The re-imposition of a local lockdown in Leicester is a timely reminder that COVID-19 has not gone away. As the national lockdown begins to ease this weekend, it has never been more important for people to follow the latest guidance from the NHS and Public Health England to reduce the risk of transmission.
The Government must ensure that Local Authorities have access to clear, consistent data on local transmission rates and have the powers to effectively implement local lockdowns where required.
I am in regular contact with the Leader of the Council and the Director of Public Health who have reassured me that they are in control of the situation and are working closely with Public Health England to manage the local response. It is absolutely vital that we continue to keep a very close eye on new cases and take whatever steps are necessary to protect lives in Barnsley.
In one of the most memorable scenes in Barnsley’s film history – the PE lesson in Kes – Brian Glover (a Barnsley schoolteacher in a previous life) vividly brings to life Mr Sugden, or a “fair-headed, slightly balding Bobby Charlton”, whose Manchester United side goes down to a 2-1 defeat away at Spurs in the Fifth Round of the FA Cup. This scene is wonderfully powerful, sitting amongst a story about the potential that every individual has within them. Although the film’s main character Billy Casper may have been written off by society, he finds, through his natural affinity with the kestrel he rears, his own unique place in the world. Kes is a brilliant evocation of Barnsley – on location in the borough, written by local teacher Barry Hines and featuring a predominantly local cast – yet it is the seven-minute scene on the football field that is so often remembered.Read more
The Coronavirus crisis has brought out the best of our formidable Barnsley community spirit. I’ve heard truly heart-warming stories about the volunteers who have gone above and beyond to support friends and neighbours. The volunteers who are collecting shopping and medications for those who are shielding in their village. The women at ‘For the Love of Scrubs’ who have produced PPE for the front-line. The pub landlord who has cooked hundreds of meals for vulnerable residents. These are just a few examples of the extraordinary character that exemplifies our coalfield communities.Read more
Lockdown and enforced social isolation is taking its toll on all of us. Next Monday marks 8 weeks since the Prime Minister announced that we must stay at home, apart from for essential travel, to contain the spread of the Coronavirus. The lockdown is starting to take effect in reducing the rate of transmission and preventing our NHS from being overwhelmed. However, we cannot ignore the considerable personal burden this places on everyone who is apart from their families, not knowing when they will be reunited, or are experiencing ‘cabin fever’ at being cooped up at home with nowhere to go.Read more
8th May 1945 is a date that will forever live in our national consciousness. After six gruelling years, the war was finally over.
For those who lived through the conflict, it was a moment of collective relief and elation. For everyone else since, it is a moment to pay tribute to the sacrifice of the Second World War generation; the thousands of young Barnsley men who left our town to fight for their country, some never to return.Read more
Please accept my apologies for being unable to join you today – the first time in Barnsley Trades Council’s proud history that this meeting is being conducted via Zoom!
Sadly, this is a sign of the times for many of us as we adjust to the new reality of the Coronavirus crisis: the social distancing; being apart from family, friends and loved ones; working and learning remotely – that is the new normal in the face of the gravest public health crisis any of us have faced.Read more