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RAIL passengers will be facing disruptions this afternoon.

Passengers traveling between Sheffield and Barnsley will have to wait until at least 3.45pm for a train from Sheffield to Barnsley as the 3.18pm and 3.35pm services have been cancelled.

For further information on the next available train, visit the National Rail website for live updates.

Please help our Animal Crackers Campaign!

WE'VE received several Animal Crackers donations so far but you only have until Friday to help us make christmas for our furry friends...


Not sure what Animal Crackers is? Here’s what we’re doing...


We want to collect food, toys and accessories for the animals that need them the most - and we’ll be splitting the donations between local animal charities who work tirelessly to provide care to our furry friends.


Our chosen charities this year are as follows:


  • Barnsley and District Animal Welfare
  • Barnsley RSPCA
  • Royston Animal Welfare
  • Barnsley Animal Rescue Charity
  • RADAR Dog Rescue
  • Willow Dog Rescue


We’ve teamed up with local businesses to act as drop-off points, where you can leave your donations for our furry friends.


All you have to do is take your donation into the drop off point and we’ll do the rest.


The drop-off points are as follows:


  • Barnsley Chronicle Front Counter, 47 Church Street, S70 2AS
  • Mapplewell and Staincross Village Hall, Darton Lane, S75 6AL
  • Walkers Newsagents, High Street, Hoyland, S36 6BZ
  • Andy’s News, Barnsley Road, Goldthorpe, S74 9AB
  • Cookes Pet Supplies, Wakefield Road, Barnsley, S72 8JN
  • Co-op, Barnsley Rd, Cudworth, Barnsley S72 8JJ
  • Budgens, Pogmoor Road, S75 2EE
  • Budgens, Barnsley Road, Dodworth, S75 3JR


We are after the following:


  • Toys
  • Leads
  • Coats
  • Collars
  • Treats
  • Food
  • New Blankets
  • New Throws
  • New Beds


(Please note charities cannot accepts Duvets)


We’ve been running the campaign for the last three years and we’ve donated thousands of pounds worth of goodies. We want to beat what we collected last year and do even more this year.

Let’s show Barnsley’s animals how much we care!


We will be collecting donations until Friday December 20

Labour holds Barnsley Central and Barnsley East

BOTH Barnsley Central and Barnsley East have been retained by Labour's Dan Jarvis and Stephanie Peacock. 

However on a bad night for Labour nationally, their majorities have been significantly reduced. 

Dan Jarvis's majority has been slashed by almost 12,000 to 3,571, having been 15,546 at the last election. 

Stephanie Peacock lost more than 10,000 voters since the last election, with a majority of 3,217. It had been 13,283.  

Penistone and Stocksbridge may well be among one of dozens of Labour seats which are expected to be lost to the governing Conservative party. 

Nationally, exit poll information predicts a sizeable Conservative majority, with the Labour Party losing as many as 71 of the seats it won in 2017. 

Mr Jarvis said: “I’m proud to have been re-elected. Clearly it’s been a difficult night for the Labour Party and we’re still processing the scale of the defeat but I am delighted that I’ve been re-elected along with Stephanie Peacock. 

“This is a campaign the likes of which we have not seen before. 

“It has been fought through the winter months, it has been fought predominantly on the issue of Brexit which has been a very challenging issue for the Labour Party and Barnsley where people voted overwhelmingly for leave. 

“I’m delighted I’ve been re-elected and I look forward to serving my constituency in this next parliament.”

Stephanie Peacock said: "Too many people have told me they feel ignored, forgotten and abandoned. 

"Rest assured, I have heard you all. It is not a good night for my party. The Labour Party was formed to fight for working people and I will now do everything I can to make sure it returns to doing just that. 

"I will continue to stand up and fight in Westminster where I will always put Barnsley East first."


Dan Jarvis, Labour, 14,804 - 40.1%
Victoria Felton, Brexit Party, 11,233 - 30.4% 
Iftikhar Ahmed, Conservative, 7,892 - 21.4% 
Will Sapwell, Liberal Democrat, 1,176 - 3.2% 
Tom Heyes, Green, 900 - 2.4% 
Ryan Williams, Yorkshire Party, 710 - 1.9% 
Donald Wood, independent, 188 - 0.5%

Stephanie Peacock, Labour, 14,329 - 37.6%
Jim Ferguson, Brexit Party, 11,112 - 29.2%
Adam Fenton, Conservative, 10,377 - 27.3%
Sophie Thornton, Liberal Democrat, 1,330 - 3.5%
Richard Trotman, Green, 922 - 2.4%

John Booker, Brexit Party, 
Miriam Cates, Conservative, 
Francyne Johnson, Labour, 
Hannah Kitching, Liberal Democrat, 

Emily Barley, Conservative, 
David Bettney, Social Democratic Party, 
Lucy Brown, Yorkshire Party, 
Stephen Cavell, Brexit Party, 
John Healey, Labour, 
Janice Middleton, Liberal Democrat,

Turnout figures were 56 per cent for Barnsley Central and for 55 per cent for Barnsley East.

Man guilty of gift set theft
A MAN who attempted to steal four gift sets from Boots in Barnsley town centre has been given a community order.
Neil Davies, of Princess Street, Barnsley, was caught on November 18 with the items worth £193.
The 35-year-old, whose order includes a 15-day rehabilitation requirement, was also told to pay a surcharge of £92 and court costs of £85.
Items seized following car search
DRUGS and a knife were seized after police stopped a car close to a secondary school.
On Wednesday, police spotted a car on Dove Valley Way on an access road to Netherwood Academy.
Three men were in the car and it was searched under the misuse of drugs act as the smell of cannabis was detected.
Police found a knife, an extendable baton and cannabis was found in the vehicle.
The driver, a 22-year-old man, has been reported on summons for possessing a bladed article, offensive weapon and possession of cannabis. A 19-year-old man was cautioned for possession of cannabis.


Shaun goes silver with record
BARNSLEY actor Shaun Dooley is celebrating after receiving the news that his charity album has gone silver. 
More than 60,000 copies of the album Got It Covered have been sold since the album went on sale in November. The album features a selection of covers from celebrities including Luke Evans, Olivia Colman and Suranne Jones who all picked a song that is meaningful to them. 
The album was recorded in the famous Abbey Road Studios in London and Shaun was even visited by Taylor Swift while he was recording his cover of her song Never Grow Up. 
On its release, Got It Covered shot to the top of the charts before being moved to the Official Compilation Chart where it currently occupies position 17, and Shaun has since released his song as a single which is currently vying for the position of Christmas number one. 
The accolades keep coming as it was announced that the album has achieved a silver record with all proceeds from sales going to Children in Need.
Upcoming Events
Breakfast With Santa

Enjoy a fully hearty breakfast from our vast buffet selection and then let the children meet Santa in our magical Grotto. All children will receive a gift from Santa.

More Info

Dancing Through The Decades

Your evening includes a delicious three course meal, before joining our resident DJ who will take you into the early hours with non-stop hits to dance the night away.

More Info

Father Christmas visits Cannon Hall Museum

Sat 7/8/14/15/21/22 December

11am - 4pm (See Eventbrite for various timeslots)

£9.95 per child | Due to limited space in the room we ask that a maximum of 2 adults accompany each child

A very important guest will be making an appearance in December to meet and talk to children in Cannon Hall’s beautiful festive and traditionally decorated rooms. Experience a Victorian childhood at Christmas time before sitting down one on one to discuss your wish list for Christmas Day and receive an special gift from the magical man himself.

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RSPCA Cat Rehoming
Bracken and Rowan (F/M 9 weeks)

9 week old siblings Bramble and Fern were brought in by RSPCA Inspectors having been found in a garden at only 4 weeks old along with their mum who was unable to feed them - on examination mum was found to have a nasty wound (thought to have been caused by wire netting) which was infected -  leaving her without milk.

The kittens were then hand-reared by one of our amazing fosterers and are now ready to find their forever home together.

Very affectionate kittens who play together constantly and then fall asleep on your lap !!

Mum cat has made a full recovery and is now much loved in her new home.

Bramble and Fern (F 9 weeks)

9 week old sisters Bramble and Fern were brought in by RSPCA Inspectors having been found in a garden at only 4 weeks old along with their mum who was unable to feed them - on examination mum was found to have a nasty wound (thought to have been caused by wire netting) which was infected -  leaving her without milk.

The kittens were then hand-reared by one of our amazing fosterers and are now ready to find their forever home together.

Very affectionate kittens who play together constantly and then fall asleep on your lap !!

Mum cat has made a full recovery and is now much loved in her new home.

This sweet little kitten is only about 9 weeks old but  was brought in by RSPCA Inspectors having been found in a cardboard box on the roadside - a really cruel
and heartless thing to do and obviously dangerous so we are grateful to the member of the public who alerted us to her plight.
She was very skinny and dirty but has now had several baths and a complete overhaul by the vets and is a ready to look for her forever home.
She has been a complete sweetie never complaining about all her her soapy baths and is now looking really gorgeous and is full of purrs!
Kitkat has had an awful start to her young life but is a very gentle kitten.
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Community rallies round John
AN ELDERLY anti-crime campaigner who was left at his ‘lowest’ after a car crash has been touched by the community’s support in getting him back behind the wheel.
John Hallows was driving his seven-year-old Kia Picanto near his home when what he described as ‘four youths’ driving a suspected stolen car on the wrong side of the road ploughed into him, leaving the car ‘totally destroyed’. 
John, 82, of Riber Avenue, Athersley South, has worked tirelessly to drive down burglary and crime for nearly 40 years as Barnsley’s Neighbourhood Watch chairman. 
“I was very shook up,” he said. 
“I was driving at approximately 15 to 20 miles per hour slowing down for the junction on Wingfield Road.
“Then, a car came around the corner on the wrong side and crashed into me, wrote-off my car and ran away.” 
Despite the shock and personal loss of his car, long-serving community activist John’s concerns immediately turned to the voluntary work he does and how the loss of his car and independence would affect it. 
“I was without a car and no longer able to continue on with everything I do,” he said. 
“To say I was at the lowest I have ever been would be an understatement.
“I thought it was the end of the world for me at 82.”
John lives alone as his family lives in Brighton, so he was worried how he was going to cope without a car.
But soon after the crash, John’s neighbours and friends began rallying around him to help support John, who feared he would never drive again. 
They helped him move his stricken car – and even helped him get another one.
“Residents came out after the incident and helped the police with information, they emptied my car and took me home.
“Since then, lots of other people further up my street who I had never met have been to see if they could help in any way.”
Some of John’s friends even helped him financially in the process of getting him back on the road. 
“One of my friends gave me £300 towards getting a new car after I thought I’d had my independence taken away. I was blown away.
“Then another friend took me to Grimethorpe to get a new car.” 
Coun Jenny Platts, who has seen John’s work first-hand, said she was really disappointed to hear about the crash. 
“John doesn’t just work around Athersley, he works across Barnsley and the borough with Neighbourhood Watch,” she said. 
“John fits safety cameras around the area, attends and leads crime meetings, and if anyone has a problem, he’s always there to help.
“He is highly committed to helping people and is a fantastic person.”
John cannot get over the generosity and support he has had. It has helped him quickly organise a new car which he will receive today at a cost of £1,700. 
“I have spoken with the police who are pursuing the issue further. I do hope those who did this to my car are rightly punished.”
A spokesman from South Yorkshire Police, said: “Two cars are reported to have collided, blocking the road. 
“The occupants of one of the vehicles fled the scene.
“On attending the scene, police established that the abandoned vehicle had recently been reported as stolen.
“No injuries have been reported and enquiries are underway.”
Now, John is looking ahead to getting on the roads again.
“The support I received has once again given me a belief in human nature and I now have a smile on my face,” he said.
“Thanks to my friends and the community, I get a fresh car at the end of the week and will be back in action and able to get around.
“It reminds me of when I was very young during the war, and how everyone pulled together and helped each other. Long may that spirit last.” 
  • If anyone has any information, please call 101 quoting incident number 463 of November 23.


‘Town centre spice battle is being won’
POLICE in Barnsley have revealed that drug abuse relating to a former legal high known as spice is reducing – but confirmed that more proactive work will be done to tackle an issue that’s blighted the town centre in recent years.
Spice, a synthetic cannabinoid available for as little as £2, which takes effect within five to ten minutes and lasts for up to five hours, leaves users either collapsed on pavements or in a zombie-like upright position.
The drug was re-designated as a Class B substance and although people who are found with the drug on them can be arrested for possession, users often ingest quickly.
According to police figures, just 20 incidents of spice abuse were reported in Barnsley town centre in 2017, something which grew to 136 last year.
A police report said: “There has been little change in the nature of the drugs market over the last few years, with the exception of synthetic cannabinoids, more commonly known as spice.
“Barnsley has seen the use of spice reduced, although further analysis needs to be undertaken in relation to the reasons for this.
“In the last year, 82 per cent of organised crime members were linked to drug-related activity including the supply, cultivation and importation.
“In 2018 there was a ten per cent increase in arrests for drug-related offences on the previous year’s figures, which is a result of proactive policing and increased detection rates, leading to prosecutions.”
Increased stop and searches, as well as a public space protection order (PSPO) which prevents abusers from entering the town centre have been hailed as a success.
The 21-month prison term given to a ‘key spice distributor’ – 27-year-old Timothy Wood – in May has also had a knock-on effect on reports, according to police.
South Yorkshire Police received 1,174 calls from members of the public in the town last year expressing concerns for people believed to have taken spice in the public realm and, in 80 per cent of those cases, an ambulance was required to attend.
Sergeant Matt Wood, from the town centre-based policing team, told the Chronicle: “Spice has been easy to get hold of and it’s cheap. Cocaine habits can cost hundreds of pounds a day but spice is obviously a lot less.
“The town centre’s PSPO does help to move users on, something which we’ve seen recently, but it doesn’t assist us with tackling the suppliers.
“It’s one of our key priorities and we will continue to work towards stopping the distribution of spice. Stop and searches and the targeting of dealers will continue in order to make Barnsley town centre safer for everyone.”
Meetings have also taken place with Barnsley Council officers responsible for the commissioning of substance misuse services, while a councillors’ scrutiny panel recommended that the borough’s schools deliver more health education classes – with an emphasis on spice – which are set to come into force from September 2020.
A council spokesperson added: “As part of its work programme, the overview and scrutiny committee agreed to undertake a task and finish group investigation into substance misuse in Barnsley.
“Given the heightened profile of substance misuse both locally and nationally, the committee felt it was an opportune time to undertake work in this area.
“While we recognise the importance of substance misuse prevention work being delivered in schools it should be noted that as a council we have no direct control over how schools choose to deliver the personal, social, health and economic (PSHE) curriculum.
“However, we are working with school leaders to influence the content of the curriculum through a PSHE network.
“The officer leading on this piece of work will continue to work in partnership with the Barnsley Schools Alliance and other key partners to highlight the importance of substance misuse prevention and education and will feedback progress as this work develops.”
  • To report antisocial behaviour or crime, call 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also report incidents by emailing safer@barnsley.gov.uk.
Dawn’s hard work is recognised at awards
A MUM whose daughter died of a rare condition days before her tenth birthday has been honoured for her tireless fundraising for Bluebell Wood.
Dawn Cusworth, 46, was recognised at the Stars of Hoyland awards after helping raise more than £19,000 for the place she spent her last moments with daughter Mia.
Mia, described by her mum as a ‘really happy girl who was always singing and dancing’, was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in 2018, and died eight days later.
“When Mia started feeling poorly we thought it was just a virus, but she just kept getting worse,” said Dawn, of Wood View Birdwell.
“She wasn’t eating or drinking, and spent more of her time asleep.
“At the start of her treatment, we had to make so many decisions. I had to explain to Mia that she would lose her long, beautiful blonde hair.
“The doctors also told us the treatment could make her infertile, but we knew that because HLH was so aggressive, this could be her only chance.”
Mia’s condition rapidly deteriorated until there was nothing more doctors could do. She died at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, and it was the Dawn that made the decision to take Mia to Bluebell Wood.
“The care team couldn’t do enough for us when we arrived,” said Dawn.
“We spent what would have been Mia’s tenth birthday at the hospice and it helped being there with all our friends and family around us.”
Over the past year, Dawn has thrown herself into fundraising, organising a winter fair at Mia’s school, taking on Bluebell Wood’s Mud Madness race and holding a charity ball in her daughter’s name.
Now Dawn has been honoured at the recent Stars of Hoyland awards, taking home Charity Fundraiser of the Year.
“In just eight days, everything changed so rapidly for Mia, and our whole family,” said Dawn.
“Staying at the hospice after she passed away was so important for all of us. The support they offered was priceless, so I just want to raise as much money as I can for this incredible charity.”
Anna Gott, community fundraiser at Bluebell Wood, said: “Dawn is nothing short of inspirational and we know that Mia would be incredibly proud of all she’s done.
“She is a star in every sense of the word and we’re incredibly pleased she’s been honoured by her own community.”
Deported woman’s story to be told…
THE story of a Barnsley woman who spent almost two years in a New Zealand jail having defrauded the country’s transport ministry has been turned into a documentary.
Joanne Harrison, 53, was deported to the UK earlier this year having served half of her 43-month prison sentence given to her for stealing 725,000 dollars – the equivalent of £418,000.
At  the time Manukau District Court was told Harrison, whose maiden name was Sidebottom and is believed to have attended Darton High School, was employed as a general manager at the ministry in Wellington and was authorised to spend public funds.
However, over the course of two years Harrison – also known as Joanne Sharp – made false invoices to three fake entities to misappropriate the money into her own accounts from 2008.
She then used the money to pay off credit card debts and a mortgage on a house.
Her story has been turned into a 43-minute documentary in New Zealand – titled The Fraudster: Life and Crimes of a Conwoman – made by production firm Stuff Circuit.
Investigators uncovered more facts about Harrison, who previously pleaded guilty to five charges of forgery, using a forged document, altering a document, using an altered document and obtaining by deception in 2007 under the name of Joanne Sharp.
A spokesman from Stuff Circuit told the Chronicle: “The charges related to her time as a senior manager at Tower Insurance – she was convicted in July 2007 of all the charges, and sentenced to 300 hours’ community service.
“At a subsequent hearing she was granted permanent name suppression, because of the order in place for Joanne Sharp, her previous fraud offending has not been revealed until now.”
Stuff Circuit pursued legal action in order to lift the order – which was a success – and the documentary tells the story of how the Barnsley woman was able to ‘trick’ her way into another high-paid role under the surname of Harrison, which it’s understood she still uses.
“The judge accepted our submissions that ‘the subsequent offending establishes a propensity or pattern of dishonest behaviour that the public is entitled to be informed and warned about’ and that there is ‘a heightened public interest in knowing how repeat offenders are dealt with, and in particular how it is possible that a convicted fraudster came to be employed by a government department, in a position which allowed her to reoffend’. Harrison charmed her way through corporate and government jobs, leaving a trail of carnage. 
“She duped senior executives who have been left shaking their heads at the fact they’d been taken in.”
The country’s parole board approved Harrison’s deportation earlier this year and a report revealed she had been undertaking neuropsychological work to address faulty thinking ahead of her release.
It added: “Ms Harrison does not underestimate the challenges that she will face when she returns to the community. However, she sees herself as now being in the strongest position possible to return to the UK and to begin a new life for herself.
“We talked to Ms Harrison about the risks that she will face back in the UK and her ongoing risk to the community. 
“She said that initially she will be supported financially and she plans to investigate re-training in the nutritionist or mindfulness field.
“She said she has never offended in a fraudulent way in the UK and has no convictions there. She said she began thinking of fraudulent offending while residing there but did not offend.
“Despite having used several different names to commit her fraudulent activities, Ms Harrison told the board she plans to use the name Joanne Harrison when she returns. 
“She said that there is an awareness of her offending in the area to which she will be returning because the New Zealand media reports reached that location as well.”

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