Turn a dream into reality

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Have your say

THE City Deal agreement that could unlock up to £500m of investment to kick-start a new wave of regeneration for Sheffield is an opportunity to cement the region as the fourth most important city in the UK.

More than £72m is guaranteed to give a much-needed leg up to people entering the workplace through one of the biggest apprenticeship programmes we have seen in decades.

The bigger windfall of around £500m will hopefully lead to better bus services, new roads and extensions to the tram network - all aspects of infrastructure regeneration that should unlock future development, more housing and retail.

At the moment it is a promise of investment still to come and it is difficult for the man or woman in the street to grasp the relevance of the City Deal to their everyday lives.

But should it be delivered, then we will become a magnet for jobs growth, inward investment and further regeneration.

We should see our council taking more control over how they can spend money in areas of need and to be able to borrow money to initiate major schemes so far beyond their purse strings.

So let us dare to imagine. Being in charge of our own financial destiny may enable this city to deliver on projects such as the Sevenstone retail development. It may be the spur we need to clinch the deal for Ikea to finally come to the city. It may release money to regenerate the Moor.

In addition, we will be able to project our city as a City of Skills, investing in workers, attracting more and better employers and helping to move away from our reliance on the public sector for our employment.

But at this moment, it is imagination. We are being sold the prospect of massive investment. We now need to see that delivered and real changes being made to our lives as a result.

Good compromise

CREDIT to all parties involved for the agreement which has ended the recycling workers strike in Sheffield.

We criticised the action which closed household waste recycling plants because this is not the climate for such a dispute.

So we are happy to praise union leaders for agreeing a number of new terms and conditions to end the action at the dump it sites.

A review of staff training and support to ensure productivity is not affected is a sensible and workable compromise.

And while there are still issues to be addressed, channels of communication remain open to resolve them. This has to be the best way forward and should ensure no repeat of a strike.