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Tour de Yorkshire route announced

THE route for this year's Tour de Yorkshire races have been announced following a press conference this morning.

The prestigious cycling race, featuring some of the world's best riders, has been running since 2015 and returns for its sixth event on April 30, running until May 3.

This morning in Leeds, it was announced that this year will see the Heritage Stage go from Barnsley to Huddersfield on Saturday May 2.

The riders will start at Barnsley Town Hall before heading to Oxspring and Penistone before heading into West York Yorkshire. 

 

James Mason, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: “It’s exciting for me to be involved with the Tour de Yorkshire for the very first time and this year’s routes look fantastic. Many of our county’s iconic climbs are included, and we’re particularly pleased to see Buttertubs and Grinton Moor making appearances after they were unfortunately cut from the World Championships route on account of the weather last September.  

 

“Seeing the men and women tackle Shibden Wall will also be special, and we’re delighted to be bringing the race to so many new places as well. We’re lucky to have such a diversity of landscapes here in Yorkshire and these races will have something for every type of rider. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m sure we’re in for some really exciting action.”

 

Sixty bags of rubbish collected

MORE than 20 people got their hands dirty collecting rubbish and clearing an area of vegetation in Cudworth.

 

The 25 volunteers spent three days clearing ‘Gandhi Backs’, near Snydale Road and included volunteers from the police, Barnsley Community Build (BCB) and residents.

 

More than 60 bags of rubbish were filled and a wall was taken down by people on community payback in addition to the removal of vegetation.

 

Housing enforcement officer, Chris Platts, who organised the event said: “The clean up event went really well. There was quite a lot of fly tipping which wasn’t obvious so we cleared out a mattress, tyres and timber.

 

“It was a rewarding event and I want to thank everyone who volunteered their time. I hope the residents will take pride and maintain it. We received a lot of compliments about how the area looked so hopefully residents will keep it up.”

Dave's six-pack will strengthen fundraising

A SIXTY-THREE year old who has spent more than 40 years clocking up the miles to raise money for good cause is about to take on his next challenge – running six marathons in six months.

 

Dave Allemby, of Wombwell, has run more than 66,000 miles since New Year’s Day in 1979 and is set to challenge himself with six marathons in six months to mark his sixth decade of running.

 

For this challenge, Dave, who works as a produce assistant in Tesco Barnsley, will support the store’s £6,000 fundraising target for The Children’s Hospital Charity.

 

“I have always supported the charities chosen by Tesco and being a small part of the team raising funds for Sheffield Children’s Hospital will keep me motivated throughout the dark winter months,” said Dave.

 

“I have arthritis in my knees so my training is quite limited these days, but I’m still managing to run two or three times a week. Six half marathons in six months will still be quite a challenge for me, finishing with the Sheffield Half in April.”

 

Dave is also encouraging novice runners to join him in fundraising for The Children’s Hospital Charity and get active in 2020.

 

“My advice to newcomers would be to look out for beginner walk-to-run-groups in your area, many running and athletic clubs organise them and everyone in the group will be in the same situation and at roughly the same level of fitness.

 

“Park runs are also great fun – 5km routes held on Saturday mornings throughout the country. There’s no pressure, no entry fee and it’s a great target to finish one for a beginner. You can join thousands of people getting out there, taking part and having fun.”

 

Dave has set a personal fundraising target of £200 for the challenge, which will help transform the Cancer and Leukaemia ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

 

The ward treats children from babies through to 19-year-olds in South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and Derbyshire and even as far south as Northampton.

 

Rachael Thomas, events fundraising officer at The Children’s Hospital Charity added: “It’s really inspiring to hear both about Dave’s dedicated running career and his long record of fundraising.

 

“We’re delighted that he’s chosen to support Sheffield Children’s Hospital with his six half marathons in six months challenge and we can’t wait to welcome him to the Sheffield Half next year. We still have a limited number of charity places for you to join him, so get in touch and make a difference in 2020.”

 

Creative thinking behind performing arts school

TWO women who want to encourage teens to come off the streets and channel their inner creativeness have opened a performing arts school.

 

Alexandra Crellin, 27, and Danielle Robinson, 29, officially opened Lotus School of Arts on Sunday and the occasion was marked with a party.

 

The school, based in Thurnscoe, will be offering dance classes, singing lessons and musical theatre sessions for children and adults fro the ages of one and up. 

 

However the pair are determined to make it more than just a performing arts school, they want to encourage youths to stop hanging out in the street and invest their time in being creative.

 

Alexandra said: “Youths are bored and that’s why they misbehave.

 

“There is nothing to engage them and I want this school to become a hub for young people to come and get creative and in turn it will keep them off the streets.

 

“The building was initially a youth club but the previous owners unfortunately couldn’t keep it running so I saw an opportunity and decided to provide the best of both worlds, teach performing arts and provide a place for youths.”

 

Alexandra, who has been dancing professionally since 2009, is eager to ensure her school is accessible to all.

 

“I’ve not long moved to Thurnscoe and I am determined to make the school a community hub. 

 

“We have several classes on offer to suit everyone, including baby classes and exercise sessions for parents who do not have childcare so they can get out the house, socialise and be active without having to worry about childcare.

 

“Our prices are also competitive because I know first hand how expensive dancing can be and I want to ensure that money will not prevent people from chasing their dream. 

 

“We have also received funding from Active Dearne, which will allow lower income families to come compete and join in classes.”

 

Classes will be running Monday to Saturday, with private lessons taking place on Sunday and they begin on January 20.

 

  • For further information, visit Lotus School of Arts on Facebook.

 

Northern rail way off track

‘FUNDAMENTAL challenges’ still remain in South Yorkshire’s rail network despite news Northern Rail could lose its franchise following poor performance across the county and beyond, South Yorkshire Mayor Dan Jarvis has said. 

 

The government could take control of services under the ‘operator of last resort model’ following a catalogue of complaints from fed-up passengers across South Yorkshire. 

 

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said he is looking at a number of options on the Northern operation and also fired warnings at TransPennine Express for similar poor performance. 

 

But Mayor Jarvis has said that South Yorkshire and the wider north need extra investment from central government to directly address problems with infrastructure and capacity. 

 

He added there was a ‘basic unfairness’ in funding between London, the south east and the north of England. 

 

Northern bosses blamed ‘challenges outside of its control’ in recent years but admitted services on the network are ‘not yet good enough’. 

 

Mayor Jarvis said: “Whatever ends up happening with the franchise, this has reminded us all of the need for a greater level of investment in our infrastructure we bring in another operator or the government take it on but many of the fundamental challenges remain.

 

“We still have a railway system in northern England that has underinvestment and we have an imbalance in the amount of money the government spends on supporting transport infrastructure in London and the south east compared to South Yorkshire and the wider north. 

 

“There’s a basic unfairness already we’ve had warm words from the government but they’ve not yet been backed up I want to see a greater level of investment coming here more than we’ve seen.” 

 

  • Provided by the Local Democracy Reporting Service. 
Having a beer for Beau...

A FAMILY hoping to give a little boy with complex needs the best chance in life are hoping to find help in beer – literally.

 

Ben and Emmie Taylor have organised a charity beer tasting evening in Penistone to help contribute to their mammoth fund-raising effort to help their three-year-old son Beau. Due to a genetic change which wasn’t discovered until after he was born, Beau has been unable to learn to walk, and cannot sit unsupported or talk.

 

But the couple, of Penistone, have dedicated themselves to researching a variety of specialist therapies which can help boost his development, including some only available abroad, and have also explored the potential of surgery performed by a specialist in America.

 

However none of this would be funded by the NHS so they hope to raise as much money as they can to give Beau as much support as possible. They hope to raise £150,000.

 

Next weekend they will host Beers for Beau after enlisting the support of Whitefaced Brewery and head brewer Dave Hampshaw. The beer tasting evening will offer everyone six half-pint samples, with food and music to raise funds for Beau to have therapies the NHS can’t provide.

 

“We’re hoping it’s going to be a fantastic night, with live entertainment and nibbles, and a chance to have fun while helping support Beau,” said Emmie.

 

“The road of a special needs kid is a bumpy one with no way of predicting what lies ahead but with therapies and surgeries hopefully his future will be brighter and he will be allowed to reach his full potential.

 

“Beau is such a happy, smiley boy, we just want to keep that smile beaming with joy of achievement and not turn to frustration.”

 

Beers for Beau is at Penistone St John’s Community Centre next Saturday January 25, from 7.30pm.

 

  •  Email beers4beau@outlook.com for tickets or see the @adventureswithbeaujangles Facebook page.

 

Man spared jail following theft

A MAN who stole a wallet from a town centre pub before using a debit card to buy alcohol and cigarettes via contactless payments has been given a suspended prison sentence.

 

Christopher Lister, of no fixed abode, entered the staff members’ area of Joseph Bramah on Market Hill and took the wallet on December 8.

 

The 35-year-old, who appeared at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court last week, was made the subject of a conditional discharge in November for criminal damage but committed the offences while on the six-month order.

 

Lister, who pleaded guilty, was given a 12-week sentence which was suspended for 12 months and told to pay £109 in compensation.

Town-centre crime clampdown praised

A FOUR-DAY operation which saw police flood Barnsley town centre to crack down on antisocial behaviour including drug abuse last week has been hailed a success.

 

Operation Barossa, an intelligence-led scheme which aimed to tackle the misuse of drugs and criminality in the town centre between Tuesday and Friday, saw a marked increase in presence and stop and searches carried out by patrolling officers.

 

More than 40 people were stop-searched, while dispersal orders – which ban people engaging in antisocial behaviour from entering the town centre – were handed out to more than a dozen offenders.

 

The recently-upgraded CCTV cameras within the town centre, now continuously monitored by operators, were cited as a key reason in why Barossa was a success.

 

Sgt Stephanie Coverley said: “We are committed to making Barnsley a safer, more enjoyable place to visit.

 

“We will continue to use our powers to send out the message that antisocial behaviour and drugs will not be tolerated.

 

“Over the four days, officers focused their attention on Peel Square and the pedestrianised precinct following concerns from businesses and members of the public.

 

“I would like to thank those who stopped to speak to our officers and thanked them for their work and what we are doing as it means a lot.”

 

It was the second time the operation – borne out of concerns raised by businesses and from shoppers’ surveys – took place in the town centre and more prolonged spells of presence have been promised.

 

Spice – a former legal high – was high on officers’ radars and one 32-year-old man was found in possession of the drug after a CCTV trawl revealed he had attempted to conceal a package.

 

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, leading to a public space protection order (PSPO) to be widened and extended until 2022.

 

A police spokesperson added: “We focused our attention on the Peel Square areas following concerns from businesses and members of the public.

 

“The presence of the officers resulted in a significant reduction in antisocial behaviour.

 

“The CCTV cameras within the town centre have recently been upgraded and are continuously monitored by skilled operators.

 

“These operators feed directly into our neighbourhood team officers and this real-time information enables them to respond quickly to incidents of antisocial behaviour or suspected drug dealing.

 

“While a few individuals displayed their unhappiness at our officers being in the town centre by spitting at their cars, the majority of people stopped to talk to officers, thanking them and sharing their appreciation.”

 

  • To report antisocial behaviour or crime, call 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also report incidents by emailing safer@barnsley.gov.uk.

 

Make use of free opportunity to make a will

BARNSLEY Hospice is encouraging the people of Barnsley to make a will as part of a campaign.

 

Make a Will Month, which runs throughout February, is an annual initiative that helps support patient care.

 

Several local solicitors will be offering their time for free by waiving their fees during the month in exchange for a donation to the hospice.

 

Julie Watts, a healthcare assistant in the inpatient unit at Barnsley Hospice, made her will during Make a Will Month last year.

 

“Making a will is something you don’t really think about when everything is OK, so this campaign really prompted me to get on with it,” she said.

 

“Not only is it a great way to get your affairs in order, but you’ll also be supporting the hospice which relies on the generosity of local people. I would urge others thinking of making a will to sign up to the Barnsley Hospice Make a Will

 

Month during February. It’s a simple process which makes a real difference to you and the hospice too.”

 

The participating Barnsley solicitors include Best Solicitors, Ison Harrison Solicitors and Peace Legal Limited.

‘Don’t let shame of con influence you’

A PENSIONER who was repeatedly tricked into giving away thousands of pounds to criminals purporting to be from her bank has warned others to be cautious when answering calls – after being ‘too embarrassed’ to initially tell her family about being conned.

 

The 87-year-old, who did not wish to be named, chose to speak out as part of South Yorkshire Police’s ongoing Operation Signature, which was formed as a result of rising cases involving fraudsters targeting vulnerable residents.

 

The widow, from Ardsley, suffers from multiple sclerosis and was hoodwinked into believing a call from her bank, NatWest, was genuine.

 

Criminals tricked her into thinking there had been ‘suspicious activity’ relating to her account and, as a precaution, advised her to transfer £4,200 to another account in June last year.

 

“They rang to explain all this in great detail and even arranged a taxi to pick me up to take me into Barnsley town centre,” she told the Chronicle. “Luckily the bank took me to one side as they were suspicious about the withdrawal and a police officer came before it was too late.”

 

However, when police looked into the incident, it became clear that the pensioner had been a repeated previous target and had lost £1,500 on three separate occasions before.

 

“I have two sons but didn’t want to tell them at first, so I chose to stay quiet and keep it from them,” she added. “I did that because I was worried, embarrassed I’d let them take advantage of my trust.

 

“Trust is the biggest thing – when I got calls from someone saying they were from my bank, I had no reason to disbelieve them. They knew things about me but it’s important people just put the phone down to avoid the same as what happened to me.

 

“It was only on the occasion when the bank’s staff took me to one side that I knew that it wasn’t their policy to call their customers. I simply did not know beforehand and trusted what the criminals told me.”

 

Operation Signature has been rolled out by police across the town – focusing on protecting those deemed to be at high risk of fraud – which has seen each of Barnsley’s six neighbourhood policing teams tasked with advising vulnerable people about the potential pitfalls of fraud.

 

Andy Foster, protection officer for financial-related matters, admitted that fraudsters’ activity remains a ‘serious concern’ for officers in Barnsley.

 

“Courier fraud such as this happens when criminals telephone a potential victim, claiming to be from their bank, the police or other law enforcement agencies,” he said.

 

“We’re seeing hundreds of cases on a monthly basis – it’s an epidemic and it’s something forces struggle to prevent due to its nature. Money, once it’s gone, often goes from one place to another so it’s difficult to trace.

 

“I’ve seen in the past how shocking it can be and some people have lost their entire life savings as a result of being conned by a caller.

 

“In this case, the pensioner was a repeat victim who was preyed upon because she was vulnerable but we believe many victims opt against reporting costly crime simply because they’re embarrassed.

 

“Banks or the police will never ask anyone to withdraw cash or ask for security details so please be on your guard if you receive a call from ‘your bank’ or from someone claiming to be from the police.

 

“I would advise anyone receiving unsolicited calls via their home phone to contact their telephone provider and ask them if they provide a free call-blocking service.

 

“Alternatively, call-blocking devices and replacement telephones with call blocking software pre-installed are available to buy.”

Foodbank donation

TWO care homes have teamed up to collect food for a foodbank.

 

Thornhill House Care Home, based on Church Street, Darfield is working with its sister care home, Highstone Mews, based on Highstone Road, Worsbrough Common, to collect food, toiletries and money to donate to Action for

Barnsley Homeless.

 

The volunteer-led charity runs a weekly soup kitchen at Temperance House on Pitt Street for those who are homeless or can not afford to buy food.

 

The charity contacted Thornhill to appeal for donations, and senior carers Sophie King and Adrian Wright are taking charge of collecting donations.

 

Sophie said: “The care homes are part of Stonglife Care and they pride themselves in working closely with the community and helping out charitable organisations.

 

“I find this very rewarding so I was more than happy to help Action for Barnsley Homeless get some much needed supplies.”

 

The care homes will be accepting donations until January 31 and they are collecting tinned food, bottled water, soap and other dried food.

 

Sophie said: “Any money that we collect we will use to buy more food for Action for Barnsley Homeless and we thank everyone in advance for their donations.”

 

Horror crash caught on three cameras

HORRIFYING video footage captured from three different angles shows the moment a motorcyclist was thrown into the air in a head-on crash which left him with life-changing injuries and the driver of the car behind bars. 

 

The 35-year-old rider, from Gawber, suffered a broken back, sternum and wrist in the collision which saw him catapulted into the air and his Suzuki K7 bike destroyed.

 

The 41-year-old driver of the Subaru that hit him had been travelling at 70mph on the wrong side of the road around a blind left-hand bend on Mortimer Road, Sheffield.

 

In dashcam footage from the car released by South Yorkshire Police, the driver – Florian Pratt, from Nottingham – can be seen losing control of his vehicle as he exits the bend before he collides with the rider who had applied the brakes.

 

Footage taken from a car travelling behind Pratt shows the full extent of the impact from a different angle, as the motorcyclist is thrown several feet into the air over Pratt’s car.

 

Roads policing constable PC Phil Carson said: “In an ideal world, everyone would drive with care 100 per cent of the time, but sadly this isn’t the case.

 

“The offending driver had no previous driving points or convictions, but on this occasion he demonstrated an exceptional lack of judgement. 

 

“Thankfully, the motorcyclist was wearing a full leather air bag suit which activated and inflated as he was propelled off his bike. Without it, in a collision at this speed, he would most likely have died.

 

“We often see motorcycle riders wearing shorts and trainers, and they think it’s OK because they have a helmet on – it’s not. 

 

“You might be travelling in a safe manner, but that doesn’t mean everyone else is.”

 

Pratt was sentenced to 16 months in jail after admitting to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, and also received a three-year driving ban, at Sheffield Crown Court last Thursday.

 

Judge David Dixon said: “Anyone in control of a high-powered sports type car needs to be aware of the vehicle’s capability and their own capability.

 

“You failed to take any account of the bend that led to this incident. The message must go out loud and clear. If you drive any vehicle you must drive with care.”

Holiday-loving family enjoy taste of small screen stardom

A BARNSLEY family featured in a Channel Five documentary say being picked was a ‘once-in-a-lifetime experience’ – although they admit having cameras follow them around on holiday was a little strange.

 

Newly-weds Lisa and Jamie Green, and Lisa’s children Millie and Sam, were picked from thousands of applicants to star in ‘All Inclusive: How Do They Do It?’

 

The consumer documentary follows holiday-goers as they arrive at a busy all-inclusive hotel in Spain, and is aimed at giving viewers tips and hints as they look at booking their own summer getaways.

 

The Greens, from Parkland View, Lundwood, are self-confessed ‘all-inclusive experts’.

 

Lisa, 41, said: “I spend my spare time looking for holiday bargains.

 

“We don’t go around town or anything like that, we go on two or three holidays a year and that’s what we do for fun.

 

“We were told there were 20,000 initial enquiries so it’s mad that we got picked.

 

“Until you’ve experienced it you don’t understand the amount of effort that goes into filming a programme like that, even just one scene.

 

“The first couple of days were a bit tense but then you kind of forget about the cameras, even though there are three or four people around you. The crew were fantastic and made us feel at ease.”

 

The show, which airs on Thursdays at 9pm, follows the Greens alongside two other sets of holiday-goers, one a family of novices and the other a group of friends, at the Albir Garden resort in Alicante.

 

Lisa said her phone ‘never stopped going off’ as the family settled down to watch themselves back.

 

“We all stayed up to watch it together and really enjoyed it,” she added.

 

“You think when you hear the Barnsley accent you might not want to listen back to yourself, but there was no cringing.”

Speeding motorists a big worry

RESIDENTS have expressed their concerns over motorists speeding through an estate at a meeting.

 

The Royston Watch group held a meeting on Wednesday night and residents who live on the Pinfold estate, which consists of the roads East Pinfold, West Pinfold, Kirk Cross Crescent and Redwood Avenue said they have seen cars driving up to 50mph in the residential area, almost twice the 30mph speed limit.

 

Next month, Aldi is set to open on High Street and residents are concerned that the estate will be used as a shortcut for those travelling on Royston Lane into the village.

 

One resident, who did not wish to be named, said: “I have witnessed a car speeding so fast the driver almost hit a parked car. The driver managed to regain control but if they were travelling any faster, it would have been a different story.

 

“If there was a pedestrian walking and cars are speeding through, they wouldn’t stand a chance.”

 

Residents also spoke about the volume of cars that are parked on the estate, and fear there will be an increase of traffic once Aldi opened, causing congestion in the estate.

 

Shelley Mattocks, who chaired the meeting, said that she would raise the issue of speeding at the Royston PACT meeting, which will take place on Tuesday at The Grove.

 

Group's work lands them in hot water

A WOMAN fed up at the amount of dog fouling in her village has been left reeling after she was threatened with legal action by the council for putting up posters on the issue.

Shelley Mattocks, who volunteers for the Royston Watch community group, regularly walks her dog along Common Lane, Newton Avenue, Station Road and Winter Avenue.

After repeatedly coming home with her shoes and her pet covered in dog mess, Shelly decided to stick notices across Royston, stating that anyone who was caught dog fouling would be reported to the council.

She said: “I came home two nights in a row and had to put my dog straight in the bath because he was smothered in mess.

“I was so frustrated I decided to print posters and stuck them on bins and lampposts in areas where I knew dog fouling was a rife, warning that people who commit the offence will be reported.

“The response from residents was very positive. I had messages from people asking to have posters on their street and others sending me information about potential offenders.”

Over the next few days, Shelley began to notice that the posters she had put up had been removed and she initially believed it was children. “Then Barnsley Council sent me an email informing me that they had been made aware of the posters I had distributed and they had removed a few,” said Shelley

“I was told I had to immediately remove the posters or face being prosecuted under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 for the offence of fly posing.

“It felt like a kick in the teeth and I was gutted because I was just trying to highlight an issue and nothing seems to be done about it by the council. We never see enforcement in Royston and it’s out of hand the amount of dog fouling we’re seeing across the village.”

Kirk Harper, a local campaigner planning to stand in the elections this year as an independent, said: “We need more enforcement as it seems villages do get left behind and dog fouling is an issue.

“If someone falls in dog mess and it gets in their eye, it’s a serious problem as dog mess breeds bacteria. The issue needs addressing.”

Coun Jenny Platts, spokesperson for communities, said: “We know that the issue of dog fouling is high on local communities’ priorities and that it’s frustrating; for both us and our residents. While the flyers posted about dog fouling in Royston were put up with good intentions, they unfortunately contained factually incorrect information. We know this resident was trying to support their local community, but at the same time we need to keep a consistent approach to dealing with flyposting across the borough. We’ve made contact with the resident and informed her that posting these notices isn’t allowed and will always support local residents to get the right messages out.

 

“It’s great that local people are really involved in looking after their communities and we appreciate all of their help and support. The council performs well in relation to enforcement action on dog fouling in comparison to other local authorities nationally and since March 2019 we’ve issued 152 Fixed Penalty Notices. We will arrange a meeting with representatives of the local watch group to see how we can better work together to tackle local problems, providing access to advice and support to make a difference in the area. To help tackle these problems, residents across the borough are encouraged to report dog fouling online at barnsley.gov.uk/dog-fouling.”

Fly-tipping war is funded

AROUND £245,000 has been invested in a council-led scheme that tackles litter and fly-tipping, extending it until March.

 

The Blitz programme targets roads that are badly affected by waste, overgrown weeds and fly-tipping in a bid to improve communities around Barnsley.

 

The scheme, which has been running since October 2019, has received an additional £245,000 worth of funding to extend the programme until March 31, with a further £110,000 for 2021.

 

Coun Chris Lamb, cabinet spokesperson for environment and transportation, said: “The additional investment programme started in October 2019, with a dedicated resource to support the removal of weeds and graffiti, focusing on general cleanliness across the borough.

 

“We work on priority areas identified in partnership with local councillors and have made significant progress.

 

“So far we’ve cleared more than 700 streets across the borough and removed almost 95 tonnes of leaves, weeds and litter.

 

“We’ve recently received confirmation that the current investment will continue until March 31 which will see a total of £245,000 invested to March.

 

“A further £110,000 will also be invested in 2020-2021 to support the continuation of the programme.

 

“As part of our #EverybodyThink campaign, we encourage everyone to dispose of their rubbish and unwanted items responsibly.

 

“By making small changes such as recycling and reporting litter and fly-tipping, we can work together to keep Barnsley clean and green.”

 

Successful blade amnesty helps take weapons off the street

KNIVES have been removed from Barnsley’s streets after a barber led a successful amnesty movement in the town.

 

Tony Batty, who has run his shop on Racecommon Road for 33 years, made his business a point for those with unwanted knives to drop them off anonymously.

 

He signed up to the Barbers Against Blades ‘Fade the Blade’ campaign, which sees barbers become drop-off points.

 

About a dozen knives were handed in, which were collected by South Yorkshire Police last Friday.

 

Tony, 53, said: “The more people we can reach and spread the word, the better. It’s not just a short-term thing – the number of knife attacks you hear about is unbelievable, so I want to do all I can to help.”

 

Although the town is South Yorkshire’s least affected area for knife crime, rising concerns about youngsters arming themselves for either status or protection led Barnsley to be included in the force’s Operation Sceptre crackdowns last year.

 

Police – who have backed the barber-led campaign – told the Chronicle that carriers of knives are three times more likely to become a victim.

 

Chf Supt Una Jennings added: “It is vitally important that we continue to work together to address the issue of knife crime and make our young people feel safer and, if they are considering carrying a knife, understand why that is and educate them away from this highly dangerous path.

 

“I’m grateful for the support of our partner agencies, schools and communities as we continue our efforts to tackle this devastating crime.

 

“We’re all committed and all have the same goal. We will ensure we continue to adopt all methods and measures available to drive knife-related criminality down.”

‘Carer’ stole from woman with dementia

A CARER who stole from a dementia-suffering 82-year-old has been told she faces the prospect of jail next month – but only after a psychiatric report is carried out to assess her ‘frame of mind’.

 

Caroline Bastable, of Wheatacre Road, Sheffield, was caught on CCTV stealing items from a woman in Barnsley including cash, jewellery and perfume. 

 

The CCTV cameras had been installed by the victim’s son after he became suspicious.

 

In addition to this, she was also seen failing to give the elderly woman her medication.

 

The 42-year-old appeared at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday, but Judge Michael Slater opted to adjourn sentencing having ordered a psychiatric assessment to be carried out.

 

He said: “A point was raised in the pre-sentence report which I have more questions about, so it’s regrettable but only fair that a psychiatric report is carried out.

 

“This will assess the defendant’s general condition at the time of the offending in 2017 and currently. Her family members are concerned, which is only natural, but it could be a mitigating feature of this case.

 

“I am sorry we cannot proceed but these matters have largely been brought to my attention late. We must comply with various statutory obligations and I can make no promises of how the defendant will be dealt with.

 

“All options remain open and imprisonment is a prospect.”

 

The incidents, according to prosecutors in court on Tuesday, began in November 2017 when items such as food and milk began to disappear from the victim’s home.

 

A family friend then noticed cash, which had been hidden around the house, was missing.

 

A ‘large quantity’ of cigarettes, hidden at the back of a cupboard, had also been taken which led to the victim’s son installing the CCTV around his mother’s property – a move which caught Bastable in the act.

 

Prosecutor Michael Greenhalgh said: “Throughout December that year, Bastable was recorded stealing from the then 80-year-old on more than one occasion, helping herself to food from the kitchen cupboards and was often seen rifling through drawers, jewellery boxes and the victim’s purses hunting for cash and other valuables.

 

“She stole a gold bangle as the pensioner slept in the same room. Later that same evening, she helped herself to toiletries and perfume from gift sets. Some of these items were recovered by police during a search of Bastable’s home following her arrest in December 2017.

 

“When questioned by police about why she was regularly seen to not give the housebound victim her medication, she stated she ‘must have forgotten’.”

 

The victim’s family members, present in court, shook their heads from the public gallery after Judge Slater ordered the report to be carried out, giving a timeframe of ‘six weeks’.

 

Mr Greenhalgh added: “The family want an end to this as soon as possible and I must express our disappointment on their behalf.”

 

Bastable was bailed ahead of her next appearance at the same court on February 28.

 

Huge donation for incubator

A STATE-OF-THE-ART incubator will support premature babies born at Barnsley Hospital after another fundraising milestone was reached.

 

The Morrisons Foundation donated £25,000 to the hospital, whose quest to raise £1m to fund a new special care baby unit’s equipment – dubbed the Tiny Hearts Appeal – is approaching its target.

 

The intensive care incubator – which has a cooling facility to protect a baby’s brain after a traumatic birth – will support premature tots born months before their due date and increase their chance of survival.

 

Premature babies are often under-developed and have to be given extra help for their tiny bodies to cope with the outside world, and can spend up to 14 weeks on the unit.

 

Jane Mills, charity development manager at Barnsley Hospital, said: “The appeal has seen the public really jump on board to show their support, with generous donations from community fundraisers and corporate organisations.

 

“We have seen the appeal soar to this point, however it is vital that even though the new unit has opened, we still continue to push to our target.

 

“This donation is absolutely amazing and it is wonderful that Morrisons are supporting their local community in this way.

 

“The £25,000 will be used towards purchasing a new incubator for our neonatal unit and it will make a real difference.

 

“Donations from local and national businesses, such as The Morrisons Foundation, really help to raise valuable funds to support our patients.”

 

The Tiny Hearts Appeal, launched in September 2014, has the aim of providing an even better standard for all special care babies and the most comfortable environment for families and staff on the unit.

 

A new £2.8m unit, which opened in November 2018, has been built around the needs of the babies and their families but funding for more state-of-the-art equipment continues.

 

The unit sits on the same level as the hospital’s birthing suite, which means that babies do not have to be exposed to different environments and temperature changes or have to be taken into an elevator.

 

Jean Bickerton, community champion at the Morrisons store in Barnsley, presented the donation to the charity yesterday.

 

She added: “I’m really pleased that we were able to help such a great local cause. Knowing that our support will make a genuine difference to their activities in the community really does make us proud.

 

“Helping local charities is at the heart of what the foundation is all about and I’m so happy that we can provide this grant.”

Link road plans are revealed

A RAFT of road alterations planned in order to access a fiercely-contested green belt site allocated for 1,700 houses and business use have been revealed.

 

Barnsley Council will create a site known as ‘Barnsley West MU1’, bordered by Pogmoor, Higham, Gawber and Barugh Green, which is made up of housing, a new 300-place primary school and business use.

 

However, a contentious link road has been revealed this week off Higham Common Road – which also includes new roundabouts there, on Barugh Green Road and Capitol Park – leading campaigners to lodge more concerns about the proposals.

 

Coun Peter Fielding, who represents the Dodworth ward, said: “I strongly oppose the size of the development on green belt land on the MU1 site but it is clear it is going ahead.

 

“This is despite the widespread concerns and opposition from local communities who fear increased congestion, pollution and noise as a result.”

 

Comments can be made on the council’s website until February 5.

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