Languishing on the list of the ‘deprived’

Parson Cross was named as one of the nation's hotspots for antisocial behaviour
Parson Cross was named as one of the nation's hotspots for antisocial behaviour
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How ironic that LS of Sheffield, (Letters, April 20), should describe Parson Cross as ‘a shadow of its former glory’.

On the grounds of multiple deprivation and as part of the Southey/Owlerton area, Parson Cross has, over the past 20 years, received vast amounts of money to care for children, young people and the elderly.

This has been to help solve the problems of drug abuse, unemployment, poor educational attainment and health and anti-social behaviour.

According to The National Audit Office, Local Authority Agreements would ‘ensure the involvement of the third sector and local people themselves in helping to identity, shape and deliver local services’ in a joint bid to resolve local problems and build a civil society.

However, far from empowering local people, this new method of contracting out services to third sector organisations, presented under the guise of both New Labour’s Third Way and the Tories’ Big Society, appears to have further disenfranchised them.

Instead, it seems largely unknown and unelected people determine our needs and allocate the money as they decide, without consultation.

Have those multi-millions of pounds cured the ills of Parson Cross?

If the many recent reports in The Star are anything to go by the area is still very much troubled and still it languishes on the list of the ‘deprived’.

If anything, this area is seen in a much worse light than in years gone by when local people were able to make a sizeable contribution to society through meaningful work and were largely in charge of their own destiny.

Why then, no great renaissance despite multi-millions of pounds of investment?

Perhaps Pat Cade, pesearcher and part of a group advising Tony Blair on the Thirrd Way was right in saying that ‘a vast majority of participants at the meetings were so unlike the population they had been measuring for decades they had no idea how to unleash the creativity of a multitude of British communities.

Incapable of thinking through minds of other people but instead tied to their own conceptions of what was good for other people’.

Mary Steele

Deerlands Avenue, Parson Cross, Sheffield 5