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Todwick Village

The Informer


Todwick Parish Council
No. 57
July 2001

YOUR PARISH COUNCIL - At the May meeting the Chairman and Vice-Chairman were both re-elected for another year. The Council remains: Councillor Clive Pantry (85 The Meadows - tel: 771024) Chairman; Councillor John Mosley (95 The Meadows - tel: 771384) Vice-Chairman; and Councillors Mary Gregory (tel: 770703), Barrie Marsh (tel: 773235), Ian Pennock (tel: 771120), Tony Rusling (tel: 770081), Bill Senior (tel: 770125), Brenda Waller (tel: 770819) and Les Waller (tel: 770819). There is one change in membership of the Council - at the April meeting Ian Pennock of 2 Horbiry End was co-opted to fill the vacancy reported in the last issue of The Informer.

The Clerk to the Council is Mr J. R. Walker, 10 High Street, South Anston, Sheffield S25 5AY, to whom all correspondence should be addressed. His telephone no. is 566639. You may of course approach any member of the Council on any matter which is causing you concern.

PARISH COUNCIL MEETINGS - These are held on the last Tuesday of each month except August - the date may vary in December - in the Village Hall, commencing at 7.30 pm. There is always an Open Session at 8.30 pm during which any member of the public may ask questions or comment on any matter of concern - they may not speak otherwise during the meeting. Dates of forthcoming meetings are 31 July, 25 September, 30 October and 27 November 2001.

YOUR VILLAGE - YOUR PROBLEMS! The Open Meeting arranged under this heading on 15 May was attended by approximately 40 residents. The issue which was concerning most of those present was problems with young people (in particular the 13-16 age group). Large groups were upsetting residents (whether intentionally or from thoughtlessness) and in particular there had been some vandalism in the newly equipped Children's Playground and the Recreation Ground including the Millennium Garden. An additional problem in the Playground was Friday night drinking sessions which were disturbing those living nearby - these may not have been young people from Todwick - and leaving large numbers of empty cans and bottles. Unfortunately a senior Police Officer had been unable to attend this meeting and it was decided that a further one be held on 19 June.

Both the Police and the Youth Service were represented at this second meeting which was equally well attended. By this time the problems had decreased significantly - possibly word had got around - and the non-Todwick young people seemed to have departed elsewhere. The Police gave a presentation on Youth Shelters which had proved helpful in other areas in providing a solution to youth nuisance which is the number one complaint received in Rotherham. A local example of this is the Kick-About area at the back of the Library in Kiveton which was opened in April. The Youth Service suggested that they could undertake a special piece of work involving talking to young people on the streets to discuss their problems - Youth Clubs are not always the answer. There was a wide-ranging discussion on the problems and this second meeting was generally felt to have been helpful and constructive - it is to be hoped that Todwick remains peaceful for the foreseeable future!

PLAYGROUNDS RE-EQUIPMENT - OFFICIAL OPENING - This took place on the afternoon of Wednesday 11 April. Fortunately the weather although cold was dry, and between 40 and 50 children plus an almost equal number of adults were present to welcome the Mayor and Mayoress of Rotherham (Councillor and Mrs Ian St. John). Representatives of WREN (who had funded the project) also attended together with Councillors from local Parishes and it was generally felt to have been a very successful occasion - you may have seen a copy of the photograph taken by Rotherham Advertiser which has been displayed in the window of Todwick Newsagency.

There was a small amount of vandalism in the weeks immediately after the opening but that has now ceased - fortunately as some prophets of doom were suggesting that the Council should close it down - and the Playground is now being well-used on a regular basis and the new facilities much appreciated. The re-equipment of the Play Area at the Recreation Ground was not completed until after the official opening as the weather had caused problems to the firm carrying out the work and there was a delay in receiving the basketball equipment, but the Council wanted the opening to take place before the Easter holidays.

VILLAGE APPRAISAL - The Parish Council is anxious for Todwick to have a Village Appraisal in the near future - as have many other villages nationwide. So what is it? It is in fact an opportunity for local people to express views about where they live - essentially it is about what is important to local people, a way of celebrating important aspects of local life and highlighting the problems and needs of a community, and it encourages local people to be involved in shaping the future of their area. Associated benefits include improving the level of local knowledge and increasing local pride and community spirit. It can be used to inform local decision makers , such as the Borough Council and demonstrate local needs - and last but by no means least it can be used to strengthen applications to funders!

It is important to involve as many people as possible in an Appraisal, which should be organised and overseen by a small group ( between 5 and 15 people) - not the Parish Council, although the Council would have overall responsibility and be represented on the group. There are many things we do not know about the village - for example how many people are living alone, and how many people have no transport of their own? There seems to be a fairly widespread assumption that 'Todwick is alright' and the only way to counter this is to be able to show just what problems there are in the Village.

If you are interested in playing a part in our Appraisal please contact the Chairman or any other member of the Council before the September meeting so that a group can be set up - you may wish to represent one of the organisations or just be involved as an individual. And if you think Todwick lacks community spirit may we remind you that the Parish Council was prepared to sponsor another Fun Day this year if a group of people had come forward to run it - the request to residents to get together to do just this met with a NIL RESPONSE, which is why there has been no Fun Day 2001!

THE ANNUAL PARISH ASSEMBLY - Held on 24 April, this was the opportunity for residents to hear reports from the Chairman and the Clerk on the year's work of the Council as well as the financial report and accounts - i.e. to learn how your money was spent. The attendance was a record - NIL! In recent years the attendance has rarely been more than one, so this is yet another example of lack of interest in the community - until something happens such as the youth problems experienced earlier this year when the Parish Councillors are expected to provide an instant solution. They would appreciate your interest and support throughout the year! And if anyone thinks that Parish Councillors are paid - as are Borough Councillors - they are not, and very rarely do they even claim expenses.

BOWLS FESTIVAL 2001 - Following Todwick Parish Bowling Club's very highly praised event last year a second Festival has taken place this year. It got under way on a beautiful day on 24 June with the Inter-Parish Bowls Competition. 18 Parish Councillors and Clerks partnered by bowlers from local clubs took to the bowling green in a most enjoyable competition and the eventual winners were Cllr F. K. Blanks by (Wales) and T. Vaughan (Todwick PBC), with Cllr Brenda Waller (Todwick) and G. Atkinson (Todwick PBC) runners-up.

In the 'Millennium Cup' Team Event for 4 person teams from invited Clubs, last year's winners, I. Thorpe, C. Mangham, T. Ballam and G. Kelsey of Wickersley SCBC successfully defended their title ahead of runners-up T. Brown, T. Vaughan, C. Lovell and R. Sickler representing Todwick PBC.

On Wednesday 11 July, despite the showers, pupils of Todwick School completed a five week introduction to Crown Green Bowls with the 'Junior Bowls Competition'. After some excellent performances from all the teams the Green Team edged ahead to win the event, with the Blue Team runners-up. Unfortunately the names of the team members are not available.

The 'Charity Drawn Doubles' were scheduled to take place on Sunday 15 July with over 30 bowlers taking part. In 2000 donations of £50 each were made to the Rotherham Hospice and the Northern General Heart Research Fund and this year it is hoped to make similar donaations to the Rotherham Hospice and the MacMillan Nurses.

The Festival was due to close on Sunday 22 July when Bowlers with Non-Bowler Partners competed for the 'Todwick Parish Council Millennium Cup'. Unfortunately the results of these last two competitions were not available in time to include in this issue of The Informer.

This Festival shows that at least one Todwick organisation has a community spirit and it is to be hoped that the Festival is now well-established and will continue to be a success in the years to come.

CONGRATULATIONS to Todwick W.I. who took first place with their display at Harthill Carnival - there is more talent in the village than is always realised!

TEAG - The opportunity was taken at the second of the special meetings to give an update on the work of the Environmental Action Group and its plans/hopes for the future. If you would like to be involved in this community activity contact either the Coordinator, Sheila Pantry, 85 The Meadows (tel:771024) or the Treasurer, Brenda Palmer, at the Post Office.

HANGING BASKETS - From time to time residents ask why Todwick does not have hanging baskets as do other local villages. There is a very simple reason. Apart from the cost of providing the baskets they do not look after themselves. Those villages which do have them, because of their size have much greater financial resources, and are therefore able to employ people to look after them regularly - and can afford a suitable vehicle to enable this to be done.

FOOTPATH WALKS - These continue to take place on the first Tuesday of each month, leaving the Village Hall at 10.00 am. They are led by Mr Pat Wilson, 97 The Meadows, from whom further information is available (tel: 771319). If you walk the local footpaths independently and find any problems due to obstruction, failure to restore after ploughing, etc., please inform Mr Wilson or Councillors Gregory (tel: 770703) or Pennock (tel: 771120) who will pass the information on to Rotherham Borough Council's Rights of Way Officer for the necessary action to be taken.

DIRTY DOG OWNERS BEWARE! Of all the complaints received by the Parish Council Dog Fouling has been top of the list for many years and has been commented on in The Informer in more issues than not. Now Rotherham Borough Council has adopted the new so-called 'poop-scoop laws' which make it an offence for any person to fail to clear up after a dog within their control has fouled in a public place.

From now on dog owners who allow their dogs to foul areas such as pavements and grass verges, parks, playing fields, grassed areas, etc. face a fine of up to £1000 if they do not clear up the mess immediately. The law applies to any place in the open to which the public have access, with only a few exceptions - mainly agricultural land. Being unaware of the fouling or not having the means to clear it up is not a defence.

The maximum penalty for failing to clear up after a dog is £1000, but Rotherham have chosen to use fixed penalty notices with a penalty of £25 and offenders can choose to pay this within 14 days rather than be prosecuted and taken to court. The issue of fixed penalty notices will be carried out by newly appointed Environmental Wardens who will be carrying out enforcement activity throughout the Borough.

The new law was explained to those who were present at the special meeting on 15 May by Mark Benton, Environment Officer, who said 'Dog's mess is not only offensive, it carries a host of bacterial and parasitic diseases which can cause serious food poisoning or even blindness. This legislation will not be an issue or cause any need for concern amongst responsible dog owners who already clean up after their dogs.'

Rotherham Borough Council is not providing any bins, but if Parish Councils feel that they are needed in their area they can provide them and the Borough will undertake emptying them, for which they will charge. No decision has so far been taken about this in Todwick.

If you wish for any further information about this new law please contact Rotherham Environmental Health on 01709-823172.

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY - Funding is currently being sought by three Todwick organisations for large-scale projects. The Village Hall Committee is applying for £180,000 for the refurbishment of the Hall, the Parish Council is seeking a rather more modest amount - about £50,000 - for the Recreation Ground roadway, and the Parochial Church Council is seeking additional funds in excess of £100,000 to enable work on the new Church Hall to proceed. Fortunately these applications are being made to different bodies so there can be no conflict of interest - it will be interesting to see which is the first to be successful.

THE VILLAGE BONFIRE - Please make a note that the Bonfire and Fireworks Display will take place on Saturday 3rd November this year, not on the 5th as in previous years.

TODWICK ON THE INTERNET - May we remind you that Todwick has its own web site - you will find it at giving information about the village, its history, organisations, coming events, etc. Web site manager is Sheila Pantry, tel: 771024.

The Informer is published three times a year by Todwick Parish Council from 10 High Street, South Anston, Sheffield S25 7AY. The next issue will appear in November.