Finally going in right direction

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AT last there is some good news to be celebrated over the stalled Sevenstone retail development scheme in Sheffield city centre after developers Hammerson pledged to offer up to £15 million to secure the project.

To date this scheme has courted controversy when it ground to a halt at a crucial stage.

It meant that great areas of the city centre were left in a semi-derelict state with empty stores littering what should be prestige shopping districts.

However, it has now been revealed that Hammersons have, in effect, put their money where their mouth is by agreeing to buy land and pay the interest on a council loan of £10 million needed to bring about this scheme.

This is a flagship project and Sheffield people cannot be faulted for feeling let down by Hammerson from the long delays which have dogged the scheme.

Though we have endured years of apparent neglect and inertia concerning the development there is finally cause for some optimism that we are beginning to see progress.

Of course this is far from a totally satisfactory situation. What we want to see are bright new shops doing brisk business. But that takes time.

And in the present economic climate we need to be thankful for any step in the right direction and that is exactly what we are witnessing.

Mast protesters should think again

THE current flurry of protests over the erection of more mobile phone masts around Sheffield have strong echoes of similar demonstrations when the new technology was first rolled out across the city.

But there is a big difference these days in that scientists have shown conclusively that there is no major danger from the new facilities, as was initially feared.

What is more, mobile phones have now become a near-indispensable item for most families. The people protesting will no doubt enjoy the benefits mobile phones bring but are not prepared to put up with the downside.

They need to think again.

Show us real jobs

INVESTMENT in our area is always to be welcomed so we are pleased to see £30 million being given to help the recovery process of former coalfield areas.

The Government cash will be handed over to the Coalfields Regeneration Trust over the next two years after a review by former miner and Barnsley MP Michael Clapham.

He warns it will take a generation before we can expect to see these communities get back on their feet.

And while nobody expects a miracle in two years, it would be encouraging to see real jobs and hope created in areas with a proud tradition of hard work.