Meaningful negotiations

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AFTER all the outrage over the scrapping of an £80 million loan to Sheffield’s Forgemasters steelworks, readers would have expected a sigh of relief when it was suggested the firm could apply through the new Regional Growth Fund for money to help it pursue its nuclear components ambitions.

But the company has moved its focus to other projects and is no longer in an immediate position to develop its plans to spring to the forefront of the nuclear industry by building a 15,000-tonne press capable of manufacturing world-leading parts for power stations.

There is also a concern that the time-scale for applying to the RGF purse-string holders is too tight for any meaningful progress to be made.

This should not be taken as a signal that Forgemasters is ruling itself out of the nuclear race. On the contrary, for chief executive Dr Graham Honeyman accepts that the proposed press would be a tremendous asset.

What we believe is needed is for the Government to accept and admit that a nuclear programme is essential for the future of our country. And then to begin meaningful and professional negotiations with those capable of delivering this - for the good of the nation.

Encouragement over recycling

THE pain of cuts imposed on Sheffield City Council have, unexpectedly, been eased after it was revealed that the local authority has managed to under-spend by £10.5 million meaning less harsh economies on public services.

But the suspicious among us may ask why we need to be dragged to the brink of financial meltdown before economies of this nature are unearthed.

If economies can be found now, why were they not exposed at other times? Surely it is the duty of the council to spend every penny as wisely as possible - every day, not just when their backs are against the wall?

However, we are sure there will be a positive spin-off from the disclosure that the council’s economic plight has been given a boost by a £1.5 million windfall as a result of waste materials being recycled. This must surely be just the encouragement people have needed to get them to embrace recycling.

Mum on a mission

NICOLETTE Williams is a mum on a mission - and we are sure everyone will wish her well. She is part of a team raising money for a memorial to be placed in Shiregreen Cemetery as a tribute to servicemen from the area who have lost their lives while serving their country. Among them is Nicolette’s son Christopher Bridge who died, aged 20, in an explosion in Afghanistan. People visiting city centre venues this weekend will be asked to contribute. And we are confident the financial outcome will be most profitable.