Manufacture a recovery now

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WE’VE often heard David Cameron, Nick Clegg and others banging on about how they want a resurgent manufacturing sector to power the UK’s economic recovery.

Despite that, there remains a strong fear that a Cabinet singularly lacking in industrial experience does not really understand what it has to do to make that possible.

George Osborne has the chance to prove that fear wrong today when he delivers his latest budget.

Top of his list should be tax incentives that encourage young people to train as engineering apprentices and firms to provide more training places.

Next should come 100 per cent capital allowances to help manufacturers to invest in growth and increasing competitiveness.

That should be followed closely by aid for existing as well as new exporters.

And, while he’s about it, the Chancellor should also consider learning the lessons of Britain’s post-war reconstruction.

He would do well to remember how the creation of the Industrial and Commercial Finance Corporation did so much to encourage the growth of manufacturing by providing much-needed long-term investment funding.

It may be too much to expect the Chancellor to supply all the items on local industry’s shopping list. But if he fails to give any clear incentive for training, investment or exporting, we’ll know for sure that, when it comes to manufacturing, the Coalition is all talk and no action.

Why we applaud our local heroes

AFTER 67 years in panto, is it really time for Roy Staniforth to quit?

Oh yes it is, so it’s time to pay tribute to a true pillar of the community.

Roy is the kind of man made for an MBE. He’s been the creator, dame and inspiration for Wales panto since 1944.

So he will take with him the best wishes of generations of Wales and Kiveton people who have been entertained by his efforts.

And like all true entertainers, Roy knew when to call it a day. He was struggling with his lines so called time.

But he’ll still be around as a consultant and Wales Panto will still be using his scripts. What a legacy, what a guy.

Talking of local legends, mad pram man John Burkhill is once again in the headlines.

He says he wept for joy on being told he’d been selected to carry the Olympic torch through Sheffield.

Such a touching reaction is typical of the man’s humanity and tells us why he was chosen.