What does Julie Dore have to do?

Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore signs a 60-year partnership deal with Wang Chunming, chairman and president of Chinese firm Sichuan Guodong Construction Group, in Sheffield's sister city Chengdu.
Sheffield Council leader Julie Dore signs a 60-year partnership deal with Wang Chunming, chairman and president of Chinese firm Sichuan Guodong Construction Group, in Sheffield's sister city Chengdu.
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Oh dear, just what does Julie Dore Leader of the Sheffield City Council have to do to satisfy some people?

Julie has just pulled off one of the biggest coups in local government with the deal agreed with the Chinese bringing in the biggest investment in the UK outside of London on projects of the city council’s own choosing, leaving many other cities open- mouthed.

She and her officers have been building up relationships and working on this deal, for almost two years, which will now bring in £220 million over the next three years and will create hundreds, if not thousands of jobs in South Yorkshire. The total value of the deal is potential billions of pounds over the next 60 years, according to a national newspaper

“The deal is highly significant at a time of great political uncertainty around Britain’s trading relationships with China following the vote to leave the European Union”

So what is the response from Joanne Sutton-Klein in Thursday’s Star – “millions of pounds worth of investment are unlikely to benefit the poorest and most vulnerable” and “Greater equality is what Sheffield yearns for, not greater investment.” Really?

Joanne, how do you think we tackle equality and help the poorest? We create jobs, a choice of jobs and decent jobs with decent pay and to do that we need investment. This government is not going to do it and the city can’t.

In response my friend Bridget Ingle who is ‘left in despair’ because in the Star’s picture, the Union Jack was upside down.

Well Bridget this picture was taken of the ceremony in China, organised by the Chinese government, in front of a large assembly.

They had just presented the silk scarf decorated with pandas to Julie as a gift and naturally she put it on.

It was they who displayed our two countries’ flags together and knowing how keen the Chinese are on protocols, they would be horrified if they thought they had got it wrong, but Julie is too diplomatic to correct them at this very important ceremony.

So come on Bridget and Joanne get real, get things into perspective.

This is a massive success story for our city and we should be congratulating our leader for pulling it off, not sniping at her.

If it had been Leeds or Manchester they would have been shouting it from the rooftops.

Coun Peter Price

by email