COUNCIL officers really ought to have a more reliable strategy to ensure Sheffield’s Building Schools for the Future programme is completed, after it was revealed that a funding short-fall has grown to a worrying £18.3 million.
We’re assured that the scheme will go ahead and that the financial black hole will be plugged with money from receipts from the sale of council land or property. However, this argument seems to be fundamentally flawed for another major city project, the Decent Homes re-modernisation scheme of council houses, has run into problems because of a similar funding shortage.
And this time officials say that their forecast went astray because the expected sale of council properties under the Right to Buy programme, stalled as a consequence of the recession.
If council home improvements are not happening fast enough to fund the modernisation of properties, what evidence is there that the sale of other council property and land will provide enough money to rebuild schools?
Surely the recession is affecting all sale and purchases of council assets.
All charity efforts just as welcome
CONGRATULATIONS to former England skipper Michael Vaughan on his Celebrity Fundraiser of the Year nomination in recognition of his support for the Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
He raised £185,000 for the Children’s Hospital Charity, of which he is patron, through a testing Great Wall of China Trek last September. the money will be used for specialist surgical equipment at the world-famous hospital.
But we are also keen to sing the praises of other, less well known fundraisers, such as Anthony and Kerry Hirst who raised £10,223 for a charity providing free accommodation to families of children being treated in the Children’s.
Though less celebrated than Michael Vaughan, they have shown their hearts are just as big and, after organising a wide range of challenges which involved colleagues of Anthony at Firth Park Community Arts College, that their efforts are just as welcome.
Lesson to all crooks
CAREER criminal Martin Moore, a man with a record as long as a stretch-limo, is learning that crime does not pay after his car-ringing enterprise ended with him being behind bars. But it has not ended there for the police say all the money he made from his law-breaking ways, an estimated £144,000, must be paid back or Moore will spend even longer in jail. We hope this will be a lesson to all criminals.