OPINION

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OPEN DOOR POLICY BEST

We have never been convinced by the case for making important decisions on matters of public interest behind closed doors. Sadly, that is what highways bosses are considering as they seek to speed up decision making. They want to merge two committees to save money, meaning some work would be done by a cabinet member alone, in meetings closed to the public. As worrying is the plan for decisions on all but the biggest projects worth more than £1 million to be made by unelected officers. Where is the democracy in this? It suddenly seems our view is being ignored to help an unaccountable bureaucrats speed things up. Sorry to be old fashioned, but we like the idea of the public being able to scrutinise decisions which affect them. Long may this continue because it means informed decisions are being taken, rather than ones on the whim of an officer.

NOW IS TIME FOR ACTION

There is still a worrying silence when it comes to developer Hammerson giving a timescale on Sheffiield’s long awaited shopping scheme. It simply is not acceptable for any further delay to be allowed to happen concerning the £600 million retail quarter. We have waited eight long years for action and still there is none. In February, Sheffield Council held talks with Hammerson to get a formal commitment on a start date, but still there is nothing. We are tired of excuses, delays and inaction. Now is the time for Hammerson to put up or shut up because we have waited long enough.

good move

We asked for common sense to prevail when considering the fate of ice cream vans which are more than five years old and our call has been met. It was clearly a nonsense to ban vans which had passed the MOT test on the grounds of carbon emissions and we are delighted licensing bosses have relented.