Families could be eligible for heating system this winter

BARNSLEY residents could be eligible for a central heating system in a bid to tackle fuel poverty during the winter months.


The scheme is run through Barnsley Council who will offer the central heating systems to help combat fuel poverty for struggling families who have been financially affected due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Fuel poverty occurs when the cost of a household's fuel bill is more than the average, and if paying the costs would leave the family with an income below the poverty line.


To qualify for the scheme you must heat your home with electric, coal, or stand-alone gas fires.


A spokesperson for Barnsley Council said: “You don’t have to be on benefits to qualify. Installation includes an A-rated Ideal Logic combi boiler with a two-year warranty. We could help you get connected to the mains gas supply free of charge.”


To find out more information, or to check your eligibility, click here.

Wentworth Woodhouse set to reopen following lockdown

A STATELY home is set to reopen its doors after being closed to the public since March.


From Saturday (October 3), Wentworth Woodhouse will welcome visitors back after a spell of closures during the coronavirus outbreak.


In July, Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust worked to welcome outdoor visitors back safely, but is now set to open fully.


A raft of coronavirus restrictions will be in place in ensure visitor safety including a one-way route and face coverings compulsory indoors.


Tickets must be booked in advance to allow people to enter the home in timed slots, but once inside are free to follow the route.


The home’s tea room, gift shop and house tours are also set to return.


For more information or to book tickets, visit the website here.

Road closed after Higham incident

A ROAD was closed after two cars collided in Higham yesterday.


Police received reports at 6.07pm yesterday, (September 29) of a road traffic collision on Higham Lane.


A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: “It is believed a Nissan Qashqai and a Land Rover Discovery collided.


No-one was injured.”

Barnsley second highest spending on pain relief prescriptions

BARNSLEY spends the second-highest amount of money on pain relief prescriptions across the country, a new study has found.


The study, conducted by content marketing agency MacNaught Digital on behalf of Formulate Health, revealed that the amount spent in Barnsley for pain relief prescriptions is twice as high as the national average.


People from households with less than £15,000 annual earnings were revealed to be 24 per cent more likely to be in pain at least once a day than the average person, compared to 12 per cent in households with earnings between £15,000 to £25,000.


This may explain why pain relief prescription costs are so high in Barnsley, given that people in Yorkshire and the Humber have some of the lowest Gross Disposable Household Incomes in the country, averaging at just £17,665 per household.


In Barnsley, the average age for pain relief prescriptions is 40 years old, and more than one million pain relief prescriptions were issued in the past five years.

Pop-up police station parks up in New Lodge

POLICE officers will be holding a pop-up police station in New Lodge for concerned residents tomorrow (September 30).


Barnsley North officers will be available for questions, queries and advice at its stall in the Co-op car park.


The officers will also provide a selection of crime prevention items.


A spokesperson for the Barnsley North team said: “The previous recent events have been really well received and are a great opportunity for us to get to know you and the community better.”


Residents can visit and voice their concerns tomorrow from 11am to 4pm.

'Give ex-offenders a chance' urge Hoyland company

A HOYLAND-based construction company that has taken on 12 ex-offenders has urged other businesses across the borough to give 'people a chance'.


According to the Ministry of Justice, only 17 per cent of prisoners leave prison with a job and half of employers say they cannot see the value in employing someone who has been in prison.


Construction specialist Cidon, of Mason Way, is bucking the trend with the support of Seetec Justice, which helps to rehabilitate former offenders.


The partnership started back in 2018 after Stephen Simpson, director at Cidon, heard a radio discussion about helping ex-offenders to rehabilitate, find work, access housing and break the cycle of crime.


Stephen said: “At Cidon we take our corporate social responsibility initiatives seriously. 


“When the opportunity arose to look at employing ex-offenders, we felt it would be the right thing to do as, when we’re in the position to do so, we want to be able to give people from all backgrounds a chance.


“More businesses like us need to get involved, we’re only a very small cog in a huge wheel. 



“If we can take 12 ex-offenders in the space of 18 months, then a lot can be done. It’s important to educate other business leaders about the benefits of employing ex-offenders.”


Barnsley maternity ward reiterates visitor regulations amidst outbreak

THE maternity ward at Barnsley Hospital has stressed its visiting regulations for new parents across the borough after multiple enquiries from loved ones.


The Barnsley Hospital e-Midwife issued a statement reminding people of the current visiting guidelines amidst the coronavirus outbreak.


The regulations enforce that a nominated birthing partner will be able to visit the mum and baby for one hour a day by appointment only.


In the statement, the hospital reiterates the main priority is the safety of patients.


“This is in order to control the number of visitors on the ward and maintain social distancing and ensuring the safety of all mothers, babies and staff.


“This relates strictly to birth partners only, who accompanied during labour, no siblings will be permitted on the ward.


“Women can book their visiting appointment with the midwife on the ward.


“We are only able to have one visitor in the four to six bedded bays and no more than four visitors on the ward at any given time.


“On the day a woman is being discharged, there will be no visiting slot allocated for that day.”


The mum-to-be is allowed a birthing partner during labour but they must wear a mask during their visit.


“The nominated birth partner must wear a mask as they enter the hospital grounds and throughout their visit on the ward in line with government guidance.


“Birth partner temperatures will be taken on arrival of their allocated slot, if 37.8 or above they will not be given access to the ward and will be advised accordingly.


“The nominated birth partner must stay in the mother’s allotted bed space and must leave after their allotted time to allow for the next appointment blocks.”

Go orange with hospice initiative

PEOPLE across Barnsley are being encouraged to wear orange to help show their support for Hospice Care Week.


Hospice Care Week takes place from October 5 – 11 and aims to highlight the importance of hospices around the country.


Barnsley Hospice is wanting people across the borough to wear the hospice's iconic vivid orange colour to show support to the hospice and to help raise funds to continue providing care to those who need it.


Fundraising manager at Barnsley Hospice Sam Silverwood said: “We would really love as many people as possible to organise a day to come together and ‘Go Orange’ this year.

We also hope ‘Go Orange’ will give people an opportunity to brighten up one day during Hospice Care Week and bring a smile to each other’s faces after a challenging few months.


Whether people don orange tutus and wigs or bright orange flowery tops or ties, the scheme is an opportunity to celebrate and raise awareness of the hospice’s highly-valued work, as well as raise funds.”


The hospice is asking people to share images of their ‘Go Orange’ day on social media.


Please tag @BarnsleyHospice #HospiceCareWeek #GoOrange.

Inadvertent gambling danger in young people

BARNSLEY Council have urged parents across the borough to speak to their children about the dangers of inadvertent gambling in video games.


Many games offer the chance to purchase coins or loot boxes using real-world money, and children can often be caught out and encouraged to spend more money to get better rewards within the game.


While some prizes in games can be earned with experience points gained by in-game progress – some require additional extras or in-game currency, which can cost money.


When in-game currency is purchased, there is usually 'change' left over after buying the items, which doesn't leave enough to purchase more without buying more of the currency.


The use of in-game currency adds a layer between the player and their purchases, making it harder to assess the true value of what is being bought.


Figures released by website Young Gamers and Gamblers Education Trust, which helps to educate parents and children about the impact of gambling in games, show that more than £270 million was spent in in-game transactions last year.


This includes the purchase of loot boxes, character upgrades, and updated graphics in game.


In-game purchases have come under fire for encouraging children to gamble, but 75 per cent of young people don't believe that in-game purchases constitute gambling.


Coun Jim Andrews, cabinet spokesperson for public health, said: "The lines between video gaming and gambling are becoming increasingly blurred and we want parents to be able to have open and honest discussions with their children about the dangers of in-game purchases and the links between them and gambling."


For more information, including resources about how to speak to your child about the dangers of in-game purchases, click here.

Neighbourhood Watch looking for 'superstar' neighbours across the borough

BARNSLEY Neighbourhood Watch is teaming up with a national insurance company to crown the community’s neighbour of the year.


The crime prevention group along with Co-op Insurance, aims to celebrate local neighbours who have gone ‘above and beyond’ for their area.


The group are looking for individuals with a willingness to look out for others, be sociable and friendly, offer practical help, and be kind, caring and respectful.


This year, a new category has been launched called Young Neighbour of the Year, specifically designed for young people aged 18 to 24 who have supported the local community.


The deadline for the nominations closes on October 27.


To nominate someone you know, visit the Co-op Insurance website here.

Engaging effort from Primary school staff

A PRIMARY school that has been praised for keeping students’ spirits high during closures has been nominated for a Proud of Barnsley award.


Hoyland Common Primary School, on Sheffield Road, Hoyland, has been commended for its daily updates, tasks and videos for pupils who were forced to self-isolate during the lockdown.


Teachers sent out encouraging videos and stories for students to engage with and kept in regular contact with families.


Headteacher Billy Fallon believes communication was key to help bridge the gap during the school closures.


He said: “It was important to us that we had systems in place to make sure the transition to home learning went without much disruption.


“This brought its own challenges where we couldn’t see our pupils face-to-face.


“Communication was absolutely crucial so our amazing teachers continued to update and check in with parents and pupils on a daily basis.


“We wanted them to know we were there to not only help teach them, but also encourage them to come back to school.”


Billy hoped the regular updates would reassure parents at the start of the new term to return to the school.


“The staff have been absolutely brilliant and gone above and beyond what was needed.


“I think this was shown when we opened back up for the new school term. We were thrilled to have 99 per cent attendance in our first week back.


“In all honesty I had sleepless nights worrying about our protocols and procedures as safety was our top priority.


“I’m thrilled that our students have been eager to return thanks to the hard work of our teachers.”


The school’s daily activities have landed them a nomination in the School of the Year category at this year’s Proud of Barnsley awards.


“We’re absolutely overwhelmed with this nomination. I’m really proud, as headteacher, of all our staff who are the reason for our nomination.


“Our school is a team effort with teachers, parents and our fantastic students who work so hard every single day.



“I can’t thank the community enough for their support.”

West Way closed following safety concerns

A ROAD in the town centre was closed today after police became concerned for a man's safety.


West Way was closed between Morrisons and town end roundabout today (September 28) from around 12.20pm


A spokesperson for South Yorkshire Police said: “Officers attended the scene after they became concerned about the safety of a man.


The road was closed while officers spoke to him.”


If you need someone to speak to you can contact:

  • Samaritans on 116123

  • MIND on 211188


*This is an ongoing incident, we will update as information becomes available to us.

Updated travel rules could put a halt to holidays

UPDATED travel rules have been announced – which could see holidaymakers be required to quarantine from trips to Europe and beyond.


The government have announced an updated quarantine list after rising numbers of coronavirus cases continue to be recorded.


Previously travellers arriving in the UK from France, the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, and the Bahamas were required to self-isolate for two weeks once they return home.


However, now the list has been expanded and includes more than 20 countries.


The list is as follows:


  • Andorra

  • Austria

  • Belgium

  • Croatia

  • Czech Republic

  • Denmark

  • France

  • Greek Islands – Tinos, Serfios, Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and Zante

  • Iceland

  • Netherlands

  • Malta

  • Monaco

  • Hungary

  • Luxembourg

  • Mainland Portugal

  • Slovakia

  • Slovenia

  • Spain

  • Switzerland



  • Aruba

  • The Bahamas

  • Curacao

  • Guadeloupe

  • Jamaica

  • Trinidad and Tobago

  • Turks and Caicos


Rest of the world:

  • Reunion

  • French Polynesia


Once in self-isolation, public transport should not be used and visitors, with the exception of medical staff, are not permitted inside your house.


Some countries also require a self-isolation period upon arrival to the country.


For more information, or to find out if your holiday will be affected, click here.

Have your say on dog fouling across the borough

THERE'S only two weeks left to have your say about a borough-wide order that could help control dogs after a spate of dog attacks.


The Public Space Protection Order (PSPO) needs public consultation after it was approved in a recent cabinet meeting.


The order will extend across the borough and stipulates that dogs must be kept on leads in specified areas, fouling must be cleared and a specific number of dogs will be allowed to be walked by a single person at any one time.


A failure to adhere to the order could result in a £100 to £1,000 fine.


Coun Chris Lamb said: “Speaking as a dog owner myself, I fully support this.


There is a PSPO in the town centre already and it has improved things there. This is for the small number of people who don’t want to comply with instructions.


We aren’t trying to stop people taking their dogs for a walk, but to make sure it is safe and pleasant for everyone.”


Within the survey, the public will be asked for their opinions on dog fouling, whether a dog should be on a lead at all times, and which parks are an hotspot for the above issues.


The public consultation period will be expected to last for three months and the survey will close on October 16.


To have your say, click here.

Sex offender jailed for more than a decade

A SEX offender who travelled from the Wirral to Barnsley to meet what he thought to be a 12-year-old has been jailed.


James Buntain, 57, from Wellbrae Close in the Wirral, Merseyside pleaded guilty to eight offences including inciting sexual activity with a child when he appeared at Sheffield Crown Court on September 23.


Buntain had spoken online to what he believed to be a 12-year-old girl and travelled 90 miles from his home to Barnsley on November 7, 2019 to meet her.


Buntain had however been in communication with police officers and was met and arrested at his ‘meeting point’ by officers from the Yorkshire and Humber Regional and Organised Crime Unit.


Police enquiries established he had also been engaging online with other children and he was also convicted at court for messages sent to an unidentified but presumed child victim.


In addition to his sentence, Buntain was made the subject of an indefinite sexual harm prevention order.


Senior investigating officer, DCI Jon Best of the Yorkshire and Humber Regional Crime Unit, said: “We welcome the sentencing of this truly repugnant individual and the clear message the magnitude of his sentence delivers about the seriousness of this offending.


The Yorkshire and Humber Regional Organised Crime Unit work to ensure that there is no safe space online for those that wish to groom and abuse children.


Our operation has identified more than offenders who wish to harm and sexually abuse children, ensuring they are arrested and prosecuted.”


Buntain was given an extended sentence of 11 years.

Canvassers ensure voting details are correct

CANVASSERS will visit properties across the borough to ensure that voting details are up-to-date.


The canvassers will visit approximately 17,000 properties of people who haven't responded to forms that ensure all the details on the electoral register are correct.


A spokesperson for Barnsley Council said: “Not all houses in the borough received the same form.


If your form says you don't need to respond if all information is correct and includes everyone eligible to vote at your address, you can discard the form, and our canvassers will not visit you.


However, some homes received a different form which, by law, needs to be returned.


Our canvassers will visit the homes from which we have not received these forms.”

Darfield fireworks display cancelled

A BELOVED firework display in Darfield has been cancelled due to ongoing coronavirus concerns.


The free event, which is usually held at Darfield Cricket Club, has been forced to halt its plans after the government’s ‘rule of six’ would make it illegal for crowds to gather.


Kris Jowitt, the club’s secretary, said: “It is with huge disappointment that we have to announce the cancellation of our annual firework display.


“We simply cannot run the event under the current government guidelines.


“We would like to thank you all for your support of the event in recent years. This is not the end for the Darfield Cricket Club firework display.


“We look forward to welcoming people back for the 2021 display.”


Rewarding time at Darton

PUPILS from a local primary school are celebrating after winning a countrywide award to help close the gender gap in sport.


Darton Primary won the Yorkshire Sport Foundation Award for innovation in school PE and sport for their work to help close the gap between boys and girls in confidence and performance in PE.


The award is part of the Yorkshire Primary PE Awards which will go to a regional final later this month.


The school worked alongside Barnsley-based school training company, Totally Runable, to address stereotypes in sport and to create workshops for pupils to enjoy.


Darton Primary headteacher Jo Lancett said: “It is so nice to have something like this to celebrate as a school.


“Like lots of schools we have had a challenging few months but our staff and pupils work so hard to create a positive, inclusive, and inspiring school atmosphere and it is great to have the opportunity to celebrate that, and recognise all of that hard work.”


Totally Runable director, Natalie Jackson, added: “Darton is a great example of a school that has been curious enough to think about what is going on with confidence levels between girls and boys and look deeper.


“It has been an absolute privilege to work with Darton over the last few years to help them become more aware of that gap and do some brilliant work on closing it. We’re so pleased that their work with us has been recognised in this way.”


The school will now progress to the final of the competition, and the winner will be announced on October 13.


Laithes Primary also picked up a South Yorkshire award, for creating a more active school, with the introduction of more activity into the school day and efforts to make children aware of the importance of their activity levels.


Mark keeps finding obstacles

A DISABLED man has called for the council to take ‘immediate action’ after cars continue to obstruct his wheelchair – months since his last plea.


Mark Ravenhill, 35, of Spring Grove in Carlton, who has cerebral palsy, has had ongoing issues with accessibility on his road.


For the past year, Mark has been campaigning for the council to prevent cars from parking and blocking him from passing.


Instead, Mark is forced is take to the busy road to pass, which he believes could be very dangerous.


Mark has raised his issues to the council, even asking for double yellow lines to be painted outside his home, but nothing has been done.


He said: “This has been a horrible ongoing issue that has got even worse over time and I’m at my wits end with it.


“I have rang 101 as the council have suggested and yet people continue to park here. It makes me very upset.


“Me and my wife are disabled and always get stuck here. I feel like no one is listening even though I keep reporting it.


“It’s dangerous to go on the road and I shouldn’t be forced to. I am carrying on with this campaign for everybody else who is in a wheelchair like me.


“I think the council or police should help me with this as it’s very scary at times. We’re very fed up with it all now.”


Mark has now launched an online petition to make sure all pavements are accessible for wheelchair users and mothers with prams.


Coun Chris Lamb, cabinet spokesperson for place, environment and transport, said: “We would always advise road users to park sensibly, so they do not put themselves, other road users, or pedestrians in danger.


“If there are civil restrictions in place, such as yellow lines or waiting restrictions, then our enforcement team can monitor this and take action where appropriate. 


“Where there are no civil restrictions in place, then road users have a legal right to park unless it causes an obstruction. 


“Drivers who do cause an obstruction can be issued a fixed penalty by police.”


To sign the petition, click here.

MP appreciates shed project

A BARNSLEY MP has backed a town centre initiative tackling social isolation in older men across the borough.


Stephanie Peacock, MP for Barnsley East, visited Men in Sheds, a project where older men are encouraged to come together to make or repair things, share skills, have a laugh together and support each other.


The site in the town centre, which Stephanie visited, is partly supported by National Lottery funding, and runs a range of activities for older men, who run the centre themselves with support from Age UK Barnsley.


Stephanie said: “It was good to visit the Age UK Men in Sheds service in Barnsley, and chat to volunteers and local people who use the service.


“Age UK does such important work to support older residents here in Barnsley.


“With elderly people at greater risk of loneliness, and with this only made worse by Covid-19 shielding and lockdown measures, the work of Age UK is more important now than ever.”

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