The barbarians have appeared on the horizon in the lovely village of Woodsetts in the shape of INEOS, the company who want to frack the hell out of South Yorkshire.
Gas drillers INEOS have followed up their appalling proposal for a test well in Harthill’s countryside with a second site for test drilling, just down the road from us in Woodsetts. This will only be the beginning as they look to embark on a 5 year rape of our countryside in both locations with a drilling rig the size of Big Ben.
Our local politicians have come running to our aid yet again with local Councillors doing what they always seem to so (f**k all frankly) and our MP Kevin Bas… I mean Barron still picking the splinters out of his arse from sitting on the fence.
The Harthill well has progressed to a full planning proposal whereas the Woodsetts site is still in the very preliminary stages.
The wells are not fracking as such, at least not yet. They are applying for a 5 year visit to drill a vertical shaft about 3000 metres into the earth to recover a core sample of the local geology. They will then use the well for a series of tests to further determine the viability of wholesale gas extraction via the controversial fracking technique.
What can locals expect from the 5 year stay?
- Lots of extra heavy traffic on the roads, up to 60 lorries per day at busy times.
- Noise from the 24 hour operation and diesel fumes from lorries and massive on site generators.
- The charming site of a 60m tall drilling rig, along with cranes.
- Possible long term ecological damage from an untested and experimental technique.
It’s quite hard to see an upside at the moment, we will be doing a series of articles on how to object to the planning application when it appears. In the meantime please tell your friends and urge your elected representatives to get behind local people for once and oppose this madness.
Both villages have active campaigns (links below) and I would encourage you all to give them every support you can.
Drill or Drop anti-fracking site
Woodsetts Anti Fracking Group
Harthill Against Fracking
The Bas… Sorry I mean INEOS
INEOS on how they will run the site in Woodsetts
Pretty Damn Close if the latest plans are to be believed! HS2 as you may know is the proposed high speed rail link to connect London and the North. It will initially go as far as Birmingham where it will split into a “Y”, one leg going to Manchester, the other to Leeds and York via South Yorkshire.
Ah-ha so does that mean we’ll be able to jump on super duper fast trains to Leeds and London? Well probably no. Previous plans had the rail link following the M1 with a station at Meadowhall.
This annoyed Sheffield as it meant HS2 wasn’t going anywhere near the city centre, it also annoyed HS2 who are far more interested in getting to Leeds and York quickly then touching anywhere in South Yorkshire with a big stick.
The choice was to stick with Meadowhall or spend an extra two billion quid going through Sheffield itself. That was never going to happen and it fact HS2 decided to save a billion by bypassing Sheffield altogether and proposing a new route to follow the M18.
Sheffield will now be linked to HS2 by the same old rusty bit of crap tin the Victorians put down. Bless their little hearts!
This hasn’t stopped the boss of the Sheffield City Region from claiming victory, Sheffield Council also seem to have not grasped the enormity of the extent to which they have been totally and hilariously screwed.
What does this mean for our area? Well if this route is followed HS2 will enter Rother Valley South right next to Wales Bar, sweeping up through Aston right next to the M1 and passing Thurcroft on a big viaduct. I reckon you’ll see it from the pit top in North Anston next to the new windmills.
…and we won’t be able to get onto it now the Meadowhall station is no more, we can simply wave at the folks from York and Leeds as they zoom along sipping their mocka-choka-chinos or whatever it is you call coffee in Leeds these days.
A poignant illustration of how our region is continually overlooked (in this case bypassed) by the UK at large? I think so.
In a truly bizarre cutback of suicidal political proportions South Yorkshire Police are informing the British Legion and other key stakeholders that officers will no longer be sent to close roads for the Remembrance Sunday procession in Dinnington.
Organisers have been told they will have to pay Rotherham Council to close the roads and then pay to hire their own marshals to stop people wandering into the road.
This is the cyanide on the cake for Dinnington which recently had its Sergeant and safer neighbourhood team removed and replaced by a pair of PCSOs who will be shared with other villages. Dinnington Police station will be closed to save £12,000 per year.
Labour Police Commissioner Alan Billings promised that Police would have access to a room in the Dinnington Resource Centre 24 hours a day. The Police themselves have said that the room will be used as a base and not manned, the public can meet the Police there if they happen to be using it at the time.
It will NOT be manned 24 hours a day as local Labour politician Judy Dalton seems to think. Please could we ask local Councillors like Katherine Wilson to NOT re-tweet things without first establishing them as fact.
A few other rumours have been circulating regarding Policing and we can offer the following…
- Dinnington will have two PCSOs most of the time, they will generally work during the day, but not usually after 10pm.
- They will be patrolling in cars, on bikes, on foot and occasionally using the bus.
- The Police 999 service usually comes from Maltby, NO restriction has been places on officers as to what route they use to get here, local rumours had suggested that they could no longer use back roads.
- The PCSOs will NOT have to commute from Maltby via bike or bus, we are told they are usually in a car or dropped off by car.
- Rotherham Police are not short of cars, they have on average 1 car for every two front line officers which is regarded as optimal.
- The room as Dinnington Resource Centre will come online in June and will be manned from time to time only. It will NOT be manned at night.
- Crime cannot be reported via the Resource Centre, call 101.
If you have any information or anything regarding policing you would like us to look into please feel free to leave a comment below.
As for Remembrance Sunday we would expect a retraction of this rather clumsy policy so stay tuned.
Do Dinnington and Anston a favour if you really must vote Labour and stay at home!
It’s that time of year again, you’ve probably had the pamphlets through the door already. It’s the only time the Rotherham Labour party give a monkeys about Dinnington and Anston…. That’s right! **ELECTION TIME!!**
Any day now they will be knocking on your door, perhaps accompanied by the local MP if he’s not too busy referring himself to the Parliamentary Standards Committee.
If course they’ll want to talk to you about Tory cuts and how it would be so much better if they were running things, but you might want to ask a few questions:
- Just who was it who allowed hundreds of young girls to be abused on the streets of Rotherham for years?
- Why is the Labour controlled Police force withdrawing officers from our community and closing our Police station? Why don’t we get our fair share of South Yorkshire Police resources?
- Why do we see year on year under investment in our local infrastructure whilst our Council tax is spent in Rotherham town centre?
- Why don’t we have leisure facilities in Dinnington or Anston? Why did they get built in Maltby and Aston when we have a higher population here?
- Why are all the travellers camps in Rotherham earmarked for our area?
Yes, it’s the Labour party!
This year we have three independent candidates in Dinnington and two in Anston. Vote Independent and Dump Labour in 2016!
Hot off the press is some more information on when archaeologists from Durham University will be visiting Anston Stones to perform a dig neat Dead Man’s Cave.
The dates are 3-15 of July this year and the team will be led by Professor Mark White.
They are concentrating on an area on a small gorge just down from the top path on Dead Man’s Cave and will be excavating small trenches near to the rock face. This is a follow up visit as detailed in our previous article.
The team are happy to receive visitors while they are on site and will be able to speak to interested members of the general public about their work.
Dead Man’s Cave us best reached from the top path through the stones, keep going until you see a field with a big owl box in it (at least I think that’s what it is), then turn right into the woods for a few minutes. The cave is in a little gorge when you reach the rock face. Be careful with kids and pets as it’s a long way to fall if you go the wrong way!
Councillor Christine Sadler of Anston Parish Council said “It’s a great opportunity for us all to find out something fascinating about the past right on our doorstep. Anston Stones is owned and managed as a SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) by Anston Parish Council so it’s locally owned and protected by representatives voted in by the people of Anston.”
Anston Stones was originally gifted to the then local authority Kiveton and District in the 1950s by the Duke of Leeds estate, it was absorbed into the newly created RMBC in the 70s and passed eventually to Anston Parish Council.
The site covers 88 acres and was notified as an SSSI in 1955. One very unusual feature for such a place is the mineral railway running through it. This adds an element of recent history to the Stones and means you have many fine features such as the bridge below to admire when walking through the woods.
As always if taking dogs please respect the local wildlife and clean up that poop!
Archaeologists are to visit Anston Stones again this year after a successful dig in 2015.
The leader of the team has said they will welcome visits to the site by the general public whilst carrying out the work, more info as we get it!
Anston Stones is a SSSI (usually pronounced “triple SI”) a government designation for a Site of Special Scientific Interest. As such it is protected by law and damaging it can attract a criminal prosecution.
The site has many interesting features from Dead Man’s Cave to the mineral railway which runs through the site alongside Anston Brook.
Here is a link if you want to read their past report from the site (rather technical)
Anston Archeological Dig Prelim Report 2015
We are pleased to kick off our series on local walks and bike rides!
Now the weather is getting better it’s time to get out into the local countryside and spend some time outdoors. Dust off the walking boots and pump your bike tyres up!
First up is Harthill Reservoir and Sailing Club, a delightful little stretch of water which feeds this end of the not quite restored Chesterfield Canal.
First of all please ensure you are pronouncing “Harthill” properly. The H’s are essentially silent so it’s “Art-ill” Using the first H is acceptable (“har-t-ILL”) but try and emphasise the “ILL” if you must do that. Saying “Hart-Hill” just means you’re a wally.
Now that’s out of the way let’s get on with the walk!
Harthill Reservoir is three small but beautiful ponds/reservoirs reached via Woodhall Lane, Pryor Mede, Carver Close, then Carver Way from the main drag through Harthill. There’s a fairly ample car park and a nice path which takes your round the entire reservoir.
The best views are from the little bridges and the dam wall.
No real directions required, we went through the car park and past the Yacht Club to go round the reservoir clockwise, make sure you detour onto the little bridges as well. You can either follow the path around all 3 or make the walk shorter by crossing over the bridges.
In the woodland near the dam wall there also a lot of bird activity if you’re of the twitching persuasion. Sailing is also done on the lake, however I’m not sure of the arrangements at the Sailing Club and assume you need to be a member and have a boat. Fishing is also on offer, although I’m not a fisherman so couldn’t advise on seasons and permits, etc.
Beauty factor: 8/10
Chav factor: Low
Dog muck factor: Low/Medium