Tough target for hospital

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LET the fundraising work begin on the £40m new Children’s Hospital extension, following a decision by planners to give it the go-ahead.

The hospital faces a tall fundraising order to put the money together with the NHS funding for the development.

But failure is not an option. The entrance to the current site is dire and the hospital held dear to our hearts is showing its age.

Hospital managers expect the building work to be complete in two years, heralding a new era for patients and staff and the prospect of developing centres for excellence in treatment.

There are many demands on the public’s generosity at the moment, but we are sure that the fundraising target will be met on time.

Shoring up the thin blue line

ONE of the biggest deterrents to crime is the presence of police officers on the streets.

The thin blue line is something that has come under renewed pressure with the spending cuts and we are beginning to see crime levels begin to creep up.

So the decision by the new Police and Crime Commissioner to find £1m to ensure 10 PCSOs can continue to support the professional officers on the streets is a welcome one.

In addition, Shaun Wright, who is beginning to make his presence felt as the new PCC, has committed the force to replace 60 retiring officers through new recruitment.

That will come at a cost, through raising the police precept on the council tax we all have to pay, but will be a marginal increase.

Mr Wright acknowledges the tremendous strides South Yorkshire Police have made in tackling crime, and that these could be put at risk by budget cuts.

He has acted decisively to restore those cuts to ensure that deterrent remains on the street.

Ralf’s happy story

IT is always good to read a happy ending, which is why we are delighted to bring our readers an update on the plight of Ralf, the four-month-old border terrier-cross who suffered horrific injuries from his previous owner.

They were so bad the dog had to have one of his legs amputated.

But thanks to publicity given by this newspaper we are pleased to be able to report that he has been found a new, loving home.

We now hope that his kennel companion Oliver, who also had a leg removed after coming off worst in a fight, will also have a happy ending.