Letters: Thanks to those who have kept up the pressure

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“Blow, blow, thou winter wind,

Thou art not so unkind

As man’s ingratitude....”

Let’s give thanks when they are due. For the last 20 years there have been frequent earnest requests made to the city council as highways authority to make it easier for pedestrians to cross at the busy Crookesmoor Road/Barber Road junction.

At last we have a pedestrian phase on the traffic lights when it is safe to cross both main routes. Now floods of students, shoppers and longer-term residents have their own dedicated time without having to judge all the possible traffic movements from four directions.

Thank you to those who have kept the pressure up for this.

Thanks, too, to the city council for making it happen!

Jenny Carpenter

Crookesmoor Community Forum

Council doesn’t like to change its mind

Last year I wrote a letter in protest of the intended closure of the Tourist Information Centre which was published in the Sheffield Telegraph, although the closure went ahead, of course.

The council doesn’t like to change its collective mind once made up. Your article in last week’s paper asks what to do about tourist information in Sheffield following the closure. Of the four contributions by local worthies, I would dismiss that by Simon Webster as an “I’m alright Jack” piece promoting Thornbridge Brewery. David Templeman of Manor Lodge makes a salient point regarding the council’s ability to hide the tourist office in plain sight. Your picture in the article of the defunct office on Surrey Street shows a small dark place with Welcome to Sheffield writ rather small but nothing to suggest that this is (sorry, was) a place for tourist information. Street Food Chef’s Abi Gollard does makes a valid point that online one can get reviews of an attraction but states that she prefers to sit and browse online rather than collect leaflets. However there are still many people who do not carry mobile phones or tablets and/or prefer the personal touch anyway as is the case with the 4th contributor, Peter Moulam of PJ Taste.

When my wife and I went to Leicester for the Richard III exhibitsrecently, we popped into the Tourist Office (centrally located and signposted from everywhere in the town centre) and a friendly human spoke to us and advised what we could do in the time left before our train home. We had researched various possibilities online before our visit but it was much easier just to ask someone. When in the centre of Sheffield it is quite embarrassing to have to advise people who ask where they can get tourist information, that there is none unless they go online. Sheffield has much to offer tourists - a rich heritage; first class museums, galleries and theatres; parks, gardens and open spaces; restaurants to suit all tastes and budgets and much more, but nowhere for this information to be imparted by a friendly enthusiastic Sheffielder who is proud of the city. Perhaps the new central library once built could incorporate a modern tourist information office staffed with such knowledgeable people as well as providing internet access to satisfy those who can’t decide for themselves and prefer to seek opinions first.

Brian Lee

Walkley

Remember who actually pays your wages

What on earth are the ‘big wigs’, who run our local hospital services playing at?

These people are employed by the NHS to make improvements to services for local people and to ensure that those services are run for the benefit of patients or is that just what we are led to believe?

The STH Trust has a board of directors, several of which have been given Royal honours, led by Chief Executive Sir Andrew Cash OBE, who are paid huge sums of money to oversee the running of these services.

They are well educated, well informed and very well paid, yet they are making such ridiculous and seemingly rash decisions that most of the Sheffield public would consider them to be lacking in common sense.

I have worked for the Trust in the past and seen lots of changes, not always for the best, but I have to say that in my and many other local people’s opinion, they have lost sight of what they should be doing and just who they are serving. After all, we all pay their wages don’t we?

It seems now that instead of promoting and implementing decisions which would benefit patients’ needs, they make their decisions solely on a financial basis. I am referring to the ridiculous proposal, decision barring a rubber stamp, to close all our central minor injuries units and make everyone travel to the Northern General. How on earth can that be for the benefit of any patient on the West or South side of the city?

That’s not the only ridiculous decision that they have made lately.

Why are they ‘kicking out’ the WRVS from almost every NHS site from April? They have SERVED patients in the local area at all the Sheffield hospital sites for over 30 years and they have contributed around 1 million pounds to those hospitals. These services are mainly run by volunteers who require no wages. These people give up their time selflessly, unlike the STH Trust board.

Now it seems that all this service, generosity and loyalty counts for nothing as they will be ‘kicked out’ in Sheffield with the exception of the Spinal injuries unit and Weston Park coffee shops, probably viewed as not profitable enough for a private company. Apparently the lease has gone to another provider and I quote, “all the profits will be spent on patient services”.

What like the car parking charges that were introduced? We all know that this is absolute rubbish.

The new provider will have to pay wages to staff. They will have to make a large profit to do this and obviously prices will have to be increased and the service will probably be worse.

Kev Rhodes

Completely disgusted