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Ten arrested after protest march in Rotherham

Ten people have been arrested today following a march of around 150 people in Rotherham town centre.

The arrests include a range of offences including breach of the peace, drunk and disorderly and possession with intent to supply class B drugs. They are all in police custody.

It has been another challenging day for Rotherham and a challenging day for all of the officers involved. We are acutely aware of the impact such marches have on the residents of Rotherham. Whilst we will respect everyone’s right to a peaceful protest, today demonstrates that when that protest stops being peaceful and moves into criminal activity we will take the necessary action.

– Chief Superintendent Jason Harwin

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Police issue CCTV over robbery in Rotherham travel agents

Police have issued a CCTV image of a man they would like to identify and speak to in relation to a robbery in Rotherham.

Credit: South Yorkshire Police

Yesterday afternoon a man entered a travel agents on Bridgegate in the town centre and threatened staff with a knife to open the safe and give him cash.

He fled the scene with a substantial amount of cash, running up Bridgegate towards All Saints Square.

Officers would ask anyone who recognises the man in the CCTV image, or if anyone witnessed the incident, to contact them.

Man charged with further two counts of child sexual exploitation

Police in South Yorkshire have charged a 36-year-old man with an additional two child sexual exploitation offences.

Credit: Press Association

Bannaras Hussain, who is currently on remand after being charged with 22 offences relating to child sexual exploitation in Rotherham, was charged today with two further offences of indecent assault.

The offences are alleged to have taken place between 1998 and 2000.

He is due to appear before Sheffield Crown Court on Monday 7 September, alongside six other defendants charged as part of Operation Clover.

Puppies stolen in Rotherham

Police are asking for your help locating two puppies that are believed to have been stolen from a house in Rotherham.

Between 8pm on Wednesday 1 July and 7am on Tuesday 2 July, it is reported that the two puppies were taken from a cage that was in the back garden of a property in Peter Street, Thurcroft.

The puppies, which are seven-month-old Staffordshire Terrier females, are family pets and this incident has caused considerable distress to the victims.

The family has issued the following short statement: “We are all really upset, these dogs are part of our family.

“My six-year-old and ten-year-old sons are really finding it hard and are crying all the time. We just want our dogs back.”

There are currently no photographs of the puppies available, but if anyone has any information that might help officers, please call 101 quoting incident number 210 of 2 July 2015.

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South Yorkshire MPs reaction to Tata steel jobs announcement

Wentworth & Dearne MP John Healey and MP for Rotherham Sarah Champion have both reacted to the news that 720 jobs, mainly at their Rotherham site, are at risk at Tata Steel.

This is the worst possible news. It’s simply devastating for the workers and their families, many of whom waived pay, holidays and other entitlements to help keep Tata going through the global economic crisis from 2008. They kept faith in Tata and now feel massively let down. This is a dedicated workforce and a modern plant, making some of the best steel in the world. I want to see independent industry experts assess this plan and make sure every other option has been fully considered. I fear cuts to steel-making on this scale would leave our Rotherham site with no long-term future. I’ve talked to union leaders and local Tata managers about this, and I have asked for an urgent meeting with Dr Karl Kohler, Tata’s MD in Europe. I’ve also asked for an urgent meeting with business ministers because the government should be doing more to support UK steel as a vital strategic industry. We won government agreement to financial help for energy intensive manufacturers in the last parliament but Ministers have still not set up this scheme. And there’s much more Ministers can do through government procurement contracts, support for skills and backing for research. Cutting jobs on this scale will be devastating to the town. Rotherham is proudly part of Britain’s manufacturing base. When Maltby pit closed last year Rotherham became an ex-mining town and I’ll fight to stop us also becoming an ex-steel town.

– Wentworth & Dearne MP John Healey
John Healey Credit: Press Association

I am deeply shocked and disappointed by the announcement from TATA regarding bar production closing in Rotherham. This is not just about losing 720 jobs, it's about the impact on 720 families and 720 wage packets no longer going into the local economy. I have consistently challenged the Government to address the inequality that British Steel faces against the rest of Europe with higher energy prices and business rates up to 10 times greater. The Chancellor promised a report into this by 2016. Today shows that is too little too late. I will continue to do all I can to make sure the Government fully supports the affected workers and I will push TATA to continue to offer training so that workers can re-train in specialist steel which will still be produced in Rotherham.

– MP for Rotherham Sarah Champion.
MP for Rotherham Sarah Champion Credit: Press Association

Union: Tata steel jobs announcement 'devastating news'

This will be devastating news for our members in Wednesbury and across South Yorkshire. This is a business that has seen a lot of restructuring and change over recent years and another round of potential redundancies will hit the workforce hard. It will be natural for workers to be sceptical about this plan too as commitments given by the same management team in previous restructurings have not been delivered. We will give our members every support in the coming weeks and months and will oppose any compulsory redundancies. We will also engage independent experts to study Tata Steel's proposals and look at alternatives that could save jobs and create a sustainable business. It's only right and proper that Tata Steel allows sufficient time for that work to be carried out. While we still need to study the full rationale behind today's announcement, it is clear the UK steel industry is in a perilous state and as the biggest producer, Tata Steel is particularly affected. There is already a case for government action. We have been saying for years that uncompetitive UK energy costs are damaging the UK steel industry. The electric arc furnace operations in Rotherham have been impacted by higher electricity prices. The government needs to stand up for steel and take urgent action to support energy intensive industry while there is still chance to save the jobs at risk.

– Roy Rickhuss, General Secretary of Community

720 jobs at risk at Tata Steel

Tata Steel is planning to cut 720 jobs mainly at its plant in Rotherham, the company has announced.

Credit: Press Association

The firm said the business had been under-performing in the face of steel imports due to the strong pound and higher electricity costs which it said were double those of European competitors.

Tata said it had "identified 720 positions which will potentially become redundant" but with work with unions and employees to redeploy workers and minimise the number of compulsory redundancies.

Karl Koehler, chief executive of Tata Steel's European operations, said: "I realise how distressing this news will be for all those affected, but I am also extremely aware of our responsibility towards the ongoing survival of this business which will continue to employ about 1,500 people in South Yorkshire."

Tata Steel pensions dispute ends

The pensions dispute at Tata Steel that brought the company to the brink of the biggest industrial dispute in 35 years has ended.

Members of all four unions at the company have voted to accept changes to the British Steel Pension Scheme which will keep the scheme open.

Tata has sites in Scunthorpe and Rotherham.

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