Start thissen a business

Jerry Cheung
Jerry Cheung
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Have your say

Kevin Hanson uses emotive language to criticise Martin Mckervey of our Local Enterprise Partnership.

The LEP.s remit is to do what is best for local business, and therefore for us all, in the wider City Region.

Business is, ultimately, more important than politics. Sheffield didn’t become the world’s leading Steel City, supporting a massive population, thanks to politicians.

It became rich thanks to the light trades; cutlery, tools, silverware, spawning the heavy trades; steel and engineering, with local, working class industrialists such as John Brown, Chas. Cammell, JG Graves, Vickers Bros., Firth’s, Jessop, Edgar Allen.

These men gave far more to the city than any politicia: museums, art galleries, University, hospitals, parks, green belt land, walks and dams, churches etc. as well as being responsible for our world-wide fame and fortune.

Today, the steel and allied trades, many at the forefront of technology, and the best locally owned, still employ, say 30,000 with, perhaps 50,000 dependants, despite the efforts of politicians to bleed it dry over the years. And the metal trades are not alone, far from it. Kevin Hanson slates the “scarcely accountable private sector,” as though it’s not in our interest for business to flourish.

A myriad of local firms; IT, confectioners, brewers, (30 since Kelham opened in 1990), universities expansion, burgeoning food and retail, local charities, creative arts, the Showroom, Persistence Works, metal smiths, new age little mesters, football and other sports clubs, etc etc All this is business. People striving for themselves, their families, their employees, their city. How dare he call them ‘scarcely accountable!’

All this with politicians more accountable to their Westminster Party bosses, than to their locality; and as they sink in popularity, with expenses scandals etc inspiring fewer of us to vote... what did police overlord Billings get... 10 per cent of the vote?

It makes sense to have a non-partisan person as overall Mayor, to ‘umpire’ politicos and business for the good of the whole region, and its citizens.

Having slated politicians, the best choice for me, would be ex-politico Richard Caborn, as I’ve said before. Firth Brown-trained engineer, bit of a loony left trade unionist in his day, he brought the Olympics to London, and now is instrumental in forming the Olympic legacy park at Don Valley.

What can we citizens do to help local business, and therefore ourselves and loved ones?

I suggest:

Buy Sheffield made metal goods.

Buy local food. It’s the best and there’s a huge variety; ham, beef, chicken, turkey, potted beef, relish, sweets, milk, bread, beer, eggs etc.

Support local charities, not national; St Luke’s, Rham and Chesterfield and Bluebell Wood hospices; Weston Park, the Children’s. Whirlow and Heeley farms, etc.

Buy from local shops, cafés, retailers, tradesmen.

Support local press and radio.(Though the Star has always depressing front page news.)

Life’s too short to get mired in depressing politics, Kevin. Start thissen a business, or support one or two locals.

Remember, if politicians, say Mrs Dore, and Mr Osborne, on a visit to China, claim some credit for the £65 million investment in the London Road development, they may have greased the odd wheel or two, but it’s entirely thanks to Sheffield born-and-bred businessman, Jerry Cheung.

Don Alexander

Knab Road, S7