New Flanderwell parking buddies

Sue and Emma with the Flanderwell parking buddies

Inconsiderate parking outside school is an issue regularly raised with us by residents, so we recently wrote to all the primary schools in our patch offering to support them by funding creative signs, reminding parents of their responsibilities outside school.

The funding comes from our delegated ward budget.

Two of the primaries responded positively, and the first of the “parking buddies” have recently come into use outside Flanderwell Primary. We stopped by this week to see them for ourselves.

Hopefully the gentle prompt will help every to do the right thing, and to keep children safe from traffic.

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£24 million plan to drive down the number of potholes

Emma with one of our local roads before it was resurfaced

Cllr Emma Hoddinott, Labour’s Cabinet member for Waste, Roads and Community Safety, has announced our plan for major investment to improve Rotherham’s roads over the next four years.

Over the last three years, Labour councillors have committed an additional £10 million to the resurfacing of roads across the borough. As a result of the 2020 Roads programme, hundreds of roads right across Rotherham have been resurfaced, including most of the Listerdale estate, the Crescents in Sunnyside, Blackthorn Avenue, Warren Road and numerous others locally. Across the borough the number of potholes has already been reduced a third.

But there is still plenty more to do. So a Labour council over the next four years would commit £24 million of capital investment to further halve the number of potholes in Rotherham’s roads. The scheme will be included in Labour’s forthcoming capital budget.

The commitment, £6 million each year for the next four years, would be the biggest investment in better roads for decades – nearly doubling the annual commitment of the last few years.

Emma said; “Last year alone the council repaired 37 miles of roads. But we know that there is much more work still to do to improve roads for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians alike, and this commitment shows the importance that we know residents give to this work. A Labour council for the next four years will respond to residents’ concerns about our roads by delivering the biggest investment for years.”

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Wickersley Library set to see improvements under Labour plans

Wickersley Library – home of books and giant educational spiders

Wickersley Library will see its first real investment since it opened 12 years ago under Labour’s new proposals.

Every library in the borough is set to be upgraded, including new homes for the libraries at Swinton, Thurcroft and, potentially, Thorpe Hesley. Brinsworth Library will be relocated to a new purpose built facility this month.

By changing the way that the current library budget is managed and securing a government grant to help to relocate Central Library in town to a new building, millions of pounds of capital investment can be released to benefit the whole of the library estate.

Wickersley is set to see new public computers and IT equipment, information screens, furniture and shelving, which will also help to make the floorspace more flexible so it can be used for other purposes.

No libraries are expected to see reductions in opening hours, but library fines are expected to be scrapped from April this year to help to encourage more people to borrow books.

Under the Conservative government since 2010, 800 libraries have closed across the country as swingeing cuts have been made to council finances. Labour’s plan for Rotherham maintains our commitment to provide good, high quality library facilities across the borough, even as we juggle the financial challenges that we face.

The council’s Cabinet will consider the proposals on Monday 20th January, and they will then be subject to further public consultation before final decisions are made.

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Consultation opens on cumulative impact zone for Wickersley Tanyard

Following the work that took place in the first round of consultation on a new Licensing Policy before Christmas, and the drop in session that we organised in Wickersley, the council has now opened the formal second round of public consultation.

This includes specific questions relating to the possibility of a new “cumulative impact zone” for the Tanyard area that could give decision makers more powers to control or prevent new licensed premises. This is a direct response to the issues raised by local residents during the first stage of consultation.

Please click here to have your say. We are in the process of organising a further face to face drop in session – this is likely to be held on the evening of February 4th, but final arrangements are not yet confirmed and we will be able to advise better closer to the time.

At the same time, the council is also consulting on a policy relating to gambling (betting shops etc), and minor improvements to taxi licensing rules. Please click the links for more information and to make your views known.

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Good news on bus changes

Bus timetables for services from January 26th have now been published, with some good news for our area. Whilst changes inevitably have some winners and some losers, overall we’ll have more services to Sheffield, Meadowhall and Doncaster than the consultation suggested, and a new Powells service will connect our area through to Parkgate Shopping for the first time, whilst also connecting to Moorgate and the hospital regularly through the day.

In summary:

  • As expected, First will reduce the overall frequency of the X10 and X1 services, but these will still total 6 an hour during the day. 4 of these will travel through to Sheffield via Meadowhall, more than was originally proposed.
  • Responding to our residents’ petition, First have confirmed that the X10 will be re-routed around Markfield Drive, creating a service every thirty minutes around the estate.
  • Powells are replacing the number 4 service with a half hourly number 3 route, which will connect between Ravenfield Common, our area, Moorgate for the hospital, Rotherham bus station and Parkgate Shopping (Retail World). This service will also serve Markfield Drive, effectively replacing the hourly 113.
  • For residents in the Bawtry Road area, First will now run the number 10 service hourly through the day from Doncaster, then Maltby to town via the hospital, and back again (but note that this will not route via Flanderwell Lane as the 10 did previously).
  • Stagecoach services from the Tanyard are unaffected.

Overall, given the challenges faced by the bus companies, this is a much better package of services than were proposed a few weeks ago. Our thanks go to all the residents who helped to make the case for these much needed services. As ever, do let us know how you find it working in practice.

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