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Police probe school ‘shooting’ warning
TENSIONS have risen at a Barnsley school after a note was found at a nearby bus stop which forewarned of an impending ‘mass shooting’.
Last Thursday, a parent found the note at a bus stop near Holy Trinity School shortly before 9am.
The note appeared to allude to a potential shooting which was due to happen ‘at 11am’ - although no date was given.
Police were quickly called to the school, and the threat is...
Parcel giant’s bosses respond to campaigners’ claims
BOSSES of a giant distribution hub - which will become Europe’s largest when it opens its doors - have confirmed no zero-hour contracts will be enforced and employees will earn more than the minimum wage.
Hermes’ state-of-the-art Hoyland facility, dubbed ‘Colossus’, will cost around £60m and open in September next year on land off Sheffield Road near the M1.
Plans were given the go-ahead despite mass campaigning from local residents whose petition garnered more than...
Driver shortages prompt bus cull
DRIVER shortages will see dozens of bus services culled across Barnsley.
The timetable changes by Stagecoach will come into force at the end of this month, as the firm attempts a massive recruitment drive to fill its gaps in staffing.
As in other driving industries, bus firms such as Stagecoach - which operates a majority of the services in Barnsley - have seen their workforce cut due to the pandemic and Brexit, which have had...
Benefit claimants feeling the pinch
AS numbers of people relying on benefits have soared and a ‘vital’ uplift to Universal Credit has now been cut, a Barnsley charity revealed it’s helped clients claim millions in support.
Wellington Street-based Citizens Advice Barnsley said enquiries on Universal Credit have increased year-on-year and between last April and this March 3,328 cases involving Universal Credit were handled a rise on the previous year’s 2,740, when the number of cases more than doubled.
In its...
Bodybuilder becomes national champ
A BODYBUILDER whose career began just six years ago has become a British champion.
Collette Evans, 34, has been lifting weights for the last ten years but achieved her biggest win yet last Saturday when she took the top spot at the Natural Physique Association’s British finals.
Worsbrough’s Collette - who trains up to three times a day - first began to compete back in 2015.
She said: “I’ve enjoyed my journey for the most...
Hoyland campaigners resume meetings
CAMPAIGNERS battling to save Hoyland’s green spaces met for the first time since Covid-19 restrictions were lifted.
More than 50 locals turned up at Belmont Working Men’s Club for last Monday’s event which was organised by REACH (Rebuilding Environment and Community in Hoyland).
Speakers from REACH and other local campaign groups - including Extinction Rebellion and Barnsley Trades Union Council - addressed the audience.
Ci Davis, from Extinction Rebellion, said: “I grew up in a...
Zero tolerance on attacks
GROWING tirades of both verbal and physical abuse hurled at frontline workers in Barnsley Hospital and the town’s GP surgeries will not be tolerated, according to healthcare bosses who vowed to protect staff.
Members of Barnsley’s Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) - which is responsible for healthcare services in the borough - South Yorkshire Police, Barnsley Council and the hospital all attended a meeting last week to discuss rising staff complaints since the pandemic began last...
Publicans unite for town centre safety message
TOWN centre bars, pubs and venues have clubbed together to show Barnsley is a safe place to enjoy a night out - with a host of new measures coming into force.
Spurred on by the national conversation around safety, and particularly women’s safety, following the murder of 33-year-old Sarah Everard, venue owners signed up to Barnsley’s Pubwatch scheme are doing everything they can to protect patrons.
Adam Pumford, from Funny Gals, told the Chronicle: “We’ve...
School defends toilet closure decision
A SCHOOL forced to close several toilets due to students setting off fire alarms by smoking electronic cigarettes has dismissed a petition - which has amassed almost 1,000 signatures - that claims all but a few toilets have been ‘locked’.
The petition, said Horizon Community College principal Claire Huddart, misses out key pieces of information - that students ‘vaping’ has led to staff having to cancel fire alarms before South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue is...
Council cash to benefit shopping zones
EXTRA investment in the upkeep of high streets in Barnsley town centre and so-called ‘Principal Towns’ across the borough is due to be approved next week.
A range of street furniture improvements including new bins, as well as refurbishment or replacement of benches, bollards, lamp posts and CCTV posts where needed are included in a report to be presented to cabinet.
The report also includes appointing two extra cleaning teams, with one to cover the...
Fed-up school leaders to walk out over speeding concerns
A WALK-OUT at a school that’s directly next to a dangerous 40mph road - where children regularly gamble with their lives - will take place this afternoon to raise awareness of the dangers reckless motorists pose to pupils.
Helen Handley, a governor at Oakhill Primary Academy, off Doncaster Road, Ardsley, has particular cause to highlight those dangers after her son Logan was the victim of a hit-and-run last year.
Logan, seven, thankfully just has scars...
Flood promises criticised by councillor
WORK to prevent future disastrous flooding - such as that seen two years ago - has so far missed out the ‘first defence’, claims a councillor in one of the worst-hit areas.
Darfield Coun Pauline Markham, also a member of the Low Valley Flood Group, said at Tuesday’s meeting of Barnsley’s overview and scrutiny committee that councillors ‘past and present’ have fought for gully drains in Low Valley - the site of catastrophic floods in...
Man jailed for six years
A MAN who fatally attacked a 60-year-old in Barnsley town centre last month has been handed a six-year prison sentence.
On September 4 at 10.30pm, police were called following reports that the victim, Graham Linstead, had been attacked on Pitt Street.
Emergency services were also called and the man was taken to hospital where he died on September 8 as a result of his injuries.
A 38-year-old man, Ricky Braithwaite, of Newton Street, was arrested...
Campaigners call for action on accident-prone road
A PROTEST was held at a fatal accident blackspot this week in a bid to spur Barnsley Council’s highways bosses into carrying out a safety review.
Campaigners gathered at the crossroads at Hazlehead, on the A616 Whams Road near Penistone, on Wednesday following the latest collision earlier this month.
The action group will next meet on Wednesday at 7pm for a public meeting at Crow Edge Community Centre.
Council officers and South Yorkshire Police have...
Exhibition launched at Cooper Gallery
AN exhibition of work by some of the world’s most famous artists has been launched at a town centre gallery.
The Cooper Gallery was selected as one of four locations in the UK to host the ‘Pushing Paper’ exhibition for four months.
It features drawings from as early as the 1970s, and pieces which have never been publicly exhibited before.
The collection includes the work of more than 50 leading names in the art world...
Sarah puts pen to paper and vows to fight on
FACING not one but two cancer diagnoses is terrifying, but a Wath woman has found power in her words and has turned to writing to help her deal with whatever life throws at her.
Sarah Aston, 48, was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2013.
Then headteacher at Brampton Cortonwood Infant School, Sarah began writing down her experiences with cancer as a way to come to terms with her diagnosis and subsequent mastectomy.
“When I was...
Rented housing charter to boost standards
THE re-launch of an accreditation scheme that works with private sector landlords to ensure that the standard of housing remains high has been approved by cabinet.
The Barnsley Landlord Accreditation Scheme was launched in 2010 and helps provide training and assistance for landlords across the borough.
The current scheme was frozen in April this year pending a review, and has now been transferred back to the council after being previously managed by Berneslai Homes.
Reducing burglary rates will ‘not lead to police complacency’
BARNSLEY’S dwindling burglary rates - which have reduced by 17 per cent in recent months - will not lead to police complacency, force bosses have assured residents.
Despite a surge in so-called ‘two-in-one’ burglaries in the first months of this year - where criminals broke into homes in order to steal high-value cars - figures have since tailed off.
Latest statistics obtained by the Chronicle reveal 245 residential burglaries occurred across Barnsley between April and...
Controversial burning resumes on grouse moorland
THE burning of the borough’s peat moors for grouse-shooting parties has controversially resumed - despite a Barnsley MP calling for a blanket ban to protect picturesque countryside from damage.
Gamekeepers set fire to heather in order to engineer an optimal breeding habitat for game birds which are shot for sport - though the contentious act has been linked to widespread environmental harm.
The government promised that grouse moors - including Range Moor at Langsett and...
Historic surprise for town centre churchgoers
PARISHIONERS received a surprise when they uncovered a toy soldier and a letter at the top of a historic memorial pillar dedicated to the 199 men and one woman who died in World War One.
St Mary’s Church in the town centre hosted the second of its public exhibitions last weekend, revealing the iconic colours of two historic Barnsley regiments which have been painstakingly restored for generations to come.
The colours of the 13th (First...
Musician nominated for two awards
A YOUNG musician from Wilthorpe has been announced as a finalist for two national music awards.
Tom Masters was nominated in the Live Artist UK Awards 2021 off the back of his performances and the release of his song, ‘Breakthrough’.
Voting for the awards closed last Thursday and 23-year-old Tom has made it into the final four artists in the running for two categories - best original song and personality of the year.
He said:...
Flood campaigners nominated for award
THEY may have made it through to the Proud of Barnsley final, but it won’t stop one community group from campaigning for better flood defences.
The Low Valley Flood Group was formed in 2007 and have worked to provide their neighbours with flood defences to protect their homes.
They stepped up their efforts in 2019 after severe flooding hit the area in November of that year and they now hope that a more permanent solution...
MP welcomes pledge for in-school counsellors
A PLEDGE to put counsellors in Barnsley schools thanks to ‘vital’ funding has been welcomed by an MP who’s campaigned for better mental health and wellbeing support for kids.
John Healey’s survey of local schools in 2018 found nearly all had seen mental health worsen.
He took local headteachers to see the schools minister, which helped win £1.7m from the government for extra mental health support.
John, who represents Wentworth and Dearne, said: “The number...
Diamond couple mark anniversary
A MONK Bretton couple who have spent the majority of their life together will celebrate their diamond wedding anniversary this week.
Joan and Dennis Whitham, 78 and 80 respectively, of Clarence Road, were married on October 14, 1961.
Having met at the New Road Club in Mapplewell, they’ll celebrate 60 years of marriage together on Thursday.
They have had four children together - Mark, Steven, Andrew and Dawn.
They’ve got nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren....
Barnsley’s vacant homes figure tops 400
HUNDREDS of properties in Barnsley have been left vacant for more than two years, collectively valued at £63m - despite dozens being put in temporary accommodation during the pandemic.
Barnsley’s 468 properties that have been empty for more than two years is the fourth-highest figure among local authorities in Yorkshire and the Humber.
Of those, 107 have been empty for five to nine years and 64 have sat dormant for a decade or more.
Business support promised by council
BARNSLEY Council will continue to support businesses been affected by the pandemic after the furlough scheme ended last Thursday.
Since the start of the pandemic, the council has committed more than £75m to providing financial support to more than 5,500 businesses.
This funding has helped with rent relief, businesses grants and personalised support on a case-by-case basis.
The council is therefore asking those who need it to contact their helpdesk and to book an appointment...