New schools sorely needed

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PLANS to build two new schools in Sheffield are welcome and much needed.

Action had to be taken after Sheffield Council was left with the prospect of turning away youngsters from their nearest school.

That was the reality in Fir Vale and Shirecliffe as a mini baby boom meant there would have been more pupils than school places.

So the first new schools in a generation could be built, providing up to 420 pupil places each. Each will cost around £5.5 million to build and could open their doors in September 2014.

This has to be done. The recent policy of expanding existing schools is unsustainable as the birth rate shows no sign of slowing.

So new schools are the only option. Now the council wants the communities to get involved, because their help drives up standards.

We are sure the good people of Fir Vale and Shirecliffe will want to get involved in such an exciting plan.

Communities must have a stake in their schools because those establishments will then serve the area so well.

Let’s hope positive partnerships can be forged to drive these plans forward.

Strong messages to criminal world

FAST and high profile action was needed to stamp on an organised crime gang culture before it took hold in one of our communities.

This newspaper reported last week how two rival gangs had set up in Parson Cross and criminal activity was in danger of escalating.

As a result a high profile operation was mounted yesterday that involved 50 police officers. The result was the seizure of a large amount of heroin, weapons and 12 people were arrested.

The purpose of the day was to send a message to the criminal fraternity that they would not be allowed to take hold.

The other message is for the people who live there - that they will be protected.

A good day’s work.

She’s on a mission

WHAT an amazing woman Wendy Holmes is. She has been a missionary for more than 20 years, working in orphanages in Romania, Latvia, Armenia, Jamaica, China and Liberia.

Not content with that, she set up a child sponsorship scheme which has given 300 children a better life.

Wendy says it has been a wonderful experience and no doubt those who have benefited from her work feel the same way about Wendy.