“This week has been another varied week working to help bring jobs to Sheffield…”
Education is really important to me and making sure that our young people get the best possible start in life. I visited Handsworth Grange School and was impressed by some of the work that is going on there to ensure the pupils get the best possible education.
Later I went down to unveil Showcase Sheffield. I am determined to show that our city centre stays as vibrant as possible for local people and visitors alike.
Showcase Sheffield brings all the talent that we have within the city – established, new artists and designers have created eye-catching displays along with young people training to work in retail. Why not take some time to go and have a look and you’ll be amazed at some of the talent that we have within Sheffield. The great thing is that these shop fronts will be changing every 6 weeks and therefore there will be something new for us all to look at.
It is important as Leader to understand that we don’t work in isolation and have to look at issues across South Yorkshire. I met with two other local Leaders and the Mayor of Doncaster to discuss key issues for this region including transport, protecting jobs in the recession, training and housing.
As I’ve said before my focus is to try to ensure we have jobs and good employment opportunities for local people here in Sheffield, with that in mind I led a delegation including the Council’s Chief Executive and Creative Sheffield down to Kent to visit Hitachi Trains.
Hitachi is looking to locate a new train assembly plant within the UK and also making it its European Headquarters for this type of work. Sheffield, I am pleased to say, is still in the running. They were very impressed with Sheffielders, Sheffield skills, Universities and our approach to modern manufacturing. It all now hinges on the site Sheffield can offer and how that compares to others being offered by town and cities in this country.
Sheffielders need to know that the Council and I are fully focused on this to try to ensure that at the end of the year we will hopefully become the new European Headquarters for Hitachi trains, and are able to bring more jobs and skills to the city.
Olympic and paralympic dream
Keeping ourselves healthy and fit is really important, and I was able to launch the new Sheffield Lighting the Flame Sport Strategy which is linked to the Olympic and Paralympics Games.
It was great to see Jessica Ennis, a local Sheffield girl, supporting the aim to get more people participating in sport as well as us hopefully being able to reap some of the benefits from the Olympic and Paralympics Games. It was really aimed at getting everybody, regardless of who they area, involved in some form of activity and using the Olympic Games for economic, social and health benefits for individuals within the city.
Many Sheffielders will have been angered, like I was, that there is an attempt to try to block off the footbridge through the Station. I want to ensure that Sheffielders can move around the city, and can use the footbridge without hindrance. I was therefore delighted to go along and celebrate the 7th
Birthday celebration of the footbridge with a local residents group who have been really good and active in keeping this issue alive. I am really pleased to have been able to join in the celebrations and try to ensure that this footbridge stays fully open.
Another major event this week was to go to the BIG programme, which is a way of getting more people to set up a business in Sheffield and create local jobs. I was able to go and support this initiative on Fargate as the weekend, just to celebrate some of the great entrepreneurs, ideas and small to medium sized business that we have in the City, and the contribution they make to keeping local jobs, particularly in these hard times.
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