Comment - Kate Josephs scandal shredded a string of reputations

It would be fair to say the business community breathed a sigh of relief at the news Kate Josephs is back at work.

The city council’s chief executive made a big impact in her year in Sheffield, before being suspended for five months due to a Partygate party.

Some people with projects, investments, or just an interest in seeing the city succeed, are now hoping she can pick up where she left off.

Perhaps they are more at ease holding their nose over the criminality and double standards which have seen so many readers call for her resignation.

Kate Josephs is back at work.

But it’s also pragmatism. Some believe it would take up to a year to replace her, leaving Sheffield without one of its rudders.

And some worry the city would struggle to recruit someone approaching her calibre due to the fall-out from the scandal, the internal politics and perhaps a fear that they could be next.

There’s also hope she will now be so desperate to make amends she’ll put in extra effort to make up lost ground.

Let’s hope that happens, Sheffield is more in need of good, connected people with influence than for a long time. Remember when Nick Clegg was deputy prime minister? You may not have liked his politics - or even the man - but he was in government.

There are some things on which there is widespread agreement - the time and cost of it all.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who attended and presided over more lockdown parties that anyone in the country, hasn’t missed a day at work.

Why, then, did our investigation take nearly six months? Everyone knows she’s on a huge salary while the town hall is absolutely brassic.

Here’s a flavour of people’s comments:

‘A sizeable six-figure sum will have been blown on the ‘investigation’ that could have been done in two days’.

‘Ridiculous delay and shameful management of the situation’.

‘Shame on Sheffield councillors for their spineless behaviour…We need elected representatives who are prepared to make tough, and sometimes unwelcome, decisions’.

Kate Josephs may have broken the law but in some ways our politicians came out of it worst.​​​​​​​