OPINION

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Parks are pride of city

The sunshine may now be proving elusive after last month’s superb heatwave, but one thing is guaranteed – as soon as the warm weather returns, Sheffield folk will be flocking to the city’s parks again. Residents have always known our green spaces are among the country’s best, and now they have received national recognition in the form of a clutch of Green Flag awards. Of course, recognition is due to the volunteers and staff who keep the grass neatly trimmed and flowers blooming year after year. Their efforts are invaluable. From enjoying a stroll to playing sport or simply watching the world go by, Sheffield’s parks are oases of calm for young and old, and an immense source of civic pride. Long may they continue to be.

Don’t hit drivers

Motorists in Sheffield are quite rightly shocked to hear the council’s profits from parking shot up by nearly 40 per cent. The increase in the general cost of parking, especially in the city centre, is well-known, but once fines, permit fees and operational costs are taken into account, the leap in profits is spelled out all too starkly. But there is another side to the coin. The council is tasked with making unprecedented savings, and needs to be creative in the methods it uses to fill its yawning gaps in funding. However, car drivers must not be viewed as the sole means of generating revenue – otherwise, a perceived unfriendliness to motorists could cause unintended damage to the city’s economy.

Be cautious with cuts

South Yorkshire Police is looking at its dogs unit as a possible area where cuts could be made. We appreciate the force is up against a tight budget, but police federation chairman Neil Bowles justifiably points to Nottinghamshire, which is hiring dog handlers again after hastily wielding the axe. Let’s not make the same mistake.