Sheffield’s silent council

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When I was a young and aspiring manager, one of the strategies suggested by management theorists was to ‘do nothing’.

The intention was by doing nothing the problem would disappear or resolve without any managerial intervention.

Sadly, as shown by the incidents at Mid-Staffordshire Hospitals and the sexual exploitation in Rotherham, the success of ‘doing nothing’ has proved unsuccessful or misjudged.

Yet the situation concerning the demise of Sheffield city centre suggests that the council and South Yorkshire Police have adopted the ‘do nothing’ approach in relation to the management of the central area.

Threatening and intimidating behaviour from street drinkers, copious littering, the raft of graffiti, aggressive begging irresponsible parking by taxi drivers and the erection of pop-up tents in public parks is allowed to continue unabated as the city centre takes on a shabby and neglected image.

I had the pleasure of hearing the Police Commissioner speak and he distinguished between anti-social behaviour and crime.

He suggested that the police should primarily concern themselves with crime.

What he did not say was who would take responsibility and accountability for anti-social behaviour.

The council have difficulty in responding to any complaints and go silent in their response.

Yet the condition of the city centre continues to deteriorate because of the apathy of those who we elect and pay to ensure that we can live in a clean and safe place.

Lawrence Whyte

City centre resident