Jobs and investment in economic recovery
Even before Covid-19, Rotherham still stood in the shadow of the collapse of the old economy. For too many people, work is hard to come by, and low paid when they do find it. Over the last year, that situation has only worsened.
But Rotherham also stands on the brink of a new manufacturing economy. Hundreds of jobs have been created at the Advanced Manufacturing Park by prestigious employers like Boeing, Rolls Royce and McLaren. The UK Atomic Energy Agency chose Rotherham as the place to develop nuclear fusion technology. We need to seize those opportunities to bring the full benefits of the future economy to our borough.
Over the coming years, as we face the fallout of the pandemic, we must redouble our efforts to ensure that our economy leaves no one behind. We must take opportunities for green growth. And we can’t afford an economic recovery that doesn’t create chances and security for everyone.
- We will bring more jobs to the borough, continuing to work hard to attract inward investment, and support new Rotherham businesses.
- Taking back control: We have secured a devolution deal for South Yorkshire that brings more resources and decisions to our area, because people in the North know much better what the North needs than Westminster and Whitehall. Because of our devolution deal we have secured a Young People’s Pledge, which will mean cheaper bus fares and more training opportunities for people aged 18 to 21 from this summer.
- Over the coming year, a Labour council will create 89 work placements for young people at risk of long term unemployment, to be paid at least the Real Living Wage. And we will provide careers development support through the ADVANCE programme.
- Our Labour council will give preference to suppliers that employ local people, spend money in the local supply chain, create apprenticeship opportunities, and pay at least the real Living Wage. Already 800 low paid day care workers have received a pay rise as a result. Our Social Value policy means that people working to provide goods or services to the council will be treated more fairly, and there will be more opportunities for local businesses.
- The Rotherham Social Value Charter: Learning from our colleagues in Preston, we will extend the principle, working alongside our local “anchor institutions”, public services and large employers, to ensure that they too are using their spend to benefit the local community.
- We will ensure that the council becomes an accredited Living Wage employer.
- We will introduce local labour clauses as part of planning permissions for large scale developments, ensuring that local people have the opportunity to access jobs or training and benefit from investment coming to the borough.
- Alongside our city region partners we have rolled out superfast broadband to thousands of properties across the borough in areas that otherwise wouldn’t have been served. Now we will support the delivery of “ultrafast” gigabit fibre broadband to key areas in the borough, bringing speeds equivalent to some of the fastest in the country to homes and businesses.
- A £200 million upgrade for Rotherham town centre: For too long Rotherham town centre has been in decline, a situation made worse by big retailers closing high street stores across the country. Labour will regenerate the town centre. A cinema operator, Arc, have confirmed their intention to open on the site. Building is underway on nearly two hundred more homes in the town centre. The bus interchange has been revamped and the multi-storey car park saved from collapse, and we have secured a significant investment to improve the streets and public realm. We are extending free Saturday parking and will introduce free public wifi. A major programme of investment to the markets complex, and a new town centre library, will be delivered if we successfully secure government match funding.
- We are investing in the council’s existing business centres, which are home to up to 100 local small businesses at any given time, providing expert support. And we’ve secured funding to build a new centre at Manvers which will bring more jobs to the area.
- But Labour will speak up against industries that are harmful to our community. That’s why we have banned fracking on council land, we were the first council in the country to turn down a planning application from the fracking giant Ineos, and we are setting out a credible plan to reduce the council’s carbon emissions. It is also why we have adopted a “zero cap” on exploitative sex entertainment establishments.