. In other words, are the city’s children getting value for money?

Recent findings suggest that the track record to date leaves a lot to be desired.

And in this day and age of financial strangleholds, we should be making sure that every penny counts, not simply counting how many pennies are being lavished upon which pet project.

Small is beautiful

SMALL and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are the lifeblood of the British economy. They are small enough to respond quickly to change and, when combined, large enough to make a real difference to the jobs market. So we are forced to agree with Sheffield business finance specialist Phil Meekin that the banks have done the nation a dis-service by turning their backs on SMEs. This surely is a case where small is beautiful and it is time the big banks’ executives climbed down from their ivory towers to appreciate the fact.