To receive updates from ward councillors from Greasbrough, Wickersley North and Boston Castle 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 Greasbrough, Wickersley North and Boston Castle 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 were supported by the Neighbourhood Team and worked with officers and residents from a range of organisations to respond to residents.
Councillor Read explained that this item gave Members the opportunity to inform Council about the work that they are doing in their Wards and communities. It was right that when spending public money and engaging with residents, the highlights be presented and Members be accountable for those decisions. The item allowed Members to talk about what they did most of the time which was directly representing their residents in their communities. When in political debates, this could be lost sight of.
Update reports had been provided as part of the agenda. However, each Ward Member was invited to speak.
Councillors Alam, McNeely and Yasseen provide an update for Boston Castle Ward:
- There were five priorities for the Boston Castle Ward:
o Help communities to be safe and feel safe
o Ensure families are supported as we emerge from the pandemic
o Support initiatives which bring together new and existing communities in the Town Centre and beyond
o Work with communities to improve local green spaces; in particular Clifton Park, Boston Park and Herringthorpe Playing Fields
o Support initiatives designed to develop an understanding of, and involve, our diverse communities
- Work had also been done to support Rotherham Social Supermarket who provided food and support to the most vulnerable residents.
- The Community Summit, which had been postponed due to Covid-19, had been re-organised and would allow up to 20 community stakeholders the opportunity to come together and discuss issues which were important to them. The topic for the next summit would be the community recovering from the Pandemic. The topic would change for each summit.
- The three Councillors for Boston Castle were returning Councillors and therefore very much involved with residents.
- The diversity of the Ward was noted and celebrated. The community groups reflected that diversity.
- Thanks was given to the Neighbourhood Teams and thousands of residents and businesses whose hard work allowed good things to happen in the Ward.
- The compassion, community spirit and hard work of those residents and businesses made the work of Elected Members possible.
- Many residents were thanked personally.
Councillor Elliott provided an update for Greasbrough Ward:
- The report for Greasbrough was something to be very proud of.
- The team, Elected Members and Neighbourhood Officers, in Greasbrough had been working hard on all the priorities and plans.
- The local Police Officers attended local meetings and had a positive impact.
- Greasbrough was the perfect example of cross-party working. The Ward and its residents were always the most important.
- Planning ahead was essential. Plans from the last term of office were now coming to fruition and work was underway on plans for the next 4 years.
Wickersley North Ward
Councillors Ellis, Hoddinott and Read provided an update for Wickersley North Ward:
- Work focused on cleaner, greener, road safety, parking and life in residential areas.
- Community skips had been successful on multiple streets.
- Blitz days on alleyways where Streetpride staff attended and gave a boost to the community.
- Close work with the local PCSO, particularly on community speed watches.
- There was a particular challenge locally relating to off-road vehicles, specifically around the former Silverwood Pit site. Regular work was undertaken alongside the Police.
- Work was underway on highlighting the importance of the environment and of neighbours keeping connected on mental health.
- Work had taken place over many years on suicide awareness. This work would become even more important in the coming year due to the cost of living crisis. There was an excellent team in place in Rotherham that provided training on raising awareness.
- Neighbourhood Housing Officers were also thanked for their work in dealing with vulnerable residents.
- There had been lots of challenges through the Pandemic and Ward Members had helped residents through that.
- Sunnyside Supplies was a social supermarket and community café that offered support.
- In terms of getting people back out and together, Ward Members were working at tackling the isolation caused by the pandemic. At Sunnyside Supplies, the community café ran every Tuesday and was a good place for residents to meet up. There were amazing volunteers that helped run Sunnyside Supplies.
- A friendship bench had also been funded through the Ward budget along with bingo equipment.
- The Library had re-opened.
- Exciting plans, including bunting, were in place for the Jubilee weekend.
Thanks to all Neighbourhood Officers and local Police Officers were noted.
1) That the reports be noted.
Mover:- Councillor Read Seconder:- Councillor Alam