It’s a total disgrace

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Reading the Star Friday evening and as secretary of the tenants association, I find it somewhat puzzling why two thugs come to live on Lowedges and blame the residents for them committing GBH on a resident.

The estate is now better in many ways than it was 10 years ago and we have a mix of people from around the world.

It may not be perfect but we find the majority of residents very respectful and hard working, many come to our area from other parts of the city because it’s better than where they lived.

We run a huge festival with 12-15 ,000 visitors and this year on Sunday, August 13, we will have some of the top reggae bands from Sheffield and beyond.

We have food from around the world and it’s free entry.

So I don’t understand where these people come to these conclusions.

Stephen Rich

Sec Greenhill/Bradway tara

Complete and utter rubbish

A message to The Star. You say it doesn’t matter where they are from. What complete and utter rubbish, this really made my blood boil.

These were young thugs aged 13 and 14 who fractured someone’s jaw. Its assault, simple as that.

Yet Sheffield Crown Court said “that the pair were made to feel unwelcome”.

We can’t have that.

To assault someone and get ordered to do 40 hours’ unpaid community work beggars belief.

What about the poor man who was assaulted? Guess he doesn’t matter.

Why let the scum off?

Lee Johnson

by email

A fitting punishment

The Star ‘Around the Courts’ feature deals with convicted cases at Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Chesterfield magistrates courts.

Reading the reported cases between April 26 and May 1, it would appear that anyone wishing to break the law with impunity should do so in Sheffield, Barnsley and Chesterfield, but give Doncaster a wide berth.

Of the 10 cases dealt with by Sheffield Magistrates Court, four of those found guilty were given suspended prison sentences, the remainder received fines and/or various court orders.

At Barnsley the 10 cases dealt with resulted in one suspended prison sentence and nine fines and/or court orders. At Chesterfield the three cases heard resulted in three fines.

Contrast these punishments with those delivered by Doncaster magistrates. Of the 10 cases dealt with four received prison sentences ranging from six to 22 weeks, the remainder received fines and/or court orders.

While the criminal offences committed were not of Premier League standards, what signal does the leniency of the non-Doncaster sentences send out to the criminal fraternity and general public?

I am not suggesting locking people up and throwing away the key, but if the magistrates feel that the offence warrants a custodial sentence then impose one without any suspension.

While some of the recipients of the leniency of the law do not reoffend, unfortunately many do so. A slap on the wrist sentencing policy does not deter anyone.

Cyril Olsen

Busk Meadow, Sheffield, S5

I’m proud of city’s record

Why is it that when anybody says they are proud of our city we get whingers being so negative?

This time two people attacked me in The Star last week.

Well, J Bunting, yes I am still proud of all the changes he (or she) listed. People need to realise that major cities like Sheffield can never stand still and must continue to respond and rebuild to suit the ever-changing needs of its citizens.

The Town Hall extension quoted negatively is a typical example of a great move by the city.

The extension was built in the 70s when local government had many more responsibilities.

Over the years these were transferred from the council by government and by outsourcing and together with the city acquiring the Manpower Service Building at the bottom of The Moor, meant a major rationalisation of buildings was required.

The city responded brilliantly, won a £20 millennium lottery grant and combined with private partners transformed it to the wonderful Peace Gardens, the Winter Garden and Millennium Gallery, a new hotel, new office blocks, new restaurants and cafes.

I am very proud of that success story and Labour’s role in it and I can give similar stories to all the other examples you quoted.

With regards to ‘GSP Sheffield’ (another anonymous correspondent) and the World Student Games.

Let’s make it clear again, the two-week-long games attracted 132 countries with almost 4,000 athletes and officials, plus thousands of visiting spectators. It cost the city council £10.2m, which was paid for in 1992 out of the city’s reserves leaving no debt and was estimated to have brought over £20m extra spending into the city.

What ‘ SP Sheffield’ is obviously referring to is the cost of building our new sporting and cultural infrastructure, seven new buildings including the Lyceum Theatre all at a cost of £150m (one third of the cost of converting the National Stadium to allow West Ham to use it).

This investment was badly needed by the residents of Sheffield, particularly our young people, as well as acting as a major attraction to top sports men and women and visitors to our city.

Obviously we did not need an 11,000-seater Arena for the WSG but for the long- term benefit of Sheffield.

It has taken Leeds 25 years to catch us up and build an Arena of their own and they do not have an ice rink.

However where ‘GSP Sheffield’ is mistaken and to be fair the confusion often arises, is that because of the way the investment was funded, it has allowed the city over the years, to refinance the agreement providing much-needed funds to help save council services.

Indeed, even this year’s budget included another £7m raised by refinancing, thus saving us from more cuts.

This has nothing to do with the World Student Games or our superb facilities. It is the city’s treasurer using every financial resource he can to protect the people of Sheffield, and I am proud of that too.

Councillor Peter Price

Sheffield

A public thank you

My dissertation is all done and about to be submitted and would not have been possible without the massive support and welcome I received from the mining community of Armthorpe and surrounding areas.

I would like to thank my sister Fran Rhodes for moving to Armthorpe in the first place and then making it all possible.

I would like to thank Aggie Currie and John Lynn for all their ongoing support and encouragement and for putting their personal items at my disposal.

But also my other willing victims deserve a massive thank you: John S, George, Brenda and Joyce thank you for sharing your story.

I would also like to thank Armthorpe Community Centre for giving me a safe space to conduct this research.

What you all did for me brought to mind what you all said during the experience: “We help each other out and stick together and this is about OUR community.”

I was full of respect for you all before I began and now can only say I respect you all the more, having got some understanding of what you experienced and send you all heartfelt thanks and love.

Anne Cropton

University of Suffolk