Parking rises vicious circle

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CITY centre car parking rises are being imposed by the council with the intention of bringing in extra revenue - but there’s a danger they could ultimately have the opposite effect.

Many people believe that Sheffield centre’s shopping ‘offering’ is already a distance behind that available in the likes of Leeds and Manchester.

But by forcing shoppers away from existing Sheffield retailers and into neighbouring cities - or to Meadowhall - we will eventually be faced with two consequences.

Firstly, we’ll be left with fewer shops in the city centre as existing stores go out of business or head for somewhere busier.

And to add to that there will be little incentive for new businesses to come and enhance the Sheffield shopping experience.

Fewer shops means fewer shoppers, meaning less money coming in overall.

Not the desired effect. What will the council do then?

Increase parking charges further to make up for it?

New NHS must change gradually

IT is day five of the new National Health Service and so far there has not been a calamity.

That may be a facetious comment, but the point is that doomongers always predict the worst, and in this case it was the end of the NHS as we know it.

But we are already seeing a new focus on how the people in charge of the NHS budget want to spend our money and meet our medical needs.

Long waiting lists for outpatient appointments, unecessary trips to the A&E departments and needless admissions to wards taking up vital bed space are all on the list.

In return, an investment in healthcare on our doorsteps with special clinics at GPs is being promised.

There will not be a big bang or revolution in care - just as well if we are not to see the NHS plunged into chaos.

But one immediate change the new commissioning group could make is to make GP appointments more accessible.

It takes far too long to get a routine appointment at a GP. That one single change could be the most visible and welcome they could make.

Right to scrutinise

The police chief constable has had somewhat of a baptism of fire in his first year at the helm.

He is right to say we should look to the future, but we have every right to scrutinise the performance of the past as well.