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Alarm as shelters damaged are damaged for the fourth time

TWO bus shelters have had to have their windows replaced for the fourth time after youths kicked the glass and shattered them.

 

The bus shelters on Pontefract Road and Brierley Road, Shafton, have been targeted by youths who have been seen by residents running and bouncing off the glass.

 

One resident contacted Parish Councillor Les Holt who had witnessed the behaviour and said that an elderly woman who was at the bus stop had been left petrified at their behaviour.

 

Les said: “This is the fourth time this year that the bus shelters have been damaged and it costs money to have the glass replaced. It’s expensive.

 

“Elderly people waiting for a bus have been left to get wet because they are not protected from the rain and they are scared because the youths don’t care.

 

“The resident who spoke to me said that he had tried to tell one youth off and speak to his parents to get him to pay for the damage, and he was met with the response ‘my dad will pay for it’. There is just no respect and it’s not on.

 

“Thankfully, the glass has been replaced but it’s a worry that there will be a repeat and it’s something we can’t afford to keep replacing.”

 

The matter was raised at the Shafton Parish Council meeting on Monday and a further complaint was made that in addition to the bus shelters, youths had been seen kicking the waste bins which have been bolted to the ground and they are on the verge of lifting, which parish councillors said would lead to rubbish being thrown on the floor.

 

One resident said: “The kids have no respect and parents or teachers can’t do anything to stop their behaviour.”

 

Chairman of Shafton Parish Council, Dave North, said that he had tried to contact Outwood Academy Shafton so the students could be told about the consequences of their behaviour but the school said it was ‘not their problem’ once students had left the premises.

 

A spokesperson for Outwood Academy Shafton said: “We are sorry and saddened to hear that this has happened. At Outwood we believe in working with and for the communities we serve, therefore we always try and ensure students are fully aware of their commitment to being respectful when out in the community.

 

“We take complaints from members of the community seriously and therefore we will be scheduling respect for the community in which we live into our assemblies and LIFE lessons.”

Questions over calls to police 101 service continue

FRESH statistics show almost seven in ten people dealing the police non-emergency number in South Yorkshire get their call answered within two minutes, as controversy over performance of the force’s telephone lines continues.

The figure rises to 83 per cent when the deadline is extended to three minutes, though the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner Dr Alan Billings has insisted the objective is to improve on those results.

Questions continue over the way the Atlas Court call centre performs, with Rotherham Coun Stuart Sansome, vice chairman of the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel, the body which holds Dr Billings to account, arguing that callers who end their calls in frustration after waiting for an answer are not counted in those figures.

It has also emerged the ‘clock’ only starts after callers have heard taped messages, adding more than a minute for those holding the receiver.

Coun Sansome argued that while he could not challenge the accuracy of figures produced by South Yorkshire Police, the feedback he and council colleagues got from the public painted a different picture.

He said he had ‘no wish to challenge the legitimacy’ of the figures provided at a meeting of the panel, but added: “I feel they are false figures.”

That is because they do not include abandoned calls and he suggested a ‘call back’ system, used at busy times to allow callers to leave details for a return call later, should be extended to a 24 hour option.

“The only way to get trust and confidence back is to have a system which works without abandoning calls,” he said.

According to police, call abandonment rates are down by ten per cent recently.

Dr Billings told the meeting on an average day South Yorkshire Police take 2,383 telephone calls, with 759 on the 999 system, where the average wait for an answer is 13 seconds.

The average wait for the rest is eight minutes, but the bulk of calls are answered much more promptly.

Performance has been helped by the installation of a new £12m computerised call handling system, but Dr Billings conceded the real issue was demand from callers, with the force now trying to weed out unnecessary calls, by allowing contact through other electronic means and trying to educate the public around unsuitable calls to police, such as those who ring to query why take-away food has not been delivered.

“That doesn’t mean it is wholly satisfactory but it may be a lot better than some people think,” said Dr Billings.

More features are expected to be added to the 101 system in the New Year, allowing callers who know who they need to speak to the option of bypassing call handlers.

An internal review of the way Atlas Court operates is also in progress and should put forwards recommendations to improve efficiency.

Coun Sansome called for the Police and Crime Panel to be involved in the scrutiny of those proposals.

Colin Beeks, Head of Communications for South Yorkshire Police, said: “We can assure the public that if you call the police in a genuine emergency, your call will always be answered and prioritised. The average wait time for 999 calls is currently 13 seconds we are here for you around the clock, 365 days a year.

“Those who call us in a non-emergency will regrettably face a longer wait as we must direct our resources where they are needed most urgently.

“A review of Atlas Court, where 999 and 101 calls are handled, is currently underway. The findings will be considered, options for change will be put forward and then preferred options will be developed into a full business case in due course thereafter.

“In the meantime, we are trialling a number of different measures to optimise our resources and manage demand,” he said.

  • Provided by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
The LimbBo Foundation now has a global reach

A COUPLE who design artificial limbs for children say that their charity keeps on growing, with items they make going to kids across the globe.

Adam and Katie Dengel, of Shepherd Way, Royston, started learning about artificial limbs after their son Tommy, now five, was born missing his right forearm due to amniotic band syndrome - a rare condition in which stray bands of tissue wrap around the limbs in the womb and cut off blood flow.

The pair set up the LimbBO Foundation UK in 2018, using the high-tech process known as 3D printing to make specially-adapted limbs and items for children with missing limbs. 

These items include adapted bikes, adapted drumsticks and more. The 3D limbs are customised for each child and different themes are added like Wonder Woman, Buzz Light Year, Paw Patrol, The Hulk, Captain America and more. 

The LimbBO Foundation collaborates with the company Team Unlimbited, a charity which created a basic design of a fully functioning assistive device which can be downloaded for free by anyone with a 3D printer.

Each piece is made using a 3D printer in Adam’s garage-turned-workshop and as the charity is now officially registered, Adam, 30, said it is going from strength to strength.

One of the main things Adam says he is proud of, is that he and Katie are now sending specially-adapted limbs to families all over the world.

“We have sent out more than 80 bike adaptations, six custom adaptations and more than 40 customised Team Unlimbited arms/hands across the world this year and we have also provided 14 limb-different children with brand new fully adapted bikes at a cost of between £150-£250 each but at zero cost to the families. These were all delivered free of charge by our sponsor Bapp for Bolts.

“We have sent them to Mexico, Miami, Holland, Germany and even South Africa,” said Adam. 

“The demand is growing and it’s so amazing as parents send across pictures of their children with their new limb or adapted bike. We’ve gone from working in our bedroom to coverting part of our house to a printing room. I love what we do and it’s great when we receive a photo from parents, we put them all in the printing room so you can see them when you look up from working. It really does make you smile. I’m so proud of where the charity is now. This started as a conversation on the sofa when we were watching telly, so to see where it is now is just amazing.”

As well as creating items, there’s an annual summer event the LimboBO Foundation holds, which aims to bring families and children with missing limbs together to chat, have fun and play together. This year’s event was held at Cannon Hall and saw around 35 kids attend.

“It was really great,” said Adam. “The farm supports us and we have a space which we have to ourselves. It was important for us to get the kids together and it makes a real difference to them too. 

“Some of the kids have anxiety so it’s important for them to meet someone else with a limb difference so they don’t feel as different. It’s also good for the siblings as they can meet other siblings of children who have a limb or limbs missing.”

Adam and Katie recently travelled to Florida to the Never Say Never Foundation limb difference pirate camp, where they presented six 3D arms to six American children.

The charity’s next event is a Christmas party, where more than 100 people will attend to celebrate and enjoy the festive season.

Council set stall out to help the homeless

A STALL which takes donations for the homeless has arrived in Barnsley Market for the second year running. 

Help Us Help Them is a stall run by staff from the Barnsley Council Housing and Welfare team which aims to gather donations for homeless people for distribution throughout the year. 

The stall was held for the first time in the market last year and after its success, the team decided to run the stall again, and for longer this year. 

“Last year we held the stall for three days,” said housing options team leader, Rachael Todd. “We had such a great response last year that we decided to run the stall for longer to help get as many donations as possible.

“Any money donations will be given to Barnsley Churches Drop-in Project (BCDP) because they are in danger of closing so they are in need of all the donations they can get.”

As well as accepting clothing and food donations, the stall provides advice and information for people dealing with homelessness and those wanting to help. 

“We will be here to answer any questions and provide advice to anyone that needs it,” added Rachael. “With Christmas coming up and the cold weather drawing in, we want to make sure as many homeless people get as much help as possible.”

The stall will be situated at stall 20 in the ground floor of the indoor market. Any donations can be made to the stall or dropped off at The Civic on Eldon Street. 

The team will be accepting donations for

  •  Cereal/ cereal bars 
  •  Pot Noodles
  •  Biscuits 
  •  Bottled water 
  •  Baby wipes
  •  Deodorant and body spray
  •  Sanitary products 
  •  Toothbrush and toothpaste 
  •  Hats, scarves and gloves
  •  Thermal clothing 
  •  Sleeping bags (new)

For a full list of items that can be donated visit the Barnsley Homeless Alliance website.

Resus team presented with gong

SMILES were brought to the Resus Unit at Barnsley Hospital when the team were presented with their Proud of Barnsley Award.

 

John Goodfellow helped to raise funds for the hospital after his wife – well-known bingo caller Dorothy Goodfellow – collapsed and died from a heart attack.

 

Dorothy was just 56 and her death left everyone who knew her devastated. After she died, John, 60, praised the unit for helping him and his family spend time with Dorothy before she died, and more than £4,000 was raised in the her memory, with staff at Dorothy’s work, Buzz Bingo, holding a collection. Money was also raised through donations at her funeral.

 

The Resus Unit was nominated for a Proud of Barnsley Award for the Hospital Hero, made it through to the final and won the award, but no one from the unit could make the ceremony due to them being so busy, so John and a few of his family members attended.

 

John collected the award on their behalf.  

 

John gave his praise to the unit. “They do a wonderful job and gave us those few precious moments with Dorothy which would never have had without them,” he said. 

 

“I can’t thank them enough.”

 

When presenting the award to staff at the hospital, the moment was captured by Channel 5 as the production team are currently filming for the third series of Casualty 24/7, set to air next year.  

'Speculation' could finish family firm

A DAIRY farm owner whose products have been recalled due to a potential link to an E.coli outbreak has condemned Barnsley Council for risking the future of his five-generation business.

 

The local authority, along with Public Health England, have ordered the recall of the Oxspring-based Darwin’s Dairy products including all forms of its milk and cream.

 

Environmental health officers visited the dairy, at Whitefield Farm, Halifax Road, after Public Health England became aware of an increase in E.coli cases in South Yorkshire.

 

A total of 18 ‘confirmed or probable’ cases have been identified in people with links to Barnsley, Doncaster or Sheffield this month, while a statement issued by the council this week states nine of those are known to have consumed Darwin’s Dairy products before becoming unwell.

 

However, the statement said ‘it is important to be aware that the dairy has not been confirmed as the source of the outbreak at this stage’.

 

Owner Ben Darwin told the Chronicle the statement was unfairly issued and it had the potential to wipe out the long-running firm’s order book.

“Regarding the statement put out by Barnsley Council on a product recall, we would like to clarify that there is no confirmed link or evidence with the health issues highlighted in the council’s statement,” he said.

 

“It’s pure speculation and I am deeply upset and frustrated that such a statement can be released without sufficient evidence. We strive to supply our loyal customers with a quality local product that is regularly tested to the highest standards required.

 

“We’re totally in the dark about it now – one of our milk samples passed a laboratory test on Monday but the council’s taken away five other samples, but we’re still suspended from producing anything.

 

“We’re a small, family-run business and I can’t believe how the council can get away with issuing something that could seriously damage our business. Their statement even says that they cannot confirm that we’re the source for the outbreak.”

 

E.coli can cause a serious infection in those with weakened immune systems or vulnerable groups, including babies, the elderly or pregnant women.

 

Symptoms include stomach cramps and diarrhoea that may be bloody, usually lasting up to a week, however some infections can be severe and may be life-threatening.

 

“Those affected are recovering at home and in hospital,” the statement, issued on behalf of Julia Burrows, director of public health at Barnsley Council and disease control consultant Dr Nachi Arunachalam, said.

 

“Barnsley Council and Public Health England are informing residents across South Yorkshire of a recall of dairy products from Darwin’s Dairy.

 

“As a precautionary measure, we have advised Darwin’s Dairy to recall all of its milk including whole, semi-skimmed and skimmed and cream products currently in circulation.

 

“This became necessary after a potential processing problem was identified with the pasteurisation process that could have affected some milk and cream products that could still be stored in people’s fridges.

 

“The dairy is co-operating fully with our advice. If you have bought these products, do not eat or drink them but dispose of them.

 

“As with all instances of diarrhoea and vomiting, it is important that people keep hydrated and stay away from work or school for as long as symptoms persist. If you do notice blood in your stool, contact your GP immediately.”

 

  • Recalled products can be identified by logos stating ‘A Darwin’, ‘Darwin’s Dairy’ or ’NP and DJ Darwin Ltd’. An oval mark bearing ‘UK YB006 EC’ can also be checked.
Housing plan needs ‘cancelling’

PLANS to build a housing estate in a ‘toxic air zone’ adjacent to the M1 motorway have taken a step closer - after Barnsley Council issued legal notices to carry out the demolition of two four-bedroom properties to enable access to the site.

The notices, issued to residents on South Road, Dodworth, stated an initial intention of the demolition taking place as soon as next week, but Coun Peter Fielding told the Chronicle he has secured a delay to avoid adjacent residents being subject to disturbance over Christmas.

Persimmon Homes, the developer behind the 146-home planning application, outlined its bid for the land in April last year but concerns over its first choice access route - via a cul-de-sac on Bark Meadows - have delayed a decision.

A field earmarked for recreation - which borders the planned housing site - is now viewed as the preferred option as an alternative route in, but it would result in the boarded-up council houses being demolished.

Coun Fielding said: “I am calling on the council to cancel these plans altogether before it is too late in order to retain these two valuable council houses as well as keeping the park, sports pitch and children’s play area for this community instead of building on it, which is its declared intention.

“In 2018 Persimmon Homes submitted a planning application for homes on land adjacent to the M1 between Keresforth Road and junction 37 but due to difficulties in providing suitable access to the site, the application was never determined. Persimmon appear not to be interested in using this access and from what I understand may be losing interest in the site altogether.”

Plans show there will be 23 two-bedroom, 89 three-bedroom and 34 four-bedroom homes if the application is approved, with five per cent of the 146 being classed as ‘affordable housing’.

A Section 106 allocation - money put aside by developers for loss of amenity - includes £764,506 towards education provision and £222,093 for recreation, while an acoustic barrier will separate the site from the M1.

Coun Fielding added: “Residents are now only just realising that the council’s determined to build on this park, which is the only one that serves this large housing estate. It is clear that no effective consultation has taken place about the loss of yet another park, just half a mile from Penny Pie Park which is due to be turned into a road junction.

“There is no justification for any council to build on its parks in the way this local authority is planning to do, and it is shameful that they are so determined to build on this park that they could not wait for planning permission.

“They are scarce four-bedroom council houses which have been empty now for almost a year, a year in which two families in need of a decent home could have lived in them.

“When the council quite rightly puts pressure on private landlords for having empty properties, this is not a good example.”

According to the council, there are more than 8,200 people waiting to be housed.

Coun Tim Cheetham, cabinet spokesperson, said: “The land between South Road and the motorway sliproad is allocated for housing.

“The Persimmon Homes application submitted last year, which proposes to access part of the housing allocation from Bark Meadows, has not progressed because of concerns regarding the access. Alternative accesses are therefore being considered and one option includes taking access from South Road.

“On this basis, Berneslai Homes have relocated tenants from a pair of semi-detached dwellings.

“Should the council decide to take forward a residential scheme on the land we own, we will expect public consultation to be undertaken before a planning application is submitted so that the local community has an opportunity to have their say at an early stage in the process.”

Popular park fenced off by council

A PARK which will lose some of its land to make way for a new one-way road system has been fenced off by Barnsley Council.


Penny Pie Park, bordered by Dodworth Road and Pogmoor Road, has been the scene of regular protests from campaigners opposing the council’s scheme.

Despite a vigil being held there as recently as Thursday last week, workers have arrived at the site in preparation for the works needed to create the road - meaning it’s now out of bounds for users and will remain so for ‘more than a year’.

David Shepherd, service director for regeneration and culture at the council, said: “For some time the council has explored options to ease existing congestion and improve air quality along Dodworth Road.

“Plans for the scheme were approved at a planning board meeting in December last year and will deliver a long-term solution that will provide enough capacity for the current volume of traffic as well as accommodating the future business and housing growth aspirations of Barnsley.

“We anticipate that the scheme works will take more than a year to deliver as we need to factor in the timing of the landscaping and tree planting to make sure that this takes place during the planting season to maximise survival rates.

“We thank residents for their cooperation and patience while we deliver the scheme and we will try and keep inconvenience to a minimum.”

Plea to stop aggressive begging

SHOPLIFTING and aggressive begging in Wombwell’s main shopping area continue to be the priority for local police teams, following the area’s PACT meeting on Wednesday.

The meeting at Berneslai Homes on Shipcroft Close saw a high number of local residents turn out to raise their concerns with neighbourhood police and police and crime commissioner Dr Alan Billings.

Issues on High Street in Wombwell have been subdued somewhat by the identification of several main suspects, with local officers working with partner services and local businesses to dissuade these from committing further offences.

Neighbourhood policing team inspector Rebecca Richardson said a spike in reports in October was due to incidents specifically at Wilko, with officers also working with retailers on their layouts and encouraging the placing of high-value goods at the back of the shops.

CCTV cameras to cover High Street are still in the pipeline, and could be funded by Barnsley Council’s Principal Towns fund a £5m pot aimed at upgrading the borough’s satellite towns in line with the major redevelopment of the town centre.

Wombwell has previously had CCTV in place, but police told the meeting this had been funded by Barnsley Council and posed issues with access whenever officers would try to recover footage, as they would have to contact the council to do so.

“We’d love to be on there as often as we can, particularly in the run-up to Christmas where there’s known to be a spike in burglaries,” said PCSO Tony Thorpe.

“I know all the shop staff by their first names, I know all the market traders, but because of the demands the job places on you you can have every intention of going on High Street and get drafted into a search for a missing person or an RTC. There are probably six to eight individuals we’re aware of, two with permanent addresses and the others sofa surf or may sleep rough.”

The area is also set to benefit from an increased police presence in line with county-wide restructuring and recruitment of new police constables.

 
Incident on Dearne Valley Parkway

THE Dearne Valley Parkway is currently closed between Broomhill roundabout and Cathill roundabout due to a road traffic collision.

Please avoid the area if possible.

Council intend to capitalise on market’s success

A REVIEW of Barnsley’s flagship Glass Works market will take place next year with the authority insisting it will build on the success of the development which has seen visitor numbers grow by 44 per cent in the last year.

That analysis has been questioned by the traders body, the Barnsley group of the National Market Traders Federation, however, which has asked why the council needed to reduce rents for stallholders in the upstairs section of the market by half if custom was so brisk.

Barnsley Council says the review will be carried out by NABMA Market Place, a body for market operators, to ‘analyse Barnsley Market’s place within the regional and national market offer, how it contributes to the ongoing success of the town centre and the challenges it faces’.
Council figures show footfall - or visitor numbers - is up 44 per cent compared to the old temporary market and the authority insists the development is a success, attracting visits from many other local authorities.

However, the council has found itself in increasing conflict with the Barnsley group of the National Market Traders Federation, to the point where it now deals with a group of traders rather than the NMTF officials elected to represent traders.

They say Barnsley Council’s decision to cut rents for some stallholders illustrates the reality of difficult trading conditions and because it applies to only some businesses it has left some at a disadvantage.

Vice chairman of the Barnsley group, Keiron Knight, said some stallholders had ceased trading, with two going in recent weeks. Figures released in the early Autumn showed many tenants were behind with rent payments.

“The council has the best advisors it could have, the traders themselves,” he said.

“When the new market opened more than 30 stallholders left because they couldn’t accept the new terms and conditions. Now we are finding people struggling to make their businesses work,” he said.

One area of conflict has been the insistence that traders reflect the opening hours of shops which surround them, meaning Thursday openings on a day traders have historically been closed.

Barnsley Council says the review was always planned and will ‘aid the ongoing work’ by the council as part of its ‘long term commitment to the market’.

David Shepherd, service director for regeneration and culture at Barnsley Council, said: “The market has been open for just over a year, an ideal time to carry out the first review of its progress and operations, a review that we always planned.

“One of our key priorities as a council is to ensure that the market is a success. Our fantastic traders make the market what it is and we’ll continue to work with them, listening to their feedback and implementing their ideas wherever possible.

“Market Place is an impartial and objective body which is well respected within the industry and we’re confident the review’s outcome will aid us in making important decisions around the market’s direction and help us maintain and improve on its success,” he said.

  • Provided by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
 
Jail for man who spat at police

A MAN who assaulted and spat at two Barnsley police officers has been sentenced to more than a year in jail.

Prolific offender Dean Watson, of Monk Bretton, was arrested on Sunday May 5 in the Superdrug shop on Cheapside after reports of threatening and racist behaviour towards staff.

The 38-year-old was arrested again in the town centre on Saturday October 5, and was taken to hospital.

Sergeant Stephanie Coverley said: “Officers took Watson to Barnsley Hospital to be checked over by A and E staff after he was found intoxicated.

“While in the hospital, Watson became abusive and spat at officers. Watson was also using foul and inappropriate language in front of other patients and NHS staff, in what should be a safe and reassuring place for them.”

He was sentenced to 54 weeks in prison at Barnsley Magistrates’ Court. 

Watson will also be subject to a criminal behaviour order (CBO) for three years, meaning he cannot enter the Public Space Protection Order area of Barnsley town centre, or sit or lie on the ground in any public place in the borough.

Sgt Coverley said: “This has been the second sentencing this week of offenders assaulting our officers. I hope this sends a strong message that this behaviour will not be tolerated and we will always seek prosecution.

“Our team are committed to making Barnsley Town Centre a safer, more enjoyable place to visit. We will continue to take action against those who act in an anti-social manner.”

 
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Dreams are 'coming true' thanks to group

A CHRISTMAS prom is being held for disabled children who may not otherwise be given the opportunity to attend their school prom.

 

The FAB group is made up of parents and carers for disabled children across Barnsley, Rotherham and Doncaster who have Down’s syndrome, autism and other complex medical needs.

 

The group wants children to be able to experience opportunities that their peers have the opportunity to do, so parents and carers came together and formed the group last year and take children on residential and activity days.

 

One child, Maddie Scott, 11, of Dodworth, has been part of the group since it was founded last year. She has global development delay and other complex needs.

 

Her mum, Pauline Scott, said: “Laura Wilburn, who founded the group, has been Maddie’s teaching assistant for over three years. She attends Greenacre school but has never had the opportunities that she is getting with The Fab Group.

 

“Maddie can’t access ordinary group things and she can’t be left alone because she’s a runner. She has no awareness of danger and she is very behind her peers. It can be hard to find things for her to do that she enjoys.

 

“Through Fab she was able to go on a residential to Kingswood, where she went on a zip wire, practised archery and went on a climbing wall. Seeing the pictures of her having fun and doing things that her peers can experience is amazing. 

 

“I am so excited for her to be part of the prom. I’ve never seen her in a big dress and it’s an amazing event that has been planned and it will be a great opportunity for them to dance and enjoy themselves.”

 

The prom is being held at Mount Pleasant Hotel in Doncaster, and the venue has allowed them to use it for free. The group is currently trying to raise funds and secure free transport, decorations, hair supplies and catering for the red carpet event.

 

Laura said: “The prom is an opportunity for the children to enjoy themselves and experience something they wouldn’t ordinarily have the opportunity to have. We have had a few companies approach us and a hairdresser who specialises in doing hair for disabled children but we are still in need of transport and other things.

 

“I founded this group with the aim of allowing the ‘forgotten children’ to do what other children are able to do.

 

“In addition to the prom, I plan to take them on residential and day trips and we’re constantly raising funds to enable us to achieve these dreams for the children. A lot of our clients need two-to-one support in addition to the things they need medically when we go away so it’s a lot to consider and organise but as a team we are adamant to give these children these opportunities and make their dreams come true. Our next plan is to hopefully take the children to Disneyland Paris.”

 

If you are able to help with supplies for the prom send a message to The Fab Group Fundraising page on Facebook. To donate, click here.

Youth Choir achieves high ranking

BARNSLEY Youth Choir has retained its place in the upper reaches of the world choir rankings.

 

Interkultur, the organiser of the world choir games, named the choir fifth place in this year’s ranking in the Pop, Jazz, Gospel, Spiritual and Barbershop category, making the choir the only British choir in the top ten.

 

In the overall ranking, Barnsley Youth Choir ranks 28, out of 10,000 choirs. They are the only British choir to rank as high.

 

Mathew Wright, musical director and one of the founders of the world-renowned choir, said: “The ranking is based on a points system and the youth choir are competing against choirs of all ages, and against choirs who have the funding to rehearse more often and the money to participate in more competitions.

 

“For us to achieve what we have is astonishing.

 

“We’ve had a lot of attention from people across he world who are interested in what we do and it’s just great that the eyes of the world are on Barnsley and we’re putting it on the map because of how hard the children and young people work.”

Motorists caught speeding at accident blackspot

MORE than 80 motorists were caught speeding at an accident blackspot after a mobile speed van went to conduct a speed survey.

 

Burton Road, Monk Bretton, has had long-running calls for safety measures to be installed, more so following the deaths of two people in different incidents this year, 18-year-old Jordan Williams and 48-year-old Brett Smith.

 

While the cause of Jordan’s crash, which happened last month, is still under investigation, her mum, who is a Cudworth resident, is backing calls for a speed camera on that stretch.

 

South Yorkshire Safer Roads Partnership (SYSRP) conducted a speed survey last week and more than 80 offences were detected. Darfield Road in Cudworth is also in line to have a speed survey conducted, which SYSRP say is a site which has been requested by the local community.

 

Coun Charlie Wraith, who represents the Cudworth ward and lives on Burton Road, said: “I am very supportive of what the police are doing and I thank them for the action they have taken. To hear that more than 80 offences were detected is very, very high and it just shows the problem we are having and have been having for a couple years.

 

“Idiots that come flying down it’s frightening some days and I always wonder what an earth are they speeding like that for. It’s unbelievable but I am glad they are taking action. 

 

“I hope that every single person caught is prosecuted and the sooner a more permanent solution is installed the better. I’m frightened there may be another death.

 

“I’m glad to hear that Darfield Road will also have a speed survey conducted especially because the speed goes from 60pmh to 30mph but although there is ample signage people don’t slow down. 

 

“It’s about time action is taken and I just hope no one is killed in the interim.”

Man beaten in front of disabled child

RESIDENTS were left gobsmacked after a man described how he and his wife were attacked in their home, in front of their disabled child, and police failed to pursue the incident.

 

During the Shafton Parish Council meeting on Monday, Dr Alan Billings, the Police and Crime commissioner for South Yorkshire, attended the meeting.

 

During a discussion about the increase of crime in the area, a resident stood up and explained that his wife, who works in a bar, had been involved in an argument and threats were made against her and her husband.

 

Four people then entered her home and began to stamp on the gentleman’s head, while his wife was assaulted. The incident was witnessed by their 16-year-old disabled child.

 

Following the incident, they called 999 however no police attended on the night, and a while later the couple were invited to Wombwell police station to provide a statement.

 

The couple were later informed by the police that it as too late to pursue the case and it ‘would go nowhere’ so therefore they should consider dropping the case.

 

The man said at the meeting: “One of the people who attacked us had no criminal record and was a victim of crime himself because he’d had a car stolen. My wife dropped the case because of the stress but my case is still ongoing.

 

“I just don’t know what to say to my son. How can I teach him to trust the police when he has witnessed this?

 

“His routine has been disrupted because of this and each night at the time the incident occurred he’s asking if the doors are locked because he’s scared. What do I say to my son?”

 

CCTV evidence had been presented to police, but it was unclear what progress had been made.

 

Dr Billings said: “I am very distressed to hear what you have said. If someone is a vulnerable person, they should be dealt with immediately and properly. What you have described is not what we would expect. I would like to take that up. It is shocking.

 

“It is made clear if you have a vulnerable person that is top priority. We need to follow it up.”

'Secure your homes', police warn

POLICE are urging residents to be vigilant in the lead up Christmas.

 

Opportunistic thieves take advantage especially when presents are piled under the tree, expensive items left out on show, and doors and windows left unsecured.

 

DCI Paul Murphy said: “Over the festive period, we are encouraging everyone to make sure their houses are secure and take precautions to keep themselves and their homes safe. Don’t make it easy for criminals. 

 

“Make this year a Christmas to remember for all the right reasons and consider the following steps to protect your home and belongings by locking your doors and windows every time you leave the house, consider putting lights on a timer if you are planning on spending time away, to give the impression that someone is still inside. 

 

“Keep all keys, including car keys, out of sight and away from letterboxes, remove valuable items from view on the ground floor- this can be as simple as closing the blinds

 

“Finally, be aware and look out for people acting suspiciously, reporting this on 101, or 999 in an emergency.

 

“We all like to enjoy ourselves over Christmas, but so please look after your homes and your personal belongings. If anyone has any information about those responsible, please tell us – by reporting it on 101.”

Commemorative walkway opens in town

A WALKWAY commemorating those who have served or are currently serving in the HM Armed Forces was officially unveiled during a ceremony in Barnsley this week.

 

The HM Armed Forces Commemorative Walkway is the first to be launched in Yorkshire, and is situated on Westgate, behind the Barnsley Sixth Form College gardens.

 

It has been has been created for families and friends to remember those who have and are currently serving and the space has been provided in partnership with Barnsley College.

 

During the ceremony on Wednesday, standard bearers and relatives of those named on the first stones laid were among those invited to the ceremony, which was led by the Mayor of Barnsley, Coun Pauline Markham.

 

During her speech, she spoke about how Barnsley is committed to supporting the armed forces community and commemorating their invaluable contribution to protecting the national interests.

 

“The walkway is for all military personnel to commemorate those who have served, those who are still serving and those who have fallen whether they are on land, at sea, or in the air. I know that the town of Barnsley is proud to support our servicemen and women and would like to show appreciation for the work they do.”

 

The stones are built with honed granite and the unveiling saw 12 flagstones featuring the names, service and regiments of Barnsley’s servicemen and women. The first stone is dedicated to Private Matthew Thornton from the 4th battalion of the Yorkshire Regiment, who died in Afghanistan on November 9, 2011.

 

His family attended the event and Matthew’s dad, Michael Thornton said: “Matthew was a polite young man who took time out to help the other soldiers around him if they were struggling. He loved the army and comradery and was honoured to be corner guard at the cenotaph in Barnsley in 2010.

 

“The feedback from his Afghanistan camp was that he conducted himself more than a territorial soldier and he went on to receive the Rushworth Trophy in 2010. His mother and I are extremely proud of his achievements, and we’re pleased that we’ll be able to honour his name on Yorkshire’s first commemorative walkway.”

 

Dan Jarvis said: “Barnsley’s got a long-standing tradition of reflecting on the sacrifices people have made serving in our armed forces and I think it’s incredibly important we continue to do that.

 

“I’m really proud the local council and everyone has come together today to unveil this important monument which will give people a bit of space in order to think about the service and sacrifice of those who have lost their lives serving our country and I think it’s always important we do that.” 

 

Stones for the walkway can be purchased for £250 by visiting the Barnsley Council website and applicants will be asked to provide proof of service.

 

Wendy Lowder, executive director, said: “We’re delighted to open our very own commemorative walkway as a dedication to those who have and continue to serve our country. It’s a wonderful way to honour the service and sacrifice for our freedom that we too often take for granted.

“We’re proud to raise the curtain on the very first walkway in Yorkshire. We hope that it can be a true tribute to our armed forces and their families, and hope that the community will see the impact of preserving our history.”

 

Yiannis Koursis, principal and chief executive at Barnsley College, said: “The walkway is a fitting way to commemorate the sacrifices of both current and past servicemen and women from our town. We are pleased to have worked alongside Barnsley Council to provide an area which their families and friends can visit to reflect and think of them.”

 

Youths terrorising workers at business park

RECKLESS youths have been jumping on the roofs of businesses and throwing rubbish across a car park at a business park, a meeting was told.

 

Residents at the Cudworth Pact meeting heard how youths had been terrorising people who worked at the Acorn Centre, Grimethorpe, which has a number of businesses and the village library.

 

Between 3pm and 5pm, youths have been causing disruption at the site, running across the roofs of buildings, running and jumping over cars and banging on windows. The youths, aged between eight and 13-years old, have been warned by the caretaker at the site to leave but they fail to listen and only leave when the centre’s gates are closed at 5pm.

 

Although the site does have CCTV, the culprits have not been identified due to the time of day they come and they are dressed in dark clothing.

 

This behaviour comes months after youths were caught riding bikes through ASDA, which is up the road from the centre on High Street.

 

Sgt Richard Wilson said that it would be a PACT priority to monitor the behaviour of the youths in Grimethorpe.

© 2019 We Are Barnsley • Policies