Wednesday, 29 April 2009

"Save Education in Maltby"

The main point of the meeting at the Wesley Centre, Maltby,last night 28th April and the leaflets that have been given out, was to highlight the fact that only STATUTORY CONSULTATION has been been done on the Maltby Schools issues, rather than the FULL PUBLIC CONSULTATION which RMBC policy advocates for such issues.

It was clear that there are numerous people who should have, but have not been consulted, very many of these parents.
It was unanimous that those attending the meeting felt that the consultation was greatly flawed and inadequate. (Perhaps unanimous is not the correct word as only about 4 or 5 people did NOT put their hands up to the question “who thinks the consultation was unsatisfactory?” and then the same 4 or 5 people did NOT put their hand up to the question “who thinks that the consultation was satisfactory”, obviously using their prerogative to disassociate themselves from an issue as and when they feel)

An email was read out from someone who had asked it to be read at the meeting, in support of an academy. It made the claim that anyone who does not agree with an academy for Maltby does not have the interests of our children’s education at heart. I have heard this view stated on at least 2 occasions over the past couple of months and am insulted and disgusted, as I am sure many others are, at this view.

Unfortunately the email was anonymous, so no one is able to take issue with the writer. Anonymous emails ? This is stooping very low to get one’s views across.

There was suggestions that all concerned are balloted for their views and that a further consultation period is insisted upon.
It was announced that the next step is for leaflets to be given out outside MCS today at 5.30 – all supporters welcome. A petition will be available to sign on Saturday 2nd May outside Tesco and the new Co-op in Maltby, and that there will be a further meeting next Tuesday, 5th May, Wesley Centre, Blyth Rd, Maltby at 7pm

Sunday, 26 April 2009

National politics goes local

They’ve had a row over the contents of The Budget apparently.

The Chancellor wanted The Budget to include big cuts in public spending to tackle the nation’s deficit – it’s the biggest since the Second World War –but he was overruled by the Prime Minister, who feared that might lead to disaster for him at the next Election.

Now, I know this comparison is very local, so I apologise to anyone reading this who lives further afield than South Yorkshire and doesn’t know what I am on about, but I can’t help thinking this is a very similar scenario to what’s happening in Maltby and in fact Rotherham in general.

I always thought that the role of a Councillor, MP or Prime Minister was to do what was right and for the benefit of their locality, ward or country. It seems that this is not so and that the main purpose of these elected people is to make sure that they stay elected, next time around and for the forseeable future (preferably at least until retiring age and definitely without consideration of the electorate complicating the issue)

I am not so politically unaware to think that any party will continue to grow if it’s manifesto keeps changing to something that does not resemble the original that they were voted in on. But I do believe that they should change what they told us they believed and intended doing, if situations arise that need this. Surely, then it is only reasonable to expect that views can be changed – but only when the interest of the electorate is being served, not when the credibility of the party or party member is at risk.

Perhaps I just don’t understand party politics (I know I don’t agree with the governing party politics of RMBC or Britain ) But my democratic vote goes to the person who shows to me that they are working for the local community or the wider beneficial growth of the country – not for their own personal climb up the ladder of political power.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

“MORE than 3,000 troubled children have turned for help to the NSPCC Sheffield Young People's Centre” The Star’s headline has just shouted at me.

The building in the city centre, a former bank on George Street, was opened seven years ago with support from readers of The Star, who raised £250,000. The centre now helps 450 children a year , aged between nine and eighteen, who are or have suffered bullying, family breakdowns, bereavement, physical, emotional and sexual abuse. It provides a safe and welcoming place for troubled young people and has counselling rooms, play areas and a relaxation lounge.It also has a children's rights service and visiting services for children who have little contact with their family for full report and contact details.

The Young People’s Centre is, of course a great achievement and a wonderful support service for people in need. Many youngsters will, I am sure, be able to lead happier, safer, more positive lives in the future because of this support.

But I can not stop thinking – what ARE we doing to our children? And why ?

The statistics of cruelty and abuse truly are shocking, I do not intend to analyse them or compare them to other areas of the country or the world. (I am not smart enough to even attempt that and am also a little cynical about these sort of comparisons) The important fact is that this is happening and increasing, disproportionately to the increase of population in general.

We can debate endlessly whether people watching too much TV or playing violent computer games is the cause of this. The breakdown of family life and society is a constant topic of debate, even at the school gates. This was not the case when I took my own children to school not so many years ago, but it is the case now as my grandchildren begin their school lives. Before someone asks, no I have not done surveys and collected figures on opinion. I (and many others) just sense it - we know it because we are living it. Anger at a multitude of situations appears to cause physical violence so very easily and naturally, today. Worrying.
Even more worrying is that also at the school gates I hear parents cursing their children in the vilest of language, and then punish those same children for swearing back at them.

So, what do we do? I hear you asking. Some might even tell the tales of being belted by their father for a misdemeanour in childhood which “never did me any harm”.
I suggest that it did. If we bring up our children surrounded by violence, cruelty and abuse, then these things will be perpetuated in their childhood and in their adulthood.

Blame the parents?
Blame is not the right word, but parents need to be responsible. But also support them in an increasingly difficult task of educating their children in a society that has authorities who lie constantly and has Police who beat senseless the “protesters” who object to this.
A society which does not appear to care for it's people can not expect it's people to be responsible and to care for each other.

Friday, 24 April 2009

Please Don't Feed The Birds

RE: Letters to Rotherham Advertiser, page 2, Friday 24th April, 2009

Thankyou Don Buxton, for your detailed and interesting ornithological information, in your letter.
Some of the birds mentioned I have not actually seen in the flesh - specifically the Tennesse Mountain Bird , which I have no choosing to see, I may add. Others I have had glimpses of in my day to day doings and can confirm your descriptions of their behaviour.
The Bumbling Bee Down Sat Parachuting Bird, though may be rarely seen in Wickersley of late, is VERY prevalent in Maltby. I had occasion only yesterday to happen on this creature in the MTC offices, and I have to say that experiencing the spreading of it's enormous wings, as you describe is a sight to behold. On this occasion the spreading of it's wings was not in preparation for descent, but in show of it's delusional assumption of power and intimidation. The meeting of this bird is not for the faint hearted, and I would suggest that initiates to watching RMBC's feathered community, take along a fellow "twitcher".
(I understand that this term is used for bird watchers but I find that it is a suitable name for myself when talking to the Bumbling Bee Down Sat Bird - my whole body seems to twitch at the sheer exertion needed to stay restrained and appear calm)

Thanks Dave Haywood for speaking out in the paper (after a long break, due I feel to a period of "Why on earth should I bother anymore with MTC and RMBC when they have messed me and my community around for so long at such great extent" syndrome) Well expressed comments Dave, which I am sure the Chair of MTC will apreciate, as do many, for your concern.

And finally.... Cllr Peter Thirwall is conspicuous in his absence from the Advertiser this week - a sad situation.I can only presume that Mrs T was entirely satisfied with his decoration of the bedroom and has now set him on with other household tasks, to occupy his free time.
Good luck, Peter. As we know, a good degree of labour is a blessing to the heart and soul !

Thursday, 23 April 2009

Take heart, Maltby....

"Things" have been rather hectic lately (or maybe this is again me at my best procrastination ) I have been busy reading numerous documents, repoorts, plans and proposals and attending more and more meetings in connection with the future of Maltby and it's residents.
As I have not quite mastered the art of adding a link to my website and have to rely on "others" to do the honours, I must post this link here, for now.

This is a well researched, in depth, up to date blog on the goings on of our elected members of council and parliament and it is a pleasure to know that many are concerned.

Take heart, Maltby ! As has been said on many occasions "The truth will come out"

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Happy Easter

Today, many people celebrate Easter Day, when according to Christian scriptures, Jesus was resurrected from the dead after his crucifixion.
It is a concept which I was brought up on, my father being a lay preacher in the Methodist Church, but a very difficult one (for me) to believe in or understand. Over the years as I have grown up, my beliefs and opinions have changed dramatically from total belief through total lack of understanding and all the possible feelings in between. If I am asked now exactly what I believe, I have to say that I am not sure – I am still learning.

It is not easy to put aside an almost inbred culture and way of life that I have known since childhood, despite my study and struggle to understand. Some days I have great respect for those who have such a strong faiths; other times I am confused at how such intelligent minds can believe in such things. But then, that is faith.

Whether we have a faith or not, there can be no doubt that the Christian message is one of love and hope, and that can only be a good thing. That atrocities have happened through history in the name of Christianity, I am again confused as to how this has happened and can only tell myself that in all religions there are extremists who have their own agenda.
But whatever our belief, faith or religion, we can together celebrate the fact of life itself. Whether this is all we have or whether there is something else to come – I do not know. I do know that I must make the most of life today and protect it and nurture it in any way that I can - be it my family, friends, or those who I have never met.
Happy Easter.

Tuesday, 7 April 2009


This week, as always, we have watched and read of reports of unpleasant events and incidents – economic crises, government morality, crime and also natural disasters. Many of us go through a range of emotions ranging from shock and horror to disgust and despair. Yet amidst these situations, I would like to tell of a small incident that occurred yesterday. I hope it does not appear too sentimental as it is, just facts.

In my neighbourhood (as many others) we have been experiencing a particularly bad spate of inappropriate behaviour by youths and younger children. We are, however, “lucky” that we are surrounded by fields and countryside, where people are able to walk their dogs. As I was doing this yesterday, I realised that I had lost a fob from my keyring – not valuable but a personal momento. I began looking back along the way I’d walked, not expecting to find it in the long grass and mud.
A group of young people shouted across to me “What you lost?” I shouted back and they came over to me and started to help me search. After a few minutes, I said that it didn’t matter, we weren’t going to find it.. One lad said “It’s ok – we aren’t doing anything anyway”, so I said (half jokingly) that if they had nothing much to do, why not pick up a few of the plastic bottles lying around and get the blue bags that have been caught in the trees?
This idea amused them at first, then one asked his friends. “Shall we? They ran off, bending to pick up the bottles that either they or their mates had discarded the night before.
Serendipity - the effect by which one accidentally discovers something fortunate, especially while looking for something else entirely.
Perhaps today I will again be insensed by the destructive fires that these youths set, the pointless litter throwing and bottle smashing. But yesterday, for a while, I saw the better side of their nature.

And it doesn’t half gladden the heart.