Where we are now, and where we want to be
Where we are now
We have and will continue to commit significant resources to make the Borough a clean and welcoming environment. In the past two years, we have invested £2.7 million into street cleansing which is providing more operatives, replacing over 600 bins (including 110 solar bins) across the borough and supplying additional cleansing equipment such as three new bulky waste collection vehicles, and six quad bikes to enhance weed spraying activity. As well as this, we are investing in equipment that supports the environment such as smart solar bins, electric handheld strimmers and leaf blowers. This is alongside increasing the number of successful outcomes from fly-tipping investigations and non-payment of fixed penalty notices and publicising this more widely as a deterrent.
Our volunteers who lead the Love Where You Live Campaign are a great asset, devoting their time and energy to litter picking in their local neighbourhoods. Groups are supported by street cleaning teams and operate in all wards of the borough. Not only does this improve the environment for all of our residents, it also creates greater ownership and pride within our neighbourhoods, improving and sustaining high quality environments over time.
We are supporting the efforts of the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority to secure additional investments into public transport. We want to see new investments that make it easier for all of us to have viable public transport options. The innovative tram-train pilot is continuing to improve public transport options in the borough, providing a sustainable and convenient travel option between Sheffield Rotherham Central and Parkgate.
A cycling strategy has been developed with key projects underway such as the Sheffield Road Scheme which will create dedicated cycle lanes on a main route between Rotherham and Sheffield. We are improving active travel infrastructure across the borough, and have also installed and currently operate 62 Electric Vehicle charging points, of which 50 are powered by renewable energy.
We are also supporting our residents to insulate their homes to improve energy efficiency and reduce the impact of fuel poverty. In 2021, 2,178 households have benefited from insultation projects within the borough.
Following the devastating floods in 2019, work has been taking place to secure funding for the development of six priority flood prevention schemes with initial construction taking place along the River Don corridor in and around Rotherham Town Centre. To date over £5 million has been spent, with a further £5.8 million committed to additional schemes, which includes Kilnhurst, Parkgate, Rawmarsh, Whiston, Laughton Common and Catcliffe, alongside a gully renewal programme across the borough.
The above actions all contribute to our targets of net zero Council emissions by 2030 and net zero across the borough by 2040. We have reduced energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions (CO2) emissions in operational buildings by 54% and in streetlighting by 73% (against 2014/15 baseline). We are also delivering a range of projects such as increased tree planting, and pollinator friendly wildflower verges to improve the biodiversity of the borough.
Where we want to be
We want to see the investment in people and equipment improving the cleanliness of the borough and the continued success of ‘Love Where You Live’, increasing pride and ownership within neighbourhoods across the borough, whilst reduce littering and improving the environment for all.
We want our borough to have well-functioning and well-connected cycling and public transport infrastructures, for our residents to enjoy the environmental and health benefits that come with this. We will enhance and extend cycling routes across Rotherham, based on our new cycling strategy, and invest in public transport infrastructure, working through South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority to create a more integrated network. The Transforming Cities programme, together with the Active Travel Fund, will deliver £12 million worth of improvements for public transport, walking and cycling by March 2023.
We will continue to support the development of a new mainline station in Rotherham, improving connectivity in and across the region and we are working with key stakeholders to progress this ambition. We are also continuing to campaign for a new railway station at Waverley and the Advanced Manufacturing Park, a new tram-train station at Magna, and are working with partners on the concept of further extensions to the successful tram-train network.
To reduce the risk of flooding to our communities, we will continue to work with partners to secure the necessary funding to deliver the six major schemes to prevent floods and reduce their impact in the borough. Through the South Yorkshire Catchment Plan, we will also engage with communities at risk of flooding to help build their resilience and ensure that the impact of flooding is reduced as much as possible.
We will explore the options to deliver a renewable energy generation project, allowing the Council to produce its own clean, renewable energy that will further contribute to the borough’s net zero targets.