Council must be more open

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IT pays to be open and honest, any other path only leads to trouble.

So when Sheffield Council was considering the future of housing services, a transparent approach was essential.

Sadly, reports were kept secret which would have told us that up to £4.9 million a year and 139 jobs were set to be axed from the city’s housing services if it switched to council control.

Happily, the confidential document has now been made public and is published in today’s Star after efforts by Lowedges tenant Martin Brighton.

The council is keen to stress that such a high level of redundancies will not now take place.

But it does make us wonder why the authority could not be more transparent in the first place.

It’s no wonder tenants are planning to request a judicial review challenging the fairness of the ballot process.

The whole affair has been badly handled and the council must now strive to be more open on the issue, which shows no sign of going away.

Time to sort out school’s dispute

TEACHERS are unhappy at Sheffield’s Westfield Sports College – enough of them at least to threaten six days of strike action in the final days of term.

The row is about staff having their lessons checked up on – three a year are inspected as part of an in-house appraisal process.

The school gives warning of the day the observation is to take place, but not the exact time.

Teaching union NUT says guidelines recommend that their members should be told exactly which lesson will be inspected.

It may not sound like much to parents, who will be unhappy that such a dispute may disrupt their youngsters’ education.

But the fact that such a disagreement has led to strikes is perhaps indicative of deeper problems at the school – problems which first surfaced last year under the previous head.

Further talks on the issues are promised – which we hope will give both sides a chance to sort this situation out, and quickly.

A shopping dream?

THE idea of going shopping fills most men with dread.

But imagine a shopping centre where they can escape from the crowds to play table football and drink beer.

So it was at Meadowhall this week but it did have a downside. No shopping means no grounds for complaint about the shopping bill.