If you do need some help at the moment…

The council’s volunteer scheme – Rotherham Heroes – is now up and running, hundreds of people have signed up to help their communities. Of course we are no expection.

If you are self isolating at the moment, or if you know someone who is, and you need support with things like:

  • Shopping
  • Collecting your prescription
  • Walking a pet
  • Having a friendly voice on the phone
  • Emergency food parcels

Help is at hand! You can request help for yourself, or for someone else, by clicking here, or calling 01709 807319.

Working with Maltby Town Council and St Mary Magdalene’s Church, and supported by Bramley Parish Council and Morrisons, your local Labour team have been delivering food packages to residents who might otherwise be going without. If you’re stuck and need a quick response, Sunnyside Supplies are available – please call 01709 807319.

In addition, the council has now announced additional support with council tax bills for those on the very lowest incomes – either those in receipt of council tax support already, or who need to make a new claim before the end of May.

Rotherham’s scheme goes further than the national guidelines put forward by the government, but it is funded by a one-off national grant. Anyone in receipt of council tax support, or who starts to receive it because they become unemployed at the current time, will see their bill cut by a further £200 (or cut to zero, if they would have been paying less than £200 otherwise).

More than 13,000 households across the borough will benefit as a result, with two thirds of those being people in low paid work. If you’re eligible for the scheme you don’t need to do anything, your bill will be reissued with the additional discount (or a refund if you’ve already paid for this year in full). If you aren’t currently claiming, but you think you might be eligible, there’s more information on the council website here.

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In a time of crisis, will you be a (Rotherham) hero?

In the face of the coronavirus threat and with the community following the government’s guidance to stay at home, our community as always has rallied round. Neighbours and family members are supporting each other even in these worrying times.

But we know that there are still many people who don’t have that kind of support, perhaps people who are older or isolated for other reasons. And over the coming weeks they will increasingly need some additional support with basic tasks to ensure that they can stay safe and healthy. So the council, alongside the Rotherham Together Partnership and Voluntary Action Rotherham, is coordinating a programme involving businesses, community groups, parish councils, and anyone else who is either already helping others – or who would like to.

Can you be a hero?

We particularly want to hear from community groups and volunteers who can offer help with:

  • shopping for essentials
  • tackling loneliness
  • prescription collection
  • pet care / dog walking
  • advice and signposting to support services.

If you can, or you’d like to find out more, please go to the council’s website here.

We’re going to be working with our local Heroes over the coming days and weeks so please do sign up if you can.

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Contacting us during the coronavirus outbreak

Despite the current “stay at home” restrictions, your councillors and MP remain available for you to contact if you require support with council or government agency issues. However, in light of the need to reduce face to face contact in order to save lives, all our advice surgeries will now be taking place by telephone or online only.

In addition to all the usual ways to contact us, we have made additional provision as follows:

  • Sue Ellis is available to take your telephone calls every day Monday to Friday between 9am and 10am on 01709 540497
  • Emma Hoddinott is holding an additional “virtual” surgery every Monday evening between 6pm and 6:30pm. If you have a computer with a webcam you can videocall via Zoom, just click here (and install the small file if you have not used Zoom before – this is a safe process). You can also dial in by telephone to the same system by calling 0208 080 6592 and using meeting ID: 496 755 300. These are private conversations, so if it’s busy you will be held in a virtual waiting room.

In addition, you can find Emma’s video updates on her Facebook page (today’s is above).

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Wickersley parking update

Picture taken during recent resurfacing works, prior to the most recent “stay at home” restrictions

What feels like a lifetime ago now, before we had heard of coronavirus, we undertook consultation with local residents who had expressed concerns about parking on the service road and The Grove, opposite the Tanyard. A paper survey of residents was conducted, followed later by a period of statutory consultation.

We are pleased to be able to confirm that a final decision was recently made (click here for the record) which agrees new restrictions coming into place. The restrictions should help to ease parking on junctions to ensure key vehicles can continue to access properties, preventing all day parking, as well as formalising late night taxi arrangements in the bus stop on Bawtry Road. On street parking on The Grove will be stopped between 9am and 1pm to assist with waste collections, which should also go some way towards reducing the number of cars abandoned over night on the street whilst their owners enjoy a night out and a taxi home. A map showing the new rules is below.

The agreed parking restrictions (click the image to enlarge)

Residents in the area will receive a letter prior to implementation. Unfortunately at the current time it is possible that the works will be affected by service changes and staff shortages due to the coronavirus, so it is not possible to set a date for implementation yet.

We were pleased that the badly damaged road surface on this stretch was also repaired recently as one of the last schemes to benefit from the 2020 Roads programme.

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Coronavirus

The situation over the last week has developed rapidly, and the government has now issued strong guidance in order to protect the public. Already in the UK more than 200 people have died, and indications from other parts of the world suggest that we are far from the end of the pandemic. We would strongly urge residents to take the government’s advice seriously, to remain at home if they are in at at risk group, and to isolate at home for at least seven days if they experience any symptoms, or for at least 14 days if they are living with anyone experiencing symptoms.

As Leader of the Council, Cllr Chris Read issued the following statement earlier in the week;

“These are unprecedented times and no one should doubt the seriousness of the situation. The coronavirus pandemic will define the way of life for everyone, individually and as a society – locally, nationally, globally – for the immediate and foreseeable future. The Council’s priority, alongside our partners, is the protection of life and we will all have an individual role to play in that.

“We will be guided by the latest national and international advice coming from our leading scientists and public health specialists, but underpinning our response will be the resilience, kindness and community spirit for which Rotherham is renowned.

“I want to pay tribute to the public servants who are once again rising to the occasion. It is in the most difficult of circumstances that we see the invaluable role that our public services play in maintaining our way of life. But the public should be in no doubt that our public servants are also local residents, they fall ill like the rest of us, and prioritising their efforts at a time of enormous pressure on services will mean that we cannot simply operate business as usual.

“I would urge residents to follow the latest guidance from the government, to act responsibly, and I thank them for their patience and endurance over the coming weeks and months.”

Council services are now being affected by the new rules and the need to prioritise activity. At the moment, all Children’s Centres, Clifton Park Museum, all council leisure centres and Crowden Outdoor centre are all closed. Others are likely to change over the coming weeks. The council will be providing more information on its website here.

From tomorrow, all schools will be closed to most children, except those with specific needs, or whose parents are key workers. Wickersley School has provided useful information on their website here.

Public transport will be running on a reduced timetable from this week. Please click here for more information.

Shopping: We are aware that increasing numbers of people will need to stay at home, and we will be doing all we can to ensure that they don’t run out of essential supplies. We would urge everyone no to panic buy in the shops – just get what you need. Every person buying more than they require is taking food and supplies away from vulnerable people. We have collated information about our local shops and supplies, including information about home deliveries, which you can find by clicking here.

Contacting us: If you are experiencing difficulties over the coming weeks, we are available to assist wherever we can. If you are experiencing difficulties due to being self-isolated please let us know. You can contact us in all the usual ways however during this period we in order to help reduce the likelihood of infections we will not being holding face to face surgeries. Instead we will be available during our usual surgery times by telephone, and we are also making additional times available:

  • During surgeries usually held at Wickersley Library or Bramley Parish Hall, please call 01709 540497
  • During surgeries usually held at Sunnyside Community Centre or Mark Grove Neighbourhood Centre please call 01709 822465
  • Every day between Monday and Friday, 9am to 10am, Cllr Sue Ellis will be taking calls on 01709 540497
  • This coming Monday, March 23rd, between 6pm and 7pm Cllr Emma Hoddinott will be trialling an online advice surgery using Zoom, which you can take part in either online via webcam or by telephone. Please click here to register and you will receive further information.

You can also find Emma on Facebook where she will be providing video updates, the most recent one is here.

John Healey MP will also be conducting his advice surgeries by telephone.

The coming weeks and month will be very difficult. We will use this website to keep you up to date as much as we can. Please take care of yourself and those around you.

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