YP Letters: City should spend money on libraries

From: Matthew Steele, Stannington Road, Sheffield.

Children research family history in a library.

THE way Sheffield Council has treated both library users and library staff, in particular those working in smaller community libraries, over the last few years leaves a lot to be desired.

The first step to the running down of Sheffield’s smaller community libraries was reclassifying the staff as “library assistants”, wrongly implying their work was of lesser importance to those librarians working in larger libraries.

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The council went one better in 2014, threatening to close 15 libraries unless community groups would run them using unpaid volunteers. It has essentially blackmailed people into running a service it should be employing professional staff to provide.

Any claims of the council being short of cash are frankly nonsense given the millions it continues to spend resurrecting the failed “Sevenstone” development, and hosting events such as the Tour De France. As nice as these schemes are, they do not benefit local communities, particularly deprived ones such as Tinsley and Parson Cross, as much as having professional library staff to provide education and homework help to students, and vital social support for the elderly and vulnerable (saving the council cash on other social services).

It is time for a more common sense approach to running Sheffield. The council needs to abandon spending on pie-in-the-sky nonsense like the Sevenstone project, re-let empty buildings for new shops or social housing, and spend any savings on employing community librarians.

Make cyclists use the paths

From: Paul Morgan, Barton-Upon-Humber.

DAVE Roberts (The Yorkshire Post, May 18) asks how to get users of cycle tracks and paths to pay for them. I believe a bigger issue is actually getting cyclists to use them.

Following a number of accidents, and the death of a cyclist, my local council installed a cycle path alongside the A1077 between Barrow-upon-Humber and Barton-upon-Humber. In many places it is in much better condition than the roadway.

But do cyclists use it? Very rarely, they prefer to put themselves in danger and inconvenience others by cycling in the road.

Only the other morning, I saw two cyclists on this stretch cycling abreast and holding up traffic, while only a yard to their left was an empty, cycle path. When a couple of drivers remonstrated with them, all they received in return was a foul-mouthed response. It should be illegal for cyclists to use the roadway in places where a designated cycle path is provided, with fines for offenders. Cyclists should have no objection as it would keep them safer.

Unfair attack on store staff

From: H Marjorie Gill, Clarence Drive, Menston.

I TAKE Tom Richmond to task for his recent comments on the lack of skimmed milk at Morrisons.

I agree that sometimes there are no members of staff on each aisle, but there are “can I help you?” staff on duty before the checkouts. To me, the Guiseley store is a friendly as the village shop we used to love. I know, and am known, by name at the butchery department.

Inquiry folly

From: Hilary Andrews, Nursery Lane, Leeds.

HOW I agree with Ron Firth (The Yorkshire Post, May 19) that it would be counter-productive to drag through the saga of the Miners’ Strike and the violence at Orgreave. No more taxpayer money should be wasted on these costly investigations. Nothing can be changed and families on both sides, police and miners, can only be more upset.

Foreign banks

From: David Collins, Scissett.

I AM very sorry that staff are to lose jobs in HSBC. However it’s all in the name. Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. There is a clue there. Founded in the Far East as a result of the Opium Wars in the 1860s. Based in Hong Kong until the UK was talking of handing back Hong Kong to China. Relocated to UK in 1990. Just another foreign bank with a UK veneer.

Whit-less day

From: Canon Michael Storey, Healey Wood Road, Brighouse.

ONCE upon a time, on Whit Monday many churches would have processions, complete with brass band, perhaps a horse-drawn cart for the children – everyone in new clothes.

Harold Wilson started its decline by replacing Whit Monday with Spring Bank Holiday in 1970. The Church hasn’t helped by using the word “Pentecost” since 1980.

Free tickets

From: David Treacher, Nelson Road, Hull.

THE cost of a night out at the theatre has risen over the years and many can’t afford it.

Why can’t the theatres give tickets for free to retired people? Often the theatre is never full so there would be no cost and actors love a full house.