Santa needs your support

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TODAY marks the launch of our annual joint appeal with Hallam FM to bring Christmas joy to thousands of youngsters in need.

Every year we send out an appeal to make Christmas wishes come true for youngsters less fortunate than most, and every year our readers and Hallam’s listeners do not disappoint.

Sadly, each year the number of youngsters on Santa’s special list gets ever longer.

Last year was a record-breaking one, as more than 13,000 young people benefitted from over £400,000 worth of money and donations that rolled in.

But as the hard times show no signs of abating, this year again, predictions are that there will be even more youngsters in need of your support.

Because of the circumstances of the children you help, we cannot show you their faces of joy and tears that roll down their cheeks when they see that they, too, like other children, have presents to unwrap at Christmas time.

But the people who deliver those presents in the social services tell us the stories of joy.

Which reinforces our efforts this year to try to help as many youngsters as we can. We know times are hard and realise there are many demands on your finances at this time of year. So even a little will go a long way.

As our Mission Christmas appeal gets under way today, please help in any way you can. Thank you.

Prophets of doom are proved wrong

THREE months ago the council took the difficult and controversial decision to move to a fortnightly bin collection system.

The decision was forced by the need to save £50m from its budget. By going fortnightly, the council estimated it would save around £2.5m a year.

According to a poll conducted on our website, it appears the changes have not been as disastrous as some had forecasted. This newspaper called for the council to be flexible and to ensure recycling centres were able to cope with the expected increase in demand.

We are pleased to see that the council was listening. Yes it has altered recycling site opening hours, but it has also compromised from its original operating timetable. And at the outset it allowed residents to put out more rubbish than their bins could cope with.

The Lib Dems merely buried their heads in the sand and pretended the problem would go away. Labour may have taken an unpopular decision, but decisions were needed. They need to continue to listen and to adapt to the needs of the residents for it to succeed.