Editor: Think big, remain positive but get demands in now

Every conversation I have had about Sheffield this year (I appreciate it is only day 14) has come to the same conclusion – this city needs to be bolder.

Friday, 14th January 2022, 7:18 am
All aboard for better buses ...

There is so much frustration that it hasn’t progressed in recent decades as it should have done and the people who get in touch with me don’t seem to think that has changed at all.

Yes, there is optimistic talk but what have we actually got to show for it?

The case in point is buses. I appreciate it is something that we regularly discuss in The Star but that is because it matters, it really matters.

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Unless we can solve our public transport crisis, we don’t stand a change in creating a green city.

The bitter irony is that there is a lot we can now do because of the powers devolved to our elected mayor.

You will see the anger in the quotes from Sheffield’s most vocal bus campaigners on the opposite page – and they are right to feel this way. They are also completely correct to be shouting now, to be stamping their feet and to be demanding more from the mayor’s office.

I say office because our mayor is on his way out – back to just the one job of being a Barnsley MP.

So all our efforts must be targeted on those who want to be elected to that position. They only deserve such an enormous privilege if they are going to make it count. I pray we can look back in four years and see tangible change. Sheffield and South Yorkshire deserve no less.

That is why you should already be interested in the four candidates jostling for the Labour nomination. Politicians are never more convincing than when they need your vote so make your demands and show them what our priorities must be – then hold them to account.

Done right, this mayoral job could be transformative. We might not have evidence of that right now but I remain optimistic – because what else do we have?

Make your favourite candidates take notice. After all, their only role is to represent you, to make your city better for you and to make you proud.

As I’ve said many times before, our local authorities and mayoral offices are exactly that – ours, not theirs.