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One often wonders what must have been going through the heads of Sheffield City councillors and officials when coming up with some new policy or other. You know, like turning down the Next development at Meadowhall or increasing parking charges in the city centre. But this latest one really did take the 99 flake, didn’t it? The authority, in its wisdom, decided to ban ice cream vans that were more than five years old to reduce the city’s carbon footprint. That would have meant 90 per cent of the vehicles off the road this summer. It’s not clear which bright Lemonade Sparkle came up with this idea but, safe to say, after The Star drew attention to it, the council did a U-turn quicker than it takes a Mini Milk to melt in the sun. And quite right too. This was a ridiculous policy clearly dreamed up by bureaucrats with no understanding that in the real world of small businesses – as opposed to the fantasy world of local government – traders simply can’t afford to buy new fleets of vehicles every five years. Perhaps next time they came up with such nonsense, rather than taking them seriously our councillors should send them for ice creams.


Or, as one contributor to The Star’s website put it rather more concisely: “Seems to me that they need a carbon footprint up the backside.”.


Moving on, and it’s another grim anniversary today– exactly 100 years since Walter Sykes was executed for the murder of two Kimberworth cousins. Amy Collinson, 10, and Frances Nicholson, 7, had their throats cut after attending a carol concert in December 1912. After six weeks of fruitless investigations, Sykes, also from Kimberworth, walked into a police station and confessed. He was hanged on April 23, 1913.

Maggie Most Horrid

And another anniversary coming up on Sunday. April 28 is 30 years since then Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher visited Sheffield’s Cutlers’ Hall to widespread protests. Dennis Lound was The Star’s photographer at the time. He said: “I remember the big demonstration with everybody throwing flour at her. People were shouting. She walked straight past, took it all in her stride and ignored it all.”