Make sure cash is well spent

THE expected changes to Sheffield children's centres will have far-reaching consequences which will reverberate throughout our communities for years to come.

The plan is to cut 2 million of council funding from children's centres and nurseries meaning significantly less money available for the city's 39,000 children under the age of five.

However, part of the proposal is to increase money available to care for youngsters in more deprived parts of the city.

It will be interesting to see how the Lib Dem administration calculates this part of the equation, having come out against the previous Labour council's means of targeting poorer neighbourhoods with extra resources.

And a major platform of the current council's reasoning behind Community Assemblies and their budgets is that they wish to be fair to all the people of Sheffield at the same time.

The new Government grant system, which replaces Labour's SureStart programme, is clearly aimed at saving money. But the people of Sheffield will want to know that the cash which is available is spent wisely and on the right people, regardless of where they live in the city.

The future's bright in South Yorkshire

YOUNG students undergoing work experience at local firms have scooped prizes in a design and innovation contest, showing that the future is bright in our communities with some exceptional people ready to step up to the plate.

They worked with a number of local firms when they entered the contest which is aimed at encouraging bright new minds to come up with fresh ideas.

In fact, the ideas have been so groundbreaking that a number are on the verge of being adopted by industry.

This is a great example of the business and academic worlds working together in a rewarding and groundbreaking manner.

Those behind the idea are to be congratulated. And that certainly also goes to the young people who have shown such forward thinking initiative.

Counting blessings

NEXT time you find your job more than a little challenging, spare a thought for the poor souls at the Yorkshire Wildlife Park, in Branton, near Doncaster.

For they have just conducted an annual census of the creatures at the park.

Imagine the problems some of the auditors would have faced when confronted by a squirming mass of animals which would rather forage than stand up and be counted.

It had a very worthwhile purpose, though. For zoos need to keep a careful check on the animals in their care so they can take part in international breeding programmes.

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