How we struck Olympic gold

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THE countdown starts today to the 2012 Olympics, with just one year before sporting fever takes a grip on Britain.

But South Yorkshire is already celebrating after playing a major role in the preparations for the glittering international event.

Training camps for Olympic teams from around the world will be set up in the months ahead to make good use of the excellent facilities to be found in Sheffield. And the £1 million boost these visitors bring to the city is just a start in the financial windfall which is coming our way as Olympic enthusiasm grows.

For our national boxing, diving, volleyball and table tennis teams are all based in the city and it is reckoned that of 500 athletes in the GB squad, one in seven will have trained in Sheffield.

And that means Sheffield will be behind only London in British cities benefiting from the Olympics being staged here in 2012.

What is more, the decision to bring the Olympics to the UK raised our profile in international sporting circles and Sheffield has benefited as a result with a wide range of major competitions being staged here in the last few months.

A year to go and South Yorkshire has already struck gold!

Adjust workload to compensate

WE share local MP Rosie Winterton’s concern over police numbers in the county as severe government cuts loom. For it has been shown that the South Yorkshire force is already operating with three per cent fewer officers than it did less than a year ago – and that is even before the cutbacks take effect.

Most people accept that public spending has to reflect the wealth of the nation but there needs to be a reality check to bridge the gap between what the public expect of our police and what officers will be able to deliver.

If the cuts are to be implemented – and it certainly seems that the Government is uncompromising on this – then a major overhaul is needed on how the police are expected to operate.

We have repeatedly heard that their hands are tied by red tape. And while they are trapped by paperwork behind a desk, the public will grow worried by the fact that officers are even less frequently seen in their communities.

If we are to have fewer police, then their behind the scenes workload must be adjusted to compensate.

Sun and success

EVERY schoolboy will tell you that Napolen was imprisoned on St Helena. But they’d be hard pressed to come up with a second fact about the island. But that is about to change with growing links with Sheffield. For a local firm has been recruited by a leading company there to help their business. Sun and success – a great combination!