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Rotherham's Future

Some settlement or other has existed at the town that is now called Rotherham since at least Roman times. The town has a minor mention in the Domesday Book. It has been a market town for over 800 years. For most of this time it was an agrarian community. There was some early industrialisation but from the mid-18th Century to the second half of the 20th Century, Rotherham was a powerhouse in the production of coal and iron and steel. Except for reclamation, all the coal industry has gone, although iron and steel production and much other smaller-scale industry remains.

So I think that it can reasonably said there will still be a town here in another 2000 years time.

Now I know that looking into the future is an uncertain science best left to clairvoyants and fortune-tellers.

(The) High Speed Rail Network

Plans for the high speed and colossally expensive new high speed rail network are being pressed through by the government although it means ripping up large swathes of countryside, woodlands and protected widlife areas. It will also affect country estates, pretty villages and old towns in the Tory heartlands as well as the rest of us who don't count. A branch from Birmingham to Leeds is proposed, with a new Meadowhall Station at Tinsley. The surrounding area which strays into Rotherham can then be profitably developed. It us expected that the line will be open by 2032-33. Twenty years on: I don't think I'll be here to tell the tale.

Housing or Concreting Rotherham

Rotherham signed up to the Government's Growth Point Status which requires them to build massive numbers of houses in the next 20 years. In order to do this Rotherham Council need to to remove the 'Green Belt' designation from large areas all across the borough. The purpose of this is to use the various parcels of land to develop housing estates, and in some places business parks and manufacturing units. The council obviously hoped to pass things on the nod as the inhabitants of most of Rotherham were none the wiser. Even though the succeeding government said that they were scrapping the plans Rotherham still seems to be pursuing the building of large numbers of houses all over the borough. Although the plans for the housing do not seem to include plans for the infrastructure needed to support it. I was told at a meeting, that the plans for roads, buses, doctors' surgeries and schools would all come into place later. Ha!

When asked who would inhabit these houses, the council seem to expect that most of them will be overspill from Sheffield (who refuse to desecrate their own Green Belt) and for other incomers. When pressed other incomers seems to mean people from outside the UK. Now Rotherham has always been a place attractive, if not precisely welcoming, to foreigners. There was always plenty of work to be had, and after the Second World War, many people from Eastern Europe, displaced by the Germans and then the Russians, settled here. Even some of the Italian prisoners of war married local lasses and stayed. Some Indians and Pakistanis who had served with the British army also made it their home. As for the Irish: they have been settling here regularly for centuries but of course they are not really foreign.

The Rotherham Council website pages which gave their side of the story no longer link.

Save Our Greenbelt

Save Our Greenbelt
Visit the website www.saveourgreenbelt.org.uk.
Save Rotherham's Countryside

Immigration

To mention a difficult subject, the large influx of foreigners in Rotherham, from Kosovan young men shipped over here when there was war in the Balkans, to French-speaking Africans and the present large number of Eastern European Roma, there are days when you can hardly hear English spoken in the centre of town. The people of Rotherham are feeling disenfranchised and ignored by local and central government who simply do not have their interests at heart.

Liberals, as they will, call us Racist, but we are Rotherhamites, Yorkshire folk, English and British, not necessarily in that order, and we feel mosty strongly about the favourable treatment of people who have put nothing onto this country and do not intend to, over local folk. I know that it is happening up and down the country and it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.

The Redevelopment of Rotherham Town Centre

The huge new Tesco superstore opened up on the edge of town in November 2014. Many pessimists think it will be an absolute disaster for the already ailing centre of Rotherham. We'll have to wait and see.

This now leaves the former Tesco site on Forge Island on the other side of town available for development. So far it has been developed as a car park. If I remember rightly Rotherham MBC plans were to develop this into Rotherham Civic Quarter and there was the intention to build a new theatre here, possibly a cinema, with café and restaurants.

Tram/Train Network

Some time ater the Supertram extention into Rotherham (and beyond) was ditched some bright spark came up with the idea of a tram/train linkage to Sheffield. After the initial project was aired I heard absolutley nothing further about it for some time, but in 2013 the Government and Network Rail have promised substantial sums to create a link between Sheffield and Parkgate. Further monies have been applied for from other organisations. If successful the scheme will be used to modify existing track, both rail and tram, to allow their use by tram-trains. The route will run from Meadowhall via Rotherham Central Station to Parkgate Retail World where a new station will be created.

Page amended January 15

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