WHEN it comes to national pastimes, bank-bashing is in danger of becoming as obsessive as football.
Not that it’s a beautiful game, more that it seems to be gripping people with the same passion and sometimes irrationality that football fans display.
So news that Britain’s biggest five banks today launch a national charm offensive in Sheffield is bound to stir a something of a reaction.
The ‘roadshow’ is being spearheaded by a former city councillor, who says the banks are committed to providing finance for the large manufacturing firms in our county.
That sounds promising, but the proof must be in the pudding. If today’s event helps provide the cash backing many struggling firms require, then it can be judged a success.
It must not become yet another talking shop, where words outweigh action and the purse remains closed.
We know the manufacturers of this region can provide the expertise. So they deserve the funds needed to help make recovery from recession a reality.
Tell us both sides of the argument
THE decision by six organisations representing the health lobby on alcohol issues to refuse to sign up to a series of proposed pledges to be made by drinks retailers and suppliers is a blow to a much-needed approach to this social problem.
As alcohol becomes an increasing cause of ill health throughout Britain, there has never been a greater need for a level-headed and comprehensive approach to advice which can be filtered down to the public.
We appreciate the concerns of the organisations who have pulled out, alleging that the Government has allowed the drinks industry too much of a say in the proposals.
But this withdrawal can only leave the public bewildered and worried over their consumption of alcohol.
The Government should act quickly and decisively to mend the rift so that any guidance offered to the public is reliable and represents all sides of the alcohol argument.
FEARS arising in Tinsley that cutbacks will devastate their community are surely just the tip of the iceberg.
While Tinsley may be more isolated than many Sheffield neighbourhoods, their experiences will be much the same as those of any other district.
However the very isolation of Tinsley does give the powers-that-be a useful opportunity to study the worries of a community over pending cutbacks. And from there they can investigate ways to lessen the effects.
This should be seen as an opportunity more than a problem.