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WHEN so many public sector employers are having to focus on cutting costs, it is easy to forget about developing a business. But if we are to successfully climb out of this recession, the need to encourage innovation is essential.

recession, the need to encourage innovation is essential.

Investment in projects to create and develop new technologies helps plot a route to recovery, which in turn offers hope in uncertain times.

South Yorkshire has long been a hub of innovation and it is re-assuring to see creative sparks still shine bright. One example is Magnomatics, the hi-tech Sheffield University spin out, which is developing eco-friendly, energy efficient vehicles of the future.

Meanwhile, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has highlighted the importance of investing in an ecological initiative unveiled at South Yorkshire’s Advanced Manufacturing Park.

The Special Metals Forum, in partnership with National Metals Technology Centre, launched the first-ever report into the viability of carbon capture and storage, which could be worth £6.5 billion. This industry of the future takes the best of British talents in manufacturing, engineering and research, using natural resources and spreads green, sustainable growth across the UK.

We could ill afford to ignore these jobs

HINDSIGHT is a seductive mistress. And that should be borne in mind when considering research carried out at Sheffield Hallam University into the impact felt in our area when public sector jobs are lost.

This region benefited greatly when the decision was taken to devolve some white collar government jobs out of London. Throughout this process there have been some who saw that this was another case of the city putting all its eggs in one basket and left us exposed when the axe began to fall on these posts, as is happening now.

But it has to be accepted that there was precious little choice in what could be done. Plenty of efforts were made to attract private jobs but they simply weren’t available in the numbers needed to get Sheffield working.

Therefore public sector jobs were a lifeline we could ill afford to ignore.

Change for better

INVESTIGATIONS over the future of Sheffield council’s City Wide Alarms service, which is a lifeline for elderly and vulnerable residents, will send a sense of trepidation through those who have come to rely on it. The operation is one of the best in the UK and has won awards. But, more importantly, it has earned the trust of its clients. The suspicion, at a time of cuts, is that change could be for the worse. Which is why those making any decisions need to be reminded that the service is vital for vulnerable people and change should only be considered if it’s for the better.