Sunday, 1 November 2009

How to Heal Rotherham

I will accept that Susanne (see comments on my last post) is light years ahead of me in her spiritual development and so will take her lead and now try to make some positive suggestions on how to regenerate Rotherham...

First I would see Meadowhall on the doorstep as a huge OPPORTUNITY not a threat.

Thousands of shoppers descend there, but it is a nightmare to get in and out of at busy times and full of the same boring chainstores you find everywhere. So, Rotherham, go with the credit crunch thrift - and make yourself the UK's Number 1 Destination Town for shopping outlets selling designer names at knock down prices. Line the main shopping strip with these cut-price outlets - shouldn't be hard to attract them with a few retailer incentives; there are lots of designer outlets based 'oop North.

Also, I noticed there are lots of poster hoardings around town for the online fashion retailer asos.com. So why not persuade asos to base their first and only UK flagship retail outlet at the heart of it! That of itself would create huge PR and footfall.

Now to address the question of local enterprise, turn the lovely old cobbled arcade into an emporium devoted to local crafts people, artists and independent retailers plus (nice!) cafes with outdoor seating with subsidised rents to attract and support local businesses. Those interesting and fascinating-to-browse shops you find in places like Tunbridge Wells and Winchester. Invite local bands/musicians to play in the arcade and fill the place with music, jugglers and street artists. Think Covent Garden.

Finally I would do something with the amazing river - if you've seen it, it is almost like a 45 degree waterfall. Is there a way to create a manmade white water rafting run to attract extreme sports specialists? Up here in the Peak District we attract thousands of them and Rotherham is not a million miles away. Then direct the energy of the local hoodies to creating the kind of businesses which would thrive with those kind of enthusiasts flooding in to town.

And of course make parking plentiful and free.

These are just a few Sunday-morning-in-the-bath ideas - and apologies Rotherham if you've already got the whole thing well in hand!

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

Brilliant! Realistic to the very core thus bringing attention to the problem/s or dilemma/s that exist, followed beautifully by the properties of solution finding ideas - that’s a girl Rachel! This is a subject that is close to my heart and if I am honest I am tired of the constant gripes about the bourgeois and what is wrong with our society that is matched with equal amounts of inaction and negative energy generated from these gripes, moans and groans. Here are some examples of those who have a different vision and way of handling things: I once asked a lady, who had started a catering company during a time of much red-tape having been added to the industry, how she had coped with all the said red-tape that others blamed for the struggle in their businesses, to which she replied “I do not know what it was like before, I simply worked with what I had and have looked to making a success of my business and am well on the way to doing just that”. A friend of mine was called to a police station one evening because a local youth had gone into the station that evening and smashed it up clear in front of two police officers. He was restrained and arrested. As a family friend, who the young man had asked to be present, Clive was called to meet with the young man, his family and police officers the following day. Taking the young man outside into the courtyard he said that he was simply going to listen and awaited a reply. To his surprise the young man looked down at the base of a staddlestone and said, “see that piece of rock, I can make that into something that will blow you away”. From this comment it was agreed that the family would pay for the damage and no charges would be made if the young man took up a six month apprentice with a local stonemason. He did and the work he produced was indeed mind blowing. This young man had oodles of creative energy that needed expression. I wonder how many young men and women are filled with this creative energy in Rotherham who could be exhibiting their work in that new local craft centre that is to be created. To be continued!

Anonymous said...

Just three weeks before my dear late mother passed away from a brain tumour she called a meeting which was held at her bedside, where on her behalf, I worked out a competition in which the Oxfordshire Young Farmers were to compete so as to win the Barbara Austin Community Award. Having been in the Young Farmers for 60 years she wanted to do something to help keep, what had become for a time dwindling clubs, alive. It took three years to build the interest and the heart wrenching decision to give in came up time and time again from the clubs, yet my mothers spirit that lives on in me was DETERMINED to bring her wish to pass, a wish that the clubs do all they could do to flourish. Last year I was proud to present a cup to the wining team and this year will be doing the same. If anyone has anything that they would like to treat these young persons to for their efforts, do let me know. The Princes youth Trust was initiated by Prince Charles and has helped numerous young people to succeed in life in a way that may not have otherwise been possible. Be it the young in our communities or the pool of mature men and women that have gifts and ability to share that is totally untapped, opportunities abound. I was recently commissioned to work on a book entitled Think Locally, a book that is designed to showcase independently owned and run businesses in the Cotswolds. On going to one location, Such was the complacency from the majority, I was told that I would be lucky if I got five businesses to take part. It took much effort, yet I now have over a dozen! Think Locally also has books covering Oxford and Oxfordshire and others in the pipeline, so come on Rotherham, get cracking so that we can come and get your local independently owned businesses showcased in print. I am not ready yet Rachel, still have a few more I’s to dot and t’s to cross before I can let loose on a new beginning, however when this time comes I would be delighted to share ideas as to how we might come up with some new projects that sow seeds that will help others sow and nurture their own in order to cultivate and generate a new landscape that awaits on the horizon.

With all good wishes, Susanne

Stephen said...

Susanne, I don't doubt your sincere spirit. What i doubt is your understanding of the political issues that this country faces and the role Rachel can play in serving at the very highest levels.

This discussion should be one of strategy, not of sincerity.

There is no point fiddling around with Rotherham when the core of the problem lies in Westminster.

We must move to address the core. Not fiddle around the edges.

The power to act lies with Rachel and the conservative party.

I do hope that they will take the opportunity they have now to win the general election through the introduction of the most ambitious employment programme, since the founding of the NHS.

Forget the cafe in Rotherham and do something that will make a difference to everyone for many years to come.

Empower the empowered, relative to their destiny.

Anonymous said...

I Have spend many hours in Westminster and sitting on numerous committees being a thorn in the side of those who wanted to pass through unchecked and if at all possible unchanged, a mass of 'white papers'
that effect the lives of us all. So, you see I do have just little experience in this area. Prior to my dear late mothers passing she looked at me and apologised that she would not be here a tad longer to be revolting, for she said be sure the people will revolt. To revolt we do not have to storm the streets, we simply need to take action as individuals en-mass. Tis us the people that will and are making all the difference, be that in the fields, on the streets, at their place of work or by joining a political party to bring about the change that they wish to see in the world, and so it has ever been. People change the world, Stephen, people just like you and I!

Stephen said...

The divided will do no good fiddling around the edges.

What is required is a 'rod of iron' that is formed by citizens falling behind the most sincerist and worthiest of our leaders.

Such structures can only be formed by rallying the imagination of the many toward action.

Anonymous said...

I find your preaching about Rotherham, Rachel, extremely ridiculous. When I was a customer with red letter days, the standard of customer service (when it was under your control) was terrible. When it collapsed, I didn't get the gift I ordered for months! And yes, due to your poor management, this was your doing!

You may well blame it on management, that you had put in place, but it didn't say their names on the documentation at companies house did it!

Rachel Elnaugh said...

So what's your positive suggestion anonymouse?

Or are you just content to hurl a few virtual tomatoes?

R

Stephen said...

Why don't you run away and die anonymouse. Your input here is as much value as a Labour Minister.

Rachel Elnaugh said...

Come to think of it, 81% of Red Letter Days' business came from recommendations and referrals... So we must have been doing something right.

R

Wonderfully Whiffy® said...

I'm just a casual passer-by but, the very fact that that someone wishes to post anonymously speaks volumes, what are they hiding from? Their own failings perhaps?

Stephen said...

Wonderfully Whiffy: I certainly have an aversion to anonymous people, because they tend to be very deceitful and most often very abusive.

They use human rights sentiment as a mechanism to sheild their identity, which allows them to act like morons and serve none bar themselves.

As the world famous cook "Delia Smith" once said to her Norwich fans.

LETS BE HAVING YA!

Kev said...

Who actually cares for theese secretive people? They can do what they want and we need debateable people around..

Look at QS a couple of weeks ago!

Happy Day

Kev

Stephen said...

Kev,

The "One" is not meant to be full of anonymous complexities. We are supposed to be "One", meaning a single body moving toward wonderful beneficent manifestation.

Including Rotherham of course. lol

Kev said...

lol - I love the Rotherham situation it used to be a nice little town it is now a dump!

I drove through it, as I was visiting a friend in close by Sheffield!!

I am truly blessed I never have to go there.

I live in the city of Manchester, but I love my dad's country home in the UK, and his home where he lives in San Diego, CA.

I asked my dad his thoughts on Rotherham, he said to me "Kev i'm too american to remember it" - HA

Happy night to you all

Kev

Library Boy said...

Rachel,

I have read your comments on the post and to be honest I find them a little condescending to say the least.

Had you spent a little more time in Rotherham, you would have realised that there are some seriously worrying things happening in the town.

If you can find a solution, great. But to be honest I think you're looking in the wrong place.

Look around the town and I'm sure you'll agree it's far from paradise. In fact in many ways it has been the victim not only of Meadowhall, as I'm sure some people will be quick to point out, but also the massive retail development just three miles out of town at Parkgate.

You criticise the town for not having a starbucks or a costa coffee - Of course it hasn't, why would people be happy to spend £3.00 on a skinny latte when they've got more pressing issues at home to worry about.

The town needs to pull itself up by the bootstraps, anyone that has visited it recently knows that. But you forget that it has become little more, sadly than a commuting stop.

There are no shops, because there is no-one to buy from them. There is no-one to buy from them because there are no jobs (other than the minimum wage ones found at every reputable charity shop on the high street).

In short, there is no pride.

But look a little further away, Wickersley, a suburb in the very same town. And you will find your nice coffee shops, your independent boutiques, salons and a thriving hub of local entrpreneurs - all running indpendently owned local businesses.

Many of these retailers were based in the town centre, but sadly they were forced to look elsewhere due to the incompetancies of the local council.

I feel that perhaps the article may have done you a little injustice in today's Advertiser.

But what the town centre is crying out for is help.

And I think personally that starts through improving basic things like transport infrastructure, clean streets and a lot of hard work.

It's all well and good having the big idea, but the last thing Rothreham needs is another gimmick.

It needs results.

Anonymous said...

Hello Rachel, what is it they say about not shooting the messenger.Steop aside from the shots for you are to be applauded for stirred up signs of the pride and emotion that perhaps lay a little dormant. You have added fuel to a flame that may have been flickering, yet burns on in readiness to be re-ignited.

I read the reports in the local press and wrote to the editor...

I am delighted to see all the press coverage that Rachel’s blog has caused – Wonderful, Fantastic, now we know about the many plans that are afoot in Rotherham. So often these things are kept under wraps, the consequence of which are that the masses don’t know what is going on.

I am Susanne, who placed the comment on Rachel’s blog praising her for her openness, which comes from her dedication to helping and seeing businesses flourish, this I followed with the suggestion that having noted an air of ‘dismal’- how then best could we put the great back into Rotherham and in turn England.


So she did…and a BIG well done to your paper for taking up the baton - now run with it!

How about setting up a challenge for Rotherham to show one and all how community spirited, friendly and entrepreneurial you are.

Make a pledge to inviting Rachel back in a year’s time to show her what has been done. Better still engage her in assisting with the process.

For my part, I am working on a book that showcases local independently owned and run businesses. Each business pays an affordable fee to feature in a quality coffee table book that offers locals and visitors alike an insight into their business, where to find them, opening hours etc.

This publication is an annual publication. We already have Think Locally - Think Oxford Independents, Think Locally – Think Oxfordshire Independents, Think Locally – Think Cotswold Independents (to be released in January) ….So how about we produce a Think Locally-Think Rotherham Independents in 2010.

I would be happy to be commissioned by your councils and/or sponsored by yourselves/others to produce a book for the independents of Rotherham.

So Rotherham, Rachel is to be thanked for her honesty, which has rattled a few cages and raised awareness, not only within Rotherham, but far and wide.

She has given you an opportunity to shine and raise the vibration and am sure that she would be delighted to assist in some way.

I would also be delighted if anyone would like to take me up on my offer.

Susanne Austin,

Writer, Enlightener - Living Life on Purpose

info@susanneaustin.co.uk

Anonymous said...

Gosh, how grand life must be for you Susanne - to be singing up your own arse.

Rachel Elnaugh said...

Anonymouse

Susanne is an incredible person, full of love, light and positive energy. You would benefit from one of her healing sessions...

Rachel

Anonymous said...

Only if she was 21, blonde, busty and ferrocious. lol

Anonymous said...

Healing is one thing, becoming Psychic is another, yet when I thought who could it be that finds my positivity so distressing the symbol lol flashed before my eyes and I wondered, could this be a link to the identity of our Miss, Mrs, Ms or Mr Anonymous!!!

Anyway Miss, Mrs, Ms or Mr Anonymous, I wondered what ailes you, can we help in any way?

I was once chatting with a group of people when a boy at the back said "do you ever stop talking" directing the comment at me. The room fell silent and I asked him if he had something that he would like to share with the group. "NO" he said, so everyone started taliking again. I stopped them and asked the boy again, "is there anything that you would like to share". He squirmed in his seat and said "NO". So we all started to talk again, sharing conversation, jokes and all manner of things. Suddenly the boy shouted out, "I have a joke" and we fell silent giving him the opportunity to share. That was the beginning of a wonderful experience because for the rest of the day this boy talked non stop. He came from a broken home and had low self esteem, he didn't know how to join in without being agressive. This was his protection mechanism.

Shared with love, Susanne

Anonymous said...

self confessed healer is a phony

Rachel Elnaugh said...

She's no phony Anonymouse.

Dare you to experience her.

R

Anonymous said...

A quote from Dr Wayne Dyer "Loving people live in a loving world. Hostile people live in a hostile world. But it's the same world. How come?

Isn't it amazing that two people can meet the same person, go to the same place, receive the same gift and yet have completely different experiences. One can love the people present, think the food is the best they have ever had, the view the most enchanting and the gift the best they have ever been blessed to receive, whilst the other complains that nothing is right and the people get on their nerves, it is too cold, too hot, too early, too late and those people over there are having far too much fun.

Why is this?

I guess some things we just have to work out for ourselves!

Lovingly, Susanne