Let’s not waste golden chance

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WE need to get past the fact policing the Lib Dems conference in Sheffield is going to cost the police £2m.

Sheffield is the country’s fourth largest city and wants to punch its weight on the national scene.

Hosting the Deputy Prime Minister and his political party’s conference is a golden opportunity.

While the police may have to foot the bill, the city will reap the rewards.

Hotels will be booked, restaurants will be packed, shops will see an increase in trade and Sheffield will enjoy the national spotlight.

It is a chance for us to show the city in all its glory - and there is so much to be proud of.

Unfortunately, one of those landmarks will not be on show - and that is the City Hall. A ring of steel is to be erected around the building to fend off the anticipated thousands of demonstrators, protesting against the Lib Dems.

Up to 1,000 police officers will be on duty over the weekend and roads around City Hall will be shut.

Not only will there be a ring of steel but the square around the building will also be mostly off limits.

It seems a huge over-reaction and the monstrosity of the steel fence will be an eyesore.

So let us hope the worst fears are not realised and that Sheffield as a conference centre is remembered for all the right reasons.

We want the city to enjoy a legacy that brings more business and tourism to the region with more high-profile events choosing us as their destination.

Matthew’s story is a tale of hope

YOUNG Matthew Adams’ story is one that would terrify any parent, but is also a tale of courage and hope.

Matthew was struck down by encephalitis, an infection attacking his brain, from what could have been something as innocuous as a kiss from a loving relative or friend.

A virus travelled to his brain causing it to be damaged.

Luckily, his mum Leila’s instincts told her something was wrong and he was taken to hospital and admitted to the intensive care unit.

And after being readmitted he was given a brain scan where the damage was identified.

At the time, his parents could not see how Matthew would be able to recover.

But thanks to pioneering treatment and physiotherapy at a specialist centre in Luton, he is making progress.

Of course, the treatment does not come cheap, and his family have to raise £1,000 for a two-week course every time.

As Leila says, Matthew has responded amazingly well, which is why they are full of hope for the future.

We wish him well and hope they can continue to find the money needed to continue his treatment.