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ICU still ‘under pressure’
BARNSLEY Hospital’s intensive care unit remains ‘under pressure’ - but the number of patients testing positive for Covid-19 is on a downward trend.
Numbers being treated remain higher than last April’s first wave, with approximately half of all intensive care patients Covid-positive.
The town’s overall infection rate remains high, being almost three times the national average of 41 cases per 100,000 people, but positives have been noted by bosses.
Chairman Trevor Lake said: “Positive cases...
Show will go on at the Lamproom
A CASH-STRAPPED theatre which has been forced to close for more than a year has been given a vital lifeline after receiving a grant to boost its post-pandemic recovery.
The Lamproom Theatre, on Westgate, has been awarded £26,000 from the second round of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.
The funding pot has already helped Barnsley Youth Choir, The Civic and two cinemas - Penistone Paramount and Parkway - in the borough.
The cash will go...
Railway plans back on track...
BARNSLEY Council has stepped in to take control of a historic heritage railway and is working on plans to resume services - but it will remain closed for now.
The Elsecar Heritage Railway (EHR) Trust, a group of volunteers which has maintained the railway line from Elsecar to Hemingfield since 2006, previously had an agreement in place with an outside engineering firm to cope with the labour and financial demands of the project.
But spiralling...
Town hall rich list revealed
BARNSLEY Council’s nine highest-earning employees cost more than £1.1m in wages and pensions, new figures released this week have revealed.
The Taxpayers’ Alliance’s ‘Town Hall Rich List’ identified Barnsley Council as having nine staff members breaching the £100,000-a-year bracket in 2019/20.
Top earner was the now-retired executive director for people, Rachel Dickinson, whose total package of £164,000 included a salary of £143,000 and a £21,000 pension top-up.
Chief executive Sarah Norman’s salary of £128,000 was...
More than 1,700 litterbugs fined
MORE than 1,700 littering fines were issued by Barnsley Council in 2020 - 1,000 less than in 2019.
The number of fines dished out across the borough have decreased year-on-year since 2016 - where at its peak the number of fines stood at 8,594.
Last year a total of 1,730 fines were issued which is the least in the last five years - and more than half of those have been paid.
The number of...
Vaccine roll-out’s pace continues
MORE than half of the borough’s residents have received their first dose of the coronavirus vaccine - and the leader of the town’s roll-out wants to keep that ‘Barnsley spirit’ going.
The number of people getting their second dose is also on the rise and Andrea Parkin, head of the local GP vaccination service, hopes figures will continue to shoot up with more than 130,000 now having protection.
She told the Chronicle: “It’s been a...
Shoppers urged to support businesses as restrictions are eased
A SCHEME has been launched by Barnsley Council to kick-start the local economy to mark the reopening of non-essential retail and some hospitality venues on Monday.
The initiative - Let’s Get Barnsley Back In Business - will see the campaign stretch across the borough and include the town centre, Wombwell, Goldthorpe, Hoyland, Royston, Cudworth and Penistone.
Businesses - whose doors have been closed for more than four months - will open following the relaxing of...
Heartbroken husband wants answers following mum-of-two’s sudden death
THE husband of a 34-year-old mum-of-two who died suddenly while awaiting a routine operation believes questions need to be answered before his family can grieve.
Kim Lockwood suffered from intracranial hypertension, which caused a pressure build-up around her brain and left her with headaches that could have resulted in blindness if left untreated.
She was due to undergo a lumbar puncture which would help ease symptoms by draining spinal fluid and was admitted to Rotherham...
‘Heat or eat’ dilemma for town’s worst-off
HUNDREDS of the town’s worst-off tenants are facing a ‘heat or eat’ conundrum due to ‘outrageous’ charges from Barnsley Council, whistleblowers have revealed.
A row which initially broke out at the full council meeting earlier this year has continued after Dodworth ward’s Coun Peter Fielding spoke out again about the costs faced by cash-strapped tenants.( Coun Fielding has been working with Berneslai Homes to undertake a review into charges paid by residents in a community...
Thief who targeted pensioner pleads guilty
THE man who stole a Wombwell pensioner’s car in March pleaded guilty to charges of burglary.
On March 30, James Ramsden, of Chesterfield Road in Sheffield, stole an 80-year-old woman’s Vauxhall Corsa which was parked on Lundhill Grove.
Ramsden was working in the area as a window cleaner at the time and was identified by witnesses after he returned to the street the following day.
The 35-year-old was arrested by officers and then charged -...
‘Insulting’ pay offer sparks protest
A PROTEST was held at Barnsley Hospital last Thursday against the ‘insulting’ offer of a one per cent pay rise for NHS staff.
George Arthur, the secretary of Barnsley Trades Union Council, organised the demonstration alongside South Yorkshire People Before Profit, and Barnsley Save Our NHS.
He told the Chronicle: “It is unbelievable that the NHS saved Boris Johnson’s life, he and Rishi Sunak, the chancellor, applauded the NHS in Thursday night claps and yet...
HMO plan met with anger
CONTROVERSIAL plans to change an office block in Barnsley into a house of multiple occupancy (HMO) have been met with disdain from local residents - though one of the applicants has reassured people that the correct measures are in place.
There are 135 HMO licences in force across the borough and last month there were two planning applications submitted for HMOs on Sheffield Road - with one being an 11-bedroom property.
Since November last year...
CCTV footage released by police
POLICE in Barnsley have released CCTV footage at a town centre store hours before a man died in a fatal crash on the M1 in a bid to help with investigations.
On October 24 last year, emergency services were called to the M1 northbound, just before junction 38, at 7.05pm.
It is reported that Daniel Pietkiel, 33, was in the carriageway when he was struck by a white Toyota Hiace and died at the scene....
Barnsley MPs speak out over Covid ‘passport’ speculation
THE idea of a Covid ‘passport’ has sparked controversy across the country - but Barnsley’s four MPs remain mostly united on the matter.
The so-called passport wouldn’t just show whether or not a resident has been vaccinated, but also whether or not they have recently tested negative for the virus.
It could be used for international travel - which is a less contentious issue - but with the government currently looking into the idea of...
Fresh appeal launched on first anniversary of murder
THE heartbroken family of Barnsley man who was murdered in his home launched a desperate appeal for answers on the first anniversary of his death.
Stafford Garner, 46, was found with serious head injuries in his home on Monsal Street, Thurnscoe, on April 2 last year and died in hospital three days later.
Investigations into the incident led police to claim there are ‘a number of people in the Thurnscoe area who know exactly what...
Council respond to asbestos worries
BARNSLEY Council has released a response to the risk of asbestos exposure in schools after a campaign group urged authorities to ‘act quickly’.
The warning comes from campaign group Airtight on Asbestos, who say that CLASP (Consortium of Local Authorities Special Programme) schools have become increasingly dangerous with age.
Barnsley East was announced as one of the constituencies with the highest number of CLASP schools, with four schools currently maintained by the council.
Matt Gladstone,...
Thurnscoe’s regeneration plans gather pace
LONG-AWAITED plans to turn a disused village playing field into a focal point for the wider community are gathering pace as Barnsley’s ruling cabinet has agreed to hand the lease over to locals.
The 2,000 square metre site, on Houghton Road, Thurnscoe, is due to be leased by Thurnscoe Regeneration - a charitable incorporated organisation (CIO) - which has drawn up plans to create a £250,000 village plaza featuring areas for skating, parkour and events,...
Wind turbine probe continues
ENGINEERS are yet to discover the reason why a blade became dislodged from a Grimethorpe wind turbine.
On March 12, a blade from one of the three turbines at Park Spring Wind Farm fell onto the ground below.
Walkers were urged to avoid the area while debris was cleared - but specialists have not yet ascertained how the damage occurred.
A spokesperson for site operator EDF said: “We continue to work closely with the manufacturer...
Coastal walk dream realised for Penistone’s Jim
A PENISTONE man is set to realise a lifelong dream next week as he embarks on a 7,500-mile coastal walk around the country.
Jim Morton, 60, became fascinated with the idea of being the first person to walk around the coast of mainland Britain aged just seven, when his dad received a book of the road one Christmas.
The walk will take him through England and Scotland and he will visit every lighthouse along the...
Housing bid could result in £1m of community cash
CONTENTIOUS plans for up to 118 homes which sparked fury from locals and was objected to by local councillors could yield more than £1m in cash set aside for loss of amenity, a document has revealed.
An application was lodged with Barnsley Council’s planning department for residential development of land off Hay Green Lane, Birdwell, by Rotherham-based Harworth Group.
The 3.59-hectare plot, on the eastern edge of Sheffield Road, is currently mostly private grazing land...
Vandalism on the rise...
THE chairman of Shafton Parish Council has hit out against young yobs following a spate of antisocial behaviour incidents in the village.
Gangs of youths who have been parading around Shafton Park, off High Street, are becoming a danger to the public by leaving smashed glass bottles - and Dave North believes that more needs to be done to combat the behaviour.
He told the Chronicle: “It’s absolutely unbelievable - it seems to be a...
Collision figures revealed at speeding hotspot
A ‘NOTORIOUS’ road which will have its fixed speed camera removed in favour of mobile police enforcement to the dismay of campaigners has only had one collision in recent years, new figures have revealed.
Members of Speed Awareness Group Ardsley (SAGA) formed three years ago following frequent near-misses on Doncaster Road, which has a 40mph limit.
Its speed camera, which was vandalised last August, is being decommissioned after statistics showed only 93 offences were recorded...
Bridge plan set for approval
PROPOSALS to build a pedestrian bridge costing up to £1.5m in order to connect a park which will be at the centre of a new one-way road system with nearby recreation grounds are set to be approved.
Sheffield City Region awarded funding for the ‘active travel’ structure for pedestrians and cyclists over railway lines between Penny Pie Park and Pogmoor Recreation Ground.
The contentious wider scheme, which resulted in Penny Pie Park being closed to...
Bus shelter vandals condemned
A SHAFTON man who spearheaded a campaign to have a bus shelter installed several years ago has blasted vandals who smashed in panes of glass.
Parish councillor Les Holt started a petition to have a shelter fitted on Redthorne Way having seen people stand on a muddy patch of land waiting for buses.
He gained more 100 signatures and the shelter was installed by the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive (SYPTE).
However, it was recently...
Warning issued to countryside visitors
BARNSLEY residents considering lighting a disposable barbecue when returning to the town’s outdoor beauty spots following the easing of restrictions have been urged to refrain from doing so - or face a fine.
The most-recent incidents - which took place last week - saw firefighters rush to deal with blazes at Rabbit Ings, Royston and moorland near Dunford Bridge on the Woodhead Pass.
A haven for ground-nesting birds such as curlews and short-eared owls, an...
Bernie Clifton recalls fond Barnsley memories
Bernie Clifton, most known for his entertainment gig with Oswald the Ostrich, spoke to reporter Jack Tolson about the club scene in Barnsley, and how it became a ‘Mecca’ for all who wanted to ‘make it’...
WITH fewer people walking on the streets of Barnsley this last year thanks to coronavirus restrictions, it’s hard to imagine what a rammed town centre would look like again - but one of Britain’s most well-known and much-loved comedians...