BT consults on phone box closures again

The phone boxes on Sycamore Avenue and Flanderwell Lane are again earmarked for closure by BT

BT are once again consulting on closures to telephone boxes. 42 across the borough are earmarked for closure, including three in our area: those on Flanderwell Lane, Sycamore Avenue, and adjacent to Bramley crossroads.

As with previous consultations, the council has the ability to prevent closures where there are good reasons for doing so.

We have previously opposed closures, knowing that for a small group of residents without access to mobile phones they can remain a lifeline.

However, by chance over recent weeks we have been contacted by a small number of residents concerned about anti-social behaviour around the Sycamore Avenue / Joker pub box in particular. We have therefore written to several dozen properties in the area seeking their views as to whether we should continue to argue for the box to remain in place.

Anyone can take part in the consultation online via the council’s website by clicking here up until the deadline on August 16th. We will also make a submission, so please do let us know your views.

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Slow down on Brook Lane

new automated speed sign on Brook Lane at Bramley
The new sign welcoming a driver travelling within the speed limit

The latest tool to try to encourage repsonsible driving along Brook Lane at Bramley was installed this week. A new vehicle activated sign, intended to encourage drivers entering the village to slow down as the 30mph limit comes into effect is now in place – greeting drivers with their speed, and a green smile for vehicles at or under the limit, or a red frown for those above.

The sign has been funded from our devolved ward budget.

Residents living in the area have long told us about their worries about speeding, and the dangers this poses for vehicles turning out of the nearby junctions and pedestrians crossing the road. In response, we have over the last few years secured the pedestrian island, and a speed activated sign reminding motorists leaving the village that the 30mph limit is still in place until they hit the 40 signs.

Council staff have been undertaking a public consultation on extending the 30mph limit further up the hill to the edge of the built up area, a measure we strongly support, and a formal decision on this is due towards the end of the summer. Last year, the council reduced the speed limit down from 40mph to 30mph further along Moor Lane North at Ravenfield crossroads, following a campaign led by local MP John Healey.

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Wickersley licensing update

Since we passed the Cumulative Impact Zone last month, there continue to be pressures from businesses in the Tanyard area to further remove restrictions and increase night time activity.

The Mason’s recently applied to have removed the planning condition which prevents it from hosting outdoors music. We objected to their application, and they received no supporting comments from residents during the consultation. Planners agreed with us, and the planning restriction remains in place.

Meanwhile, Licensing staff have received an application to allow late night refreshment (until half past midnight, seven days a week) and alcohol sales (for consumption both on and off site, until midnight seven days a week) from the former butchers shop at the end of The Grove. This is planned to be a new late night “restaurant”, The Seasons. You can read the application here. We remain concerned that further late night activity – a 17th licensed premise within a 300 metre distance – would be harmful to the local area. You can read our formal objection by clicking here.

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Will the Tories now ensure our services are funded?

Over the last ten years, Conservative cuts have meant that we have lost £200m from council services each year in Rotherham, and the current coronavirus crisis has put councils everywhere under more pressure.

The cost of providing more social care, as well as emergency responses, comes at the same time as income from commericial services, parking, and potentially from council tax and business rates is all down.

The government told councils do spend “whatever it takes” in response to coronavirus, but despite some additional cash, Rotherham is still facing a shortfall of millions of pounds.

Channel 4 News spoke to Cllr Chris Read recently as part of a report about whether the Tories will give the so-called “Red Wall” councils the funding they need. You can watch the report here.

Meanwhile, the BBC’s Look North has repeatedly covered the challenges that local councils face. Cllr Read joined the Leaders of Barnsley and York for a recent interview.

We’ll keep doing all that we can to hold the Tory government to account, and ensure our local services aren’t cut further as the price of the present crisis.

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Tanyard anti-social behaviour

We have been contacted by a number of residents concerned about events on the Tanyard over recent nights, when substantial groups of people have been gathering outside the shops, vehicles have allegedly been raced along Bawtry Road, and individual passers by reporting being verbally abused. We continue to liaise with the local police who have been responding to concerns. They have provided the following information to be shared with residents;

The team have met with the management company for The Tanyard to discuss long term solutions for tackling anti social behaviour from vehicles and youths in the evenings. These discussions will be ongoing.

The management company have agreed to put ANPR cameras up on both entrances to the car park. This will allow for all vehicles registration numbers to be recorded and made available to the police for any future incidents of vehicle anti social behaviour and criminal activity.

The management company have also agreed to put CCTV cameras and signage up in the car park which will assist in identifying those responsible for anti social behaviour and criminal activity.

The team will be spending more time up in the area with a view to taking enforcement action against those that choose to use The Tanyard and surrounding areas as a meeting place to commit ASB, use drugs and commit offences.

The team encourage residents to continue to report incidents as they happen as this allows a true reflection of the problem. It is not always possible for the local officers to pick up on concerns that are posted on social media.

You can report issues on 101 (non emergency) or 999 (emergency). As a reminder for when either number can be used please see the below.

An emergency requiring a call to 999 would include:

When there is a threat to life.
Violence to a person or damage to property is imminent.
A serious offence is in progress.
A suspected offender is still at the scene of a crime.
When a delay in reporting an incident may prevent the apprehension of an offender.
When serious disruption to the public is currently taking place, or is likely to take place.

A call to 101 would include:

To report a crime that is not currently taking place and the offender is no longer present.
To make a routine enquiry.
To make an appointment to attend an enquiry desk.
Requests for advice or to provide information.
Lost and found property enquiries.

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