Since his election in December 2019, Alexander has been a fervent and passionate campaigner for levelling up Rother Valley. As the first Conservative to win the Rother Valley seat in it's history, and as a brick in the so-called new 'blue wall', Alexander works tirelessly to raise the profile of often-neglected areas in his constituency and is on record as being totally committed to improving the lives of everyone who lives in these areas.
The Levelling Up Fund
During the March 2021 budget, the Government announced a new fund, worth £4.8 billion, ringfenced to improve deprived areas. The so-called Levelling Up Fund (LUF) offers Local Authorities the opportunity to bid for up to £20 million to invest in a project that benefits the whole community.
The Government has made some preliminary decisions about where in the country the money is most-needed, with Rotherham being identified as a priority one area. This means that bids submitted by Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) are more likely to be successful than plans submitted by a lower-priority area, giving them a greater chance of success at getting £20 million for our area.
It is therefore vital that Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) do not miss this opportunity to put forward a strong bid on behalf of Rother Valley. Previously, RMBC have neglected areas in Rother Valley, notably with the Towns Fund application process, in favour of focussing on Rotherham central. Alexander is committed to ensuring that this does not happen again and he is determined to ensure that the £20 million fund on the table benefits a project in his constituency. He is working with RMBC and Parish and Town Councils across Rother Valley to pull together a robust and viable regeneration plan for our area.
How should we use the LUF money in Rother Valley?
A strong voice for our towns and high streets, Alexander firmly believes that Rother Valley's bid should focus on our high streets and shopping areas. These areas have been neglected for too long and are in a state of unacceptable decline. Alexander believes we must all come together to take action to make these attractive places to visit and shop once again, so that Rother Valley and its high streets can move forward and have the opportunity to thrive.
We need to upgrade eyesore buildings and dated infrastructure, invest in secure community infrastructure and crime prevention, bringing public services and safe community space into our town centres. This would complement RMBC's own plan's for our area, which details their desire to enhance the vitality and viability of the borough’s retail and service centres.
Dinnington High Street would be an ideal candidate for the Levelling Up Fund. The high street has outdated infrastructure, with buildings, roads and even benches and bins in a state of poor repair. The Levelling Up Fund is the perfect opportunity to address these issues. This would improve the visual appeal and accessibility of the high street, and encouraging more trade and business investment.
I have held productive discussions with RMBC Chief Executive Sharon Kemp and made clear the need to secure this funding and invest it into our high streets. I have regular meetings with Dinnington Community Land Trust who have ambitious but deliverable plans to transform Dinnington High Street into a unified space that can thrive, as well as proposing a new community hub that brings services into the local area.
I will do everything I can to make sure that Rother Valley sees a real benefit from this fund and if you are interested in joining my campaign to make the most of this amazing funding on our local high streets, please click below to sign my petition and add any comments you would like me to pass onto the council.
Together, we can regenerate Rother Valley - please join my campaign to make this vision a reality. Please sign my petition and share it far and wide to send a clear message to RMBC!
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