I listened to Today on Radio 4 on Tuesday morning to hear that to save cash on the HS2 project, it is possible that both the stations at Manchester Airport and Sheffield Meadowhall, (no mention of Victoria here), could be axed.
The BBC interviewed the head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce who gave a reasoned defence as why this is unacceptable. Well, he did for Manchester.
I waited to hear what a Sheffield bigwig – Julie Dore perhaps, could say from the Sheffield perspective – nothing, she wasn’t there. I then turned to Radio Sheffield – the story appeared not important enough to be carried although it did appear on BBC national news.
This approach to developments that affect the city is terrible, no wonder we’re always left behind while Leeds and Manchester surge ahead.
A similar thing can be seen with the BIS issue. The Department wants to close the Sheffield Office and move to London. Some are fighting it, (although I see precious little from the council), but generally on the basis there are two options – close Sheffield or not.
There is a third. It can easily be demonstrated it is cheaper to relocate the whole department here.
The option should be close the London office and move the staff here.
You could leave a small secretariat in London to deal with Ministers’ day-to-day stuff.
Result, mega savings on rent, staff and regeneration for Sheffield and the Northern Powerhouse.
These things are not rocket science but where are the council and chambers of commerce, (although they do appear a little better), when you need them?