Telegraph Letters:

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Be aware that what he does publicly matters

You refer to people liking or hating Magid Magid. Might it be more rather a case of not hating him per se, but taking exception to what he does?

Your article states his role is ‘purely ceremonial’ and that he does not toe ‘political party lines’. However, by allowing his name to endorse the phrase ‘never kiss a tory’ on the Tramlines poster, he was not only being party political, but also insulting the 17,181 who voted Conservative in the 2018 local elections and whom he is supposed to represent with the same passion as those who voted for other parties (his role being ceremonial).

I am sure he is a very nice bloke, but he does need to be aware that what he does publicly matters. (What he thinks privately is his business). He is every Sheffielder’s Mayor - he can’t exclude anyone.

Jonathan Williamson

By email

Station building that is being renovated

Your article in the Telegraph suggests that the Millers Dale railway is to be re-opened. I think it should have been made clearer that it is the station building that is being renovated and brought back into use.

The former railway as the article states is now a very popular trail and probably carries more people per day than the railway used to.

Meanwhile, Clive Betts bemoans that another section of the Midland Railway is running more slowly than before because of timetable changes down south, which in themselves have not gone too well.

However, he may have failed to notice that because of the closure of Derby station for improvements, highlighted in your paper by a full page advertisement, some trains are running more quickly than usual - the 08:26 for example is taking 1hr59 minutes.

This situation will only last until October but we must hope for better journey times when another major timetable change takes place in May of next year.

Simon Geller

Sheffield S11

They should direct their anger at the cuts

What a shame your reporter Lee Peace did not bother to do some research about the real library borrowing figures at voluntary libraries. (16 August.)

Only almost at the very end of the article with a very misleading headline does he mention that the figures he quotes are only from council library stock which is now quite old. For the last three years voluntary libraries have been buying new stock for their own collections, and these books have been borrowed at much greater rates as they are up to date.

For example, Walkley Library lent 13,148 books over the last four quarters compared with 4989 in the four quarters of 2016 before the supply of new books really began to build up.

I have every sympathy with librarians who lost their jobs, but they really should direct their anger at the cuts in government grant to Local Authorities by first the Tory/Lib Dem coalition from 2010, and then the present government from 2015.

At least Sheffield has managed, through support to the voluntary groups who deserve high praise for all their unpaid work, to maintain a library presence across the city, unlike in Northamptonshire where they failed to take action and now face closing outright well over half their libraries across a whole county.

Should resources become available in the future, at least we still have libraries on the ground which would be only too glad to employ professional librarians.

Veronica Hardstaff

Northfield Court

Difficult, if not impossible, to get one

While there are more prosecutions for illegally using Blue Badges for free parking (Sheffield Telegraph 2nd August) disabled people are now finding it much more difficult, if not impossible, to get one.

My Freedom of Information requests show that 3025 people have had their Blue Badge application rejected in Sheffield in the last 32 months. The proportion of rejections has risen from 6% in 2015 to 10% so far this year.

Following a court case, which the Government lost, people with hidden disabilities such as autism may now get a Blue Badge.

This is good news. However people with ME (myalgic encephalomyelitis) for instance are unlikely to succeed.

This is because ME is not considered to be a permanent disability because approximately 5% of sufferers make a recovery.

ME is a serious, disabling and chronic organic (ie physical not mental) disorder. It has been classified by the World Health Organisation as a neurological illness. Approximately 25pc of those affected go on to develop severe ME which is extremely debilitating, often rendering the sufferer completely dependent upon carers for their everyday needs.

The chance of recovery for long term sufferers is negligible, but they can still be refused a Blue Badge by Sheffield City Council.

The exact cause of ME is uncertain and to date there is no known specific medical diagnostic test to determine or confirm a correct diagnosis nor is there any specific treatment. In the UK it is believed that about 250,000 suffer from the disorder.

Sheffield City Council should change its approach, assist people with ME and make it easier for them and their carers to park in the city.

Graham Wroe

Sheffield Green Party

Why not have a mixture of living spaces?

How sad it is that the developers of tower blocks seem to be so unimaginative in their plans - why only have students in these buildings?

Why not have the bottom two floors or so for the elderly and disabled? And why not include a day nursery on the ground floor (this contact has been shown to be beneficial to both the very young and very old)? Why not have a mixture of living spaces in the higher levels? All this would lead to much less ‘ghetto’ living and much more realistic practice at authentic living.

Pat Durrant

By email