AS town hall jobs disappear and services are cut back, it is only too easy to point an accusing finger at the position of Lord Mayor and demand changes, if not abolition of the post.
And we are sure there has never been a more pressing time than the present for the costs of the post to be carefully, if not frugally, scrutinised.
But we are sure the majority of readers will agree that the importance of the role of Lord Mayor goes far beyond the ceremonial.
While acting as an ambassador for the city, Sheffield’s Lord Mayors have repeatedly shown themselves to be up to the job of providing a warm and impressive welcome to important visitors, making the job easier for others to do business with them, benefiting the our economy.
They also play an important role in town hall debates, acting as an impartial voice and insisting on standards of decorum when elected members’ enthusiasm and partisan politics get the better of them.
But most importantly, Lord Mayors have brought great amounts of pleasure to Sheffield’s ordinary men and women, boys and girls, reminding them that they are special enough to be visited by such a renowned individual.
This should signal a change of heart
THE decision to scale back a residents’ parking zone near Bramall Lane, following protests from people who would have been affected, speaks well of the council’s willingness to listen and act on the opinions of the men and women of Sheffield.
It quickly became clear the proposal – aimed at solving the problem of commuters parking in residential areas – was making the situation worse as workers sought fresh parking spots.
Now several streets have been excluded from the parking zone. We hope this signals a change of heart in the town hall and perhaps a readiness to look again at some of the other parking zones which some residents do not like.
Build on success
CONGRATULATIONS to Sheffield’s 96 snow wardens. For while the rest of the population was huddled indoors after snow covered our streets, they were out and about spreading salt to make footpaths safer for others. This was a great example of people power coming to the fore, with a little help from the local council. With public finances being squeezed, this is just the sort of Big Society effort we can expect to become a familiar feature in our communities. We ought to build on this success story.