Tag: South Yorkshire

NO FRACKING WAY – South Yorkshire Day of Action

Fracking is a destructive, polluting, dangerous industry. It has caused real pain for communities in the USA and Australia and it is coming to Barnsley!

Exploratory fracking licences now cover most of the borough. Licences were granted in Dearne Valley last year and just before Christmas, a new round of licences extended coverage over Barnsley itself.

No Fracking in Barnsley will be taking part in the national programme of anti-fracking events, called by No Fracking Way. This is an unmissable opportunity for us to raise awareness locally and to make a noise about fracking at a national level.

No Fracking in Barnsley
Saturday 30th January 2016
May Day Green (Barnsley Town Centre) at 11.00am

We will be leafleting at May Day Green (near Thorntons) and collecting signatures for our petition to Barnsley Council, calling for the rejection of fracking in Barnsley.

Please come along and help us to spread the word to the people of Barnsley, even if you can only spare half an hour. Everybody’s help is valuable and with a good turn out, we can engage with as many people as possible.

Frack Free Dearne Valley
Saturday 30 January, 10am-12Noon
Wath-upon-Dearne (near the Market)

There are other events planned to take place across the region on the same day in Sheffield, Doncaster and Rotherham. Visit our event page on Facebook for more details as they are available, or our website.

Tweetathon: Sunday 31st January 2016

In support of other events happening around the country, we will be sharing their tweets from our account under the hashtag #NoFrackingWay. Please join us, share as many posts as you can and help us to get the argument against fracking trending nationally.

You can sign our petition here.

Please share this message with anyone who you think may be interested in helping.

Next things for Freedom Riders

Another large Freedom Ride meeting this week agreed on the following:

Monday 2nd November 5pm – some of us to join a protest by trade unions in Barnsley against the Tory anti-union laws. This will be at Town Hall by the steps under the fountains. Unions have given us a lot of support, this is a chance to show support for them

Monday 9th November – a small delegation of Freedom riders to meet with First Bus in Rotherham to discuss extending Stagecoach free early hospital travel to First Bus as well.

Saturday 14th November – Group of Freedom Riders to go to Unite the Resistance conference in London. If anyone else wants to join that group please get in touch as soon as possible.

Wednesday 18th November 7pm Miners Hall, Victoria Road, Barnsley – a Barnsley Trades Council Public Meeting against the Tory anti-union laws.

One of the main speakers is Tosh McDonald – one of our major national supporters. He spoke about Freedom Riders at the Labour Conference this year.

Wednesday 25th November 11am – Black Balloon release in Barnsley precinct.This will be the day the government announces how many pensioners died of cold last Winter. Groups across the country will be doing balloon releases to show how little the government does to stop pensioners dying every Winter.

We also agreed to try to get Sheffield supporters together to have a more effective group there.

John Baker is keen to have a meeting in Sheffield of Freedom Riders. If you are interested in helping this then get in touch with John by emailing: jonjoepeel@yahoo.co.uk.

Our next full meeting is Thursday 12th November 11am Barnsley Library.

Peoples’ Assembly 20th June

It’s looking like the Peoples Assembly demo in London on Saturday 20 June is going to be huge and important as part of the fight back. We will add travel details to this post as we get them, so check back often.

Barnsley: The bus will leave from Eldon St (opposite Gateway Cinema) at 7.30am.  Tickets are £14 waged, £5 unwaged & students. You can book your ticket by emailing or call 07837996888.

Doncaster: Our coaches will leave Doncaster Market Place, outside the Premiere Inn, at 7.30am, and return from London at 6pm.

Huddersfield: For more information and to book a seat, contact 07704202807 or 07814709853. £10 Unwaged, £20 Waged.

Sheffield: Coaches are leaving Paternoster Row, Sheffield outside The Hubs at 8am.

Durham: The coach will leave Durham at 6.00 am, picking up from the Students’ Union (Dunelm House) New Elvet and will then pick up at Darlington at 6.30am. £20 waged, £10 unwaged. It would be greatly appreciated if you could make the payment by 13th June, at the People’s Bookshop, Durham (open Thurs-Saturday 12 – 6pm). Facebook page here.

Sheffield anti-austerity demo, May 16 2015

The anti-austerity protest in Sheffield at the weekend was well attended with a great party atmosphere. Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green party attended the march and spoke at the rally along with many others including Barbara Jackson of Orgreave Truth & Justice and Tony Wright of Barnsley band, The Hurriers.

Freedom Riders: Interesting response from Stagecoach

First off, we had another very successful Freedom Ride meeting in Barnsley library. It was decided that a group of us will go through to Sheffield this Saturday to join a demonstration against austerity and threatened Tory cuts. The demonstration starts at 12 in Devonshire Green (at far end of West Street). Some of us are catching the 11.14 train to Sheffield from Barnsley so you can meet at Barnsley station if you want (do allow time for queues at ticket office). Some people are going by bus. Do take note: anyone thinking of using the tram – it is not running into Sheffield from Meadowhall or from Sheffield train station.

We will have our banners on the demo in Sheffield. It is not a very long march, it is going to the Town Hall. We will also have leaflets to give out about our June 23rd demonstration at Sheffield station.

The meeting agreed to carry on with the lobby of Barnsley Council on Thursday June 4th from 9.30am to 10.30am. A number of people have agreed to contact their councillors to ask them for a new start from a new council. If you want details of how to contact your councillors then send back a reply to this email. The lobby will also be joined by the campaign against the Bedroom Tax and other groups fighting cuts.

The meeting also agreed to support the demonstration in London on Saturday June 20th, the People’s Assembly March against Austerity. 11 people put down to go on the coach which will be leaving Barnsley at 7.30am. It is a chance to put the Freedom Ride campaign on the map in London. If you would like to go email or phone/text me on 07985 028003.

Finally, 3 of us met the Managing Director of Stagecoach, Paul Lynch, to ask about the idea of them introducing a £1 flat fare outside of the 9.30am to 11pm time. He gave a number of reasons for not wanting to do that based on how he gets money from the PTE. We suggested a way that he could approach them and Tony is going to send a letter from the Freedom Riders arguing that Stagecoach’s ideas should be considered by the PTE.

Then Paul said that Stagecoach have decided to bring in a scheme that will allow the elderly with early medical appointments to travel free before 9.30am if they show their letter or appointment card. A trial scheme will be run for 6 months in Barnsley starting on June 15th. He wants to see how this trial works in Barnsley but anticipates extending it to the rest of South Yorkshire.

A further meeting has been arranged for Thursday 27th August to discuss how the trial has gone.

This is a good benefit for a number of the elderly who have early medical appointments. It is a long way short of what we want to return to but it shows that all the time we keep campaigning we keep winning a bit more.

Safe Journey and Better Journeys Cards

Stay safe on board with a First Safe Journey Card

The Safe Journey Cards has been designed specifically with the needs of many of our customers in mind.

They let you tell the driver know that you need some extra help to make your journey on the bus. It may be that you need more time to reach your seat or that you want the driver to speak up because you are hard of hearing. Whatever your need, you can use these cards to let the driver know in a private and discreet way – there are even blank spaces for you to fill in yourself for details of your destination or special instructions.

Disabled customers may also want to carry a Better Journey Card

This card has been designed following consultation with disability groups around the UK, and is intended to give disabled people a way of letting the driver know that they may need additional help. It includes messages such as ‘Please be patient I have a hidden disability’, ‘Please face me and speak clearly I lip read’, and ‘Please help me find a seat’. There are also some blank spaces for you to use if you want to include a different message.

Using the Better Journey and Safe Journey cards is simple

  • You can download either card using the links at the bottom of the page
  • There are several different messages on each card, so you simply choose the one that best suits your particular needs and then cut out or fold the card so that the message you want is visible
  • Keep the card in your wallet or travel pass and when you get on the bus show it to the driver
  • The driver should then offer you the necessary assistance

Carrying these cards is voluntary – you do not need to use one if you don’t want to, but you may find it a useful way of asking for any assistance you may need.


Latest news from the Freedom Riders

Another well attended and successful meeting on Thursday.

We firmed up arrangements for going to York on Monday 2nd March to lobby Northern Rail. We already have almost 50 people going on the bus and hope to fill it.

Details are slightly changed for Barnsley pick up:
Sheffield 10am prompt Paternoster Row (road beside Showroom cinema).
Barnsley 10.30am Eldon Street (opposite Parkway cinema)  **** note: little earlier and different spot.
Doncaster 11am front of railway station.

We should get to York about 12 noon.

We hope to arrange a march into York centre after the lobby possibly meeting up with a disabled people’s demonstration.

We are going to leave time for getting lunch – not sure what time to return but we want to miss teatime rush hour.

If you haven’t put your name down yet then email or phone me to book a seat.

We have decided to have a leafleting session Monday week, 16th Feb, at Barnsley bus station at 11am to advertise the York demo and advertise our campaign and then to catch a bus just after 12 to Barugh Green to lobby Tates Travel offices to get them to consider bringing in the flat £1 fare for any journeys outside of 9.30am to 11pm as a couple of companies are now offering.

If you cannot stand for an hour leafleting then come along just before 12 to join the lobby of Tates.

The next planning meeting in Barnsley library will be at 11am Thursday 19th February.

A third historical look back

More images from the archives of Brian Clarke.

Barnsley Town Centre May Day 1984.
Trades Union Congress 1984.
Betty Heathfield speaking at an AA meeting in Barnsley, Norman West MEP waiting to speak.
A March in Liverpool 1981.
Peoples March for Jobs. Marchers being welcomed at Wortley Hall 1982.

Freedom Riders Latest

Dave cleaning up small
We had a very successful lobby of Transport Committee yesterday and then marched down to Barnsley interchange to show support for cleaners and other staff facing redundancy. We are asking the Transport Committee to use some of its £12.2 million reserves to return our concessions and to oppose these cuts.

Attached is photo of our protest with Dave leading the ‘clean up your act’ with his mop. Hopefully there will be a story and similar photo in Chronicle this week.

We have our next planning meeting this Thursday in Barnsley library at 11am.

Anyone who is able to turn up earlier might want to support a lobby of the council meeting at Town Hall. The campaign against Benefit Sanctions met last night and called a lobby of the council meeting from 9.30 to 10.30 am on Thursday to protest at council budget including the poorest in Barnsley being forced to pay higher council tax bills.

We are getting quite a list of names to go to York on March 2nd for protest at Northern Rail headquarters. If you want to join this protest email back or let us know at Thursday’s meeting.

A historical look back

A historical look at the Trade Union Movement in South Yorkshire in the 1980’s, from Unite Community volunteer Brian Clarke’s archive.

Image include the 1983 March for Jobs, the 1984 May Day March in Barnsley, the 1986 Jarrow March as it passed through Barnsley, AEU trade unionists and a few shots of Sheffield factories after they had closed. Including the AEI factory, Bone Craven, Firth Browns, Hadfields, Jessop Saville, River Don Works and Shardlows.