Council leader Paul Scriven recently highlighted a new scheme whereby ‘city centre developers will be exempt from certain contributions if developments are completed on schedule’ (Apr 25).
Those contributions are what developers are normally required to make towards community benefits, such as road improvements, public spaces and affordable homes.
All parties are concerned about employment prospects in the city, though with a different emphasis on the contribution of the private and public sectors and on the need to protect small local businesses from the big corporations.
But being ‘business friendly’ must not be at the expense of our future. Roads, public transport, affordable housing and community facilities are vital to the wellbeing of residents and to keep the city worthy of further investment. Many of today’s problems arise because previous administrations failed to insist on this kind of planning and investment and because the council does not reliably enforce conditions that were imposed.
At times of crisis - economic, environmental, social – it is more important than ever for those with leadership responsibility to invest in the future as well as ensuring jobs and development now. Or we are storing up an even worse mess for ourselves?
Coun Jillian Creasy, Green Party
Coun Scriven speaks of his concern for the people of Sheffield and sees himself as a champion of business.
He has the audacity to spout about how he and his gang are bringing business and jobs to our city when he has almost single-handedly championed the demolition of the Castle Market area and in so doing handing the ratepayers a bill of at the very least £18 million, plus many more millions in interest.
How can he justify this when people are losing their jobs? He seems to be able to use the press at will to further his crackpot policies. Even though Labour are not blameless in the disgraceful demise of the market area maybe they will tell us before the elections how they stand on this waste of our money?
Judd Newton, The Towers Cresswell