Don’t put up with rubbish

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IN the real world, if you pay for a service and don’t receive it then you ask for a refund.

So the decision by Sheffield Council to demand a rebate from refuse firm Veolia for failing to collect the bins in the snow is entirely justified.

There will be a tolerance clause written into any contract to allow for inclement weather conditions.

But the failure of Veolia to catch up with collections in a reasonable timescale should not be excused.

Residents persevering with fortnightly collections will have seen their bins overflowing and will have endured considerable inconvenience. There were something in the region of 40,000 bins that suffered late rounds.

Veolia, which has a £28m contract with the council should not object and that money can now flow back into the council coffers.

The irony is that money may well come in handy for the council to pursue its legal battle to renegotiate its contract with the waste firm which is refusing to hand back the £3.9m the council is asking for.

Ikea could be a welcome relief

IKEA’s decision to press ahead with its consultation plans to build a new store in Sheffield could not come at a better time for the city.

The debate about the viability of the city as a shopping magnet has ramped up recently with the continued delay of Sevenstone, the decision to refuse planning permission for Next and the opening of a huge shopping centre in Leeds.

All eyes are focused on the ambition of this council in developing Sheffield as a shopping destination.

Next will surely seize on the opportunity to make a case to say that what is good for Ikea should be good for them.

For now, let’s rejoice in the prospect of a major store and 700 jobs.

Hope for centre

PEACE has broken out in the fight to save Stocksbridge Leisure Centre.

After a rearguard battle fought by the community in Stocksbridge, it seems they have forced the council to “pause” and reconsider the options facing them.

The community campaigners were wrong-footed earlier this year when the council announced it was closing the centre as part of its budget savings. And ever since they have been galvanising support around their fight.

Now they have won time to try to put forward a properly considered and financed plan to manage it. If only the council had consulted in the first place.