THE strength of democracy is to be found in the manner in which different views are allowed to be expressed and to help formulate a view acceptable to the majority of people.
That is why we feel Sheffield is not best served by the exclusion of what is currently the most important political party in the country, the Conservatives.
Veteran Tory Anne Smith is aiming to set the balance right by standing once more for the city council, four years after suffering a defeat to Lib Dem deputy leader Colin Ross.
Mrs Smith always impressed people by her non-partisan approach to her role, supporting issues because they were right for the city and its people rather than because they were dictated by a political dogma.
The decision whether she has another chance to represent the people of Dore and Totley remains to be seen. It will be decided by the voters of that ward. And they certainly have an influential representative in Coun Ross.
But we know that debate in the town hall would have the benefit of an open voice if Anne Smith was once more a representative.
Time is right for office change
THERE seems never to have been a time when local councils were not watching every penny to ensure that they get value for money. But the present time must stand head and shoulders above any other as the most pressing as far as economising is concerned.
However, while most savings seem to be achieved by cutting back on services, it is encouraging to learn that Sheffield City Council may be able to make around £10 million of savings by moving even more staff to the old Manpower Services building at Moorfoot.
Some staff have already become based there but the process could be speeded up to rationalise the office space needed to accommodate the thousands of white collar staff working for the authority.
With a rare piece of luck in municipal circles, a number of leases for premises used by the council are up for renewal so the time is ripe and right for this change.
Flocking to Peak
WE are probably all guilty of taking for granted what is on our doorstep - the wonderful Peak District, which is one of the jewels in Britain’s natural crown.
But this is not a view taken by everyone and campaigns have been under way to champion the delights of this part of the country. They are paying dividends with increased numbers of visitors and tourists flocking there.
The local economy is now that much more secure and able to plan for growth in a brighter future.
Such initiatives should be encouraged for the benefit of all.