Time to invest in business boom

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AMID all the confusion of whether we’re in a double dip recession or seeing the green shoots of recovery, Sheffield businesses have been getting on with the job in hand - and doing it well.

Their efforts haven’t gone unnoticed. Hallam MP and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg witnessed first hand how city firm ITM Power has developed a hydrogen fuel system for motor vehicles. He says it is this kind of hi-tech industry which will spearhead the city’s recovery from recession.

It is important to praise the advances made in this city in terms of world-beating research and design. So no doubt, Mr Clegg would also sing the praises of engineering group Mayflower which has won business in niche markets such as nuclear power, energy, defence, waterways and rail. As today’s Star Business reports, its specialist skills are helping it thrive.

At a time when the emphasis is squarely on this region’s ability to innovate, it is not unreasonable to expect meaningful backing.

The Government praise is welcome, but needs to be matched by investment in apprenticeships and funding of research so the city’s businesses can continue to excel.

In danger of being a road to nowhere

BUILDING a link road is never going to satisfy all of the people, all of the time.

But the planned Waverley Link Road is in danger of becoming a battle nobody wins.

The proposed route for the £12.7 million road puts playing fields and homes under threat. Residents who oppose this say consultation over the scheme is a sham and fear the plan will be passed without their views being aired.

The point of this development is to add to the area - not take away from it. If residents feel they are suffering as a result, there will only be resentment.

That is a legacy which serves nobody well, so to avoid this, either the developer needs to rethink the plan, or provide a better reason why other alternatives are not being pursued.

Pensioner power

AS we all live longer, the power of the pensioner is becoming greater.

So do not underestimate how effective a cuts protest march by OAPs in Sheffield might be.

We are not suggesting it will persuade the Government to halt the cuts programme. But it could demonstrate what a voice pensioners have.

State pensions are going to be linked to a lower rate of inflation than they are now and the basic state pension is just £98 a week.

Protest organiser Peter Price says not many people can afford to live on that. September 16 will tell us whether pensioners agree.