Have your say on plan for homes

DINNINGTON, Lorden's Hill.'MP Kevin Barron talks to the Guardian about the upcoming anniversary of the miner's strike.'Picture: Kevin Barron at his Dinnington office.
DINNINGTON, Lorden's Hill.'MP Kevin Barron talks to the Guardian about the upcoming anniversary of the miner's strike.'Picture: Kevin Barron at his Dinnington office.

Rotherham Borough Council are drawing up their new Local Plan for the whole of the Rotherham borough.

The council have a draft plan in which they have identified what they think are the most suitable sites for new homes and development in Rotherham.

I would encourage all local residents to look at this plan and make your views known to the council.

To find out more residents can visit www.rotherham.gov.uk/localplan or attend the forthcoming public drop-in sessions that the Council are holding.

At these drop-in sessions the council will show the detail of their proposals and will discuss individual sites for each local community.

Drop-in sessions are being held at Anston Parish Hall on Tuesday 4th June from 2.30pm to 6.30pm, Maltby Full Life Church on Monday 10th June from 2.30pm to 6.30pm, Aston Parish Hall on Thursday 13th June from 2.30pm to 6.30pm, Wales Village Hall on Tuesday 18th June from 2.30pm to 6.30pm and Dinnington Resource Centre on Thursday 20th June from 2.30pm to 6.30pm.

The draft plan can also be viewed at the council’s customer service centres in Dinnington, Maltby and Aston as well as at all libraries throughout the Rotherham borough.

Comments should be made by 5pm on Monday 29th July 2013 using the council’s online consultation system at www.rotherham.limehouse.co.uk/portal

For further information or help please contact 01709 823869 or e-mail planning.policy@rotherham.gov.uk

The UK’s wildlife organisations have joined forces to undertake a health check of nature in the UK and its overseas territories.

The State of Nature report is a collaboration between 25 UK research and conservation organisations who have gathered together the best available data on the status of species in order to assess the health of nature.

The report reveals that 60 per cent of the species for which data are available have declined over recent decades, 31 per cent strongly so.

More than one in ten of all the species assessed are under threat of disappearing from our shores altogether.

The report identifies that there is a lack of knowledge on the trends of most of the UK’s species.

As a result, quantitative trends can be reported for only 5 per cent of the 59,000 or so terrestrial and freshwater species in the UK, and for very few of the 8,500 marine species.

Therefore much needs to be done to improve knowledge.

What is known about the state of the UK’s nature is often based upon the efforts of thousands of dedicated volunteer enthusiasts who contribute their time and expertise to monitoring schemes and species recording.

The report reinforces the conclusion that nature is continuing to decline, that the pressures on the natural world are growing and that the response to the biodiversity crisis is slowing.

However, the report illustrates that targeted conservation has produced inspiring success stories and, with sufficient determination, resources and public support, the fortunes of our wildlife can be turned around.

The full report can be found online at www.rspb.org.uk/stateofnature.

I would be interested to hear people’s thoughts on any aspect of the report.

• My upcoming constituency surgeries are on the following dates at my office, 9 Lordens Hill, Dinnington. I will be available from 10am - 12 noon to offer help and advice. No appointment is necessary. Come and see me on Saturday 8th June, Saturday 22nd June and Saturday 13th July.