WE hear much these days of local authority cuts about protecting front line services. During the debate, the phrase ‘front line’ has come to be blurred until it is now difficult to distinguish among services, so strong a case is made by supporters of them all.
However we feel readers will agree that there is one group of services which deserves to lead the charge for protection and they are the ones which care for and protect children in our city.
The young people who rely on these services are among the most vulnerable and helpless in our communities.
They cannot fend for themselves and need the protective arm of the local council around them for their survival and development.
That is why we believe children’s services should be preserved when the axe begins to fall in our town halls.
And when better to make this plea than during Foster Care Fortnight when the spotlight is justifiably shining on the men and women who open their homes and hearts to youngsters in need of some tender loving care.
They are true heroes in our communities but their work does not come cheap - and nor should it.
This is a demanding job and requires people prepared to offer round the clock support and affection for youngsters who, through no fault of their own, find themselves potentially cast adrift.
A compromise should be found
TWO wrongs never make a right.
Most will agree that it was wrong of a Sheffield family to keep a dog without a collar or name tag so that it could not be quickly returned to them once it made a bolt for freedom.
And they will also say it is wrong of Sheffield City Council to stand in the way of reuniting the family with their pet unless they pay rapidly rising fees.
The dog was picked up and handed over to the city dog warden and is now in a kennel. But unless the family pay a release fee the animal could be put down, or offered for adoption.
Surely a compromise could be reached. It cannot be right to come between a dog and its owners, particularly when we hear so many horror stories of pets being put down because they are not wanted.
On right course
LABOUR councillors in Sheffield are setting their new administration on the right course by launching a series of sessions out in the city’s different communities to give the public a chance to have their say. Cabinet members are to tour each of the city’s community assembly areas to talk to ordinary men and women about important decisions. This is exactly how government should work and we look forward to reporting on a clear understanding which should blossom from such an initiative.