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Council Announce Budget Proposals - Have Your Say!

Wednesday January 2 2013


Barnsley Town Hall Barnsley Town Hall


FINING drivers who are incorrectly using bus lanes, closing youth clubs and cutting childcare offered in children's centres across the borough are some budget cut proposals being discussed by the council.

The council is inviting locals to have their say on the changes it plans to make as part of the new budget announcements.

Savings of almost £19 million need to be made from the next annual budget and a meeting will be held on January 17 to collate resident's opinions on the proposed changes.

If you'd like to attend the meeting, you can book a place by phoning 775738 or 773416 or email communications@barnsley.gov.uk

The council has put forward a number of questions it would like locals to answer which include suggestions like charging householders for cutting overhanging trees when they do not do the work themselves; reducing number of times grass is cut in none sport areas and ending routine mainentance of allotment sites.

It is also looking at closing youth clubs and reducing opening times at others ane reducing daycare in children's centres by offering sessional care only, introducing waiting lists and reducing opening hours. 

Plans were also revealed to consider charging those who can afford to pay it more for adult social care, reducing the number of business units available and cutting the number of stops the mobile library makes. 

What do you think? Have your say in the box below.

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Reply Posted by lol on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 13:00
Can I ask why the mobile library stops opposite the library in Mapplewell?

Reply Posted by Robdought on Monday February 11 2013 at 21:32
Barnsley council for hundreds of years was representative by working class people honoured to be a Councillors to represent the people of there town for no pay. What we have now is councillors paid well above the national pay of me and you in our jobs. Perks included plus Lottery bonuses for sitting on panels etc. the point I'm making these people are doing totally opposite for what they are elected to do. They seem to think what else can we screw every decent person in our constituents from so we can line our pockets. Cut. Down on the number of councillors and perhaps when design are made with our council tax. This might reduce the Mickey Mouse schemes these lot approve and more can then be saved on salaries and court cases .

Reply Posted by joan on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 15:04
Youth clubs are their still some ours was shut years ago .we also pay £80 more a year for a parish council what we voted to get shut off years ago you're council tax hasn't gone up ours goes up more and we get less

Reply Posted by Mick on Saturday January 26 2013 at 01:28
Too true - we need to support the future generation - not blame them - we need more youth clubs- not less !!

Reply Posted by Rebecca on Sunday March 10 2013 at 09:46
Yes we need more youth clubs but you should just make us young people pay money each time we go in to go towards the money you need as half the youth clubs I go to they do it because they care about us and not because they want paying they have really made a good and big change in my life and can change more

Reply Posted by Graham on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 15:19
What youth clubs thought they had all been shut years ago our local one was.

Reply Posted by phil on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 15:56
if they fined everybody who drives too early in the bus lane at the Roundhouse they would make thousands

Reply Posted by jo-jo on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 16:05
Child care is essential for people who work, government want more people in work so how closing times been cut will help solve this ...... also care for the elderly who need it without this care we are not looking after those who have worked hard and contributed all there lives to support those who don't work only to be penalize when in need of care in old age is disgusting.....

Reply Posted by Macauley on Thursday January 10 2013 at 22:28
Couldn't agree with you more there.

Reply Posted by lesley on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 16:17
why don't they consider cutting councillors wages and expenses, stop planting hundreds of pounds worth of flower on round abouts and hanging baskets, stop unnecassary road works and all the other pointless rubbish they spend our tax money on.

Reply Posted by Alfie on Sunday January 6 2013 at 23:05
Couldn't agree more

Reply Posted by bryn on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 18:39
reduce councillors expenses, start making cuts at the top in all the unnecassary jobs the workforce at the bottom are all important unles the council leader can clean out all the drains n empty bins

Reply Posted by bryn on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 18:42
reduce councillors expence, start making cuts at the top in all the unnecassary jobs. all the workforce at the bottom are all important unless the council leader can clean out all the drains n empty bins

Reply Posted by Andy on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 18:57
cuts need to start at the top u only have to look at all the management positions in social care that are not needed their own staff say that. Council talk of changing working hours etc for staff so how the hell does it make sense to reduce the chidrens centres when more people are going to need childcare due to their changes in working hours, also alot of the centres help families that otherwise would need social work intervention. Who comes up with these suggestions. Why don't they take a pay cut, work unsociable hours for the no extra money insted of saying that everyone else should

Reply Posted by Angela ainsworth on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 20:39
Please leave the children's centres alone.....the government are pressuring parents and single mums to get back into work......children centres are a much needed resource.... The Activities and stimulation the children receive at the centres are the highlight of some of the children's day........keep them open .....give every child a good start in life..

Reply Posted by Gavin on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 20:55
How much are the council wasting on the garden round the Town Hall???

Reply Posted by Tom on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 20:57
Stop cutting the grass, then let born and bred Barnsley people seize/occupy small plots of such land for allotments or housing, if you use it as an allotment - then you pay tarn a fair rent equivalent to allotment rent relative to the size of land used. And set some appropriate land aside for plots for people to self build houses, once built then the council get council tax paid into the system.
The people get allotments and housing, so it is win-win for all.

Reply Posted by Gavin on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 21:16
Good idea but the council would need/want 200+ staff to shuffle the pointless paperwork from desk to desk to stamp, loose, copy and file they would invent to make this happen!

Reply Posted by Princess on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 21:00
If they shut the youth clubs where are kids going to go oh yeah I'm forgetting hanging around street corners causing a pain. Brilliant well done barnsley council not. I for one object of closing youth clubs

Reply Posted by Rebecca on Sunday March 10 2013 at 09:48
You took the words out of my mouth I agree so much the council is just getting stupid

Reply Posted by Rambo on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 21:07
How about this for a radical suggestion. Turn off lights in all council offices that are not needed, with the price of power these days it'll save a fortune. Stop digging up grassed areas to plant flower beds. Start fining drivers who park on pavements causing the slabs to break thus causing avoidable repair expenditure. Have a review on top earners wages and perks and take steps to make them more relevant to the role and responsibility of the job. Root out the jobs worths who come up with daft ideas to justify their jobs such as the man with the traffic light stamp. Finally my number one suggestion, do a time and motion study on the work force doing the pavements and roads. They are not all shirkers, but a large proportion of them definitely take the mickey. We know this from experience of watching them (NOT) in action. They shoud be taking tea breaks, not work breaks.

Reply Posted by Rambo on Wednesday January 2 2013 at 21:24
As a follow on to my previous comments. Stop messing about with the council website format. It is now so difficult to navigate that it's officers and other departments have become isolated from the people they are meant to be serving. By all means post news but as an example, try finding you local councillors and what they look like on the site. Nigh on impossible. Someone is getting paid for this sabotage!

Reply Posted by Charles on Thursday January 3 2013 at 19:46
Barnsley council is still seriously over-staffed. I'm sorry but more back-office paper shufflers need to go. Flexitime should be outlawed for all office-based staff as this gives rise to a considerable amount of abuse. Councillors should have their salaries and expenses reduced. Since when has being a councillor been a career choice? All remaining council staff should have their pay reduced by ten per cent (sorry-but we just cannot afford you).

How much have the council wasted on acquiring the office block at Townend? £24m (or thereabouts) I think it was. How much was wasted on the refurbishment of the Civic Hall in order to turn it in to a council tax collection point? About £19 million pounds (or thereabouts) wasted here. How much is being spent on refurbishing the town hall and and the surrounding area. I dont know the answer to this one but it will be an eye-watering amount. How long can our incompetent councillors be allowed to get away with it?

Incidentally, while just about every other council in the country are removing bus lanes, our councillors are creating new ones at great expense and inconvenience to everyone (Old Mill Lane)

If some of our councillors had dynamite for brains they would not have enough to blow their cap off!

Reply Posted by Bobster on Thursday January 3 2013 at 21:51
Peer behind the red panel fencing surrounding the old Lancaster Gate car park and wonder in amazement at how long it's taken them to only level the area. You'll also probably see several work men standing around not doing much,

Reply Posted by Gail on Monday March 11 2013 at 18:33
Firstly Barnsley Council are not seriously over staffed with all the cut backs we have had the numbers BMBC employees have been seriously reduced.

Flexitime is not something staff are given we have to work extra hours to be able to take this (which is actually our own time back) nothing extra given and sometimes this is out of hours so thus saving BMBC paying overtime rates, and taxpayers money. As for the comment all remaining council staff should have their pay reduced by ten per cent - Charlies you are having a laugh we have not had a pay rise in the last 3 years, we face uncertainy year after year whether we may have a job the cost of living is increasing and i ask myself DO YOU ACTUALLY WORK. Staff at BMBC work hard to provide a fair and honest service to members of the public often going the extra mile so please do no critise something you obviously know nothing about.

Reply Posted by Joe Paxton on Friday January 4 2013 at 07:54
Barnsley MBC should not waste money trying to run a retail park when they clearly do not have the expertise required to do it successfully. Elsecar Heritage Centre.

Reply Posted by Charles on Friday January 4 2013 at 15:54
I find it inappropriate for the council to promote the Elsecar Heritage Centre as a tourist attraction. 'Brown' signs on the M!, what is that all about? EHC is certainly not a tourist attraction, it is managed workspace providing space for small businesses.

Who had the barmy idea of creating a tourist information office there? At what cost was that developed? If you have visited the office you will have noticed the bored look on the face of the girl who works there. On a busy day she must get about half a dozen visitors and a telephone call. Close it down and save on the running costs. At the same time look out the council employee who authorised the creation of this office and dismiss them.

Reply Posted by guesty mcguest on Saturday January 5 2013 at 18:09
Oh Barnsley council asking the residents of Barnsley their opinions again, what for? they don't take a jot of notice, fingers firmly stuck in their ears singing "la la la"

Reply Posted by Hoyland Red on Sunday January 6 2013 at 20:41
Stop cutting the grass (when it's growing), stop cleaning graffiti, stop picking up litter. Instead let those doing Community Service or those people on the dole with nothing to do undertake these duties as thye have duty to put something back into the local community. Remove school crossing patrols where there is a pelican crossing present (after all how difficult it is to press a button) increase the parking fines to say £150 per penalty notice. Local Authorities will never be the same again as a result of this Coalition Government but we expect them to continue as though nothings changed. I'm afraid Barnsley Council like all the other Councils have to change and asking Councillors to reduce their expenses or the Highways Operatives to stop leaning on their shovels isn't going to make much difference but it might be a start.

Reply Posted by Jayne ogley on Sunday January 6 2013 at 21:17
Yeah brilliant idea to shut the children's centres when parents need to work. Who actually thinks this rubbish up. Leave the kids alone. Leave the youth clubs open they need somewhere to go. Never, ever take away child care from parents who want to work. Get the big guys from the top and make them take a pay cut. That will save you a pretty penny

Reply Posted by Alison on Sunday January 6 2013 at 21:20
I live in Elsecar, I'm unsure as to wether people actually vis tit the heritage or just make assumptions because a culmination of the attractions there and the ones at Elsecar park create allot of custom. The tourist attraction is the steam trains that run here, we are very lucky to be able to celebrate our areas heritage as some areas do not get this. Surely the shops and businesses down there are creating more money. I agree that the cuts proposed aren't the right ones, but why should something so dear to a community be lost.

Reply Posted by steve on Monday January 7 2013 at 08:12
I'd be interested in knowing how much the council has lost during the time the roadworks have been at the wakefield road/burton road junction.

Reply Posted by Paul on Monday January 7 2013 at 14:07
I'd shut all the children's centres if it meant we could have more memorials in the area - http://www.wearebarnsley.com/news/article/1629/miners-memorial-gets-go-ahead

Reply Posted by maire on Tuesday January 8 2013 at 06:03
there should stop free innet in there librarys and shut some of your pffice and put them all in one place

Reply Posted by maire on Tuesday January 8 2013 at 06:22
saw sorry i mean office

Reply Posted by joan on Tuesday January 8 2013 at 07:40
Cudworth council was closed so rent and rates had to be paid in Barnsley.Every time I go to see my doctor there is 3 ladies sat chatting why when no one users it are they still employed to do nothing.

Reply Posted by Guesty Mcguest on Tuesday January 8 2013 at 09:15
Just been past OML roadworks, 5 men on job, 1 using pneumatic drill 1 stood at side of him waiting to shovel asphalt, 3 stood talking and messing with their hi vis vests.

Reply Posted by Andrew Walker on Wednesday January 9 2013 at 12:54
I think Barnsley Council needs to sort itself out. The roads are getting worse, the area where I live Ben Bank Road needs redoing again, get the bloody road works done near Dodworth, it's just wasting peoples journey times to work. DONT scrap child care, dont close youth clubs, children will have nowhere to go. And get that Wakefield Road road works sorted out, it should have been done last April. Barnsley Council are sitting back and not doing anything. It's the governments fault, Barnsley still hasnt recovered from the recession. And BMBC, when you do any planning permission for any property, THINK carefully before submitting it.

Reply Posted by A council worker on Friday January 11 2013 at 12:03
I,d like to know how exactly Charles plans on saving money by scrapping flexi time? I have to sign and out and do my contracted hours each week, so how will stopping it save any money at all? Just using excuses.

Reply Posted by d h on Friday January 11 2013 at 12:04
notice they have done the town hall before bringing all this up, it dose not mater what Barnsley people want or say, the little men behind the desk have got it all done and duster, yerrrrr shut the youth clubs, them that's open were do the kids go on the streets getting into trouble then you will blame the parents , there is guides, & scouts but not everyone likes these things , shutting children's centers, now whats this all about, they tell the mothers to go to work were do the under school age go, i agree there should be a charge for computers in library's ,,

Reply Posted by Stevo on Friday January 11 2013 at 18:31
I have a radical idea,to really make a difference why not kick the Labour council out of Barnsley altogether.They have done NOTHING for this town and will continue to do NOTHING for this town.Steve Houghton sits in his ivory tower fiddling whilst Rome burns, is far too smug and grossly overpaid by at least £50k per annum.
The gravy train needs to stop now !
Scrap the mayoral vehicle, sell THE 1 and THE 2 that should get at least £200k in.
Scrap ALL councillors expenses,YOU voted them in to look after OUR interests NOT THEIRS!
Labour majority for over 50 years and will continue for years to come due to the PATHETIC populous of Barnsley voting them in year in year out.
KICK THEM OUT NOW!

Reply Posted by Aunt Hilder on Sunday January 13 2013 at 18:52
How about moving to a four day a week council for all but the most urgent of services. Close the council on a Wednesday and save a fortune. Staff employed on a 4 day contract saving 20% of the wage bill.

Reply Posted by richard on Tuesday January 15 2013 at 04:24
why have three councilors for one ward one councilor per ward cut cheif exictive salarry on more than pm sell town hall charge less bussness rates to het more companys to move here do town centre up also get people into town but we get what we ask for by voting labour in they think they are untouchable as in barnsley we would vote a monkey in if it wears red

Reply Posted by Guesty Mcguest on Thursday January 17 2013 at 09:10
Seen a lot of new upper tier jobs on the council website today this one for a senior marketing role is circa 70k per year http://www.barnsleyfutures.com/job/senior-marketing-manager-at-barnsley-mbc-in-barnsley.2492

How can BMBC justify the wages they are paying, its not even inline with private sector and includes a whole whack of perks.

Reply Posted by Dave on Friday January 18 2013 at 19:48


Councillors' state-funded pensions MUST END Councillors should not be treated like salaried officials.

The government has announced a consultation on ending state-funded pensions for councillors.

Local government minister Brandon Lewis has said the entire public sector needed "to do its bit" to pay off the deficit.

More than 4,000 councillors around the UK are thought to have joined the local government pension scheme.

The government estimates that changing the system could save £7m a year, but Mr Lewis has praised the "unsung and ongoing" work done by councillors.

They were allowed to join the scheme in 2003 by the then Labour administration.

'Corrosive'

In a written ministerial statement, Mr Lewis said it was thought 4,548 councillors had taken up the offer by 2010-11.

However, he argued that there had never been "robust public scrutiny" of the scheme's operation, since they were first allowed to join in 2003.

Mr Lewis said: "Ministers in this government take a fundamentally different view to the last administration. We do not believe that taxpayer-funded pensions are justified. Councillors are volunteers undertaking public service; they are not and should not be employees of the council dependent on the municipal payroll.

Start Quote
We do not believe that an occupational pension scheme intended for employees, and paid for by taxpayers, is an appropriate vehicle for councillors”
End Quote
Brandon Lewis

Local government minister

"They are not professional, full-time politicians, nor should they be encouraged to become so."

Councillors do not receive a salary, but they get allowances for the expenses they incur.

Mr Lewis said these had "slowly become a form of salary, a situation worsened by the state-funded pensions. This is a corrosive influence on local democracy and independent thought, blurring the distinction between council staff and councillors.

"Every bit of the public sector need to do its bit to help pay off the deficit inherited from the last administration. Local government grants are being reduced.

"Ministers have cut and then frozen their salaries. Public sector pensions, including Parliamentary pensions, are being reformed to reduce the burden on taxpayers. It is only right that councillors do their bit as well.

"We do not believe that an occupational pension scheme intended for employees, and paid for by taxpayers, is an appropriate vehicle for councillors."

Mr Lewis said councillors should be denied access to the scheme from April 2014. Those already in it would have the pensions accrued up to this date protected, but would not be able to gather any more benefits after that date.

He added: "As a former councillor myself, I would like to pay tribute to their often unsung and ongoing work in standing up by their local residents. We hope these reforms will further strengthen the integrity and independence of councillors and increase the respect within their communities for the voluntary work they undertake as champions of the people."

He also said: "We do not believe it will have any detrimental effect on people choosing to become councillors. The best thing we can do to encourage more people to take part in municipal public life is to decentralise power to local communities so being a councillor is a meaningful and rewarding role."

A consultation on the situation in England was promised "in due course". It is a devolved issue in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales

Reply Posted by Ann on Sunday February 10 2013 at 21:50
Noticed the short stay car park at side of town hall has gone to make way for someone's pet project of fountains. Under freedom of information can barnsley chronicle find out how much this is to cost?

Reply Posted by Aunt Hilder on Monday February 11 2013 at 20:06
Yes, but you have to ask by writing yo yhr council. Just address it to the Chief Executive.

By the way, did you notice the name of the fountains in the Chronicle? Houghton's Fountain. Brilliant.

Reply Posted by Jack on Friday February 15 2013 at 06:48
Heard that some councillors unhappy at fountains next to town hall. Two million quid cost and losing eighty grand a year from car park that's been replaced!

Reply Posted by rainbow on Monday February 25 2013 at 17:03
Now the old town hall is to become a museum I would suggest moving exhibits from the Cooper gallery and Cannon Hall into the new site and selling these two surplus venues off. Cannon Hall would be ideal for a golf club or hotel complex and would provide millions pounds into the treasury.??

Reply Posted by Zanzibar Quest on Saturday March 2 2013 at 22:23
Good grief! I've had my identity stolen by a polak! What a rotter! If you ask me, we should rebuild the berlin wall!

Reply Posted by Concerned on Saturday March 2 2013 at 23:28
Close youth clubs. ..how short sited this council is for every £1 spent on youth services saves £10 on youth justice. Can we afford this? What will happen to the buildings? Volunteers wont run them for sure...try getting volunteers to do anything in the community is like trying to nail jelly to a ceiling!!!

Shut the youth clubs yes and watch the crime rate sour, teenage pregnancy...Under age drinking and drug taking rocket...lets remove any lasting hope for our young people Barnsley is brill:-(

Reply Posted by willtheylisten on Wednesday March 6 2013 at 19:41
whole heartedly agree with comments about cutting youth services/ spending on fountain garden- and then huge amount of spending at other end of the spevtrum-
why are they taking away the warden services from old peoples complexes- know a few old folks who are finding this really distressing as are their relatives.Yet another case of very short sightedness.

Reply Posted by another concern on Wednesday March 6 2013 at 19:44
glad someone else is concerned about the withdrawal of warden services- lifeline gor many old folk- and even the wardens themselves aren't aware of what is going to happen or when. Disgrace councillors- don't forget you may be old one day-!!!!!!!!

Reply Posted by billy on Saturday March 9 2013 at 21:31
Empty the bins monthly, open schools only 4 days a week, make everyone sweep their own road, school children to mow school fields, all council workers that are not public facing to work from home in their extra bedroom so council offices can be shut and sold off. Parents to cook school dinners and deliver them daily, kids to tidy up and wash own pots, only one dinner lady per school. Barnsley council to be run by 4 people, a boss, a looker, a PR man and one worker. All councillors to be virtual computer game characters. No tea and biscuits at meetings, no tea lady. Firemen to provide own ladders. Policemen and crooks on bikes only, well its got to be fair. Traffic wardens to double up as pest control officers. Swimming baths to be closed and canals used. Gyms to be closed and customers to weightlift heavy rocks to fill pot holes.Dog wardens to double up as lollypop men. Apart from that welcome to Barnsley!

Reply Posted by Mappman on Sunday March 10 2013 at 16:33
The best way Barnsley tax payers could save OUR money is to vote this Labour council out next time round they don't have to do anything for us Barnsley people because they know they will be voted back in year after year so why should they help us.

Reply Posted by Dawn on Monday April 1 2013 at 18:10
These Labour councillors know Barnsley is a safe seat. That's why they get away with murder. Wake up and smell the coffee Barnsley and vote them out!

Reply Posted by maureen charlesworth on Thursday May 21 2015 at 08:17
Seems like years since we saw posters with Dan Jarvis sticking up for Barnsley people....same old....same old