No room at inn is healthy sign

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THERE is yet more evidence that Sheffield is beginning to earn its stripes as the country’s fourth biggest city.

One of the key indicators of success is how vibrant the entertainment, leisure and hotel sector is.

For that tells us that people from outside of the city are coming to stay.

So it is heartening to learn that the hotel sector has defied the recession and seen one of the highest rates of growth in the UK.

Last year, there was a seven per cent increase in the amount of revenue per room - the performance measure for the industry.

And this year shows no signs of any let-up.

We are already looking forward to our top hotels booked to capacity for the Lib Dems conference later this month.

A major by-product of a healthy hotel sector is the restaurant, bars and leisure sector.

Confidence is high in Sheffield and we look to those in charge of marketing the region to build on the success we are already seeing.

Lesson learned on pupil placement

PARENTS are encouraged not to gamble when coming up with three choices for their child’s preferred secondary school - keep a safe local choice in reserve, is the advice.

So it’s welcome news that a hefty 98 per cent of Sheffield families received one of the secondaries they selected in this year’s long-awaited allocation process.

In general, the situation is healthy - certainly when compared with London, where families applying across borough boundaries create an unseemly free-for-all.

Schools throughout the city were able to find room for their catchment pupils, something that hasn’t happened for a number of years.

But education officers need to be on their guard - pupils numbers are set to start rising sharply after 2016 and schools need to be ready to cope with the surge.

A process of expansion has already begun in some areas, such as Fir Vale. This needs to be carefully continued if the system is to continue to meet the needs of families throughout the city.

Red tape madness

THE world has gone mad. A former postal worker born and bred in the city has been told he has to prove he is a UK citizen with a “right to reside” in the country, all because he went on a two-week holiday.

Kevin Owen was told by job centre staff that because he went on holiday he has to prove his residency.

And we thought the Government was committed to cutting down on bureaucracy. This is red tape madness