Tag Archives: Rotherham

Rotherham’s Food Sustainability Partnership Wins National Recognition

Rotherham’s food sustainability partnership, Rotherham Food Network, has achieved membership of the Sustainable Food Places network to support their efforts to make local, healthy and sustainable food available to all residents across the borough.

The membership highlights that the Rotherham Food Network is an inspirational example of how local communities, businesses and the Council can work together to make affordable good food a defining characteristic of Rotherham.

The Rotherham Food Network is made up of 16 local organisations and community groups including Rotherham Council, Voluntary Action Rotherham, Rotherfed, Citizen Advice Rotherham, and many more.

Over 60 members have already pledged their time and effort into providing residents advice, guidance and support on how to access healthier, more sustainable foods, as well as combating key issues related to food, including:

• tackling food poverty
• sustainable food growing and distribution such as community orchards
• social supermarkets and community fridges
• healthier eating

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Public Health, Cllr David Roche, said: “It is fantastic for Rotherham Food Network to be recognised and become a member of the Sustainable Food Places Network. We set out on our sustainable food journey a year ago and being granted membership at this stage is a giant step forward. The partnership work being done by the Rotherham Food Network will really help residents get the most out of their food while driving new projects to help them access healthier, more sustainable food in the future.”

“Being invited to join the Sustainable Food Network will also give us the opportunity to work towards hopefully achieving Bronze status within the network next year.”

Rotherham Federation of Communities’ Chief Executive Officer, Phil Hayes, said: “RotherFed provide money management support and home energy advice and guidance on an outreach basis across Rotherham, primarily in the most deprived communities and including many venues/outlets that provide food support for local people. It’s great that the Rotherham Food Network is to be recognised and become a member of the Sustainable Food Places Network, and I hope that this enables more people who need support the most across Rotherham, access to what’s available through the network.”

Voluntary Action Rotherham’s Director of Services (Infrastructure), David Plumtree, said: “Food is a thread that runs across many themes, so it’s exciting to see the development of the Food Network and a joined-up approach to all things food. We’re pleased to be working in partnership to make sure food is accessible, sustainable and provides opportunity for the community.”

Sustainable Food Places is a network of cross-sector partnerships in towns, cities, boroughs and counties that are using food as a vehicle to drive positive change. With support from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and The National Lottery Community Fund, the Network helps people and places to share challenges, explore practical solutions and develop best practice in all aspects of healthy and sustainable food.
Rotherham Food Network joins a network of over 80 members across the UK.

Tom Andrews, Director of Sustainable Food Places, said: “In over 80 towns and cities across the UK, individuals and organisations have come together to develop a joint vision of the kind of food culture and food system they would like to see and are working together to make that vision a reality. Rotherham Food Network has shown a real ambition to transform things for the better in and we are delighted to be able to support them in achieving their goals.”

The Sustainable Food Places Network works to tackle some of biggest social, economic and environmental issues today, from an epidemic of food poverty and diet related ill-health to the loss of independent high street food businesses and family farms through to climate change, biodiversity loss and food waste.

Further information about the Rotherham Food Network can be found online here

Cabinet To Approve Rotherham Housing & Tenant Support Plans

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet is set to renew its commitments to supporting tenants, continued investment in housing growth, and maintaining the Decent Homes Standard at its meeting on Monday 13 February.

The Housing Revenue Account Business Plan renews the Council’s commitment to supporting tenants with financial pressures resulting from the cost of living crisis. It will also see investment of £115.7m in new affordable housing by 2025-26 and a continued commitment to invest £1.6m per year in Housing Support Services.

The new homes to be delivered by the Housing Growth Programme will be delivered by either building new properties on Council owned land, or by the purchasing of suitable homes from private developers and the open market. The aim is to provide much needed affordable housing that people in Rotherham require.

There is continued demand for Council homes across Rotherham. Since April 2022, there were over 6,600 people on the Council’s Housing Register.

To support this programme of investment, Cabinet is set to approve a seven per cent increase in Council tenant and shared ownerships rents, and a six per cent increase in charges for shared facilities such as garages and laundry facilities. This increase is significantly less than inflation and most Rotherham Council tenants will receive additional Housing Benefit or Universal Credit that will cover some or all of the increase.

Cabinet is also expected to agree an increase in District Heating charges, paid by 1,260 properties around the borough, with the unit rate increasing from 7.22p to 20.68p. This will mean the average bill for a District Heating customer will be in line with the proposed government energy price cap from April 2023. To keep the increase down to this level, the Council is proposed to spend nearly £2.6 million from the Housing Revenue Account – a significant increase on the amount being spent this year.

Councillor Amy Brookes, Rotherham Council’s Cabinet member for Housing, said: “It is vital that the funding is available to maintain good quality homes and services for the tenants of Rotherham. At the moment, our Housing budget is under pressure as a result of increasing costs and the impact of the government’s rent cap, which means real terms cuts to the money we have available to spend on housing.”

“Building new council homes is a key priority for us, to ensure that more residents are able to access affordable housing which suits their and their family’s needs. We can’t afford to let up on making more affordable homes available.”

From January 2018 to November 2022, the Council completed work on a range of new affordable homes including 314 homes for rent and 125 homes for shared ownership. 354 of these homes were new builds through Council-led construction projects, including the new Riverside Residential Quarter in Rotherham town centre.

Further information about council homes and shared ownership is available on the Rotherham Council website here

The ‘Dishes Of Rotherham’ Exhibition Is Now Open

An exhibition has opened at Clifton Park Museum showcasing the heritage of Rotherham’s cooking cultures and the historic Rockingham pottery.

Clifton Park Museum, which is run by Rotherham Council, has launched its new temporary exhibition ‘The Dishes of Rotherham’ which will run until Spring 2023.

In this display, artist Simon Grennan has creatively brought together food made by ten cooks from contemporary Rotherham and presented them on the precious Rockingham tableware from the Museum’s collection.

The exhibition features a group of cooks from different cooking traditions, including Pakistani, Sudanese, Guinean, Ukrainian, Czech, Yemeni, Chinese and British. Each participant has personally chosen a piece of Rockingham tableware from the collection and then cooked, styled and served their dishes on the Rockingham crockery.

The project is supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the Arts Council England.

Councillor David Sheppard, Cabinet Member for Social Inclusion, said: “It is wonderful to see how Rotherham Council’s Clifton Park Museum are combining contemporary and traditional elements by putting resident’s food creations onto the famous Rockingham tableware in this vibrant exhibition uniquely portraying Rotherham’s past and present.”

“This exhibition illustrates that cooking, dishing up and eating together are important community activities throughout history and across cultures, providing benefits to mental health and physical wellbeing, and empowering everyone to lead fulfilling lives.”

During the 1820’s, 1830’s and 1840’s one of the most well-known and spectacular ways of serving food was provided by the porcelain tableware made by The Rockingham Pottery at a kiln in Swinton, Rotherham.

The Rockingham factories made some of the most colourful, exuberant, lavish and expensive tableware available at that particular period of time.

The ‘Dishes of Rotherham’ exhibition runs from Saturday 3 December 2022 to Spring 2023.

Find out more information about Clifton Park Museum here

Rotherham Council Awarded For Tenant Engagement

Rotherham Council celebrated receiving ‘Exemplar’ status for tenant engagement following a rigorous assessment process with national tenant engagement organisation Tpas.

Tpas promote, support and champion tenant involvement and empowerment in social housing across England, with the Council receiving the accolade for its continued commitment to making sure tenant’s voices are heard.

Tpas Exemplar is awarded to organisations who have been given the Tpas accreditation three times and have consistently demonstrated an exemplar approach to tenant engagement. Rotherham Council is only the third housing provider in the country to achieve the status.

Jenny Osbourne from Tpas presented the award to The Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Tajamal Khan, at the annual Tenant’s Open Day held last week at New York Stadium.

Cabinet Member for Housing, Councillor Amy Brookes said: “This is excellent news for the Council and our tenants and residents. We will always listen to and involve our tenants and residents in how we can improve their homes, estates and services.”

“We take pride in our commitment to engagement and we take every opportunity to involve residents in decision making.”

To receive the Tpas Exemplar Accreditation, the Council had to demonstrate a strong culture of involvement and an ability to drive business improvements for tenants.

The assessment panel were especially impressed by staff commitment to making tenant’s voice listened to, with the partnership between the Council and partner Rotherfed held up as good practice.

Chief Executive of Rotherfed, Phil Hayes said: “This award is great recognition of the commitment shown by our tenants to get involved, have the confidence to have their voice heard, and make a difference in their community.”

“RotherFed would like to thank Tpas for the award, and hope that the unique partnership that is thriving in Rotherham including tenants, RotherFed, and the Council, will continue to make a difference in future years.”

The accreditation follows a comprehensive and collaborative process which included a full assessment of the Council’s approach to tenant engagement, reality checking and focus groups with staff and tenants.

Chief Executive of Tpas, Jenny Osbourne added: “We’re delighted that Rotherham Council has successfully been accredited with Tpas three times and completed a meticulous process to become an Exemplar Accredited housing organisation.”

“Rotherham Council have demonstrated their continuing commitment to the values we share. Tpas believe that involving tenants in all aspects of service delivery in the housing sector is not only the right thing to do but also makes great business sense. We look forward to sharing the stories of how Rotherham have continuously used the accreditation process to achieve success by working together with tenants.”

The Tpas accreditation will last two years and also makes recommendations for continuous improvements. Find out more about how to get involved in Rotherham Council’s Housing service by visiting their website here

Rotherham Residents Get More Support With Cost Of Living Crisis

Rotherham residents facing financial hardship during the cost of living crisis will receive further support as part of a £2.4 million package agreed by the Council’s Cabinet, including an extension of free school meal vouchers and an expansion of grants to help with energy bills.

Cabinet has agreed that the funding be allocated to the following:

  • £899k to continue to fund free school meals vouchers during the school holidays for eligible children, which will continue until Easter next year
  • £1.4m to expand the Council’s Energy Crisis Support Scheme
  • £45k allocation to support care leavers
  • £30k to support local voluntary organisations to support an estimated 300 vulnerable families over Christmas and New Year
  • £90k to supplement crisis food parcels provided by local food banks
  • £25k to provide additional non-food products for inclusion in crisis food parcels, such as personal hygiene, sanitary and household products.

Already more than 1,000 households have received payments of up to £250 through the Council’s Energy Crisis Support Scheme, which helps residents with bills that have put them in an impossible position.

As a result of this additional funding, from this week, anyone eligible for the support will be able to receive up to £400 as a one-off payment. Households which received support in the first round will now be eligible to apply again, if they need to do so.

Rotherham Council’s Leader, Councillor Chris Read, said: “The current situation is having a monumental effect on residents in Rotherham and as we go into the winter months that situation seems likely to only get worse. That’s why we have moved quickly to ensure this grant funding finds its way to residents who need it most. There are a wide range of services and advice on the Rotherham Council website so if you do have concerns or worries, go to http://www.rotherham.gov.uk to see how we can help.”

The funding will ensure that almost 12,000 children across the borough will be able to access free school meals during the Christmas and Easter holidays. Free school meals during the October half-term holidays will be covered by previous funding through the Household Support Fund.

Care leavers, such as young people leaving foster care or living independently after leaving care, will also be supported through the funding so that they are able to continue being independent.

Rotherham Council’s Cabinet Member for Children and Young People’s Services, Councillor Victoria Cusworth, said: “Our children and young people are some of our most vulnerable residents in Rotherham and I am pleased that Cabinet have agreed these funding streams to support families and individuals.”

“It is my belief, as well as the Council’s, that no child should be made to go hungry due to the cost-of-living crisis. If your circumstances do change, please see if your children are eligible for free school meals by going to the Rotherham Council website.”

Funding from the government’s Household Support Fund Grant for the support has now been confirmed. To see the full range of support and advice available visit the Rotherham Council website here

Latest Brand Signs Up At Forge Island

Local restaurant chain, Cow & Cream has exchanged a lease contract with national developer, Muse, to open a brand-new eatery on Forge Island in Rotherham town centre.

The team behind burger, shake and dessert restaurant, Cow & Cream have created a concept that aims to combine the freshest ingredients cooked to order. What’s more, restaurant-goers will be able to completely personalise their food with a range of choices to make it their own.

The signing is hot on the hooves of the Thistle Group deal, which will bring four exciting brands to Forge Island.

These new eateries will be joining boutique cinema operator, The Arc, and national hotel chain, Travelodge, who have already signed up to anchor the scheme.

Excitement is building for the Forge Island development, which will bring a brand-new restaurant and leisure offer to the town centre, with construction expected to start this October.

Forge Island will be set within an attractive public square with a new pedestrian bridge connecting the scheme to the wider town centre.

Raife Gale, senior development manager at Muse, said: “Since launching Forge Island on the market earlier this year, we’ve seen huge demand from occupiers that want to open in Rotherham. This is a ringing endorsement of our mission to work in partnership with the council, to bring a great choice of amenities and a social purpose to the places where we work.”

“We can’t wait to get on site later this year to create an attractive leisure destination for the people of Rotherham. We believe that Forge Island will be the catalyst for further regeneration and investment in the town.”

Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for jobs and the local economy, Cllr Denise Lelliott, said: “It’s great news that local business Cow & Cream will be joining the likes of Arc Cinema and Travelodge on Forge Island. Cow & Cream, along with the other new cafes and restaurants will bring a variety of cuisines from around the world for residents and visitors to enjoy.”

“Forge Island will provide a gateway for residents to enjoy new – and old favourite – leisure facilities, including our wonderful green spaces and parks.”