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Council Leader Determined To Rebuild Town Centre

Wednesday November 20 2013

Steve Houghton Steve Houghton

SIR Steve Houghton is determined to rebuild Barnsley's town centre.

The 55-year-old, who has been the council's leader for nearly 18 years of Labour's long rule, says he's incredibly frustrated that his ambition to see the town centre rebuilt has been thwarted by the financial collapse of the late 2000s.

"We have a town centre which was well past its best years ago," he said. "It needs to be replaced.

"The plans are in place, there are people willing to do the work and businesses are prepared to come to the rebuilt town centre.

"We have not given up, we cannot give up and we will never give up because we have got to rebuild the town centre."

He believes we will end up with a different looking town centre because of online shopping. He sees a mix of galleries, museums, a cinema, a library and a smaller set of shops.

What would you do with the town centre? Which shops would entice you to shop local? Have your say below.

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Reply Posted by Miss B on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 12:57
Give the shop keepers a break Lower Rates!!

Reply Posted by henry on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 13:01
go steve..get the town up and running,

Reply Posted by TheWomble on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 13:09
Never doubted Sir Steve on this issue, but I simply cannot get my head around these "by-passes" (Harboro and Westway), when we should be encouraging traffic to flow through Barnsley. Yes we are a victim of Meadowhall, but why not place a Market on Market Hill? Suggestions please... Barnsley is BEST FOR BARGAINS.

Reply Posted by Kate on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 13:20
We have a library which was purpose built
We also have a fantastic cinema which we visit regularly as much cheaper than the big chains we have museums ... Lower the rates for shop owners who are trying to build business

Reply Posted by dedatodd on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 14:28
Good on you Steve, the Town Centre does need revamping / rebuilding but can you please remember that Barnsley is not just the Town centre. There are plenty of places that need money spending for rebuilding, Pontefract Road corridor for starters!

Reply Posted by Jo on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 14:30
Barnsley will never rebuild itself! The problem is the people who run it! Town planners should be sacked for allowing industrial units to be built sporadically on green belt land in so called nice areas. All this does is drive away professional people who have standards into other areas of the country! Leaving Barnsley with mostly, I am sorry to say, unemployed wasters! Look at North Yorkshire it is beautiful with thriving market towns. Our town unfortunately doesn't look after the few decent people that live in it, it looks after the down & outs, that's why all our town centre is & will be full of is pubs & cheap shops! Keep all industrial parks away from where people live so hard working people who do care what their environment looks like are not driven away out of the area.

Reply Posted by Sara on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 14:43
We need a safe Barnsley after 5.00 pm. The town is dead after 5.00 and mainly it is a place for specific type of people. We need to look at other areas in Yorkshire as good practice. we have Civic and other resources that we use to bring life to the town.

Reply Posted by David on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 14:44
Would be nice to have our very own version of trinity walk of Wakefield but also keep our market stalls

Reply Posted by kk on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 14:58
just the same boring shops at trinity wakefield..

Reply Posted by DW on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 15:08
They should set the rates at a price that can be afforded by someone other than banks or bookies but they won't.


Reply Posted by Mk on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 15:12
vote BNP

Reply Posted by me on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 15:56
whens Debenhams coming stevie. hahahaha.

Reply Posted by Christine on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 16:08
First thing to fix in Barnsley is the high level of unemployment... If you walk around town during weekdays you see all too well that there are far too many working age people " milling" aimlessly about!
Then....The whole town centre needs to joined up... The very expensive Civic development should be a walk through so that it brings the whole town centre together .. I think this was a wasted opportunity...
I agree we don't want another Trinity but we need to keep locals away from Leeds, Sheffield and Wakefield by offering a whole family experience.. A cineworld.. Department store...restaurants ..and a mix of independent and chain stores...

Reply Posted by Purple haze on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 16:50
Barnsley is a dump and has been for years. Full of pubs and charity shops. The market is in the wrong place and the newer developments were put in the wrong place. It is too spread out, too shabby, shop choice is crap and parking too expensive. There are too many drug addicts, drunks and foul mouthed young unemployed roaming around with chips on their shoulders.
The council is useless and ignores poor places on the outskirts such as Royston, Goldthorpe and so on whilst wasting money yet again on the town hall and just how many bus stations have we had over the years? Roads are a mess and town planners have no clue. The current labour council have done bot all in the last few decades to improve the town or the surrounding villages and hamlets. They just keep selling off greenbelt to poxy builders. I sincerely hope that the town can even keep going never mind improve under that muppet Houghton. After all he was knighted during a conservative government.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 17:36
Totally agree with every word.

Reply Posted by TheGuardian on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 20:07
Again, Correct!

Reply Posted by ronny on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 16:56
Determined? Why what you doing about it Steve? I think we all know. Never has an been rewrded so well gor doing so little, 18 years thats 2 terms if labour government and the huge reckless amounts of public money, where did it all go? Well mr houghton has seen his salary go up by 150% at least his cronies by the same figure. A whole list of council mismanaged projects. Assets sold, the icelandic banking fiasco, a reduction in quality serviced despite barnsleys council tax paying population growing faster thsn other towns a town centre that is little more thsn s slum, failing to attract any employers that require skilled workers or pay above minimum wage. Yep youre doing well. I bet the determination he has is a different one when it comes to salary negotiations

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 17:37
Again, totally agree with every word.

Reply Posted by silly me on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 18:25
I hope they make a better job than they did on wakefield rd

Reply Posted by bobit upper on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 18:33
I would shop in barnsley when them total loosers called councillors get the hell out. Idle, good for nothing, useless arogant onky good for raping money idiots.

Reply Posted by TheGuardian on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 20:20
To start with, clean the streets of the town-centre of all the skiving, dirty heroin-addicts and loudmouthed obnoxious drunks. I have had to call into town mid-week, taking a day off work & I was amazed. It's like a zombie-apocalypse, that's at 10am too! Braindead, skiving leeches, intimidating the elderly. The place is a toilet & I'm ashamed to call it home. It was once a proud, community spirited town. Idiots toss school off, no qualifications & have the cheek to blame everyone/everything else but themselves because nobody will set them on. Those losers who hover around Greggs/that mushroom thing, round them up & finish them! They will never contribute, only take. We go to work to keep them in smack and sherry. Right laugh.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Saturday November 23 2013 at 15:05
Not quite sure that your comment about those who congregate around the mushroom is appropriate, but, they do intimidate people with their loudness etc.
I had the misfortune of having to go into town last week and a mother was sat on the mushroom feeding her 3/4 year old a sausage roll. Kid runs off and instead of racing after it the mother started effing and blinding at the kid , I wont go into details, but suggest you use your imagination, and I actually though to myself, god this place is a sh*thole.
What confirmed it for me was when I walked back up to my car (which was parked up near the lamproom) and got pestered yet again from a little smack rat asking for money for her "busfare".

Said this further up the page but until something is seriously done to move these nuisance people on then Barnsley can stick my money where the sun don't shine and i'll either go to Meadowhall or Leeds for my shopping.

I used to love going into town when I was younger, now I will do anything to ensure I don't have to go in.

Reply Posted by Collet on Wednesday November 20 2013 at 20:34
Barnsley council couldn't run a piss up in a brewery, Market hill closed off all day nearly 10am causing traffic chaos,totally unnesasary,the lights and show could have taken place in front of the Alambara Mall that is traffic free causing no disruption to nobody,what a load of daren't say it ????

Reply Posted by Mum of three on Thursday November 21 2013 at 06:31
I hope so.
But before anything can be done he needs to get something in place to deal with the anti social behaviour that is playing a major part in keeping people from going into town.
Its an absolute nightmare!!

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Thursday November 21 2013 at 19:25
I have been banging the same drum for the last few years.
To observer below, I am not talking about town on a weekend at night, I'm talking about the alcho's that congregate around peel street lavs and the mushroom in summer.
I am also talking about the smack rats that pester for "busfare".
Said it before and i'll keep saying it again until I am blue in the face, why the bobbies don't give these "people" leave town notices is beyond me.
Until something dramatically changes then I will take my hard earned to meadowhall or leeds.

Reply Posted by observer on Thursday November 21 2013 at 12:11
woaaah. lets get one thing clear. I am a drinker. I love a drink. but don't get drunk. I like a drink after a hard weeks work. the town is not full of pubs. there are no more "bars" in the town than any other town. they are not pubs any more. they are bars. with the exception of a couple. just saying.

Reply Posted by STEVEO on Saturday November 23 2013 at 15:13
Promises, promises Stevie baby.

You promised us a new town centre years ago and what did we get?
A Lidl
Digital media centre
The Core
Glass Cabinet council offices
The Mall (biggest white elephant in our town)

What ever happened to the Tuscan Village and Halo?

You promised us jobs and what did we get?


Promises, promises....

Reply Posted by Cheryl on Saturday November 23 2013 at 21:15
Start by stopping HS2!! will ruin this town , force people to move, lower house prices and drive away people from the area!! its only the councilers that can help make an impact into route changes and stopping it, its already been said that HS2 will not benefit the area, but it WILL ruin it!!!

Reply Posted by Richard on Saturday November 23 2013 at 21:31
The reason Barnsley needs rebuilding is BECAUSE Labour have been in charge for 18 years!

Hasn't anybody else found the common link yet? Catch up people.

Reply Posted by Kevan R on Saturday November 23 2013 at 21:42
Barnsley has always been know as have the best market in S.Yorks... Better than Wakefield, Doncaster, Sheffield and Leeds. We should not loose this... People come from miles to our market even Manchester.. Yes we need to modernise but not who we are. Please Steve don't forget about our market and think of how we can keep them involved...

Reply Posted by Sir Dickie Parkinson Gough on Saturday November 23 2013 at 21:50
He talks a load of rubbish! Developers are slowly starting to come back as the recession eases but he's cut staff back that much now there aren't enough planners and engineers left to deal with the applications which then puts the developers off coming here as they can't get anything moving. Not only that but he's cut that much he's now jeopardising millions of pounds of grant money these staff used to apply for and bring in every year from national or European grant pots. This money will be lost to other towns. Even if they did manage to get hold of funding they'll have to bring in consultants to spend it as there's not enough staff left and as you know Consultants are worth their weight in horse manure.
Do us a favour Sir Steve, step down and let someone else have a go at running the council. Maybe Pingu or the chuckle brothers?

Reply Posted by Jb on Saturday November 23 2013 at 22:13
Attitudes need to change and people with voting rights needs to vote.

That's a start

Reply Posted by Collet on Saturday November 23 2013 at 23:53
They have had more goes at re building Barnsley and done nothing but make it worse Should Have Gone to Speck Savers,Stairfoot round about etc what a few fly overs and under passes,instead of short term expensive botch ups we could have had a more free flowing Town,not one cut in half and traffic congestion all over the place ??

Reply Posted by Bob the Builder on Sunday November 24 2013 at 09:10
Unfortunately Collet flyovers and underpasses are eyewateringly expensive as is buying private land to expand the road into and the council doesn't seem to invest that much in highways so don't hold your breath. I don't know if you can remember that far back but I seem to remember that B&Q paid for the alterations to the roundabout when it was built. I have a friend who works on this type of stuff and he says you are very limited to what you can screw out of house builders and developers so no open cheque book.
Unless you've got a good road network you are unlikely to ever attract a strong demand for new development in Barnsley. Economics 101 Barnsley Council. Maybe a trip back to business school for Steve?!

Reply Posted by Den on Sunday November 24 2013 at 09:23
Barnsley has had a Labour run council for the last 80 years, 18 of those with Steve at the helm. The reason Barnsley town centre is a laughing stock is because of Steve Houghton and BMBC. Wake up Barnsley, it's time for a change!


Thanks WAB for deleting my last post. Does the truth hurt? Why defend a clown like Steve Houghton?

Reply Posted by DW on Sunday November 24 2013 at 11:08
You're wasting your time Den. The problem with this town is Barnsley folk don't like change and it shows.

Reply Posted by sarah on Sunday November 24 2013 at 15:10
I am barnsley born and bred but I have told all my children I dont mind what career path they choose just as long as it doesnt involve living in Barnsley. That saddens me having to say that to them as I loved going into town on a saturday with my mates mine cant do anything like that because its not safe enough for them.It comes to something when theyre safer going up goldthorpe than into town.