Local MP John Healey says plans by Marks and Spencer to close its store at Parkgate Shopping are a big blow to the town.

A large number of people have been in touch with the MP’s office to raise their concerns over the decision which puts 79 jobs at risk of redundancy and relocation.

In a letter to M&S CEO, Steve Rowe, John says: “Many in my constituency shop and work at the store and the recently announced closure plans came as a shock to your committed workers and customers.

“This is a big blow to the town as M&S is an anchor store for Parkgate just as it was in central Rotherham and it will be sad to see the name of Marks and Spencer disappear from the town for the first time in 125 years.

“I too am dismayed by this decision, 79 people now face relocation or redundancy, and this is part of a pattern across the country. I don’t want to see Parkgate start to struggle like our town centre has over the last decade.

“I write therefore to urge you to reconsider this closure so the historic name of Marks and Spencer can remain in a town that has been associated with the company since 1894.”