Parents will judge change

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Forget the gloomy background of spending cuts, this is an exercise Labour would probably have carried out in any event, she says - and is important in its own right.

It gives the chance to look at everything afresh with a blank piece of paper, to plan things properly without unnecessary duplication, overlap or waste. That’s the plan anyway.

We will only find out next year what reshaped services for our under-fives will really look like, where savings will be made and whether everything will be as good - or even better - than before.

What is certain is that in the end parents will pass their own verdict, based on experiences as winners or losers.

Firms should rise to this challenge

AS the number of enquiries about university places appear to be on the slide, Sheffield’s two universities say the picture will be clearer around Christmas when more would-be students have made up their minds about the future.

We understand that. With tuition fees at record levels, there is bound to be prevarication among young people on whether the rewards of a university education are worth the debts.

But one thing is clear, some have already made up their mind - and Sheffield industry could be among those benefiting. For figures out later this week are likely to show that pupils from poor backgrounds are increasingly applying for apprenticeships.

We hope firms rise to this challenge and make sure they have every possible place available for potential recruits.

Support this plea

WE’RE delighted that a plaque is to be unveiled to pay tribute to the city’s Women of Steel who helped keep our heavy industry operating during World War 2. And we are even more pleased that this is the first stage towards a justly-deserved statue which will be erected in the city centre in the near future.

But the latter project needs people to get behind a fundraising campaign which will be launched next year.

The city council will examine funding sources among charitable trusts and foundations and then ask local businesses to support the scheme. We hope they will be sympathetic and acknowledge the debt our industrial forebears owe to the women who rallied to the wartime call for help.