‘Proper’ firms leading the way

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THE message coming from a seminar organised by leading Sheffield law firm Nabarro will be music to the ears of all who understand the history of Sheffield.

Leading investors, those at the seminar were told, are keen to work with ‘proper’ companies.

And that means the bedrock of Sheffield’s prosperity, its manufacturing and innovative core, could be due for a much-needed and long-overdue revival.

For too long we have seen the manufacturing sector suffer repeated blows to its position and prestige as foreign, cheaper competitors moved in and laid claim to the lion’s share of the market.

But that could be about to change if the signs from the Sheffield session are to be believed.

We certainly hope so for Sheffield’s reputation as a powerhouse of the manufacturing world is a tremendous basis from which to build future successes.

They also offer a way out of the current recession, through productivity and results which can be seen and handled.

Here is a lesson for the city’s future

SHEFFIELD council is expecting to see a drastic fall in the amount of construction work it funds over the next three years.

This could be a major blow for the building industry and the workers it supports. Further, it will also hit the local economy by removing millions of pounds-worth of investment over that period.

We are, therefore, faced by yet another example of Sheffield paying the price for becoming over-reliant on a single sector.

To avoid falling into this trap yet again, the city needs to learn lessons from the past and embrace a more diverse base upon which to base our wealth and growth.

Of course, this is the worst time to be seeking such a change and what is needed now is for the private sector to step forward and fill the gap about to be created. But it is certainly a lesson for the future.

Cheers, Mad John

HE’S off again. Sheffield’s most colourful charity fundraiser, John Burkhill, is back on the road raising money for Macmillan Cancer charity with a series of long distance walks which, when completed, will total around 1,000 miles. John has become a familiar figure on Sheffield’s streets with his bright green wig and pushing a pram (he styles himself as the ‘mad man with a pram’!) and we are sure that people will be more than happy to cheer him on his way as he goes about his latest escapade. It is a fun thing to do but we should never forget the serious message behind his work...and give generously whenever we can.