Latest COVID-19 update from RMBC…

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Monday 20 April 2020

Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19), we will now be providing regular email updates for residents to let you know about the latest information we have and any changes to local services that may be affected.

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You can check the latest information on our website at any time by going to

Seven local cemeteries to re-open

Following a review by the Council and further clarification from the Secretary of State for Local government over the weekend, it has been agreed that most cemeteries and burial grounds across the borough will reopen from tomorrow(Tuesday).

Like many other local authorities across the country, we reluctantly made the decision to close our Council-owned cemeteries because of national guidance about social distancing, specifically relating to cemeteries.

However following a review and the clarification from Government on Saturday, we are pleased to confirm plans to re-open seven Council-run cemeteries at:

  • Maltby
  • Moorgate
  • Haugh Road
  • Greasbrough
  • Greasbrough Lane
  • Masbrough
  • Wath

Unfortunately, to remain in line with the Government guidance, we are not in a position to be able to re-open East Herringthorpe Cemetery and Crematorium grounds, which will remain closed, apart from when funerals are taking place.

The Council will continue to reassess the measures put in place to ensure that the public remain safe, and that they continue to comply with any future changes in the Government’s guidance.

Please respect social distancing at all times when visting our cemeteries.

The Council is also supporting Parish Councils who may wish to review their own current arrangements for the cemeteries they manage.

Council Tax payment deferral available for hardest hit

Residents who are facing difficulties paying their Council Tax bills can access support, including the option to defer their payments for a short time.

Many people have told us that are having difficulties paying their Council Tax due to the impact of Coronavirus on their finances, such as a loss of hours or being furloughed.

The option to defer payments will be made available via an online form, which is availble now on the Council’s website.

This scheme is open to anyone who is struggling to pay their Council Tax for the current year (2020/21) because their income (and/or that of their partner) has reduced by 20% or more as a result of Coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

This includes both employed and self employed, as well as people who are reliant on another source of income.

It’s important to stress that this is a deferral, not a discount or cancellation of payments. Defering will help deal with a short-term reduction in income. People who opt to defer will still pay the same total annual bill, albeit over a different timescale. This is in line with similar support schemes provided by neighbouring Doncaster and Barnsley Councils.

The deferral option sits alongside the additional support provided through the Council Tax Support scheme we announced earlier this month.

The £200 discount per household is available to more than 13,000 working age households who currently claim Council Tax Support in Rotherham, which includes households with people on low incomes, with disbilities and the unemployed. It is also available for those now eligible because their income has been severely hit as a result of the coronavirus.

More information about help with Council Tax

New bereavement support service

Coronavirus has had a devastating impact on all aspects of life, including the way people remember their loved ones and grieve their loss.

Sadly, as a result of the current restrictions, it is very likely that families will not be with their loved ones at the time of their death. Restrictions also mean that the usual practical and emotional support people can physically get from family and friends following a bereavement may not be there.

We have worked in partnership with other local authorities in South Yorkshire and Bassetlaw to launch a new listening service for people who have lost loved ones during the coronavirus pandemic.

The service is a free to call number and will allow people to talk to a trained therapist who will be able to offer emotional health and wellbeing support.

Anyone wishing to use the service should call 0800 048 5224 (freephone) or provide details via the Listening Ear website

Access Bereavement support

Further changes to public transport

Further changes to public bus services across the region came into force yesterday (Sunday 19 April).

In Rotherham, the service changes are:

18 Service

  • Service 208 will operate via Wickersley and Bramley (Flash Lane)

208 Service

  • New route between Whiston and Thurcroft serving Wickersley and Bramley. This service partially replaces service 18 between Dinnington and Bramley

X78 Service

  • The 19:55 Sheffield to Rotherham is extended to Doncaster

Details about service changes