Economy must be rebalanced

ON this, the 30th anniversary of the miners’ strike, I am reminded of the mass deindustrialisation of Britain that has taken place over the last few decades.

Both the Conservatives and Labour are responsible for making Britain too reliant on the services sector and the undermining of manufacturing and industrial sectors. Since the 1960s there has been a large decline in manufacturing and industry as a share of GDP and employment.

Consider that in 1978, manufacturing accounted for 27 per cent of total employment. In 2010, only nine per cent of UK employment was within the manufacturing sector. Behind the statistics are the social effects on the communities and families that relied on these industrial sectors for an income.

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Areas such as Rotherham have been wilfully neglected by governments of all colours. Local MPs and councillors have acted in the interest of their party rather than the interest of the people who put them in office.

Unfortunately, the clock cannot be turned back and the deindustrialisation of the last 40 years cannot be forgotten. However, I can promise that if the people of Wentworth and Dearne give me the great honour of electing me as their representative and voice in parliament, I will fight for real investment in the constituency.

People in Rotherham need sustainable jobs secured by bringing more businesses to the area. Young people need the skills to ensure that they are the main beneficiaries of future job vacancies.

In short, we need a rebalanced economy in the Rotherham area and across the United Kingdom.

Mike Hookem, UKIP Candidate for Wentworth and Dearne