LAST month’s riots were certainly a wake up call for anyone who cares about the safety of Britain’s neighbourhoods. The breakdown in law and order rightly sent shockwaves through society and left many realising just how slim is the line between anarchy and security.
And for the Government to insist that it will not change its mind over proposed cuts to the nation’s police budgets is bordering on cavalier and ignores the evidence which many small businesses were forced to sweep off their doorsteps after the looters had moved on.
Now rank and file police officers in South Yorkshire are understandably concerned that cutting staff numbers could open the door for more lawless behaviour in the future.
There is some truth in this and we support the idea that there should be no across-the-board cuts in police budgets.
As with all large organisations there is bound to be some waste somewhere and costs which can be saved without affecting frontline services.
We would urge the Government to grant individual forces the autonomy to make what cuts they believe are able, without imposing limits. Allow them to think for themselves. After all, they are the ones who know what is best for their communities.
Don’t let them get in this state again
READERS will not be surprised that the city council had to pay out for personal injury claims over the last year after residents tripped and tumbled on roads, footpaths and public open spaces.
What they may find surprising, though, is that the payout came to just £50,000. Considering the state of roads and paths in the city we believe the city council got off lightly.
Their condition did not come about overnight but is the result of years of neglect which is belatedly being put right by a Private Finance Initiative arrangement which will see more than a billion pounds spent on new surfaces.
We believe the appalling state of roads and footpaths is a sign that, over the years, the council lost sight of its basic function in serving the people of Sheffield. It is hoped that this will never be allowed to happen again.
SHEFFIELD MP David Blunkett’s ideas of building a ‘large-scale’ volunteer programme for young people to promote their wellbeing has much merit. Too many of today’s teenagers find themselves drifting along through life with little hope that society will throw them a lifeline. Voluntary work can build character and instill a sense of commitment which would be admired by potential employers. But why stop at young people?
Why not encourage everyone without employment to offer their labour to improve and enliven our communities?