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Barnsley Councillors Complete 63-Mile Walk

Wednesday June 5 2013


The councillors at the start of their 63-mile walk The councillors at the start of their 63-mile walk


FOUR Barnsley councillors completed a staggering charity walk - completing their 63-mile route in just over 26 hours.

Keen walkers councillors Tom Sheard, Steve Houghton and Steve Green were joined by former Barnsley Council deputy chief executive Steve Pick on the arduous walk.

Over the past 10 years the keen walkers have raised thousands of pounds for charity and walked hundreds of miles.

The foursome tackled the 'Trail Trekker' course in the Yorkshire Dales - and raised money for Oxfam and Barnsley Hospice.

"We started off at 8am, but we didn't finish until past 10am the following morning," said Cllr Tom Sheard. 

"We had a good time but it was hard - the support crews were vital. The weather was good but clear skies meant it got frosty while we were walking through the night."

The councillors raised £1,400 for Oxfam and a similar amount will also be going to Barnsley Hospice.

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Reply Posted by Brian on Wednesday June 5 2013 at 17:44
Congratulation on your fund-raising efforts. Praiseworthy indeed. Well done.

It is just a pity that the three councillors did not keep on walking, so that they were as far away from Barnsley as possible and could not inflict further damage on the town.

Reply Posted by Andy on Tuesday June 11 2013 at 10:57
It always makes me laugh when I read stupid comments like that posted above by Brian. First I would like to congratulate my ex colleagues for their amazing efforts. In regards to Brian it is so easy to be critical you probably do not have a clue on all the external factors that influence the decisions that the council have to make. I live in a country where the residents would love to have a local council system such as you have in the UK. Anyway Brian if you want to make a difference get of your backside and do something worthwhile rather than waiting to have everything spoon fed to you. Just in case you ask what do I know about the local Barnsley decision making processes I worked within it for more than 18 years.

Reply Posted by Guesty Mcguest on Tuesday June 11 2013 at 13:05
brilliant you were so committed to the cause of barnsley, following the decisions you helped shaped, you moved away, if ever there was an example of how well BMBC is doing this is it. HA HA HA

Reply Posted by Brian on Tuesday June 11 2013 at 11:59
Andy: Firstly, it is not a stupid comment to praise the four people who did such a good job raising money for charity.

Secondly, it is my opinion that our town has been allowed to deteriorate in so many ways in recent times and no real effort has been made to attract the businesses that we desperately need in order to regenerate the local economy. This is something which our councillors and relevant senior officers have clearly failed to do. It is only by attracting large businesses or a significant number of smaller ones, who all pay decent wages and salaries, that can we hope to bring a degree of prosperity back to our town.

You make the assumption that I do not appreciate the external factors which influence the decisions made by the council. Well, I am afraid you are wrong there. Let me also tell you that I do not expect to be 'spoon fed.' I never have been and never will be.

As someone who has worked for Barnsley council for more than eighteen years you have clearly been brainwashed and are one of the many bureaucrats who have made a good living out of the people of Barnsley. In fact you like the town that much, you appear to have moved overseas!

Reply Posted by mick on Tuesday June 11 2013 at 15:57
Well said Brian !!

Reply Posted by Andy on Wednesday June 12 2013 at 04:37
Hi Brian firstly the comment I was referring to was the one you made in regards to the Councillors to keep walking. You state that no effort has been made to attract new businesses to Barnsley either large or small. Please tell me then what was all 'Rethinking Barnsley' all about.

You state that I have been 'brainwashed' and am one of the many bureaucrats who have made a living of the people of Barnsley. This definitely made me laugh. Just for your information I worked in the mining industry for 13 years. When I was made redundant I undertook voluntary work in youth centres across the borough. I returned to college then gained employment as a youth worker. I would argue that the young people of Barnsley got a good service from my colleagues and I.

Both you and Guesty mc guest make reference to me moving overseas. I could have stopped in Barnsley but was made redundant and at the age of 51 I knew it was very unlikely I would be able to find employment. Therefore, rather than rely on savings and benefits. I decided to do something about it and moved abroad where I have since found employment.

Have a good day my friends

Reply Posted by Guesty Mcguest on Wednesday June 12 2013 at 09:39
Andy you are brainwashed!!!!

What was "rethinking barnsley about?" we still don't know, was this the Halo and wall that we were told about coming up to 12 years ago? or the new market? perhaps the redevelopment of the town centre precinct (originally proposed some 15 - 20years ago?) We're still waiting.....

I believe a couple of million was blown on these plans and consultations, including some ridiculous perspex blocks.

I know you are going to mention The Digital Media Centre, Gateway Plaza and the Bus Station.

I'll give you the bus station despite the tuscan hill village theme being dropped I think its a good building, don't like the colour but all in all very good.

Gateway Plaza between half and a third empty depending on who you believe, now being propped up by loans and payments from the council who also have offices in there too, this is a private enterprise should BMBC be concerning itself with the affairs of this building?

The DMC - ah the DMC, lovely building nice architecture, a Digital Media Centre, well it would be if the building was occupied by Digital Media companies, again around a third empty and also occupied by organisations that shouldn't really be in there, Barnsley Council and BBC Radio Sheffield are not small to medium Digital Companies, also the amount of people attending employment training in that building is driving some of the businesses out of there.

Lets also look at the Civic regeneration, some beauties here,BMBC totally mismanaged the development, moved entrance to the back of the building making some areas inaccessible unless you go outside and walk around the building, the ridiculous clock that cost 30,000 to install and has since gone missing, and now BMBC trying to sue the developers for negiligence which has been thrown out as it was actually the council planners.

We do have some good stuff in Barnsley but they are generally the things BMBC don't touch, the college is excellent, one of the best in the country according to Ofsted the primary schools are getting better come excellent local businesses.

The main issue we have with BMBC is there are too many career councillors and senior management who just don't have a clue what the town needs and even less of an idea on how to make positive changes, what's more they are arrogant and ignorant to the people of Barnsley who have to live with their mistakes.

Reply Posted by stevo on Thursday June 13 2013 at 16:54
Absolutely spot on Guesty and I couldn't have wrote a better post myself.

Reply Posted by Brian on Wednesday June 12 2013 at 15:30
Andy: there is not a great deal that I can add to the comments of Guesty Mcguest above. However I would like to comment as follows:

1. I admire people who undertake voluntary work, so let me say 'well done' for your efforts in that regard.

2. You say that you were made redundant at fifty one and by your own admission you say that you knew it was unlikely that you would have been able to find employment. I agree with you on that. Although in many other towns and cities this would not have been a problem for you. However, we are talking here about Barnsley, so yes, there would have been a problem for you in finding work.

3. Solid and sustainable economic foundations are essential for the development of any urban area. I recently read in the Barnsley Chronicle that Barnsley needs to create 34,000 jobs (yes 34,000) to bring the town up to the national average. As you will know, Barnsley council employ a whole legion of staff. Pen-pushers, bureaucrats and time-servers in the main, on generous financial terms and conditions. They tend to inhibit quite palatial offices and are entitled to generous expenses. But tell me what do they actually do? How many large companies paying a decent level of remuneration has the council attracted in the last thirty years? The Council need to employ people with a completely different mindset compared to many of them who work (?) there now. They need a small number of people with entrepreneurial flair who can really sell the town to business across the world. These employees need to be well rewarded in order to entice them here. The Council cannot surely carry on like it has been doing for the last thirty years because as surely as night follows day, the town will only stagnate further. Just think what would happen to the local economy if we were just an average town and had the benefit of those extra34,000 jobs. Quite simply everyone's rate of pay would increase as the demand for labour increased. This would put more money in the pockets of most people. These people would then spend more in local shops etc. etc. and the town would boom. On the back of that, the confidence of developers would rise and we would see the town transformed. I believe that a few people in the Town Hall understand this scenario, but have no idea whatsoever how to bring it about. Local government costs all council tax payers a lot of money and it is my view that the elected members and certain senior officers are out of their depth and are falling well short of what should be expected of them.

Who knows, as an average town with those extra 34,000 jobs, there may be one suitable for you and you will then be able to return from exile.

Reply Posted by stevo on Thursday June 13 2013 at 16:55
Brian, spot on too.