Stalinism is alive

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Over the years I’ve visited hundreds of council flats and maisonettes, and noticed that many residents have made much effort to enhance their communal areas and landings with small pieces of furniture and decorative items, thus transforming these stark areas and creating a feel-good factor.

However, the Council Commissars and ’Elf an’ Safety brigade have decided to put an end to all that and all such extras must now be removed.

How many people, I wonder, have been burned to death by or tripped up on these small pieces of furniture since this style of housing was introduced?

There must be a record somewhere of these statistics which would make interesting reading.

The next step will most probably be the banning of plants and flowers in these areas just in case they invoke asthma attacks.

They can then send the clipboard jobsworths round to make sure everyone obeys this diktat. The areas can then be returned to their original bleak concrete state, killing off all personalisation, individualism and improvements.

Keeps ’em in their place, you see. Good to see Stalinism is alive and well in Sheffield.

HJ Greaves, S7

Drivers need people skills

its nice to see First bus company has a sense of humour, portraying their drivers as happy, singing smiling employees when in reality out of all the bus companies I use, I see the opposite.

I don’t drive, so I use buses regularly and when it comes to being civil, polite and friendly they come to the bottom of the list.

I’m not saying they are all the same.

But when alighting I always say thanks to the driver, the same as many other people do. And the majority of First bus drivers totally ignore you, whereas the majority of other bus company employees nod, say thanks and usually answer.

So come on First, get some drivers on people skills courses. They are really needed.

And no more ads with smiling, singing happy drivers. They are few and far between.

Dave

One law for one

Your Opinion column on the jailed EDL supporter says there is no room here for extremism in any form. Quite right, but perhaps The Star could remind the police of this the next time they allow Islamic extremists to parade their hatred through our streets or tell the judges who basically let off the Muslim who burnt a poppy and the one who sprayed graffiti on a war memorial. There seems to be one law for one and one for another in this country.

Dave, S3

Probing homes

standards of care for sick and elderly in care homes should be subject to exploration, after those found guilty of ill-treatment and neglect.

This should apply to Southern Cross for shutting down their homes, leaving 31,000 of its residents in limbo.

In these times of austerity, such places are always likely to be lacking.

John Bernard Kind, Dronfield

Power cuts

Every day we read of thieves digging up cable on the railways and delaying the trains. I have just heard that they have started cutting down poles carrying electricity just to get at the cable, so don’t be surprised when we start getting power cuts.

Name and address supplied

Consequences of our old age

have pensioners who demand a ‘fair deal’ ever considered how the country is going to afford them?

The adage ‘I’ve paid into the scheme all my life and now I want my dues!’ doesn’t add up in the real world.

Those in work pay taxes to support those who are retired. When a worker paid tax in 1960 it supported pensioners in 1960 not in 2011, so with fewer people now in work compared to 1960 we cannot maintain those same standards.

With that in mind might I suggest that some of their demands be modified? Pensioners didn’t get free travel then, so why have free travel now and jeopardise travel companies who subsidise them?

What about a small contribution of 50p on bus journeys? They didn’t get fuel allowances but perhaps took the sensible approach and wore suitable clothing or visited relatives or friends to share their warmth. Many elderly relatives were looked after by family and a residential home was usually a last resort.

Now the economic crisis means that all family members have to work to maintain a household. The state has to look after thousands more elderly people who would simply not have been around in previous decades. We are victims of the ‘success’ of medical science and have to face the consequences of living to old age.

‘Young’ pensioner

Taxi testers

I AGREE with Nadeem Akram that there are too many taxis in Sheffield. However, the council is funding courses to help even more pass the literacy and numeracy tests required to drive a taxi. This might be justified if increased competition brought down fares but the council will benefit from the extra licence fee from operators.

PWK, S3