Sheffield gone from UK City of sport to city of broken dreams

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Let me get this straight. Sheffield used to have the prestigious title of UK City of Sport – then we were told we were so skint that we couldn’t even afford the £1.6 million renovation costs of the jewel in our sporting crown, the Don Valley Stadium. So Labour’s lame-duck councillors decided to demolish it.

It gets worse! They only went and chucked £500k at an almost derelict Woodbourn Road running track – plus £2.2 million tarting up some trade unionists’ offices in the town hall. And they said we were skint?!

Daft? You’ve heard nowt yet. Because now Labour’s clueless councillors have decided that, whether we like it or not, they’re gonna give us a city centre that’s, well, a bit different from the one we’ve already got. Better? Don’t hold your breath! But my word will it cost!

They’re going to borrow £55 million to re-purchase the land that the original Sevenstone developers, Hammerson, had already bought – plus a further £60 million of government money to be ‘borrowed’ from business rates. I don’t know who in the Town Hall was abusing the calculator when they dreamed up this crazy idea, but even to this imbecilic reader it would appear we’ve got a £115 million case of creative accounting here. Oh, and did these proposed costs appear in Labour’s recent election manifesto?

I don’t know about the rest of you, but the thought of these hyperactive barmpots running around with £115 million of public money in their sticky-fingered little mitts scares the bejeezers out of me. Let’s face it, Sheffield city centre’s a D.U.M.P. DUMP! And when the final bill for this futile, ill-conceived, misadventure comes in – and it’’ll be much higher than £115 million – we’ll have a brand new, totally unwanted, title. Sheffield: UK City of Despair. Where broken dreams come to die!

Harry Dakin

Chase Road, S6