LETTER TO THE EDITOR: My record as a councillor

I WOULD like to put the record straight after reading the letter from Kath Reader, who made unwarranted comments about my attendance at meetings and work when I was a councillor in Valley Ward.

So, while working full-time for six of the years and then caring for my terminally ill wife for my final two, I attended and chaired 199 meetings out of 298, over 66 per cent of official meetings, over 100 street surgeries, over 400 fixed surgeries at various sites around the ward, numerous meetings as a board member of 2010 Rotherham, meetings and consultations with community groups like Friends of Valley Park, East Herringthorpe on the Hill and Thryberians.

I visited tenants and residents at their homes to address their concerns, working with RotherFed to get community volunteers and community organisers to help uplift our most deprived areas.

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I went to meetings as a board member at the Homes-Start charity and the four schools I was a governor of, as well as organising charity events for Rotherham Cancer Care centre, Rotherham Neuro Support Group, the Rotherham Hospice, the Mayor’s Charity and male cancer awareness charities.

Myself and my two colleagues worked on rehousing tenants with the regeneration of Chesterhill and Oldgate Lane housing demolition, the traffic lights outside Liberty Steel and the first council housing project in Rotherham for 30 years at Wood Street and School Street, the parking bays and speed limit restrictions on Ridgeway and around East Herringthorpe, resurfacing the walkways around Lady Oak flats and maisonettes, upgrading the outer skin and insulation of non-traditional housing, to name a few others.

I worked with the youth service to address anti-social behaviour around the ward, also helping the Valley Juniors football teams by refereeing their games and then funding new referees, working with schools learning about recycling and the environment by litter picking and planting flowers around the cemetery, and road safety improvements outside the school gates.

I could  go on and on, but I did over and above what most councillors did and do. I believe in being a community councillor, finding solutions to community issues, not moaning then doing nothing about it.

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And all the friends I made and the people I helped in Valley Ward know that, and they have called or messaged me in support of my campaign in the Keppel Ward.

Regarding the Keppel Ward elections, it was a great article (January 5) which gave a good account of all candidates, but can I confirm I have no political affiliation with any party, I’m just an independent local lad who cares about what’s happening where I live and I’ve put my hand in my own pocket to pay for my own leaflets and campaign. I live in this ward like the Yorkshire Party candidate but I’m not sure if the others do.

I have been posting my leaflets, with my family, friends and a great gent Eric Shaw, who came from Broom to help.

Chatting to local folks, it is obvious that Kimberworth Park and the Hollywood estate are in great need of investment, especially on road repair and resurfacing schemes. Just walking around Leybourne Road and Kent Road, the lack of disability drop kerbs for scooters is obvious and the roads are in disrepair.

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The other issues I’ve had from people, and if elected I will take these forward, are: we need a roundabout or traffic lights at the junction of Oaks Lane and Upper Wortley Road. Can we have community skips so people can clear their gardens of rubbish? Bin collection over the Christmas period, can I look into reviewing this? Can we have a review of the placing of grit bins? Can the council look at traffic calming and off road parking on Kimberworth Park Road? What’s happening with the uplift of the St John’s shopping area? It’s been going on for years but all we’ve seen is the wall removed. Why aren’t the council looking at building a secondary school in Thorpe Hesley? Why are Kimberworth Park Rangers having to train and play in Sheffield when we have Barkers Park? What’s happening with the opening of Droppingwell Tip? We are worried about the lorries, dust and smells.

What’s happening with the community infrastructure levy from the new housing developments in Thorpe Hesley? Will it be spent on something for our children?

I will ask these questions if elected.

Simon (Sid) Currie, Independent candidate for Keppel ward