BT proposes to close two of the last three local phone boxes

The telephone boxes proposed for closure on Sycamore Avenue and Flanderwell Lane.

BT has proposed to close two of the last three telephone boxes in the ward, despite them being used more than 200 times last year.

The phone boxes are the ones located outside The Joker pub on Sycamore Avenue and on Flanderwell Lane outside Sunnyside Community Centre. These boxes are amongst 33 across the borough proposed for closure, as usage of the boxes declines and BT reduces provision.

If the proposals went ahead, we would be left with one box, close to the junction of Bawtry Road and Cross Street in Bramley.

Whilst removing unused boxes may make sense, we are concerned that these two have been in fairly regular use, suggesting that some residents do still depend on the service, and we will be making representations accordingly.

By law the council is required to consult on the closure of any telephone boxes. You can make your own comments as part of the consultation by clicking here.

Posted in Chris Read Emma Hoddinott Sue Ellis Your councillors by admin. Comments Off on BT proposes to close two of the last three local phone boxes

Gigabit broadband comes to Sunnyside

A map showing the properties benefiting from the investment.

Homes on The Crescent West, Square East and Square West have become amongst the first properties anywhere in the borough to be able to benefit from gigabit (1000Mbps) speeds. The properties had previously had very restricted broadband speeds, due to the pre-copper cabling and distance from the telephone distribution box.

The investment has come as part of the Superfast South Yorkshire phase 2 scheme, supported by the four South Yorkshire Councils and BT and funded by Sheffield City Region. Phase 1 of the programme was intended to ensure that at least 97% of properties in South Yorkshire could get access to broadband speeds of at least 24Mbps. The scheme helped to fill in the gaps in coverage where purely commercial operators would not otherwise have installed the necessary cables.

Homes in Sunnyside won’t automatically be connected to the higher speeds, however. Residents wishing access the full benefits will need to ensure that they have the right package from their internet provider first.

Posted in Chris Read Emma Hoddinott RMBC Sue Ellis Your councillors by admin. Comments Off on Gigabit broadband comes to Sunnyside

Leaders tell HS2 review that M18 route must be abandoned

Rotherham Council Leader, Cllr Chris Read, and the elected Mayor of Doncaster, Ros Jones, have formally written to the review of HS2 being undertaken by Doug Oakervee to restate their opposition to the so-called M18 route.

Both Rotherham and Doncaster will be adversely affected by the government’s currently preferred route, and have made it clear that the costs to the boroughs vastly outweigh any benefits. In their covering letter, the leaders say;

“We are very strongly opposed to the current plans for Phase 2B from the West Midlands to Leeds. When compared to the original proposal for South Yorkshire, the new M18/Eastern route results in:

  • Fewer trains and fewer seats
  • Inferior connectivity and longer journey times
  • Fewer jobs created and lower GVA benefits
  • Major residential demolitions and blight to existing housing developments
  • Significant impacts on new regeneration sites in one of the most deprived areas of the UK
  • Severe impacts on the local environment and landscape”

They also challenge the argument put forward by HS2 Ltd that moving away from the original HS2 route via Meadowhall would save as much as £1 billion from the spiralling costs of the project;

“Sir David Higgins claimed the new M18 route would save £1bn. This is not the case, as the savings estimate did not include the following essential infrastructure works:

  • Electrification of the Midland Main Line to provide HS2 services from London
  • Remodelling of Sheffield Midland Station
  • Signalling upgrades
  • The northern loop to provide HS2 services from Sheffield to Leeds
  • New capacity and rolling stock to provide Birmingham to Leeds services and maintain essential local stopping services (via a Tram Train extension)
  • The total cost of these additional infrastructure works is expected to approach or exceed £1bn.”

You can read the submission on the RMBC website by clicking here.

In a statement accompanying the submission, Cllr Chris Read said; “The current HS2 proposal offers little or no economic benefit to the Rotherham borough and its businesses. We need either a Meadowhall stop or we call on the Government to scrap the development all together rather than build it in a way that will cause years of disruption at massive cost, and instead reallocate the savings to fund essential improvements to regional rail connectivity through the Northern Powerhouse Rail.”

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Licensing consultation drop in session

As we reported previously the council is currently looking to hear from residents about the impact of licensed activity such as the sale of alcohol, gambling, or takeaways, to help inform future policies.

A local drop in session has now been organised at Wickersley Library on Tuesday 8th October, from 5.30pm to 7pm. Cllr Emma Hoddinott and the relevant council staff will be on hand to speak to you and hear your views, so if you have something we should hear please pop in.

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“Be the one” campaign aims to prevent deaths

A new joint campaign between Rotherham Council and our local NHS Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been launched to raise awareness of the steps we can all take to “Be the One” to save a life and prevent suicide.

Sadly we know that our own community has been touched by suicide over the last few years, which is why we have supported efforts to get people the help and support that they need. But we also know that more people still need that support.

The moving video (above) and a new website – www.be-the-one.co.uk – have been produced to help to signpost those that need it towards services, but also asks businesses and individuals to make their own commitment, and to be aware of how they can help someone in who is facing a crisis.

As the website says, we must all learn how to look out for one another and do our bit to help those in distress.

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