Letter: Manners are essential

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I thank Ruth Grimsley and John Bunting for their kind words of support in response to Phil Proctor’s letter regarding his view that the Sheffield Council is open and transparent with the people who elected them to office.

Both writers take Mr Proctor to task for their perceived ill mannered style in which he wrote his letter. While I have been critical of people in some of my letters I have alway tried to be respectful at the same time.

In that spirit may I commend to Phil an old proverb, ‘Manners maketh man’ which simply translates as ‘politeness, good manners and civility are essential to humanity.’

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In view of the plethora of knowledge of council affairs and procedure which he professes to hold when writing about the Kate Josephs affair, in response to my letter regarding some Sheffield people having second thoughts about voting for Brexit – an entirely different subject – like my fellow correspondents, I am also interested in his working background, has any experience of council affairs other than what is published in The Star when they deign to communicate with the public?

As I have previously written, we shall have to agree to disagree as to whether the council is open and transparent with their electorate. As Phil obviously thinks they are, may I ask a pertinent question of him?

The Willy Collins family versus council gravestone memorial dispute has been dragging on since March 2022 with the only council communication via he Star being that ‘negotiations are ongoing and it is inappropriate for us to comment further while these are in progress.’

Can he enlighten us as to who is doing the negotiation on behalf of the council?

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Have any cross party committees become involved as in the Kate Josephs affair?

Has he anything to add other than the council’s ongoing negotiation reply?

The headstone dispute does not involve government departments and a council secret outside investigator sitting in office. It is simply the family representatives and those of the council. Negotiations should not take nearly a year and still be ongoing.

Does Phil believe that council are being open and transparent with the people who have loved ones buried in Shiregreen Cemetery and the general public in their handling of this matter and if so can he please justify his belief?

Cyril Olsen

Busk Meadow, Sheffield, S5