Council support available for coronavirus related issues

BARNSLEY Council have launched a new emergency contact centre to respond to coronavirus related emergencies.


The scheme, set up to help the vulnerable people of the borough, began yesterday.


The contact centre puts people in touch with support to help them, and where needed volunteers can deliver essential supplies, help with medication or have a chat with people so they don’t get lonely.


Coun Jenny Platts, spokesperson for adults and communities, said: “It has been amazing to see the community response so far with our residents pulling together in these difficult times.


“We’ve received over 270 volunteer applications which is a really great result.


“We ask people to use the contact centre correctly, as time spent answering calls about general enquiries means that we will have fewer resources to help those who desperately need it.”

Dumpit sites closed until further notice

BARNSLEY Council has announced that they have closed all household waste recycling centres across the borough with immediate effect.


According to the council, the sites have remained very busy and crowded, despite guidance from the government to only travel for essential reasons.


Queues have formed on the highway, increasing the risk of accidents, and staff have been subjected to abuse when implementing social distancing measures.


Please keep any waste you would usually take to the centre at home until they re-open.


For more information visit barnsley.gov.uk/covid-19-waste.

Funding available for flood victims

RESIDENTS affected by severe floods which swamped Barnsley in November are eligible to apply for cash from the second phase of an emergency relief fund.

The South Yorkshire Community Foundation (SYCF) aimed to provide ‘immediate relief’ to those impacted by way of an initial £200 grant, but the second phase will allow victims to apply for up to £1,000.

Darton and Wombwell accounted for most of the flood-damaged properties following the torrential downpours on November 7.

A spokesman said: “The first phase ends at midnight tonight but we will launch phase two which will provide grants of up to £1,000 to those worst impacted by the floods.”


Visit www.sycf.org.uk to apply.

Bin calendar available online

THIS years bin collection calendar has been uploaded onto the Barnsley Council’s website.


The calendar has been redesigned to be more accessible for residents in a simpler layout and format and provides the schedule running from January 2020 to January 2021, including changes to the Christmas and New Year service. 


Coun Chris Lamb said: “Our brand new bin calendar design should make it easier for our residents to find out when their bin days are. The layout has been amended to be inclusive to all of our residents’ needs, making it simpler to read and work with screen readers. 


“Our bin calendars were moved online a couple of years ago as part of our Digital First programme. If residents would like a paper copy of their annual bin collection calendar, they are available on our website to download and print at home. Alternatively, they can visit their local library, and a member of staff will assist them in printing off a paper copy.”


Visit the Barnsley Council website to access the calendar.

Don't forget to order your prescriptions...

WITH Christmas approaching, Yorkshire’s NHS 111 service is reminding the people of Barnsley to order and collect repeat prescriptions before GP surgeries and pharmacies close for the holidays.


Hundreds of patients call NHS 111 during the festive season because they have run out of their regular medication, leading to unnecessary worry for themselves and increasing pressure on urgent care and out-of-hours NHS services.


Dr Eithne Cummins, GP and clinical director for integrated urgent care at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “The NHS 111 service will be very busy over the Christmas and New Year period. Many people need repeat medication to manage long-term conditions and most remember to order and collect their prescriptions before Christmas, which is helpful and appreciated. 


“However, in the busy build-up to the holidays, it’s easy to forget and this can lead to problems once GP practices close for Christmas. So, if you think you might need more medication over Christmas and the New Year, save yourself the worry and re-order your prescription while there is still plenty of time for it to be processed and dispensed.


“Not only will you be doing yourself a favour, you’ll also be helping the NHS by reducing pressure on busy urgent care services over the Christmas period.” 

GP appointments available over Christmas

GP APPOINTMENTS will be available for over Christmas and New Year as i-HEART Barnsley will offer appointments on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day at sites across the borough. 


Some pharmacies will also be open on these days. 


On Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, phone lines for appointments (242419) will be open from 8am to 9.30am for appointments between 10am and 2pm. 


Outside of these hours, people needing advice should call NHS 111.


Pharmacists can offer expert clinical advice for minor health concerns such as sore throats, coughs, colds, upset stomach and teething.


On Christmas Day, Silkstone Pharmacy is open from 10am to 2pm. On Boxing Day, Asda Pharmacy is open from 9am to 6pm on Old Mill Lane. Boots Pharmacy in Boots, Cheapside is open from 9am to 4pm. 


On New Year’s Day, the Asda Pharmacy will be open from 10am to 5pm.


People are asked to remember to stock up on medicines and collect prescriptions in good time. 

Plan ahead this Christmas

WITH Christmas around the corner, South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE) is reminding customers to plan ahead for their travel during the festive period in Barnsley.


From Friday, December 27 until Monday, December 30, buses will follow a Saturday service, apart from Sunday, December 29, when they will operate a Sunday timetable. Train services will run as normal after a late start on Friday.


On Christmas Eve and New Year’s Eve, buses will run a Saturday service, with last departures between 5.30pm and 7.30pm, whereas trains will run a normal service.


“Most local bus, tram and train services will follow Saturday timetables with an early finish, but, as usual, there will be no bus or train services on Christmas Day or Boxing Day in Barnsley,” said  SYPTE’s director of customer services Tim Taylor.


There will be no bus services on New Year’s Day, but they will follow a Saturday timetable with some exceptions on Thursday, January 2 and Friday, January 3, resuming normal service on Saturday, January 4.


Trains will resume normal timetables on New Year’s Day, after a late start.


“Trains are expected to be busier than usual and customers are encouraged to check with National Rail or their operating company for any planned engineering works or local service updates,” added Tim.


“Customers can register with Travel South Yorkshire to receive a free email alert whenever there are changes to public transport services.”


From Boxing Day until New Year’s Day, holders of SYPTE-issued English National Concessionary Travel Scheme Senior Passes can travel for free on bus and tram, and for half fare on Northern Rail services within South Yorkshire, without restrictions from the start to end of service.


People can register for timetable updates by visiting travelsouthyorkshire.com/gettimetables.

Taxi rank moving

A TAXI rank in Barnsley town centre will be relocated from January 6, it has been announced.


The facility, on Midland Street, will move to Eldon Street to allow for work to be carried out on the Superbowl UK site in The Glass Works.


From January 20, both Kendray Street and Midland Street will become limited access. 


Entry will be restricted to construction vehicles and vehicles used to access businesses within the immediate vicinity. 


All 18 taxi rank spaces will be removed and Midland Street will also become a two-way road.

Your bin day could change at Christmas

BARNSLEY Council is reminding all residents to check their bin days to make sure they are prepared for changes over the Christmas period.

Bins that are scheduled to be collected on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day will be rescheduled. Changes to collections on these dates will be on residents’ current bin calendars and can also be viewed online.

The council is asking residents to check their calendars at least two weeks before their scheduled collection so that they do not miss their changed day.

Matt Gladstone, executive director for place, said: “We would like to thank residents who have committed to recycling to help make Barnsley a great place to live over the past year. We understand how celebrations at this time of year can create more waste than usual. To help keep the borough clean and green we’re encouraging residents to carry on recycling where possible and be mindful of their waste.

“Our household waste and recycling sites based throughout the borough will also be open as normal over the festive period (apart from Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day) for any additional waste or recycling.”

For further information, click here

'Significant' progress across Barnsley schools
‘SIGNIFICANT progress’ in attainment is being celebrated across Barnsley schools after a report found that they were performing above the national average.
The provisional education outcomes report, which was discussed at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, saw Barnsley rank higher than Rotherham, Doncaster and Sheffield for attainment in GCSE maths and English.
Rachel Dickinson, executive director of people directorate, said that that the outcome is ‘something to celebrate’, with the results also finding that boys in key stage two were outperforming their peers nationally in maths for the first time.
The report said: “The percentage of pupils achieving a strong pass in English language, English literature and maths at key stage four is above national for the very first time since its introduction in 2016/17.
“The positive gap in key stage two mathematics has improved further and boys now outperform their peers nationally.”
Barnsley has 41 schools run by the local authority and 50 academies. In 2010, they ranked 148 out of 150, but this year Barnsley ranked 112 out of 150 in England.
Nick Bowen, executive principal of Horizon Community College, said that the Barnsley Schools Alliance’s partnership approach and monthly meetings with headteachers across the borough had contributed to the outcome of this year’s results.
He said: “When I began eight years ago each year when the end of year results came in we ranked 148 or 149. We’ve made significant improvements and implemented new measures which is reflected in our progress.
“Barnsley was no doubt performing poorly, but now we have something to shout about and be proud. The sector-led improvement partnership with the local authority to drive improvement sees all the heads of secondary schools meet each month and we support and challenge each other so there is no reason why we can’t continue to move further up the table.
“The Barnsley Schools Alliance has been the envy of of authorities across the country and we have had people come and see how we make it work. It’s unique but we don’t take it for granted. We all engage and we can now see the value from the results and we should celebrate this outcome.”
With the number of schools in Barnsley now part of an academy chain, Ms Dickinson insisted the council is still invested in seeing Barnsley schools thrive.
She added: “The local authority has shrunk and expertise now sits in schools and the academy trusts. We want to see Barnsley children progress and we are actively working together to meet the needs of the children.
“There is still a sense of competition between the schools across the borough but we want to assure parents that they don’t have to send their child miles away in order for them to have a good education.
“We are celebrating achievement and our outstanding provision. We accept that the children are working hard and our young people have a desire to achieve and do well. When you see what can be done it drives us on.”
Nicola Smith, head at Meadstead Primary Academy in Royston, told the Chronicle that primary and secondary schools were working together to keep driving improvement. 
“There are many more primary schools in Barnsley than there are secondary schools but we are committed to building a strong partnership so that every school in the borough is delivering for the kids,” she said.
Premature baby group

A NEW service has been launched by Barnsley Hospital to help families with premature babies.


The group, which runs once a month at Lundwood Family Centre, has been formed in response from parents whose babies were born at the hospital.


Nurse Rachel Thrumble said: “Parents often see their baby in an incubator attached to numerous wires and machinery which can create a barrier and impact on the ease and frequency that mum and dad can hold their baby.


“Our new group is a safe place where families can talk about those feelings and experiences alongside other families who have been through the same journey. We as professionals aim to encourage this and provide reassurance, information and emotional support if needed.”


The next meeting is on December 19 from 1pm until 3pm.

'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.”

Farm's products recalled due to E.coli outbreak

A DAIRY farm’s products have been recalled due to a potential link to an E.coli outbreak. 

Barnsley Council, along with Public Health England, have recalled all of 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 these cases 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’. 

“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,” it added. “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.” 

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.” 


  • 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.
Flood relief fund made available

A FLOOD relief fund has been set up to help dozens of people whose homes were ruined earlier this month.

The South Yorkshire Community Foundation (SYCF) said just over 100 households were now known to be affected in Barnsley and appealed for people to apply for funding.

Darton and Wombwell accounted for most of the flood-damaged properties following the torrential downpours on November 7. The council has offered £250 per house affected, topped up by a government grant of £500, and the SYCF has pledged another £100 per house initially, while larger sums will be considered in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

A statement said: “The flood disaster relief appeal is funded by donations from individuals, businesses, charitable trusts and funds from the SYCF. Individuals or families whose properties and contents have been damaged by a disaster or who are suffering other hardship as a result can apply. There will be one grant per household at this stage.”

Barnsley Council leader Sir Steve Houghton said more will be done to protect residents.

He said: “As we move into a recovery phase in Barnsley, we’ll be looking at our longer-term plans to review learning from the floods, and how we can work with our partners to improve flood defences where we can.”

To apply to the fund click here

College goes up a T level with new course

BARNSLEY COLLEGE is the only college in South Yorkshire to be chosen to run new T level courses which start in September.

The college will be offering new technical courses in construction, digital, and education and childcare which will begin in September 2020. 

A further 22 courses will be rolled out in stages from 2021, which will cover subjects such as finance and accounting, engineering and manufacturing, and creative and design.

T Levels are a new two-year qualification, equivalent to three A Levels, for 16 to 18 year olds who would prefer a technical education, rather than following a purely academic pathway or a work-based apprenticeship.

The qualifications are a combination of classroom or workshop-based learning and ‘on-the-job’ experience. 

They provide a mixture of technical knowledge and practical skills specific to the student’s chosen industry or occupation and can include an industry placement of at least 45 days, relevant maths, English and digital skills, and common workplace skills.

David Akeroyd, vice principal technical and professional education at Barnsley College, said: “We’re really excited and proud to have been chosen by the Department for Education to be the only college in South Yorkshire and one of only 54 colleges in the country to offer T Levels from September 2020.

“We have fantastic partnerships with employers across the South Yorkshire region and we are in a strong position to be able to deliver these qualifications which will provide our students with an opportunity to gain the technical knowledge and valuable work experience that employers look for when recruiting new employees.”

Potential new students will have the opportunity to find out about T Levels and the wide range of courses on offer at the Barnsley College and Barnsley Sixth Form College Open Day next Saturday, November 23, from 11am to 2pm.

The open day will be held at various College sites including the Sixth Form campus on St Mary’s Place, the Old Mill Lane campus on Church Street, the Science Technology Engineering and Maths (STEM) Centre on Old Mill Lane, the Construction Centre and Sports Academy at the Honeywell campus and Wigfield Farm.

Purse bells will help fend off potential thieves

OFFICERS in Barnsley have issued a warning to shoppers after several incidents of purse thefts in the town centre, and have introduced a way for people to ‘hear’ their purse.

‘Purse bells’ have been introduced by South Yorkshire Police and are available for people to pick up at the front desk in Barnsley Police Station.

Sergeant Steph Coverley said: “It’s the time of year when our high streets across South Yorkshire start to get busier, with people beginning their Christmas shopping.

Unfortunately, it’s also the season where we see an increase in thieves targeting people for their purses and valuables.

“This week two elderly people have had their purses taken in Barnsley town centre, which is clearly upsetting and can have a bigger emotional impact than people think.

“We know that the types of people carrying out this activity often work in teams and operate by distracting vulnerable members of the public, so please keep your eyes peeled for this type of behaviour.

“Often the simplest methods of crime prevention are the best that’s why we’ve got purse bells available for anyone who would like one. If you pop along to Barnsley Police Station and speak to the front desk you can pick one up for your mum, grandma, friend or yourself.

“You can always speak to any of our officers or PCSOs that you see on the beat, in fact we’d love to have a chat, so bear this in mind too.”

There will be two police engagement stalls are at Barnsley Market on Wednesday from 1pm to 3pm and Thursday at Barnsley Library between 10am and noon.

New support sessions begin - full list here

A PILOT scheme aimed at giving people face-to-face contact with support services in Barnsley was launched this week.

The ‘Talking Point’ programme, a partnership between Barnsley Council and social care, housing, police and health services, hopes to give residents a better idea of what support is available in order for them to improve their own independence and wellbeing.

The project’s pilot scheme, targeting the Dearne, was launched at Goldthorpe Library yesterday and will see further drop-in sessions rolled out in Thurnscoe and Goldthorpe.

Coun Jenny Platts, cabinet spokesman, said: "This initiative is a brilliant way for residents to make sure that they can access the support and guidance that they require from a range of services working together in one place.”

The next session is on Saturday October 26, Big Local Thurnscoe - St Helen’s Church Hall, 11am-4pm.

* Thursday 14 November, Snap Tin Cafe, Goldthorpe,10am-noon

* Monday 25 November, Salvation Army, Goldthorpe, 10am - noon

* Monday 9 December, Thurnscoe Library, 10am - noon

* Wednesday 18 December, Cherry Tree Court, 10am - 1pm

* Monday 6 January, Goldthorpe Medical Centre, 10am - noon

* Thursday 23 January, Goldthorpe Library, 10am - noon

Appointment options are extended as women urged to have cervical screening

WOMEN in Barnsley will now be able to access cervical screening appointments in Barnsley at evening and weekends.

Nurses from the iHEART Barnsley service will be offering cervical screening appointments on Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm to 10.30pm and on Sundays from 10am to 2pm at the Chapelfield Medical Centre in Wombwell.

The appointments have been set up to help women get appointments at a time most suitable to them. Appointments can be booked in advance by contacting your GP Surgery and asking to be referred to i-Heart’s screening service.

Cervical screening is not a test for cancer, but a pre-cancer screening to notice any changes to the cervix before a problem arises. Some 95 per cent of screenings come back negative and cervical cancer is rare, making up less than one per cent of all cancer cases, as smear tests are good at catching and treating potential problems early enough to prevent it.

Dr Hussain Kadarsha, GP at Barnsley Clinical Commissioning Group said: “Cervical cancer is one of the cancers that can be prevented through screening by picking up early changes in the cells before the disease develops. So being able to offer extended access to cervical screening appointments is a great thing for women in Barnsley.

“We’ve seen drop in and evening sessions prove really popular recently. We’re hoping to see these opening times encourage more women to have their screening.

“The best way for women to protect themselves against cervical cancer is by taking up their cervical screening appointments.

“We know that many women don’t attend their appointment for a variety of reasons, but we want to make sure that appointments are available at the best times to suit them.”

For more information about booking appointments, visit the iHEART Barnsley website at iheartbarnsley.org.uk

Changes to recycling centre opening times

CHANGES to the opening times at the household waste and recycling centres across the borough have come into effect today.

The winter opening times will see all four centres close at 4pm.

The centre on West Street, Worsbrough, will open at 8am and Smithies Lane, Springvale and Nicholas Lane will open at 9am.

All centres will continue to open seven days a week but will close on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day and the opening times will remain in place until March.



Support available during Breast Cancer Awareness month

IN SUPPORT of Breast Cancer Awareness month, Barnsley Hospital is raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of breast cancer.

The hospital will also be making people aware of the importance of attending screening appointments. Breast cancer is one of the most common cancers in the UK, with around one in eight women in the UK being diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.

However, if detected earlier, treatment has a higher rate of success. Breast screening aims to find breast cancers early.

It uses an X-ray test called a mammogram that can spot cancers when they’re too small to see or feel. The test takes a few minutes and might feel uncomfortable but shouldn’t be painful.

As the likelihood of getting breast cancer increases with age, all women aged from 50 to their 71st birthday, and registered with a GP are automatically invited for breast screening every three years.

As well as attending breast screening it’s important women check their breasts regularly for changes and if anyone does notice any changes they are asked to make an appointment to speak to a GP.

Macmillan Trust lead cancer nurse Sara Andrews said: “I encourage women to regularly look and feel their breasts. That way, you can spot any changes quickly and report them to your GP.

"As well as checking your breasts it’s important to take up your breast screening invites as mammograms can spot cancers when they’re too small to see or feel.

“If you think you may have missed a breast screening, or have not been invited, contact your local breast unit. The earlier breast cancer is picked up, the easier it is to treat and the more likely the treatment is to be successful.”

Anyone can still have screening once they are aged 71 or over and can arrange an appointment by contacting Barnsley Hospital on 432 100.

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