Tag Archives: Local Plan

How to have Your Say on Housebuilding Proposals


People all over the borough will be receiving the email below if they have registered on previous consultations.

Like all RMBC consultations they have probably made their mind up already so will not change their minds without a lot of pressure from voters.

Please do express your opinion on the plans, this is a once in a 15 year opportunity

Dear Sir/Madam

•        Would you like to know where new homes are planned in your area?

•        Are you interested in where new jobs will be created?

Then you need to read this email. The Council are drawing up a new Local Plan for the whole of Rotherham borough. We need your views to help us improve the draft plan.

To find out more simply visit our website at http://www.rotherham.gov.uk/localplan or come along to a public drop-in session near you. Read on for full details of events and how to comment on the draft plan.

What is it?

Since 2009 we have consulted at various times on potential sites for new homes, shopping, employment and other new development inRotherham. These are shown in a Sites & Policies document. We now have a draft plan that we think shows the most suitable sites to take forward. These sites are needed to meet the targets for new homes and jobs shown in the Local Plan’s Core Strategy.

We have also drafted policies to guide decision making on future planning applications.

Where can I see it?

The consultation starts on Monday 20 May and closes on Monday 29 July 2013.

We are holding public drop-in sessions throughout the Borough to show the detail of our proposals, to answer any questions and discuss individual sites for each community. Full details are given below – come along and talk to us about the draft plan.

Date Community area Time Venue

30 May 2013

Wickersley / Bramley 14:30 – 18:30 Wickersley Community Centre

4 June 2013

Anston 14:30 – 18:30 Anston Parish Hall

6 June 2013

Rawmarsh 14:30 – 18:30 Rawmarsh High Street Centre

10 June 2013

Maltby / Hellaby 14:30 – 18:30 Maltby Full Life Church

13 June 2013

Aston, Aughton, Swallownest 14:30 – 18:30 Aston Parish Hall

18 June 2013

Kiveton Park and Wales 14:30 – 18:30 Wales Village Hall

20 June 2013

Dinnington 14:30 – 18:30 Dinnington Resource Centre

25 June 2013

Rotherham Urban Area 14:30 – 18:30 Broom Lane Methodist Church

27 June 2013

Ravenfield / Bramley 14:30 – 18:30 Ravenfield Parish Hall

29 June 2013

Bassingthorpe Farm 13:00 – 17:00 Greasbrough Town Hall

5 July 2013

Wath / Brampton / Swinton 14:30 – 18:30 Wath Montgomery Hall

10 July 2013

Rotherham Town Centre 14:30 – 18:30 MyPlace, St Ann’s Roundabout

You can also see the draft plan at these places during office hours:

•           Customer Service Centre, Riverside House, Main Street, Rotherham

•           Customer Service Centre, Station Street, Swinton

•           Customer Service Centre, New Street, Dinnington

•           Customer Service Centre, Braithwell Road, Maltby

•           Customer Service Centre, Worksop Road, Aston

•           Customer Service Centre, Barbers Avenue, Rawmarsh

•           All libraries in the Borough (normal opening times)

We want your views

Comments should be made by 5pm Monday 29 July 2013 using our online consultation system at http://rotherham.limehouse.co.uk/portal

For further information or help please contact us:

Phone: 01709 823869 Rotherham MBCPlanning Policy Planning and Regeneration ServiceRiverside House

Main Street


Fax: 01709 372419
Email: planning.policy@rotherham.gov.uk
Web: www.rotherham.gov.uk/localplan

Yours faithfully

Roger Stone
Leader of the Council

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.

An Open Letter to Anston Parish Council from Tim Wells

Local resident Tim Wells has copied us into this open letter to Anston Parish Council. We are pleased to reproduce it here, Tim is not the first person to challenge the parish council on their reluctance to openly discuss this issue and we applaud his efforts.

Dear Dominic
I feel as though I am having the wool pulled over my eyes by the Parish council.  The reason for this letter being an open letter sent to the local guardian and forwww.lovedinnington.com to put on their web site.
At the meeting which was cancelled after the police were called, a lady asked you to vote for or against the core strategy in the question time.  At the re adjourned meeting I confirmed with you in the closing questions that a vote would happen at the next meeting and you confirmed to everybody in attendance, that would be the case.
However at the next meeting you walked around the vote without having it.  Even though a number of independents, voiced their opposition to building on the greenbelt.
I ask at the next Parish meeting in May, that you put on the Agenda an item to vote for or against the core strategy and the vote be recorded.
Dinnington have already voted completely against the core strategy and it is time that Anston Parish council stick their neck out and do so.  Before any further houses are built in Anston, there has to be consideration of schooling, congestion on roads, services and an area of land set aside for a civic centre for Anston.  RMBC need to plan more sustainable communities, not massive housing estates with no soul, we aren’t part of Rotherham.
Building on the greenbelt should be the very last option, if at all.  The houses we really require around here, are 1 and 2 bedroom houses, which would enable larger houses to be freed up for young families.  Rather than building across fields, it is important to utilise existing brown field sites, which are plentiful in Rotherham and Sheffield and where traditional industry no longer exists.  It is perhaps a time for people to move back into towns and city’s, the opposite to what happened in the 60’s and 70’s, after much industrial land became vacant.
As a country we need to become more sustainable and start to grow more of our own food, we have lost over 5 farms since I came to Anston in 1966.  Farming land is important for food and to allow people around here to feel as though they do live in the countryside, not urban sprawl.
I await you confirming that a vote will take place at the next Parish meeting?
Yours in anticipation

Anston Parish Game of Thrones April 15 2013

It’s a calm and peaceful evening in Dinnington, there’s beer in the fridge and the latest episode of Game of Thrones to watch on telly. I however decide to eschew this masterpiece of slashing, blood and heaving bussomry, Anston Parish Council beckons and the game is afoot!

The meeting kicked off with Cllr Crowther in the chair for finance and general matters, 3 Borough Cllrs were present along with the usual supporting cast, Cllr Beck watching from the side-lines. Stuart Thornton opened with some concerns on grants that have been issued but we moved swiftly to the main session as more Cllrs and public arrived.

Mr Beck took the chair to announce a presentation by RMBC highways maintenance, it was explained to us that the budget for repairs is 5 million quid or thereabouts and that roads are regularly surveyed and repaired as funds allow. Residents raised concerns about the quality of repairs and work carried out by utility companies. The officer defended his position saying that funds often meant repairs had to be temporary and overall contractors do a good job. Lack of money and equipment means the Council cannot always provide the service we would like, but they do their best.

I have to say this was received with not a little bit of scepticism.

Cllr Ireland commented that RMBC do a good job but the roads are rubbish, not quite sure how you can have it both ways! Cllrs Burton and Dalton held their tongues throughout.

A question came from a resident asking about a sustainability impact assessment for building work near the Butterfly House. Cllr Burton jumped in and said that there were no plans to build near the Butterfly House, to which Stuart enquired about just how much Borough Cllrs know about the future sites and policies document that isn’t supposed to be out yet and details the decimation of our green belt?

I can assure everyone that all Borough Cllrs know exactly where the next big building sites are going; they went for a briefing on it ages ago. In fact by the time you read this the parishes should know as well.

Cllr Burton denied this however, it’s confidential don’t you know?

Mr Lewis asked about the pending land deal and called for the chairman’s head on a platter, Judy Dalton replied that it is a complicated question. Stuart disagreed, finding the chairman’s head very appealing; he was instantly attacked by Cllr Stonebridge who accused him of sound bite politics.

It got some applause so maybe he has a point!

The skate park was discussed and the chairman accused of fobbery, which is the wilful fobbing off of the public. Mr Lewis accused various Cllrs of wearing nappies and Stonebridge and Thornton clashed again. It got a bit shouty.

There followed much arguing over who interrupted who and who did what which saw Mr Beck getting redder and redder and Stuart and Stonebridge especially getting louder and louder. Cllr Saint-John was moved to express his despair at how the Council was conducting itself lately as Mr Beck wrestled back control.

The local plan was discussed and Stuart accused more or less everyone of delaying discussion so it was too late for the Council to object or comment. Cllrs Dalton and Burton in particular had not acquitted themselves well according to him. SJ jumped in and Cllr Ireland this time lamented the poor form in which meetings are held.

Cllr Ireland continued to call for a well-rehearsed vote of confidence in the chairman, this led to severe heckling from Mr Lewis in particular and comments from Stuart along the lines of you must be joking. Mr Beck’s head was called for again. Cllr Ireland poo pooed this and in summing up said that Mr Beck’s head was in more demand than is decent and certain people (Stuart) should stop being nasty. This was greeted with mirth from the audience, but support came from the Council fan club (all one of them)

The vote was carried easily as the flock rushed into the pen.

An RMBC planning document on how sustainable the Core Strategy is was dismissed by all as gobbledy gook, except Judy who said it was technical and rather good. Hmmm.

Final questions from the public… A merciless attack by Mr Lewis on the vote of confidence enjoyed by Mr Chairman, then a strong attack by the Council fan club on Stuart calling him a                  puppet.

No one was very surprised when Stuart pointed out that the numerous commercial contracts the questioner holds with the Council might have something to do with the line of questioning. And let’s not examine that one too closely, meeting closed job done.

So to sum up, a depressing return to bitch politics, no real decisionsor debate leaving a frustrated public who at one point were described by Cllr SJ as anoraks with nothing better to do.

The movers and shakers in the building are clearly the Labour Borough Councillors, who, opposed by the two main independents, use the grumpy old men brigade to shout down any common sense by sheer weight of numbers.

Everyone else round the table seems to be either sheep or cannon fodder, so essentially we have Bodie and Doyle vs. Ronald Wealsey and Victor Meldrew.

Hmmm, at least Game of Thrones is waiting at home to help me wind down.

Land Banking and Neighbourhood Plans

As we know large housing developers carry a “land bank” on their books, it’s kind of an extension of their cash flow, just as any company needs a good supply of money to operate, a developer also needs a steady stream of building sites for its raw material.

Much has been made about the 400,000 houses worth of land already banked in the UK, the problem is much of it is brownfield and not profitable enough in the current economic climate, so developers are turning ever more towards green fields.

So when our local authority assures us that brownfield land will be developed first, it’s really a very simplistic view of the housebuilding world which is driven, like the rest of the world, by the need to make a profit.

This interesting report from the National Trust states:

“The National Planning Policy Framework excludes many of the 400,000 sites nationally that have planning permission from a council’s deliverable five-year housing supply on the basis that they are currently considered economically unviable for development.

The NPPF encourages a short-term view of economic viability that risks unnecessary development of greenfield and Green Belt sites. Local Plans must identify a “deliverable” five year housing land supply. This means that development plans must be shown to be economically viable and achievable with a reasonable time frame.

The fact that greenfield sites are more profitable to develop than brownfield sites, and therefore more viable, is forcing councils to propose development of these sites. As a case study in this report shows, many of the sites for 10,300 new homes approved for development in Salford are excluded from the council’s five year supply forcing the council to consider planning applications for greenfield sites.”

It makes sobering reading and I feel this is one impact of localism that we will feel quite soon! There are lots of brownfield sites in Dinnington and Anston in need of re-development, but who will choose these above going straight to green field? It’s cheaper to build there and it will make more profits as it will tend to be in a more desirable location.

There is a really good summing up here.

Another aspect of localism is Neighbourhood Plans, an opportunity for town and parish councils to make their own mini plans for development. The same report has this to say:

“The Localism Act introduced a new layer of local planning: Neighbourhood Plans. The government’s aim is to “put communities in the driving seat”. It should be emphasised that  Neighbourhood Planning is still at an early stage. The regulations governing the creation of Neighbourhood Forums were only finalised in April 2012.

Councils have identified three key challenges that face Neighbourhood Planning.

First, the powers of Neighbourhood Forums are limited. Neighbourhood Plans cannot include proposals that are contrary to the Local Plan or the National Planning Policy Framework. The LGiU research confirms this picture. Nearly two thirds of local authorities said that Neighbourhood Plans were not important or not important at all in shaping their Local Plan.

Second, not all areas have a Neighbourhood Forum. Parish and Town Councils are able to act as Neighbourhood Forums. Neighbourhood Forums must, however, be established from scratch where these bodies do not exist. Although there are a number of successful examples, contributors to the LGiU research expressed concern that coverage is uneven and focused in more advantaged areas.

Third, the resources for Neighbourhood Forums are limited. Estimates for the production of a Neighbourhood Plan range from £20,000 to £100,000 which, given the low level of funding allocated by government to support Neighbourhood Plans, must in general be found by local communities. This has had a deterrent effect and may serve to concentrate Neighbourhood Plans in more advantaged areas.”

So maybe not all they were cracked up to be and quite expensive, worth considering perhaps for Towns or Parishes with the will and the means?

Big Borough/Little Borough

Some interesting stuff for those of us interested in planning matters…

The “duty to co-operate” between local authorities is now fully enshrined in national planning doctrine and our relationship with Sheffield is sure to be under the microscope when Rotherham’s local plan core strategy goes to the government for sign off.

We are part of the wider Sheffield City Region, and as such we are obliged to look at Sheffield’s housing needs as well as Rotherham’s when compiling a local plan and setting housing targets. There is actually a clause in Rotherham’s plan allowing Sheffield to call for an early review if they consider our housing target insufficient, this was done to avoid an objection to the Planning Inspectorate by Sheffield when Rotherham’s plan is considered.

Coventry is having similar troubles with their big borough neighbour Birmingham as detailed in this article in the Guardian. A good summary is here.

More about the Sheffield City Region 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.

Anston Parish Council to Face Scrutiny?

Tomorrow’s Anston Parish Council Meeting looks to have lots of interesting items on the agenda.

At a previous meeting (where a certain pensioner came to loggerheads with the chairman Mr Beck) independent monitors from the Borough were present to observe proceedings due to a previous complaint. Now we have the following agenda item to be discussed tomorrow:

vi) Letter from RMBC, received 8th March, regarding proposed public meeting
with Mr Phil Beavers (Interim Independent Person serving on the Standards

Sounds interesting, almost as though this proposed public meeting will be for the purpose of scrutinizing the behaviour of the Council? Also this:

v) Cllr Thornton (2013/014) – To discuss the presence of security guards at previous
council meeting.

I didn’t even know there WERE security guards there, although I did note two PCSOs…

There is also discussion of the local plan/greenbelt issues on the agenda with a proposal to work more closely with Dinnington Town Council on these tricky subjects. All good stuff and should make for some good discussion and (hopefully) progress.

There is also this stern warning, however, so any bolshy pensioners had best be on good behaviour!

Regard should be made to the requirements of Section 17 of the Crime and Disorder
Act 1998, the Race Relations Act 1976 (as amended), the Disability Discrimination
Act 2005 (Disability Equality Duty) and Section 40 of the Natural Environment and
Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 (Biodiversity Duty), throughout the meeting.
Anyone who disturbs the proceedings may be required by resolution to withdraw
from the room – Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960, s1(8).)

You can download your own copy from here.

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!






















Dinnington Town Council Meeting 11 March 2013

It’s severe weather as polar conditions batter Dinnington, but nothing will keep me in tonight because it’s Dinnington St John’s Town Council Meeting! Hoorah!

A good attendance at this little get together, very friendly and not a single police officer in sight. Even the (in)famous Mr Lewis manages to get in the door without a blue light escort.

It marks the return of Simon Tweed from a bout of poorly-ness and with his fellow Borough Councillors in tow as well.

We kick off with a presentation by the “Groundwork Creswell, Ashfield and Mansfield” group, an environmental charity with quite a wide range of work to their name. More about them here

They are questioned quite thoroughly by a member of Save our Greenbelt (who I am not associated with in any way in case people don’t know) about their work, their funding and how they tackle various problems.

And so starts the meeting proper…

First question is on certain expenditure in the last budget and the chair answers explaining and giving details.

A question from the public on the shop frontages on Dinnington main street and who is responsible for their upkeep and preventing them from encroaching on the pavement. RMBC Highway and Env Health says Simon, but Cllr Wardle points out that if the blockage is on private land little can be done.

Litter is also on the agenda, RMBC accused of paying little attention to Dinnington, but borough is defended by Cllr Havenhand who says their guy does his best but it is a losing battle. Someone comments that people ought to stop dropping the flipping stuff and it’s hard to argue with that! The chair promises to raise with borough and see if more can be done.

Save Our Greenbelt ask about the total number of houses RMBC are now going to build in Dinno, is it 1100, is it 1300, does it include this or that? Borough Councillors say it is 1300 and Simon promises to get written clarification. I point out that the borough tend to lie a lot and any written reply is fit only for arse wiping. The chair shoots me down for calling people liars and I scurry away before her wrath.

It gets a bit shouty and then we come to my question, how about a field trip onto Dinnington East to find out some facts on the ground. This is greeted with enthusiasm by many and I am told to arrange a date and call the press, job done!

I also sort of hint that only one of the three Borough Councillors have been helping so far and get a right earful back. I invite them to prove me wrong and then duck as verbal Tomahawk missiles are aimed in my direction.

Save Our Greenbelt make one last point (which I don’t fully understand) about the objections made to RMBC by the Town Council, the clerk answers and the public session is closed! I make a hasty retreat to my car outside which has been left with the engine running the whole time!

A nice bit of good honest debate after the snakish nastiness of Anston and I live to complain another day!

Job done, cushty, off we trot!