Please rethink closure plans

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IN an ironic twist of fate, pensioners and nurses are campaigning against closure of elderly care wards in Sheffield hospitals - on the day that the Government was urged to radically shake-up its care provisions for older people.

The latter adds particular relevance and sympathy to the arguments of the former. For economist Andrew Dilnot, author of the Commission on Funding of Care and Support report, urges the Government not to short- change pensioners but to bite the financial bullet and ensure there is adequate support for those needing care in their later years.

We believe this is a powerful signal which the Government cannot afford to ignore. And, likewise, it is a strong indicator to other authorities, including NHS Trust managers in this city, that they should not view the provision of care support for the elderly as an easy target in these tough economic times.

The idea of closing 56 dedicated geriatric care beds at a time when the population is growing older and the need to care for them increases proportionally, simply does not make sense to the majority of the public.

We believe this is a plan which should be reconsidered, particularly in light of the Government being urged to adopt a less punitive approach to this group.

Give police these necessary powers

GIVING police the powers to seize alcohol from troublemakers sounds like common sense..

And a South Yorkshire council will have the chance to do just that when it considers the need for an order covering behaviour in public places.

The order would cover all of Rotherham. It may attract some criticism for infringing civil liberties, but how many times has a court heard alcohol being linked to lawlessness?

So how much would it help the police to take one of the problems out of the equation?

Rotherham Council is not being asked to make it an offence to consume alcohol. But officers can seize it from troublemakers and anyone who refuses to stop drinking faces arrest. If this cuts flashpoints, it should be supported.

Helping vulnerable

WHAT a great way to help a very worthy cause! Sheffield Chamber of Commerce’s President’s Dinner was hosted by Sheffield Cathedral and, as a result, raised £4,360 for charity.

Now a cheque for that amount has been handed over to the Archer Project, the charity run by the cathedral to help homeless or vulnerably housed adults.

Not only did Chamber members enjoy a memorable occasion, their generosity is now helping some of the city’s most disadvantaged people enjoy better quality of life.

Well done to all involved.