Autumn of discontent
Summer is coming to a close and the threat of strike action looms over Sheffield’s public services.
Teachers and firefighters are set to walk out, with both industrial disputes set to cause widespread disruption in their own way. If the fire brigade walks out, just eight appliances will be available to serve the whole of South Yorkshire, meaning contingency plans will have to be drawn up. Chiefs will also be praying no major blazes break out. Meanwhile, schools could be forced to shut on October 1 as part of a national rolling programme of stoppages. School strikes throw parents’ childcare plans into disarray, and many mums and dads will be hoping they won’t be forced by discontented teachers to use precious holiday time. We would strongly urge all parties to enter into meaningful negotiations to avert the worst case scenario of walkouts.
Errors are exception
At first glance, tales of hospital blunders are always alarming. Swabs left inside people’s bodies, surgical mistakes and failing equipment are the nightmare situations anyone in the care of the NHS tries to keep firmly out of their mind. And as the grave Department of Health term ‘never event’ makes plain, some very serious, largely preventable incidents should never happen. However, the city’s health facilities deal with millions of patients every year, and the handful of mistakes so far this year proves medical disasters are, thankfully, the exception and not the rule.
Blight on our streets
What a shocking sight the pictures on these pages are. We asked readers to send in evidence of Sheffield’s litter hot spots, and the resulting photos are hugely depressing. Littering and flytipping is a disgusting, selfish offence, and the more that can be done to bring culprits to book the better.