Letters: April 20, 2016

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Have your say

Star readers have their say

Put people before profit

The long-awaited legal verdict on the trees injunction is overdue as I write this.

What will the court say about the actions of Sheffield Council in consulting with local people?

The council sought a council group consensus before starting down the route that led to the Streets Ahead contract. The Green group refused to be part of it – seeking to keep the work required in-house via Street Force.

The Lib Dems drove the contract process and Labour continued it through to the contract signing with Amey after they took back power. Both were cheerleaders throughout.

Work started immediately after the contract was signed with no tree strategy and no biodiversity plan in place.

Now the downsides are becoming clearer. Control has been handed over to a private company driven by maximising profit for shareholders.

Contract repayments increase year on year over 25 years – a ticking financial timebomb.

Veolia and Amey are not taking their share of required council cuts so adult social care and other vital services have to take a much bigger hit.

And there were £9.2 million of extra cuts in the council budget due to major contracts, including £6.48m due to Streets Ahead.

Labour and the Lib Dems have argued for years about who should get the credit for Streets Ahead.

But recent experience shows that outsourced council services bound up in commercial confidentiality are incapable of adapting and responding to the legitimate concerns of local people.

We need a council that listens and responds to the community it has been elected to represent.

A new approach is needed urgently which puts people before profit.

Alison Teal,

Green Party candidate, Nether Edge and Sharrow ward

Market blues lifted spirits

It’s strange that live music can lift the spirits. So thank you to the Willy Nelson lookalike playing his heart out, bashing out hearty blues on the communal piano in the Moor market last Friday morning.

Just a shame that the appalling canned music got in the way. Joyful enterprise drowning in unimaginative mediocrity.

One citizen against the city. Thank you, you made my day.

J B Scattergood

by email

One manifesto doesn’t fit all

It appears that every time the nasty party try to justify the austerity, immigration and benefits policies that are wrecking both people’s lives and the physical state of our country that, in many places has a crumbling infrastructure, they trot out the line that they have won a mandate for it because people voted for it in their manifesto.

I cannot agree with that, and I doubt that any party ever wins an election because people agree with everything in their manifesto.

I believe the Tories won the last election mostly based on a promise to have a referendum on staying in, or leaving the EU, while Labour lost it because of their apparent willingness to let anyone and everyone into the UK.

I doubt that many people voted Tory because they wanted to see people suffering from the continual cutbacks that are ruining our country, a low-wage society, homelessness, and the continued immigration when they knew little could be done to stop it.

I don’t recall anything in the Tory manifesto that said we could have a referendum on leaving the EU, but that they would do everything in their power to convince people which way to vote.

The people who voted Tory because of the EU referendum pledge would most likely be those who wanted a curb on immigration by leaving the EU.

Why would anyone wanting to stay in the EU have been asking for a referendum?

Sorry, but one manifesto doesn’t fit all, and you cannot pretend that if you win an election that you are empowered to ride roughshod over the voters on every single subject.



Incidents not a true picture

The fatal stabbing of a young woman and an axe-wielding attack in Newfield Green, Gleadless Valley don’t give a true picture of the law-abiding folk who live on the estate.

Gleadless is a pleasant and mainly peaceful place to live and the community will view these crimes with contempt and hopefully justice will be served.

I am sure the community’s thoughts go out to the injured police and the family of Leigh Anne.

EB Warris

by email

Bus service is a total joke

In the course of my movements last Wednesday, I had cause to go to Grenoside in the pursuit of my enquiries.

My assistant and I decided to catch the 85 on South Lane. We tried to catch the 09.53 but we missed it by a hair’s breadth so we had to wait for the 10.11.

An 85 did arrive at the allotted time but the driver informed us: “I’m only going to town, mate.”

Fair enough, so we waited for the 10.34 and we waited. At 10.45 it did arrive,after we had waited 50 minutes, but First assured us the bus service is now better than ever. I’ve just taken a pinch of salt.

On Thursday I had to visit Stannington by catching the 82 on Eyre Street. Again it was 10 minutes late, but I’ve got beautiful wide shoulders so I just lived with that.

After conducting my duties around Ivanhoe Road and down Malin Bridge Corn Mill, I decided to call it a day as it was raining. I stood like a drowned rat for the 82 back to town. Again it was a few minutes late but it got me out of the rain.

On arriving at the old Castle Market site, the driver informed all the passengers: “Sorry, you will all have to get off as there’s no driver arrived to take over.”

Brilliant planning First, I wanted to go to Pinstone Street so I had to walk.

These are not isolated events, they happen every single day.

There is an advert on lots of buses stating: “A billion years in the making and we’ve got it right.”

I don’t think so, your service is a complete joke.

Admit you’ve made a complete mess of our bus service and put it back to what it was.

The Green Giant

by email

Scots leaders come out

With the quiet coming out of Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, a new Scottish record is created.

Apparently with Dugdale’s declaration that she is a lesbian Scotland has now become the only country in the world where large parties are led by homosexuals, lesbians and bisexuals (LGBTs).

The Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Green leader Patrick Harvie, the Scottish UKIP leader David Coburn, have all come out as lesbian, homosexual or bisexual.

Just thought it might be something to break the monotony of all things EU.

Terry Palmer

South Lea Avenue, Hoyland, Barnsley, S74

Give steel a real future

I agree with Oliver Healey (letters page, Thursday, April 14) that UK steel must be assisted and action taken against unfair competition.

However, it is the UK government which blocked proposals from the European Commission to increase tariffs on dumped Chinese steel.

Other countries such as Germany, Italy and France have worked to give their steel industries a future. It is high time the UK government did the same.

Linda McAvan MEP

Yorkshire and the Humber

Pay back tax or go to jail

It is OK for David Cameron to say put up and shut up about his tax affairs.

But people who have invested in these tax havens and are tax dodging, should be put in jail until they have repaid the money they owe to the taxman in the UK.

J Bull

Sheffield 5

I’m proud of our record

Another personal attack on me from an anonymous letter writer in S5 (the Star, April 13).this time from ‘PAL’ regarding the state of the our roads.

Well PAL, believe it or not, I do walk around the roads you mention – Leadham, Jepson, and indeed the Firth Park Shopping centre and you are quite right they do require repair, but perhaps unlike you, I also walk around most of the other roads in the Shiregreen/Brightside Ward and I have to conclude that I am quite proud of the record so far and that the Labour Council continues to honour its promise to relay all our roads, pavements and street lighting over five yeas.

Already all the roads and pavements in Shiregreen have been completed except the bus routes.

All of the roads and pavements in Grimesthorpe and the Jenkin Road area have been completed, including planting new trees.

At this very moment the roads and pavements in Lower Wincobank are all being resurfaced and many of the estates surrounding the Firth Park Shopping centre have been completed over the past six months with other work starting shortly.

Remember PAL there is an old saying ‘Rome wasn’t built in a day’.

Well, neither can the council complete the renewal of all our streets and pavements overnight, but the Labour Group is determined that the council will honour its pledge to replace all the roads and pavements which need it, across the whole of our city over five years.

By the way, I have no record of receiving any letter from someone with the initials PAL, so if he or she would care to resend it, I will do my best to respond.

Councillor Peter Price

Shiregreen/Brightside Ward