Racer Nicola is just remarkable

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WHAT a remarkable woman Nicola Minichiello is.

The Sheffield bobsleigh ace hit the heights when she became world champion in 2009.

But she has also experienced some devastating lows.

Bullied at school, driven to the brink of suicide, burying her little brother, battling bulimia - the list of setbacks goes on and on.

But this is a woman who refuses to give in against seemingly impossible odds.

So even though Minichiello is currently juggling an £18,000 debt, a result of her devotion to bobsleigh, and a series of horrendous injuries, she still shows the mettle and determination of a world champion.

She is typical of this city’s best qualities and deserves our support - in every possible way.

How are Labour to deal with pressure?

THE city’s new Labour administration has announced its policy priorities for the coming year- and they include no surprises.

They pledge to create apprenticeships for school leavers, reverse budget cuts for SureStart children’s centres and reinstate funding for 10 police community support officers.

Otherwise there is little or no difference to be seen between what they propose and the policies set in place by the ousted Lib Dem administration.

The real challenge will come in the months ahead when the Labour group has to sit down and decide how to manage further cuts to the authority’s budget.

We know that these are imposed by central government, but their implementation is down to local decisions by local politicians.

It will be interesting to see how they cope with this. Sheffield folk don’t want to hear excuses and blame-casting. But they are eager to see how the council leaders interpret the pressures placed on them by central government.

Business brewing

THE Japanese have built complex ceremonies around it, but even though it’s supposed to be our favourite tipple, we don’t make much of it any more.

For some people, making a cup of tea involves an anonymous, porous bag full of something or other which is put into a cup, followed by hot water, milk and some sugar.

Not for Ann Davis, however. For her it’s a business and a mission – to encourage the British to rediscover ‘real’ tea in all its varieties, served from an elegant pot.

If the success of Ann’s company, the Doncaster based Tea Experience is anything to go by, she could be knocking on an open door. Let’s hope she is and it’s time for tea!