Opinion

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An end to suffering

An alarming number of this city’s children are at risk, according to the NSPCC charity. Its reasons for saying this make grim reading. A quarter of Sheffield children were found to be living in poverty, the city has a larger than average number of drug-using parents, it has a high infant mortality rate and children are less emotionally healthy than in other parts of the country. In 2013, this is unacceptable. The statistics paint a stark picture of the issues facing us, issues which clearly need addressing. The NSPCC has taken the initiative with its Go Green event, when Sheffield will host the country’s first official Children’s Day to promote the rights and wellbeing of children. If this day raises awareness and funding it will begin to tackle these huge issues. The process may be painful, but only by understanding the scale of the problem can we properly address it. To do this successfully will take money and we should be prepared to dig deep because only long-term projects can eradicate deep-rooted problems. We should all get involved in the initiative, either by taking part or supporting in any way we can because nobody wants this city’s children to suffer - so let’s start the healing process now.

Homes plan shapes up

The plan to transform a historic former industrial quarter of Sheffield is one we believe may well become a blueprint for the city’s future. Smithfield, close to Kelham Island, was once at the heart of the city’s small industries, the domain of the Little Mesters. Now planning permission has been granted to transform the area with a new housing development. It will involve the refurbishment of old buildings, including saving a back-to-back house, to become seven houses and eight apartments. This is what we want to see, the intelligent use of inner city sites that are currently unloved but which can be used to meet the increasing need for affordable housing. It should help the city centre thrive and we wish it every success.