Time for all to tighten belts

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THE board of Sheffield Futures are doing nobody any favours by resigning en-masse in protest over cuts, least of all the young people they are meant to represent.

Their principled stand may be seen by some as sending a stern message of resentment that the funds for public services are being clawed back in an unwarranted manner. But it does nothing to help the young people who look to Sheffield Futures for advice and guidance in a more practical manner.

The fact that Sheffield City Council has stepped in and taken over management of the publicly-funded organisation shows that this protest will achieve nothing more than ruffle a few feathers.

Further, Sheffield Futures is the city-wide careers service and, during a time of recession, it can be argued that it is more vital than ever that it be kept functioning. And that’s particularly so when the organisation has to deal with cuts.

It is unrealistic to believe that a special case should be made for Sheffield Futures when every other service is having to tighten its belt.

Festival sends out global city message

SHOUTING about our achievements is not something which comes naturally to Sheffield. But the city can give itself a pat on the back after hosting Global Manufacturing Festival: Sheffield.

The skills of Sheffield workers and the products they generate took centre stage. Happily, they appear to have given a command performance, impressing the Minister for Trade and Investment.

Now the trick is to land lead roles in future blockbuster productions.

Let us hope the presence of a Chinese media delegation helps with that and the global festival makes all the world Sheffield’s stage.

Cynicism exposed

READERS were understandably outraged by Cabinet Office Minister Oliver Letwin’s unguarded comments that Sheffield folk aren’t entitled to enjoy cheap holidays.

On the face of it this was a dig at the hard-working people of this city who save long and hard for a break in the summer sunshine. But it goes deeper.

For it exposes the cynical manner in which some members of the present government look down on the ordinary men and women of this country.

They do not think they are worthy to rub shoulders and that the jet set should be restricted to a few wealthy celebrities and, of course, well-heeled Tory toffs.

It is too much to expect someone as thick- skinned as Oliver Letwin to apologise. But the people of Sheffield will welcome this insight into the thought processes of the people who are making decisions which affect all our lives, not just when we choose to go on holiday.