Sending out wrong signals

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CAN there ever be a good time to splash out a couple of million pounds on revamping meeting rooms at Sheffield Town Hall? Probably not.

But we can think of no worse a moment than when the city is facing one of its most austere spending squeezes in recent memory. When jobs are being lost. When services are being cut.

Yet councillors have agreed to spend £2.2 million on revamping meeting rooms, which comes hard on the heels of £1.1 million spend on the roof, wiring and lifts of the building.

In one of those cruel twists of municipal fate, the £2.2 million is pretty much the figure the council said it could not find to continue the much-loved green bin service which has been scrapped.

We appreciate that this is part of a much wider programme of office reorganisations involving town hall staff. But it sends out conflicting signals to the electorate and suggests that we have a council which struggles to find money for services but has no hesitation to splash out on projects closer to home.

Seeking reasons for celebration

ANYONE looking for a start of a recovery has plenty of local examples for growing confidence, according to a local firm. For Strategic Corporate Finance reckons that the appetite for mergers and acquisitions is returning.

This is an important signal in the business community that we are turning the economic corner.

The company is a dealmaker, which helps businesses through the tortuous and tangled legal world of company takeovers and would have seen a vastly different and bleaker picture just a few months ago when people were being very cautious about how to invest their money.

But we need to find celebration where we can and we hope that this signal is taken up throughout the business community and builds confidence.

Owt could happen

HE is Sheffield’s self-styled ‘Mad Man with the Pram’. But John Burkhill has taken his crazy ideas to a whole new level with the launch of a Father’s Day sponsored walk – with all participants sporting his trade-mark bright green wig. It will all be for charity, reckons John who has brought in more than £150,000 for MacMillan with his perpetual perambulations around the city.

Madcap? The idea is certainly that. But John has carved out such a real notch in the city’s landscape that anything can happen. Just watch this space!