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Barnsley WW2 vet moves Andy Burnham to tears

Shadow health secretary Andy Burnham has been moved to tears ahead of his conference speech by a Second World War veteran who warned his poverty-stricken past would be others' future if the NHS did not survive.

91-year-old Harry Smith, who grew up in a "barbarous, bleak and uncivilised" Barnsley slum, received several standing ovations as he told his story to the annual party conference in Manchester.

He called voting for Labour and the creation of the health service in the 1945 General Election one of the proudest moments of his life.

"I felt I was finally getting a chance to grasp destiny by the shirt collar," he said.

And he sent a stern warning to David Cameron - "Keep you mitts of my NHS".

Harry Smith and Andy Burnham MP Credit: Press Association

Mr Smith, whose sister died from TB and was buried in a paupers' pit, went on: "In my heart, I can still feel my mum and dad's desperation as they were trying to keep our family safe and healthy in the slum we called home.

"Common disease controlled our neighbourhood and snuffed out life like a cold breath on a warm candlelit flame.

"I still remember while out playing as a child on my front step the anguished cries that floated from a nearby neighbour's window.

"They were screams from a woman dying from cancer who couldn't afford morphine to ease her passage from this life."

He said his heart was with both those of his generation who did not make it past childhood and the people of the present.

"People ... who because of the welfare cuts and austerity measures are struggling once more make to ends meet and whose futures I fear for," he added.

"Today we must be vigilant. We must never ever let the NHS free from our grasp because if we do, your future will be my past.

"My life is your history and we should keep it that way.

"So say it loud and say in clear in this hall and across this country, Mr Cameron keep your mitts my NHS."

Woman and children 'threatened' by burglars

Police have released an efit image of a man who carried out an aggravated burglary at a house in Barnsley.

Efit of suspect Credit: South Yorkshire Police

At 9.20pm yesterday, police believe that two men entered an address on Gypsy Lane, and allegedly threatened a woman and two children. It is thought the men carrying firearms.

They stole a quantity of cash and electrical items.

The first man is described as white, between 25 to 30-years-old with a wide set jaw with ginger/brown stubble and he is thought to have a Sheffield/Doncaster accent.

The second man is described as also between 25 to 30-years-old, 6ft tall and of slim build, with a foreign accent.


Man suffers serious head injuries in mobility scooter crash

A mobility scooter user in Barnsley suffered serious head injuries after he was involved in a crash with a car.

Police appeal for witnesses to mobility scooter crash

It happened at around 12.30 on the afternoon of Sunday 14 September.

The scooter and the car, an eight-seater Vauxhall Vivaro, are thought to have been travelling the same direction on Smithies Lane when the crash happened.

The man driving the scooter, a 58-year-old Barnsley man, was taken to hospital with serious injuries. The 51-year-old Barnsley man driving the Vauxhall was not injured.

Police are appealing for anyone who saw the crash to contact them.

School bans packed lunches

A school in Barnsley is facing criticism after deciding to ban children from bringing a packed lunch. Barnsley Council says the move to have school meals only at Milefield Primary is in line with a healthy eating plan.

Pupils at Milefield Primary can no longer bring packed lunches to school

The school’s governing body took the decision to implement “a whole school meal provision” in line with The Children and Families Act 2014/Universal Infant Free School Meals Plan. In a statement the school said:

"This new act aims to support schools to ensure pupils eat more healthily, perform better academically as a result from health eating, improve their behaviour and Improve their social skills. For £1.75 per day every child is provided with the following: · A slice of white/wholemeal toast for breakfast. · A carton of milk and a healthy snack mid-morning. · A traditional meal at lunchtime followed by a dessert (all made fresh daily). · A piece of fruit/vegetable in the afternoon. The new policy has been well received by the overwhelming majority of pupils and parents. When we first announced the policy we made sure that those with concerns could contact us, and where parents have raised concerns and contacted us via the email address we specified in the initial correspondence, we have been more than happy to meet up and listen.

This offer remains in place."

Man jailed for raping woman in her own home

A man from Barnsley has been jailed for 12 years after pleading guilty to raping a woman in her own home earlier this year.

Matthew David Jones jailed for rape of woman in her own home Credit: South Yorkshire Police

Matthew David Jones, 30, of Carlton, admitted two counts of rape, two counts of sexual assault and one count of false imprisonment on Friday 27 June.

He was given a 20-year extended sentence at Sheffield Crown Court today.

He will serve 12 years of his sentence in prison with the remainder to be served on licence.

Jones forced his way into an address in the Huddersfield Road area of Barnsley in the early hours of Saturday 8 March.

He subjected a 20-year-old woman to a prolonged serious sexual assault and threatened the victim with a knife during the attack.

Jones left the property and the woman, who did not know her attacker, was then able to contact police.

He was arrested four days later.

This was a horrific and prolonged ordeal for the victim who has remained strong throughout the investigation. It will no doubt take a long time for the victim to come to terms with what happened and she continues to receive support from various agencies to help her to move on with her life. The sentence imposed today reflects the seriousness of the offence which was clearly pre-planned by the defendant. South Yorkshire Police takes all reports of rape and sexual violence seriously and will investigate them thoroughly.

– Detective Sergeant Rob Platts


Man in hospital after collision with cyclist

A 37-year-old man is in hospital with life-threatening injuries following a collision in Cudworth, Barnsley on Monday.

At around 6.05pm a cyclist was travelling along Barnsley Road, Cudworth, in the general direction of Barnsley.

It is believed that the cyclist collided with with a 37-year-old male pedestrian.

The cyclist, a 20-year-old man, was not injured. The pedestrian was taken to hospital to be treated for life-threatening injuries.

Officers have asked anyone who may have witnessed the collision to contact them.

Police Commissioner Wright cancels Barnsley surgery

South Yorkshire's under-fire Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright, who has faced repeated calls to resign in the wake of the Rotherham child exploitation scandal, has cancelled his public surgery today in Barnsley.

His office say it has been cancelled because no-one made an appointment to see Mr Wright.

Shaun Wright, South Yorkshire Police & Crime Commissioner Credit: ITV Yorkshire
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