Work should be done in Britain

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IT is almost beyond belief that a business could be planning to throw Sheffield people on the dole so they can transfer their work - handling a contract for the British Government - to an operation in India.

Computer firm Hewlett Packard is currently looking into the possibility of shifting the work out of the country, with the threat of job losses in Sheffield as well as at centres in Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Lytham St Annes.

The work involves maintaining computerised record systems at the Department for Work and Pensions and which they feel could be done more cheaply by staff based abroad.

But those hatching this half-baked suggestion are missing the point. This is a contract for the British Government. The work should be done by people in Britain!

Another point they are overlooking is the fact that the transfer of this work needs to be agreed by ministers.

We would like to think that any self-respecting politician would veto the loss of British jobs so another economy could be enriched. But after the Thameslink fiasco, where we are paying Germany to build our trains, we are not so sure.

Learning is key to preserving past

IT was the cutback which cut no ice. All four South Yorkshire councils had agreed to cut the county’s Archaeology Service budget by 15%, but then Sheffield upped its planned saving to 50%.

Not surprisingly, local history enthusiasts were dismayed. They argued that this would virtually end historic research into the local environment.

It would also jeopardise archaeological investigation at sites which were earmarked for development.

Happily, Sheffield City Council has now backed down and reverted to the original 15% cut.

Enough cuts are already being made without effectively banning research into our locality. We still have a thirst for knowledge about our environment and learning is the key to preserving it.

The lesson of this episode is that we know cuts are necessary, but there’s no need to be brutal.

Listening firms

CHANGES to bus services often end in deadlock. Passengers complain that their needs are ignored; the bus companies say that they need to respond to changing commercial needs and passenger patterns. But we are delighted to report today that complaints from passengers in the Lodge Moor area of Sheffield led to First and Stagecoach agreeing to work together to provide an improved service to the community. This is not only a good example of people power but also one of corporate responsibility towards their customers.