AN international anti-terrorism conference will go ahead in Sheffield, despite fears of violent protests.
Council leaders in Sheffield confirmed representatives from the world's 'big eight' industrial nations will converge on South Yorkshire between June 15-17.
A huge armed police operation is expected to seal Sheffield city centre for the meeting to prevent a terror attack against representatives from the USA, UK, Japan, Canada, France, Germany, Italy and Russia.
The meeting had been arranged by former Home Secretary David Blunkett but was thrown in doubt by his resignation before Christmas.
Among delegates will be the man in charge of protecting the US from a repeat of the 9/11 atrocity - Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge.
Mr Blunkett chose Sheffield, where he grew up and made a name for himself in politics, in an attempt to showcase the city's progress.
Similar meetings elsewhere in the world have attracted violent disruptions from protesters. Some websites have featured postings from groups who claim to be mobilising protest for the summit.
The meeting will be the forerunner of the G8 heads of state summit being held in Gleneagles, Penrithshire, Scotland the following month.
It is Britain's turn for the presidency of the G8, which is the group of the eight most powerful nations who get together every year to set out ways of tackling the biggest problems facing the world such as terrorism, famine and climate change.
The meeting will look at international issues including counter-terrorism, migration, law enforcement, legal affairs and hi-tech crime.
The Home Office has been in negotiations with the council and other agencies for a number of months on arrangements for the meeting.
Workers at Home Office immigration offices in Pond Street have been asked if they would like to be a guide to foreign ministers during the conference. Volunteers would show delegates round the city.
24 January 2005