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Council tax hike agreed
AN ‘unavoidable’ decision to raise council tax by 2.9 per cent was formally agreed by Barnsley Council yesterday - but bosses praised the local authority’s annual budget which promises significant investment despite the pandemic costing £12m.

The hike - comprising 1.4 per cent for core services such as roads and bin collections and a further 1.5 per cent ringfenced for adult social care - could have been as high as 5 per cent.

However, the...
‘Fly-tippers get stiffer sentences than stalkers...’
A WOMAN who suffered 13 months of terror at the hands of her ex-husband has won the backing of her MP in her campaign for tougher sentences for stalkers.

Claire Hinchcliffe, of Wombwell, says she was left traumatised by the harassment carried out by Christopher Malcolm Guy, who continued to stalk her after the breakdown of their relationship.

After months of torment, he pleaded guilty to stalking at Sheffield Magistrates’ Court and was given a...
Cabinet members accuses opposition Lib Dems of being ‘Covid spreaders’
A ROW broke out during a heated full council meeting on Thursday which saw a ruling cabinet member accuse Liberal Democrat councillors of being ‘Covid spreaders’.

Coun Sharon Howard, who represents the Darton West ward, accused Darton East representative Coun Steve Hunt of breaking the government’s guidance during the pandemic - something which Lib Dem colleague Coun Peter Fielding was also accused of.

Coun Howard showed prints from a Facebook page - Staincross Alliance -...
Stainborough Castle work steps up
CONSERVATION work which will see a historic folly restored to its former glory is stepping up and will be ready for the summer, leaders behind the project revealed this week.

Scaffolding was erected around Stainborough Castle - which stands in Wentworth Castle Gardens’ grounds - this week in order for essential repair work which will replace 300-year-old eroded stones, crumbling mortar and long-perished timber.

The National Trust, working alongside Barnsley Council and organisations involved with...
Teachers’ union ‘worried’ over kids’ return
MEMBERS of a Barnsley teachers’ union say they are worried about safety as schools prepare to reopen to all pupils.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced in his ‘coronavirus roadmap’ that schools would be allowed to reopen from March 8 due to a fall in Covid cases.

Currently schools across the borough are closed except to children of key workers to help keep the infection rate low.

The new move would mean that the 87 schools...
Mourners pay respect to popular Mark
A JUMP man had the last laugh as his funeral procession took him on a final pub crawl past his favourite boozers.

Mark Halliday, 60, died with Covid on February 1.

He was a much-loved fundraiser for local causes and a frequent sight at Jump Working Men’s Club.

And when locals gathered in socially-distanced manner outside that venue and around the village, expecting to see a solemn cortege, few could suppress their laughter as an...
April 12 date in pub landlords’ eyes...
APPREHENSIVE landlords are taking a literal raincheck after it was announced they can begin serving again from April.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson laid out the conditions for reopening hospitality venues in his ‘roadmap’ for easing lockdown measures, made public on Monday.

The first date that will have caught publicans’ and pub-goers’ eyes is April 12 - when venues can begin to welcome customers back, in an outdoors setting.

Five weeks later, indoor seating will be...
Teen’s mum speaks out after shocking assault
THE mother of a Shafton teen who has been left terrified after being ‘brutally assaulted’ on her way home by two men has said urgent action must be taken before she can leave the house again.

Keira Sands, of Sceptone Grove, was walking metres from her home on High Street before allegedly being beaten by two grown men in the middle of the street at about 11pm last Monday.

The 14-year-old was left shaken on...
Miners still in the dark over pension increase
THOUSANDS of ex-miners in Barnsley are still in the dark over a promised pension increase - more than a year since the Prime Minister assured them they would receive more cash.

Dearne MP John Healey has accused Boris Johnson of breaking an election promise and has written to the Prime Minister in a last-ditch attempt to get him to stick to a pledge made in November 2019 during the General Election campaign.

He is reported...
Stolen dog reunited with its owner
A DOG was reunited with its owner after police recognised the pooch following a burglary in Darfield last year.

On November 10, officers responded to reports of a burglary on College Terrace where black patterdale terrier, Peggy, was stolen.

A few months later, the Barnsley South Neighbourhood Team were carrying out enquiries with West Yorkshire Police when an officer spotted a familiar looking dog.

Sgt Rebecca Fleming said: “Our officer spotted Peggy, recognising her from...
Defib fundraiser stepped up by care home’s staff
STAFF at a Thurnscoe care home are stepping up in a bid to fit its lifesaving defibrillator outside the home.

Carers at Dearnlea Park Residential Home, on Park Road, challenged themselves to walk 10,000 steps per day throughout March in a bid to raise funds for a case for their defibrillator.

The home already has the equipment but it’s locked away in the manager’s office - to make it more accessible 24 hours of the...
Councillor urges residents to get involved
A LOCAL councillor has urged residents to get involved with local democracy following debate about how Barnsley Council’s procedures should be run.

Penistone West’s Coun Dave Griffin spoke out after reading comments made in the February 12 Chronicle.

In the letters page, Mike Smith from Democracy for Barnsley spoke about how democracy does not begin and end at the ballot box, and suggested that Barnsley Council make the switch from a cabinet model to a...
‘Light at the end of the tunnel’ for gyms
THE Prime Minister’s roadmap out of lockdown has offered new hope to ‘non-essential’ businesses across the borough - and the owner of a Carlton martial arts school believes there is finally a ‘light at the end of the tunnel’.

Oliver Lovell, 26, of Royston, opened his Brazilian jiu-jitsu school in 2016 and admits the past year was something no-one could have prepared for.

But now thanks to the new roadmap out of lockdown, gyms are...
Nick sleeps rough to raise awareness
A ROYSTON man who slept rough for a week to raise awareness of rising cases of homelessness in Barnsley hopes his own past struggles can help others seek help.

Nick Exley, 29, of Parkhead Close, set up the group Project Wolf Pack on Facebook in January.

Nick will take on 11 challenges in 11 months and he completed one of his tasks last week - sleeping on the streets of Sheffield for seven nights.

Historic building’s owner condemns council’s ‘lack of support’
THE owner of one of the borough’s most historic buildings has blasted Barnsley Council bosses for ‘failing to pledge their support’ having embarked on a quest for its Grade II listing to be upgraded due to its significance.

The Mill of the Black Monks, on Grange Lane, was built by and for the Cluniac monks in roughly 1150AD to service the adjacent Monk Bretton Priory.

Owner Malcolm Lister, 83, is seeking to have its grading...
Teen Abbie rescues stricken swans
A TEENAGER completed a daring rescue after two swans became trapped in a lock.

Abbie Sutherland, 16, could be Barnsley’s answer to Dr Doolittle - she admitted she must have a way with animals after being called on to help pull the swans out of the small body of water at Cobcar Lane, Elsecar, on Sunday.

“I normally walk down there anyway and there are a couple of swans that I feed regularly,” said Abbie....
‘Two-in-one’ crime surges
A SURGE in ‘two-in-one’ thefts - where opportunists break into homes to steal car keys - has seen more than 20 vehicles reported stolen in Barnsley in under two months, latest figures have revealed.

Police in the town have launched an appeal for residents to come forward with information and report ditched cars in a bid to tackle rising concerns.

Two-in-one burglaries typically occur at properties with high-value or rare vehicles on the drive and...
Dog control law tightened in Barnsley
IRRESPONSIBLE dog owners face tougher controls after new measures were put through by Barnsley Council’s ruling cabinet.

The public space protection order (PSPO) was approved by senior councillors last Wednesday and is expected to be in place within the next six weeks.

Such orders are designed to clamp down on specific antisocial behaviour, such as allowing local authorities to require dogs be kept on leads in certain areas.

The measures - which will see £100...
Campaigners’ hopes raised by new funding
CAMPAIGNERS calling for more work to be done on a main road notorious for speeding issues hope new funding will finally lead to their concerns being heard.

The Speed Awareness Group Ardsley (SAGA), formed three years ago, has welcomed plans for a £90,000 injection of cash that will be put towards road safety schemes not otherwise flagged up in collision data.

Group members have previously wondered whether ‘someone has to be killed’ before action is...
Cafe owner Maggie praises kind-hearted customers
A CAFE owner from Monk Bretton believes that lockdown has shown the kindness of local residents who have been anonymously paying for other people’s food.

Maggie Wood, who owns Maggie’s Cafe on Tennyson Road, has remained open during the lockdown for takeaway food.

She told the Chronicle: “We’ve recently started offering afternoon tea to take away and a lovely customer came in and offered a £20 note asking to pay forward a couple of afternoon...
Granddaughter sets charity walking challenge
A GRIMETHORPE woman is set to take part in a 24-kilometre walk in memory of her late grandad to Alzheimer’s.

Stephanie Holden-Rhodes and her husband Jack, both 28 and of Taylor Crescent, are holding the memory walk in remembrance of Stan Tinker, who died aged 87 in 2010.

She told the Chronicle: “We’re going to be walking 24km on March 20 and anyone who knows us knows that’s going to be a challenge.

“There’s a...
Miner Keith to retire
ONE of the oldest working miners in the country - who started life as a pit’s pony driver at the age of 15 - is set to retire next month.

Wombwell’s Keith Turton, 79, has announced he will step down from his tour guide role at the National Coal Mining Museum, in Wakefield, on March 1 after more than 25 years in the job.

He first started his career as a teenager back in 1956...
Concerns over ‘rushed’ school
PLANNERS have been questioned over having a ‘gun put to their heads’ - after it was claimed plans for a new temporary school were rushed through at the risk of funding being pulled.

The proposals on land off Keresforth Close, near Broadway, were approved at Tuesday’s planning regulatory board meeting.

They indicate a temporary school will be opened in September and welcome 180 students aged 11 to 16, followed by a further 180 in 2022....
Farmers to be protected from illegal off-road yobs
ILLEGAL off-road bikers causing thousands of pounds in damage on Barnsley’s farmland will be stopped through cross-border partnerships and increased action days, police bosses have revealed.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, has vowed to take firm action after a rise in cases in the last year which has resulted in churned-up fields, crops being ruined and fences damaged.

The National Farmers’ Union (NFU) revealed crime cost farmers in Barnsley communities such...
Five-year freeze for OAPs
ELDERLY residents in a sheltered housing complex have spoken out after being left without adequate heating for more than five years - having endured one of the coldest winters in recent memory.

Residents at Newsome Vale, a housing complex for over-55s in Wombwell, have put up with regular issues including long stretches without heating or hot water and foul smells filling homes since the site opened in January 2016.

The main problems stem from a...
Hairdresser fines will not be a snip
HAIRDRESSERS and barbers have been warned they face fines of up to £10,000 if they are still operating - after reports were made that some in the town have remained open.

Barnsley Council’s enforcement team have been working with South Yorkshire Police and reiterated that anyone found breaking the guidance will receive a £1,000 fixed penalty notice as well as a prohibition order.

The penalty will ‘increase significantly’ if they continue to trade and could...