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News


'Big Conversation' Meetings Held This Week

Monday September 10 2012


Steve Houghton Steve Houghton


BARNSLEY COUNCIL is hosting a series of meetings this week to ask locals how the council should cut £37 million from it's budget.

The Big Barnsley Conversation will be piloted in a number of areas with a view to extending it to the whole borough in the future.

About £30m has been saved over the last two financial years but town hall finance chiefs need to slash another £37m over the next four years.

The council has warned it will no longer be able to offer all the services people have received and got used to.

Coun Houghton said: “We need a big conversation because we’re dealing with a big challenge and we hope this week will give us an insight into how we can make this happen."

The meetings are being held this week: 

Monday, 10 to Friday, 14 September at:
Pod Two, May Day Green, Barnsley, 10am to 4pm

Barnsley Central Library, Shambles Street, 10am to 4pm

Barnsley Interchange, Midland Street, 10am to 4pm.

Tuesday 11 September at:

Co-op, Wakefield Road, Athersley, 10am to 12noon

Asda, Thurnscoe, Welfare Rodd, 10am to 12noon

Asda Goldthorpe, High Street, 10am to 12 noon

Thursday 13 September at:

Dearne Electronic Community Village, 10am to 12noon

Penistone Market, 10am to 12noon

St Andrews Square, Bolton on Dearne 10am to 12noon

St Helens Church, Laithes Lane, 10am to 12noon

Penistone Library, High Street, 1pm to 4pm

Friday 14 September at:

Richard Newman Primary School, 9am to 11am

Goldthorpe Library, Barnsley Road, 10am to 12noon

22 Showing 22 comments

Reply Posted by Helen Sellars on Tuesday August 28 2012 at 18:34
Stop producing a glossy magazine informing residents of how Barnsley council are planning to save money! Would people rather have their dustbins emptied or a piece of junk mail? Hmmmm!

Reply Posted by Melanie Wilson on Wednesday August 29 2012 at 09:02
Stop spending on flowers to give to council officials and get rid of the big car as the petrol costs must be huge stop some of the dinners that are arranged .you are asking us to have cut backs but you never see the council cut back ,also what is happening to all the money that we pay in tax that religiously goes up every year

Reply Posted by kal on Thursday August 30 2012 at 20:54
start in the council wage cuts expenses cuts sell the mayors private number plates get the shops tennanted in barnsley even if they charge half rent prices for 12 months or 2 yrs its better than it becoming a ghost town lower buisness rates to encourage growth ???? the one thing i dont like is £37.000000 has to be saved and the ppl of barnslys poll tax goes up and you pay more for less services

Reply Posted by jan on Thursday August 30 2012 at 21:06
try saving money by getting rid of the mayors cars for 1, reduce wages for the so called "big wigs" within the council, reduce the amount of expenses that are payed to councillors, after all its us the folks of barnsley that pay our money to the council to receive the benefits of grass cutters, libraries, swimming baths so why should we loose out on what we pay for

Reply Posted by kal on Thursday August 30 2012 at 21:07
can any one name a Councillor is actually worth paying 1400.00 a week thats what the Counciller who was convicted of fraud was getting plus expenses ive not met 1 councillor who really cared about the ppl more than lineing there own pockets with dodgy deals and greasing palms

Reply Posted by inmyopinion on Friday August 31 2012 at 07:45
stop taking people to court for late poll tax and go and catch those who are not paying.

Reply Posted by sharon on Friday September 14 2012 at 22:11
inmyopinon i agree with you it shouldnt matter when you pay the council tax as long has it gets paid and besides the council get paid far too much money.

Reply Posted by robbed on Sunday September 2 2012 at 19:14
they'll never stop doing that inmyopinion they make too much money. i was fined £70 for ignoring a final reminder that i never got. by the way my outstanding balance at the time was £1.79,which i genuinely thought i had payed. i imagine they get quite a lot of these £70 from people because like myself i pay my council tax and this was a genuine oversite. the ones that dont pay arnt going to pay the fines either

Reply Posted by dave on Monday September 3 2012 at 10:51
Get all departments to cut down on postage, it was common practice for my wife to receive three or more letters from social services on the same day from the same office.

Reply Posted by king louis on Tuesday September 4 2012 at 09:12
whatever savings are made then next year the LibCon government will demand more cuts..until the year before election and they will spend some of that savings to give us more hoping to buy the next term election. Meanwhile we squabble about how much we don't need...and how much we can do without! They win on both counts....

Reply Posted by Robert on Tuesday September 4 2012 at 12:45
Ref to KAL. You sincerely have no idea! The guy convicted of fraud was actually an MP. The £1400 you suggest is for probably an MP. I know not of ANY councillor who gets that. Now before you jump on your high horse, Stephen Houghton is the leader of the council. This guy puts in more hours than anyone I know and is a very passionate person indeed with Barnsley. Sometimes we do not agree on issues and sometimes, I grind ginger at decisions, but on the whole, Mr Houghton cares! As for the councillors, YOU VOTED THEM IN. If you want them out, then DO NOT VOTE FOR THEM. I wonder if you have ever voted? Why not YOU try and gain votes? You never know, you might win and become a saviour of Barnsley ~ we need some more faces, more ideas... NOT SLAGGING PEOPLE OFF WHO ARE TRYING TO SAVE OUR GREAT TOWN.

Reply Posted by E on Saturday September 15 2012 at 18:51
Yes I do vote and to be quite honest they don't have a clue, they get their money and laugh all the way to the bank

Reply Posted by andy on Tuesday September 4 2012 at 14:01
the top bosses who sit upstairs reduce they wages to help out council funding because in the end they would not miss it gone to a good course helping councilout towards they funding

Reply Posted by A Parent on Tuesday September 4 2012 at 14:14
Rather than cutting back on front line services, look at the cost of the 'behind the scenes' council systems. There have been services that have been restructured in the downsizing operations that are still using separate systems which cost a lot of money. If you integrate the systems, or migrate the information from one system to another, you only have to pay one set of administrators and one set of support costs, it's a 'no brainer' but you're too busy focussing on cutting back the front line workers because that's much easier to do than have to think about anything more complicated like systems integration. Also, stop buying new systems when you already have systems that can be expanded to other areas. Also, stop printing out loads of paper for council meetings, and for everyday work. Get with the times and use electronic documents wherever possible. Here's an idea! Get Councillors to use everyday equipment like an iPad to access all their information for meetings instead of printing out reams and reams of paper, destroying trees, costing on printing materials, not to mention the postage costs and the staff employed to stand for hours at a photocopier, I bet the cost of one iPad would be more than covered by just half of the amount of paper it would reduce in one year AND it's better for our environment. Again - it's too hard isn't it to get Councillors to do something that's more complicated than waiting for a set of papers to arrive!

Reply Posted by greenginger on Tuesday September 4 2012 at 18:05
I agree with the above. The council needs to slim down and cut down on paperwork, pointless meetings with extras. Not buy new electric cars. Not build statues or spend money on interchange (again) or town hall or markets but sort out the town centre shops. Do not encourage more pubs. Do not buy ipads but tell councillors to get their own and make them use them instead of memos. No more silly big projects. etc etc etc

Reply Posted by milly on Wednesday September 5 2012 at 12:14
Cut Backs?....so...I am having a new heating system in my property, (the old one was over 30 year old), work started monday morning....8 o clock, one van pulls up with a gas fitter in...then 5 mins later another van pulls up with another gas fitter in....then another van pulls up with an electrician in...so we have three vans 3 workmen at one address...surely they could van share...then the wagon with the skip pulls up and delivered a small skip...and then not 10 mins sfter this another skip wagon delivers to the house just across the road the same size skip so we now have two half filled skips on the same street...its not rocket science is it...and then they have been and erected scaffolding to the front of the BUNGALOW....to which the workmen havent used because of a re positioning of the boiler..which could have been re arranged before the wagon with two men and a pile of scaffolding set off...and yesterday the young lads that were on the job informed me that they would be back in the morning (today) to brick up the necassary holes......they turn up this morning and after 10 mins they trip off...yep you guessed it for some bricks....why not bring them in the first place...my god its just common sense they need in their planning works office....Cut Backs?...not in this instance there aint!!!!!

Reply Posted by LEE on Monday September 10 2012 at 18:38
Totally agree there is too many instances where workers seem to turn up to a job then have a cuppa then wait think about the job then another and another turn up till you have multiple vans outside a property that one engineer should be able to do on there own.
Just go to any wholesaler or merchants around 9am and you will find council vans in every one, all having cups of tea either killing time or waiting for order numbers to be phoned in. There's no forward thinking at all when it comes to installations or day to day maintenance works at all and no one checking up on them who cares enough to do something about it.

I think they should use Barnsley companies who pride themselves on there workmanship and have been around long enough to back up that reputation as they could cut costs by completing work there and then. But unfortunately due to the poor way the council pay there arnt many I suspect who will do it due to having to wait 120 days + and constantly chase the council for payment.

Reply Posted by Michael O'Roarke on Monday September 10 2012 at 07:40
The figures we have at the present time do no add up, after esentail services , it is not possibe to save £30million plus , and operate services even at minnium level, I am a very concerned resident. I think most people need t0 wake up to the reality of these cuts !!!!!
Do not blame the local council !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply Posted by common sense on Monday September 10 2012 at 15:43
How can we the public have any say in what to cut back on when we don't know what is spent on what.The whole scheme is a load of tosh, if this is "the big society" in action were all doomed,doomed! a tells thi.

Reply Posted by Bev on Tuesday September 11 2012 at 20:18
Get rid of Steve Houghton, just keep the Cheif Executive, why do we need a leader and a chief executive, surely the CE has advisors in place to help them out.

Reply Posted by Lee on Wednesday September 12 2012 at 07:24
To Milly and lee.
The reason you get few vans turning up to one job an especially a central heating system is because every engineer has got a van stock for his own individual van. If 2 gas engineers and 1 electrician turn up in the same van what happens if one of them needs to attend to a emergency do they take the van and then leave the other workers without materials ? You get that happening on very few jobs were few different vans turn up. And as for the skips of it is different waste going in them then we get charged more for them to separate it so it is cheaper to get two different skips,the people you see having cups of tea are entitled to a breaks throughout the day.

Reply Posted by E on Saturday September 15 2012 at 19:00
Stop taking projects on that you can not. complete like the bypass on Burton Road that causes many tailbacks and causes many people to be late for work do your homework first and get it sorted,. If councillors didn't take as higher wages like they expect normal working people to take cuts in their salaries ie council staff then there would be more money to spend on their stupid projects and their expences are ridiculous !!!! How can they justify claiming expenses that are more than an average working mans wage betters belef

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