Much-loved institution

I was saddened to read the letter from Mrs C Beck concerning Atkinson's of Sheffield.

Wednesday, 4th April 2018, 6:46 am
Updated Wednesday, 4th April 2018, 6:51 am
Atkinsons, The Moor.

Not everyone buys online. For people lucky enough to be fit enough, and have time enough, part of the pleasure of shopping is choosing items and being served by friendly staff.

If “behind the times” means being a Sheffield institution loved by many since childhood, then long may it remain so. It is part of this city. “Go Bust” indeed!

Susan Pass

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Nether Edge

Streets Ahead council ‘spin’

There appears to be so much ‘spin’ in the council’s statement on the release of more of the Streets Ahead Contract last week that you can get giddy just reading it. It might be worth trying to interpret what they are saying, maybe like this:

They said: “Following detailed review, more of the Streets Ahead contract will be released today … in conjunction with a request from the Information Commissioner”.

Could this mean: Following work by a tireless campaigner, we have been directed by the Information Commissioner’s Office not to withhold publication any longer?

They said: “We have been working since April 2017 to achieve this”. Could this mean: We therefore didn’t mean it when we said on the council’s contract web-page since June 2015 that we were working to release the remaining schedules ‘as part of our ongoing commitment to transparency’ and to publish them on that website ‘within the next few months’ (nor when we have said similar to subsequent requests over the subsequent two years)?

They said: “One of the things people will see (relates to) trees” (in fact many items refer to trees). Could this mean: We were wrong when we wrote to residents and others in July 2015 saying that “there is no redaction within the tree section (of the contract), as such all this information is in the public realm and available for viewing”?

They said: “Any suggestion that 17,500 trees is a target or a requirement is an incorrect interpretation of the contract” (it does say ‘shall replace highway trees … so that 17,500 … are replaced by the end of the term ... unless authority approval is obtained’).

Could this mean: We had our fingers crossed when we signed it? They said: “We believe the total (number of trees to be replaced) will be around 10,000”. Could this mean: We can afford to pay Amey for the next 20 years, to maintain, prune, repair, etc, in accordance with the other contract output requirements, the further 7,500 mature trees they possibly weren’t expecting to??? (Or could this be an incentive to keep the felling numbers high?)

They said: “The High Court was clear that the ‘objective of the council has been to retain trees where possible”. Could this mean: They perhaps didn’t see all of the contract?

They said: “If for any reason, such as a major disease outbreak, the council has to replace a number of trees it can do so without any extra cost….” Could this mean: We are so frightened of the possibility of tree disease that we are also felling one of the few remaining disease resistant mature Elm trees in the country – despite national public outcry and the advice of many experts of different disciplines?

They said: “The replacement trees will help shift the balance towards younger more diverse street trees”. Could this mean: It’s too easy to just plant these in the hundreds of gaps left by previous removals, while retaining those that are still healthy (or at least as many as were advised could be by the ITP) many with over a hundred years life left of providing major wellbeing benefits for the citizens of Sheffield and their children and grandchildren?

And there’s possibly more - the newly released ‘Schedule 2: Output Specification’ is an interesting read. Decide for yourselves at the council’s Streets Ahead Contract web-page.


by email

Keeping a low profile

Many thanks to David Warshop (Star, March 22) re my musings (sounds better than rantings) and his recommendations re Hunter’s invaluable writings.

Susan R recently slapped me legs and I’m keeping a low profile as the buzz saws sound down Rivelin Valley.

Have just watched a video where a young bobby has arrested a tree protestor amidst telephones taking photographs and I have to say I marvel at the patience officers display.

Yesterday’s Star saw Sheffield’s Father of the House, Councillor Peter Price, taking centre stage. He looks hale and hearty and obviously does not need Botox-must be all that exercise.

As for Attercliffe Chapel - built by the Bright family in 1629 and often known as Hilltop Chapel - it contains the grave of Benjamin Huntsman, though there is apparently no burial record.

Meanwhile the Brights old home, Carbrook Hall, awaits a new role. Skinny lattes and blueberry muffins anyone?

Ron Clayton


No life getting to age of 100

Figures released say that one in six of us alive today will live to be 100.

That’s great if you are in good health and have enough money to live that long.

Who wants to live to a century but not be able to put the heating on or eat nice food, just waiting till the inevitable happens. That’s no life.

I think about it a lot as I approach 50. Could I have another 50 years left in me, will I have to work till I am 75, have I saved enough to see me out?

My worries used to be, did I have enough money to buy the shoes I had seen in Freeman Hardy Willis, could I get into Cairos with my fake ID?

Now it’s the worry of which home I might end up in and how much it will cost me.

Jayne Grayson

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Why postal operatives?

It’s coming to something when you can’t call your post deliverer a postman.

Instead you have to refer to them as postal operatives.

What would postman Pat and his cat Jess think of it?

The mind boggles.

EB Warris

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