Let’s look to our collective skills

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AS cuts are made and jobs lost, it can seem that the North of England is bearing the brunt. Public service cuts were always going to hit the North because local governments are major employers in cities like Sheffield.

Now a voice from the private sector says we would benefit from a Mayor for the North to tackle regional disparities, influence government and save the region from a ‘worryingly bleak’ future.

A top Sheffield business analyst says a Council for the North led by a London-style mayor could fight for grants to halt the decline of industrial areas and fund vital infrastructure projects.

The problem, of course, is it all depends who you get. In Doncaster, two men have held the post of elected mayor, but neither Martin Winter nor Peter Davies have been without controversy.

In London, Ken Livingstone pleased some with his congestion charge, but infuriated others with his hectoring style while Boris Johnson seems worryingly prone to blunders.

Perhaps it is too much to expect one individual to change our fortunes and we should look to our collective strengths to move us forward.

Marcus deserves all the accolades

HIS pals call him Wiggy and he specialises in hair-raising heroics.

Royal Navy paramedic Marcus Wigfull this week saved seven people trapped at the bottom of a cliff face on the island of Staffa, off Scotland’s west coast. Their boat had capsized, leaving them stranded at the foot of 130ft cliffs with a rising tide in front of them.

But that was just a day’s work. In his career, the petty officer from Unstone, Dronfield, has rescued 624 people after attending more than 800 callouts over 13 years on the Royal Navy’s search and rescue helicopters.

No surprise then that he has been nominated in the Armed Forces category at the Scottish Daily Record newspaper’s Our Heroes awards.

PO Wigfull is modest and says it’s just his job. But what a job he does. He deserves all the accolades he gets.

Ladies of true grit

KATE Allatt, Christina Trindade and Georgia Hall are three Sheffield women from very different backgrounds. But they have one thing in common - they are all exceptional ladies.

For all three are shortlisted for the Extraordinary Women awards.

Kate overcame the blow of a stroke, Christina is a ‘serial entrepreneur’, inspiring other women wanting to set up their own businesses and Georgia has lived through a turbulent upbringing to become a successful businesswomen.

Sheffield is proud to be represented by such women and they are an inspiration for thousands who will recognise true grit and enterprise when they see it.