Tag Archives: Dinnington

Dinnington Forum Spreads its Wings!

Nice to see a great Dinnington Internet presence flourish! The Dinnington Forum Facebook page has  over 6000 members and can be found here.

They are also expanding onto Twitter and even have begun work on a new web page which will hopefully be on-line soon.

Best of luck to them!

More great Dinnington Web Sites:

Dinnington Info on Twitter

Dinnington Info on WordPress

Better Dinnington

If you know of any more let us know!

Dinnington’s Broken Relationship with RMBC

At a time when national politics is focussing on our (possibly?) broken relationship with Europe, Dinnington and Anston politics, I feel should be looking towards our most definitely broken relationship with Rotherham Borough Council.

It feels to me like RMBC are essentially pulling out of Dinnington and Anston, they are closing the Service Centre, we have no public swimming or leisure centre and the state of our roads gets worse every year. Dinnington is supposed to be a town but has a very rural bus service!

Our Borough Councillors are not helping matters, Councillors Falvey and Havenhand in Dinnington and Dalton and Burton in Anston should be off fighting our cause in Rotherham, instead they are basically told what will happen to Dinnington and sent back to tell us all the bad news and trot out the Labour party line.

They act like Imperial Viceroys reigning over us while the real decisions are taken at the Borough by their political masters, any awkward questions at Dinnington Town Council or Anston Parish are brushed off by political guff from RMBC crib sheets and sly complacent smiles.

We don’t want Councillors who care first and foremost for their own standing in their political party, we want them to be fighting for us! Has anyone noticed how all these “consultations” RMBC launch in Dinnington and Anston invariably end the same way? With RMBC doing what they were going to do anyway?

We are a “Principal Township” when it comes to building new houses on our countryside. When it comes to library hours, service centres and leisure facilities it’s all forgotten.

The only way to break this cycle of events is for us to change the way we vote, that’s the only language the comrades in Rotherham will understand. Anston saw a glimmer of hope last year when Clive Jepson defeated the every so slightly slimy Darren Hughes. We need the same thing to happen again and I would call on anyone who would like to stand as an independent candidate in next years elections and put the people first to do just that. Many people in Dinnington and Anston would support them.

And it would send the right message to Rotherham, don’t take us for granted or you will end up with another bloody nose.

Dinnington Town Council AGM 13/05/2013

It’s Monday the thirteenth which may be unlucky for some, but surely not for us as we are off to Dinnington Town Council which is usually a civilised affair.

If we were off to the Parish Hall I’d be packing my body armour and taking at least 12 sick bags, but these cares are far from our heart in the lovely Lyric.

There’s a good-ish attendance as the Cllrs roll in, Judy Dalton has paid us a visit as a member of the public as have Bodie and Doyle, aka Cllrs Jepson and Thornton. Judy hasn’t brought her fan club with her, must be their night off. We also have Save our Greenbelt and Dave Smith and Mr Lewis present, so here we go!

This is the AGM so the Chair Cllr Pauline Davies kicks off with a brief summary of the year past, she also announces she will not be standing for another term and so her reign ends. The torch and the chain passes to Cllr Ralph McIver, Pauline volunteers to move down the bench to Vice Chair so they have essentially swapped places.

We move on to the public forum with a question from Save our Greenbelt who ask the Council to request a clean-up of the Timber Yard building site.

My question is whether or not the Council will consider obtaining two RMBC assets that the Borough seem to want rid of, the Birkdale Playing Fields and RMBC Service Centre.

Dave Smith is next and starts with a stinging attack on the way the meeting is being conducted. No minutes or agenda are provided on the web site and the public and Cllrs are having to share agendas at the meeting or the public would have had nothing to look at. He welcomes the socialist spirit of sharing present in the room, however.

He continues with his actual question: What do the Council think to the closure of the Service Centre?

Cllr Jepson (the Dinno one) jumps in and says the consultation was a sham and the Borough had made their minds up before it started. Comments are made but the Borough Cllrs Falvey and Havenhand are made very conspicuous by their silence.

Only when directly asked by Mr Smith does Cllr Falvey jump to their defence and says they constantly fight for Dinnington and it could have been worse.

Cllr Russell defends the two Borough Cllrs, but this doesn’t go down very well with the public and frankly I don’t blame them. Labour Borough Cllrs in this part of the world act like Imperial Viceroys, commands are handed down from the Borough and they come back to take their seats in Dinnington and break the bad news to us. It’s something we are seeing again and again, instead of aggressively representing our cause at the Borough they are merely Labour policy apologists and it’s high time it changed.

The public session ends with Save our Greenbelt protesting that they have not been allowed to speak, ooops move on!

The state of the roads are mentioned and lamented, however Cllr Falvey jumps in here as well to defend the Borough, oh God.

Cllr Tweed has arrived by now to bring the Boroughs up to full strength so on we plough.

Next up the Parishes in the south of the Borough have joined up and requested that RMBC improve their communications to all concerned. The request was made in April and no reply has been forthcoming. An incredulous silence is only broken when Dave Smith asks for clarification  as even he can’t believe what he just heard.

The Local Plan is discussed and Cllrs informed that the RMBC road show on 20 June will be accompanied by additional days at the Lyric put on by the Town Council to make sure everyone gets to hear of the plans.

Cllr Jepson asks if cabinet members from RMBC might also be invited but Cllr Falvey again jumps in and says the existing arrangements are OK. She also appeared to suggest at one stage that Council officers attending the event would be expressing Council opinion rather than just providing facts and listening to residents. When challenged by Mr Smith she said this was not what she intended to say.

This does raise an interesting question as she definitely did say something along the lines of “Cllrs and officers can give the public information to help them form their own opinion, rather than the opinions of others.”

This does seem a possible dig at the various protest groups which have been campaigning against the plans for some time now. If anyone feels I’m wrong here please feel free to comment.

Lastly the possibility of the Town Council acquiring the RMBC Service Centre, the Council is split on this, some like Cllr Wardle say that we should not have to buy what is provided free to other towns. Good point.

Cllr Tweed says it could be a good opportunity for Dinnington to acquire an excellent resource. OK, yep good point.

The now Vice Chair Cllr Davies says that RMBC should give it away to Dinnington. Bloody good point!

Cllr Wardle laments at the lack of support shown to Dinnington and once again the tiresome Cllr Falvey is there to defend the Borough. Sorry but it’s getting boring.

The public half of the meeting ends as the Cllrs descend to private session, we advise Ralph to get a few more links on his chain, Ali G is mentioned at one point but it’s all in good fun as we depart for the post meeting post mortem on the pavement.

A full helping of debate and intrigue with none of the nastiness and poison spitting that you usually find over the border  Hurrah.

Future Building Site on Greenbelt at Lakeland Drive (updated)

If you live at the Dinno end of Lakeland Drive, especially Birkdale Avenue, Wentworth Way, Belfry Way, Moortown Avenue and Turnberry Way, as well as Swinston Hill Road this is the site in the Local Plan which affects you.

Taylor Wimpey have had an interest in it for ages to build 240 houses and they could get their chance as under current plans it will be removed from the greenbelt.

The 219 plot (as it is knows) is shown below:

219

The site is a combination of a Council owned playing field and two farmers fields which are privately owned. When the news broke in 2011 about homes being built here the owner began putting crops in the field, perhaps to hide the evidence of recreational use. Barbed wire and fences also sprang up overnight along with signs warning people to keep off.

219 Close

This was quite silly, as recreational use of this land can be easily documented back into the past for decades. Many of the worn paths and tracks, the entry and exit ways are the work of 30 years or more walking, cycling and horse riding…
…And that is why this land “parcel” in particular has caused more anger than all others put together.
People are not going to accept a threat to their local recreational land, on their own doorstep, that they have walked over for decades.

This land is literally criss crossed with footpaths, but more on that in a later article.

219 Closer

The agricultural properties of the land are also rated as very high, although the recent farming is probably more of an attempt to deter walkers.

This is a shot from the end of Wentworth Way before the land was ploughed…

Wentworth

This fair sized parcel could accommodate 240 houses. The Council have proposed one third could gain access by opening up the end of Wentworth Way to the vehicle movements of 80 additional households. This has not gone down well with residents on that street who already complain of difficulties with car parking.

So to sum up, loss of recreational countryside, increase of traffic on a quiet residential street and loss of landscape and quality farmland.

No wonder this plot above all has caused so much resentment.

Here’s a quick plan for your perusal…

219Plan

Dinnington Town Council Meeting 8 April 2013

It’s a lovely evening in Dinnington, and as Maggie Thatcher dominates the evening news we turn our attention to another fantabulous Town Council meeting!

The lovely Lyric Theatre welcomes us as we settle down, Mr Lewis is the only heckler present and he seems in a mellow mood, The news of maggie’s passing hasn’t devastated him too much. Some wag asks if the bar will be open later, memories of maggie run deep here.

The public seats are packed with myself, Mr Lewis, one lady from the press and two councillors from over the border in Anston. It’s a bit depressing that no one else is here.

We kick off with two questions, one from Clive which I didn’t catch, must ask him what it was when I see next time! My question is on buses and whether SYPTE should be invited to a meeting in the near future to discuss improvements.

All present agreed that the current service is inadequate, a recent consultation at the bus station seemed to have been ineffective, and we are left wondering what is the point of a bus station with no decent buses. My thoughts are that we need to see a better service into Sheffield in particular, I think the young unemployed of Dinnington would perhaps be able to benefit from the jobs I see there so often snatched away by East European migrant workers,

We are continually told by RMBC that we are the principal town in the borough, but this is usually when they are interesting in building houses. When it comes to essential services we are too often left with a distinctly rural service.

The state of the roads is discussed and we are told that RMBC plans no road repairs in Dinnington this year. Quite depressing as all local residents will agree as our potholed roads take on an almost Sheffieldesque appearance!

RMBC are also criticised for dodging their responsibilities in the area of street cleanliness. It’s a recurring theme at Town Council meetings, the borough should be doing this but they aren’t, or the borough won’t do that, very frustrating,

The public session closes and I leave feeling a bit depressed, what is the point in paying our council taxes to a borough council who struggle to provide the most basic services to 10% of their population. Surely we are entitled to receive the same 10% of the budget for road repairs, cleaning and public transport?

I for one am getting sick of the broken relationship between Dinnington and the Rotherham Borough who seem to treat us as some kind of forgotten outpost. They are always so eager to plunder our countryside when they have a housebuilding quota to meet, but hesitate when we need buses, street cleaners, libraries and highway maintenance.

Something is rotten here and change is needed!

Rough Guide to Dinnington Politics

Welcome to our guide to the local and not so local politics of the Dinnington and Anston area.

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Let’s start at the grass roots and work our way up…

Dinnington St John’s Town Council

A Town or Parish Council takes care of the ultra-local side of things, they do NOT take care of stuff like planning and highways, although they can send their opinions to the people who do. Dinnington is a town nowadays rather then a parish so we have ourselves a town council. Meetings are held at the Lyric once a month and are open to the public for the first half when residents are allowed to ask questions. The second half is held in private. You can find details about the councillors and the Council as a whole here.

Anston Parish Council

If you are an Anstonian you are living in a parish and the parish council web site can be found here. Meetings are once a month at the Parish Hall.

Rother Valley South Area Assembly

Is our part of the greater Rotherham area. They also meet regularly and might be a good place to raise issues which aren’t borough wide but extend beyond Dinnington. Details are here.

Rother Valley South Safer Neighbourhood Team

Is our local division of South Yorkshire Police, obviously not political, but handy to know if you want to raise something with the boys in blue. They have regular meetings in Anston Parish Hall, details are here.

Rotherham Borough Council

RMBC are the primary authority for our area and take care of the heavier duty things like planning and emptying bins. Planning and Highways are often contentious subjects and are handled here at the Borough level.
Dinno has 3 borough councillors and Anston shares a further 3 with Woodsetts.

South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner

A new one this, and takes the place of the old Police Authority. You can raise issues of Police policy with the SYPCC, but day to day running of the Police is still with the Chief Constable.

Member of Parliament

If you want to take things to the top our man in Westminster is Kevin Barron. He holds a surgery on alternate Saturdays at his office in Dinnington and his website is here. He is your man if you want the law changed or something raising in the house.

Europe!

Nothing divides opinion like this subject! I offer no opinions on European politics, just note we are part of the Yorkshire and the Humber region in the European parliament and more info is here.

Don’t Bother With Brownfield, Raid the Greenbelt Say Government Inspectors

The government’s new national planning framework has been running for a year now and the effects are highlighted in a report by the Campaign to Protect Rural England. The contents of this report will ring alarm bells for anyone who cares about the countryside around Dinnington.

There has always been a “brownfield first” presumption in planning which means previously developed land must be used before digging up open countryside. Developers don’t like this as it’s more expensive and means they are often restricted to building in less desirable locations. Now government inspectors are beginning to allow developers to ignore this principle if alternative sites are not considered “deliverable” This means that if a developer feels they cannot make sufficient profit from brownfield they will be allowed to go straight to the greenbelt.

Sustainability is being thrown out of the window as this test of “deliver-ability” starts to take precedence.

Developers are being allowed to drop hundreds of houses onto open country without making any contribution to local infrastructure, even in areas considered to have outstanding natural beauty. Government is taking the housing figures in authority’s local plans as minimums and smaller authorities like Rotherham are being forced to “co-operate” with larger ones like Sheffield to accommodate over spill.

What does this mean for Dinnington? Well we are constantly told by Rotherham Council that we have to allow a huge extension of at least 700 houses onto our greenbelt to ensure the “local plan” they are putting together is acceptable to government.

But if these plans are being ignored now anyway, as the CPRE’s report seems to indicate, what is the point? We may as well run with no plan and just fight every application as and when it comes up. Figures like the 1300 houses in total and 700 on greenbelt are now going to be treated as minimums and could inflate dramatically over the life of the plan.

The government is also relaxing the laws which require new developments to include a certain proportion of affordable housing. I think this disproves once and for all the defense used by many (including some borough Councillors) for the house building plan; that the new houses planned for Dinnington are intended to benefit our community by being affordable and for local people.

In light of this information could I please ask that Anston Parish Council stop coming up with excuses to avoid debating an objection to Rotherham Council’s Core Strategy and finally get off the fence.

Could I also make the same request of Kevin Barron MP who seems to be positively welded to the fence on this issue. The whole of Rother Valley is being disadvantaged by this plan, so please Kevin start representing your constituents instead of running scared on the issue.

They should be demanding that the local plan be changed so as to more fairly spread the development over the next 15 years throughout the borough and not just heap it in a small number of places like the Dinnington and Anston greenbelt.

Come on people, pull your fingers out!

A summary of the CPRE report is here.

Further info here.

Traffic in North Anston (UPDATED)

Update 3: Looks like the Diversion Might be here for the Duration!

We are hearing from various places that the current diversion through North Anston may have to stay in place until October or maybe even early 2014 when the road is due to be finished. More when we get it!

Update 2: Delay on re-opening Todwick Road

Speaking to Ringway today , the company carrying out the work it has become necessary to keep Todwick Road closed until 18 May. This does mean that traffic will continue to be a problem through North Anston, but was unavoidable as delays arose redirecting some of the vital services like BT cabling. I am quite impressed so far with the management of traffic, when you consider the magnitude of the work.

Anston certainly seems to have it’s fair share of road digging at the moment, it’s like living in Sheffield again!

Update: Hopefully the end will soon be in sight

Ringway Infrastructure Services, the contractor working on the A57 improvements still aims to have Todwick Road operational again by 28 April. This will alleviate the problems in North Anston at the moment as the village main road and Pennypiece Lane are taking the brunt of the diversion.

More news as we get it!

Map of the improvement scheme here.

A57

Original Post: Traffic in North Anston

Locals in North Anston will have noticed a marked increase in traffic on the main road since new year. This is of course due to the closure of the main Dinnington to Todwick road at Todwick crossroads. The aim is to have this back up and running for the end of April, but in the meantime the impact is being felt.

As discussed at Anston Parish council lorries have started to use Pennypiece Lane for access to the industrial estate from the A57. This crafty little short cut is actually unlawful due to a weight limit on the road, but this of course depends upon effective enforcement which we don’t really tend to get I feel.

I know that a lot of the time wagon drivers are just following their sat navs, but the signs are there for a reason chaps!

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Readers Letter in Dinnington Guardian 15/3/2013 and Why We Love Dinnington

I have read the letter below in the Dinnington Guardian today, and whilst I passionately believe in free speech and would never criticise people for expressing their honest opinion I do think a reply is needed here.

Many people will not recognise the description of Dinnington and it’s people in this letter.

LoveDinnington and, I think the vast majority in Dinnington are not against building new houses, I myself live in a house built in the late seventies on a greenfield site. What we are opposed to is the SCALE and the way developers are being allowed to cherry pick greenbelt sites whilst ignoring brownfield in the current local plan. Sheffield feels the same and refuses to build on much of their own greenbelt, and I don’t blame them.

We would also like Dinnington to be given new and upgraded facilities so the roads, schools, doctors and dentists can cope as our little town expands.

That’s all.

My wife was brought up in Sheffield and has lived there her whole life. Since we moved back to Dinnington she is AMAZED at how open and friendly people are. And Sheffield isn’t exactly an unfriendly place, far from it.

We Love Dinnington!

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Cuts Galore in Dinnington!

OK, enough is enough here! First we can’t have a leisure centre, which has to be built in Aston which is nearer to Sheffield than Rotherham.

Then we have to take twice our fair share of the new housing in Rotherham, with NO extra money to support new residents!

THEN we have to have our library hours CUT so the comrades in the Town Hall can favour other areas in Rotherham.

This happens whilst our roads deteriorate even further amid constant complaints from residents about the lax services from RMBC, whether it be lack of litter picking, no one picking up after dog owners and enforcing good behaviour or the lack of a decent bus service.

Even the chairman of Anston Parish Council had to wait an hour, A FULL HOUR for the arrival of the Police to assist him in bullying a local pensioner. Tut tut.

Now RMBC want to close the Customer Service Centre in Dinnington and have launched another of their “consultations” which no doubt will not get listened to!

Please let them know what we think by filling in the form here, otherwise they will turn round to us in a few months and say it was what we all wanted all along!