Measuring our estates’ health

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DISTRICT shopping centres around Sheffield can present a grim vision. For too many of them are rundown, daubed in graffiti and host to unoccupied stores which are gradually decaying.

They are meant to be the hearts of our communities yet too many of them do the opposite, sending out messages that entire neighbourhoods are lacking any kind of love and attention.

But readers will be delighted to hear that the city council is working hard to breathe new life into the shopping centres sprinkled around our city.

A city-wide survey has been carried out resulting in a plan being drawn up to target some areas which it is believed will benefit from immediate attention.

The idea is to try to accommodate more services in the shopping quarters to encourage people to visit more often. On the back of that, it is hoped, confidence will grow for traders to return.

It is a big job but it is a necessary one. Shopping centres are not only a focal point, they are also a measure of the health of housing estates.

Wish list strategy not enough for city

THERE is something only too familiar about the suggestion that Sheffield should be turned into a ‘city of global significance’, which forms part of the newly unveiled

Sheffield City Strategy.

It echoes back to a few years ago when the target was less ambitious and the city’s leaders wanted Sheffield to be a city of European significance.

It didn’t happen then and we are not sure it will happen now.

The city has certainly enjoyed its time in the international limelight but those days have long since faded.

Sheffield remains a welcoming city, full of wonderful people.

We feel that is the basis from which future developments should be built and to which ambitions ought to be targeted.

Not from pie-in-the-sky platitudes which can only too easily result in disappointment for anyone gullible enough to believe that it can happen courtesy of a wish list.

It’s the youth vote

WE are sure readers will want to applaud the 27 youngsters who have just been elected to Sheffield Youth Council.

At a time when it is all too easy to fall into the trap of judging all young people as spoiled and lazy, it is wonderful to come across this group of tomorrow’s politicians. For it is clear that they are taking the first steps towards being representatives of the future.

They have all shown tremendous enthusiasm and commitment to be elected to the council.

That is a great antidote to the stereotypical views of youngsters many of us share these days. And it offers some comfort in the knowledge that the public offices of tomorrow will find plenty of takers.