To receive updates from ward councillors from Wales, Wath and Wickersley on the activities supporting Thriving Neighbourhoods across the Borough.
Further to Minute No. 55 of the meeting of the Cabinet held on 19th November, 2018, consideration was given to the annual Ward updates for Wath, Wales and Wickersley as part of the Thriving Neighbourhood Strategy.
The Strategy signalled a new way of working for the Council both for Members and for staff and covered every Ward in the Borough delivered through Ward Plans developed with residents to address local issues and opportunities. Ward Members would be supported by the neighbourhood team and would work with officers and residents from a range of organisations to respond to residents.
Councillors Atkin and J. Elliot, on behalf of the Wath Ward, gave an update on their Ward priorities for 2020/21 and welcomed the opportunity that the Thriving Neighbourhoods had given to Members and listed a number of initiatives that had taken place in the Ward, including:-
· Following receipt of a request from Hedgehog Rescue Hedgehog Warning Signs have been erected.
· Music in the Park to encourage community spirit and boosting moral during the lockdown.
· Laptops had been funded by the Ward budget for the Internet Access Project which enabled people accessing the foodbank to also access the internet and supporting them to access benefit support online.
· Match funding support had been provided for various improvements to the Wath Scout Hut and the purchase of new equipment for activities.
· Parking Buddies.
· Local Democracy Week.
· Support for Covid-19 food parcels which had enabled the purchase of equipment and food needed for the Montgomery Hall Covid19 Food Parcel Project. 400 households had been supported and 2,500 food parcels delivered.
· Residents’ voices had been listened to for future improvements in Newhill Park. A family fun event was to have been held but had been delayed due to the pandemic.
· Multi-agency and enforcement work had taken place on the White Bear Estate that had included a survey of all the bins on one road checking for missing/contaminated/broken bins and replaced where appropriate, warning letters issued for untidy gardens, work undertaken on overgrown grassed areas and porch door improvements as well as recycling education.
· Following the closure of the Oaks Day Centre, a social enterprise (Community Connect) to support local people with mild to moderate learning disabilities had been set up in Wath. They had transformed a disused piece of land owned by Wath Rugby Club next to Community Connect into a sensory garden.
· Match funding had been provided to enable the purchase of a floating jetty facility on Manvers Lake and 171 metal warning signs for installation at key entrances to the facility which would assist the Police in their enforcement work.
· The Kings Bowl Club had been severely damaged during the November 2019 floods. Working with contractor Mears, the Club had been provided with new kitchen cabinets, new electrical installation, electrical items and crockery as well as a section of fencing to protect the Club from any further incidents of anti-social behaviour.
· Places on a First Aid at Work course for community volunteers had been funded from the Wath Ward budget thus enabling the necessary first aid cover at community events.
· Residents involvement in nominating street signage under Street Signage Improvements.
· The Wath Ward budget had allowed new surfacing to be provided on the ramps to the Skate Park and improvements to existing equipment/provision of new equipment at Strathmore Park, Avenue Road and Biscay Way Play areas.
Councillors Beck and Watson, on behalf of the Wales Ward, gave an update on their Ward priorities and welcomed the opportunity to thank the Neighbourhood Working Group, staff and volunteers and listed a number of initiatives that had taken place in the Ward and as a result the community were benefiting from:-
· Pre-Covid, Councillors and partners had held a 2 day project of door knocking to speak to as many residents as possible about the new Ward Housing Hubs and how they could become involved. This was recommended as a way forward to engage with members of the public with the work of the Council.
· The “Friendly Bench” outside Kiveton Library the aim of which was to tackle loneliness, isolation and promoting community cohesion and togetherness.
· Provision of community skip in February.
· The fitting of a defibrillator onto the external wall of the Neighbourhood Centre on Viking Way. Start A Heart had donated the cabinet that housed the defibrillator. The Viking Way TARA Group had worked hard to raise funds so they could buy replacement pads and potential future repairs.
· Harthill/Thorpe Salvin Covid-19 Group had kept the vulnerable people of the neighbourhood fed and looked after. During the first 3 months of the pandemic the Group had delivered 375 food parcels to 88 households and 125 people.
Councillors Ellis, Hoddinott and Read, on behalf of the Wickersley Ward, gave an update on their Ward priorities, however, it was noted that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic during the last six months had meant the inability to fulfil the two main stable activities of community skips and community speed watch. It was hoped the community skips would be able to begin again soon. The Members welcomed the opportunity to thank the Neighbourhood Working Group, staff and volunteers and listed a number of initiatives that had taken place in the Ward including:-
· Community speed watches undertaken by the Police due to speeding on Wickersley residential roads.
· Supporting residents through the Covid-19 pandemic by undertaking shopping, collecting prescriptions and keeping in touch with those who felt isolated.
· Sunnyside Supplies, a local food network starting during lockdown to assist with food parcels, had delivered 700 parcels. The Group would run until the end of October.
· A free book swap service.
· Afternoon tea delivered, together with John Healey MP, to those people who were isolated/elderly people.
· In recognition of the NHS workers and key workers, together with two local craft groups, a rainbow yarn bombing of Wickersley roundabout of ribbons and crocheted rainbows and pompoms made by children. They had since been taken down and displayed in the community centre. The ribbons had been washed and ironed by volunteers of Winthorp and made into individual thank you cards and distributed to all key workers in the area.
· The erection of a new speed sign on Brook Lane and extra road markings. Consultation was still ongoing with regard to the possible speed reduction.
· Four Billy and Belinda bollards funded and six bollards around Bramley Sunnyside Junior and Infant School.
· Flanderwell School had received a set of Parking buddies with messages chosen by the school pupils to try and encourage responsible parking in the area.
· Numerous roads put forward to the Council’s Roads Programmes had been or were to be refused this financial year.
· Rotherham’s first Cumulative Impact Zone which covered the Wickersley area which formed part of stricter licensing rules across Rotherham for pubs, late night takeaways and other licenced premises.
· Silverwood Pit continued to be a source of complaints of noise and nuisance due to off-road bikes, quads and 4 x 4s using the site without permission. Numerous gaps in the perimeter fencing had been repaired by the Council..
· Several community skip days and street clean ups had been organised and would resume once it was safe to do so.
· Yorkshire Day bunting had been placed in areas where due to age and vulnerability people may not have got out as much as they would have liked to celebrate the day.
· The bus route in the area of Markhill Drive had been restored by First Travel and Powells .
Resolved:- That the Ward updates be received and the contents noted.
Mover:- Councillor Watson Seconder:- Councillor Read