Proud of HMS Sheffield link

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IT is 30 years since the warship HMS Sheffield was set ablaze and sank in the South Atlantic, with the loss of 20 crew. That is not long enough to heal the emotional scars suffered by those who survived the Falklands War catastrophe. Nor is it anywhere near long enough to dull the pride felt by Sheffield and its people for the vessel.

The name HMS Sheffield has long forged a deep connection with our city and we are proud to acknowledge that those bonds remain strong today, even though the Royal Navy has decommissioned its last HMS Sheffield and we no longer can enjoy a direct link to a serving warship.

That is inconsequential.

What matters is that the ships which carried our name, and the crews which served on board them, did so with gallantry and bravery.

And Sheffield feels honoured to continue to acknowledge the association of this city with their Senior Service.

Confirmation of this will be on show this weekend when the Sheffield Royal Naval Association holds an emotional memorial service and parade at Sheffield Cathedral.

When the bell tolls from that magnificent building on Sunday and rings out across Sheffield city centre, we know that many hearts will beat in respect of the men and women who served, and especially those who died, on board HMS Sheffield.

Tell us how other centres measure

COUNCIL officers have ordered urgent action at Hillsborough Children’s Centre after inspectors found it failing in every one of the 17 areas they examined.

The centre was branded ‘totally inadequate’.

That is also a fair description of the council’s response.

What were officials who are now calling for urgent action doing when the centre was performing so poorly? Surely it cannot have been so distant from their radar not to have registered.

After all, the city has undergone a review of services for under-five-years, so it can hardly be argued that this part of the council’s work was hidden away.

On the contrary, children’s centres have been at the heart of a year-long political battleground, amid arguments that it was wrong to cut the budget to these services in line with other economies across the board at the town hall.

What we would like to know is how this particular centre was allowed to become so poorly regarded and, generally, how do other centres measure up?

We should not have to wait for a team of inspectors to arrive and point out our own failings.