MPs share their

Margaret Thatcher suffered ill health during her later years.
Margaret Thatcher suffered ill health during her later years.

Margaret Thatcher’s death was also met with mixed views among local politicians.

Rother Valley MP Kevin Barron said she was a ‘significant’ figure in our history.

He said: “As the first woman to become prime minister, Margaret Thatcher was a significant figure in modern British history.”

“Many people in the Rother Valley though will remember that her political ideology, demonstrated in battles against trade unionism and the coal mining industry, changed the face of our area and caused much hardship.”

Dinnington councillor Simon Tweed said there would be few tears shed in the town.

“Although the passing away of any individual is always sad news for family and friends I don’t think that there will be many people in Dinnington shedding many tears over Mrs Thatchers death,” he said.

“As someone who was only in my teens during her premiership I have terrible memories of her mass butchery of our industry in this area. Her closure of our pits and steel industries condemned many men and women to the dole queue.”

“Her actions and policies effected all ages, parents struggling for money to cloth and feed their children and pensioners struggling to pay for heating.”

“But in my opinion her worse crime was when she stopped children at school receiving free milk which was essential at the time. What ever else she got called over the years for me she will always be known as Thatcher the milk snatcher.”

Anston and Woodsetts ouncillor Jo Burton agreed, adding: “Margaret Thatcher’s death is a great sadness for her family, however we cannot forget that she did great damage to our society and we are still struggling with that legacy today.”

“She shut down much of our manufacturing industry , leaving our country dependent on imported coal and facing insecurity in energy supply for the first time in centuries. She sold off our council housing stock which has left us with a housing crisis.”

“She promoted a banking sector which has led to the worst depression since the 1930s and most of all, she encouraged the rise of the ‘I’m alright Jack’ philosophy in the 1980s which has helped to bring about the death of any sense of social and civic responsibility and saw ‘money’ as the only value worth having. ”

Former coal miner Keith Stringer said many people in towns and villages effected by the 1984-85 miners strike would struggle to feel sadness at her passing.

“How can anyone who experienced the existence - not life - in many mining communities throughout Great Britain in 1984 feel sadness for a prime minister who delighted in inflicting misery on hundreds and hundreds of people just because they wanted to protect their livelihoods?”

“The decimation of the coal industry had been planned well before the plan was executed. Dockers, steel then coal were wrecked by the cold blooded systematic approach given by a heartless government, which found great satisfaction from smashing these unions.”

“The unforgettable sights of men on the picket lines, the running battles with the police in the streets and fields - these are things that I for one will never forget.”

But John Gilding, a Conservative councillor at Rotherham, said Margaret Thatcher was one of Britain’s ‘giant’ politicians.

He added: “She visited Rotherham for a by-election in 1976. I can remember her among the crowd in All Saints’ Square. We then went on to Broom Valley where she joined our team of canvassers. Her energy was unbelievable.”

“When Mrs Thatcher became Prime Minister, she inherited a country being dictated to by trades unions. Her vision was to drag the United Kingdom away from socialism and make us free and prosperous again.”

“She tamed the unions and made the state industries free from Government control. Who runs industries best- a businessman or a bureaucrat? Her word was her bond. She will be sadly missed.”