Homes plan is a good move

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AT long last, the Sheffield Council housing waiting list is to be modernised.

It’s going to be quite a job as all 84,500 people on the list will have to reapply for a home. But this is not quite as daunting as may first appear.

The purpose of modernising the list is to eradicate all the names which are no longer relevant.

There are also measures to simplify the list, which is one of the longest in the country.

People who move will also be banned from reapplying for another property for two years, while priority categories will be streamlined from 23 at present to just seven.

This should save £220,000 a year and gain an ‘accurate’ picture of how many people are actually in need of a home.

Although the change will cost £140,000 to implement, the long-term savings sound worthwhile.

If this means, the right people are rehoused in the right homes, the process will have been worthwhile.

Turning a vision into a reality

LEADING academic Warren Bennis once said: “Leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality”.

So the gauntlet has been thrown down at the feet of Richard Caborn and council leader Julie Dore to convert their dream of an Olympic legacy into reality.

The cynical audience is already pointing to the costly legacy of the World Student Games which has hung around the taxpayers’ neck in Sheffield for the past 20 years.

And they are asking why are we bothering to knock down Don Valley Stadium which was good enough for Jess Ennis to train at and win Olympic Gold merely to replace it with something else.

But in truth Don Valley was past its sell-by date. It was no longer fit for purpose as an athletics venue able to attract sporting events and pay its way.

Merely replacing like with like would be foolhardy - which is why Mr Caborn was given the task of coming up with a viable alternative that would continue to build on Sheffield’s sporting prowess.

His imaginative solution is certainly visionary and certainly costly.

There is no way it can be funded by the Sheffield taxpayer and the concern is that if it does go ahead will we merely be left having to subsidise an even more costly sports facility.

Which is why bringing in facilities such as a new University Technical College and National Centre for Sport and Exercise Medicine shows true imagination. We now need to see that imagination become reality.