Article by Reverend Peter Hughes

There have been reports in the media today relating to an article written by Reverend Peter Hughes of St Alban’s Church, relating to relationship education in schools, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

In a bizarre article in the parish newsletter, he says teaching children about different sorts of relationships is “nothing but state sponsored child abuse”, and; “This sexual indoctrination of young children prepares them for early sexual experimentation, normalises it and, in so doing, opens the door for sexual predators.”

Responding to the news, Cllr Chris Read said;

“This is a deeply alarming article which would be more at home in the darker corners of internet conspiracies than in a church magazine in 2019. It is misleading in its interpretation of the law, confuses gender and sexual orientation and relies on the classic homophobic slur that gay and lesbian people are any more likely to be connected to child abuse than anyone else is. When we are all working hard to keep our children safe, such nonsense can only heighten the risk of genuine harm. Ironically, you can only conclude that the fact that such blinkered views could be promoted by anyone in a position of responsibility today only means that educating children safely and responsibly with age appropriate information is even more important now.”

Both the Diocese of Sheffield and St Alban’s School have distanced themselves from the vicar’s comments.

You can read his article by clicking here. If you are concerned about the teaching of relationship and sex education in schools, you may find this information from the Department for Education to be helpful.

Sadly, this news comes just weeks after Labour councillors blocked UKIP’s Brian Cutts from re-taking a place on the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel. Cllr Cutts was removed from the panel last year after he was found to have made homophobic comments. Despite less than a year passing, UKIP claimed he had been “rehabilitated” and was now an appropriate person to represent the council. However, during the debate Cllr Cutts repeated that he didn’t understand what he had done wrong, saying “I have not yet been given the answer why I was withdrawn in the first place.”

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Have your say on the future of our libraries

The council is currently out to public consultation on the future of libraries and neighbourhood hubs. This is an opportunity to have your say on why you use libraries, or why you don’t – and what might make you consider doing so in the future. You can also comment on e-books and the home library service.

Your feedback will help to shape the future direction of the borough’s libraries and the next version of the library strategy. Whilst there are no proposals to close any libraries at this stage, you may wish to comment on opening hours, locations or buildings, as well as the services and events that take place in the libraries themselves.

There will be two drop in sessions at Wickersley library:

  • Thursday 20th June: 4pm to 7pm
  • Tuesday 25th June: 1pm to 3pm

You can also take part online by clicking here.

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Big door knock in Flanderwell

Over the next two days, we’ll be out and about across the Markfield Drive estate alongside a number of different council departments, the police, the fire service, Voluntary Action Rotherham, Rotherfed, and other voluntary sector partners. We’re speaking to residents about their lives and experiences, trying to tackle some of the problems that people might have – but more than that trying to prevent people from living in loneliness and isolation.

It’s the first time that agencies have come together in this way in the borough as part of our commitment to work more closely with communities, working to deal with problems earlier and more effectively. If it’s a success, the door knock might be rolled out in other communities in Rotherham.

Over the course of Monday and Tuesday, the team will be based in Mark Grove Neighbourhood Centre, so if you’re going past do pop in and say hello. On Wednesday morning, the police will be there to talk to residents in confidence about crime and anti-social behaviour between 10am and 1pm.

If you’re around, we’ll see you there!

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Off road motorbikes seized

We have been contacted by a number of local residents concerned about off-road motorbikes on Ruby Cook and the field opposite causing a nuisance the area. We have been working with police to look at what we can be done to tackle this problem.

Our local police officer has been liaising with the landowner, who is not allowing bikes on his land. As a result, the police have already carried out an operation on the field on Sunday 19th May and two bikes were stopped and taken away (pictured above, picture from South Yorks Police).

The police will be carrying out further operations and you will start to see some S171 signs go up in the area, that allow the police to seize the motorbikes straight away.

If you have information or wish to report activity you’re worried about, please do contact the police using the 101 number, online by clicking here, or contact us directly.

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New Balmoral Court signage

Since Balmoral Court was built on Flanderwell Lane, we’ve had complaints that it isn’t always easy to find, so we approached the developer to see if they would fund a proper road sign. Unfortunately, they wouldn’t agree to fund it, so we have stepped in using our delegated ward budget to ensure the new sign is in place – and deliveries get to the right place.

We’ve also had the worn out sign on Silverwood Walk (below) replaced.

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