Thank you

Our thanks to everyone who took part in last week’s elections, which saw all three of us returned as councillors for the new Wickersley North ward – with a sightly increased majority.

We will be moving over to a new website to reflect the new ward, but for now you may wish to follow us over on our Facebook page.

Those results in full:

Name of CandidatePartyNumber of Votes
ELLIS SueLabour Party1,466 ELECTED
FELSTEAD RobRotherham Democratic Party726
GREEN Tracy LouiseRotherham Democratic Party486
HINCE Leslie JamesRotherham Democratic Party361
HODDINOTT Emma ElizabethLabour Party1,337 ELECTED
PARKER Martyn LawtonConservative Party Candidate1,042
READ ChrisLabour Party1,295 ELECTED
READ LindaLiberal Democrats 281
SULEMAN MohammedConservative Party Candidate547
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To keep working for you, we need your three votes

Polling day for the council elections is nearly upon us, and as always we are grateful to all the residents who have taken the time to speak to us over the last few weeks.

Elections in our area are always close. That’s why we never take anyone’s support for granted. We’ve had Tory councillors in the not too distant past, so your vote really could make the difference.

Eleven years of Conservative government have been terrible for our area. Far more children now live in poverty. More children are in care than ever before. Homelessness in Rotherham has trebled. They cut 500 officers from South Yorkshire Police. £200 million has been cut from the council with nearly 2,000 local jobs lost as a result. This year they’re even cutting our national funding for road repairs.

As your councillors we’ve always been on the side of our community, but even more so through this difficult last year. We’ve personally supported our local foodbank, and helped with shopping and prescription trips for people needing to self-isolate.

We’ve helped to supply laptops to schools so children could keep learning from home, and provided free school meals vouchers through the holidays – even when the government wouldn’t. Though we’ve not been able to hold our usual face-to-face advice surgeries this year, we have still advocated for hundreds of residents with individual issues.

At this election we’ve set out in detail for you how with your support Labour councillors will build a better borough.

On the other hand, Conservative councillors would make even further cuts to local services. We need a council that stands up to the government on behalf of our residents, not councillors bound to accept whatever is handed down from Westminster.

And the former UKIP-ers now calling themselves the RDP? Their councillors recently voted against Labour’s investment in more street cleaning, youth work, and resources for libraries. That tells you all you need to know about the decisions they would make.

So if you want to keep us working for our community: opposing HS2, fighting for better buses, tackling anti-social behaviour, securing investment, improving our roads and defending our services, please don’t stay at home on Thursday. Use all your three votes in the council elections for your Labour candidates.

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New gate helps tackle off-road bikes

Labour’s team with the new gate off Elton Lane

A new “kissing” gate has been installed on the footpath off Elton Lane as the latest barrier to help reduce the impact of off-road bikes and quads.

The gate has been funded by your local councillors though our devolved ward budget. It’s one of a number of barriers we’ve secured around the former Silverwood pit site in response to concerns raised with us by people in the area.

Gates at the edge of Woodlaithes that we secured last year following concerns from residents that access to the footpath was being used by off-road bikes.

At the same time we have been supporting organised police intervention against illegal activity on the former colliery site. That intervention has been made possible because of the specialist team out in place by our Labour Police and Crime Commissioner, Alan Billings.

We know that these are small steps towards addressing the wider problems that residents face, but by working together and pulling in resources from all sides, we can have a real impact. That’s why we continue to lobby Ogdens to ask them to play their part.

We think that’s just common sense, but mysteriously our opponents at this election from the so-called Rotherham Democratic Party have opposed our petition. They bizarrely claim that the multi-million pound landowners – who have repeatedly refused to secure the site – are the real victims of the current situation.

We’re proud that the founder of the Silverwood nature reserve support group, Bob Boyle, is supporting us in this election in recognition of the work we’ve done locally. As Bob says; “if the RDP is as truthful in the other stuff they’re promising, then plainly they deserve nowt.”

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£4m investment in local council homes

Mark Grove Neighbourhood Centre recently benefited from the works

Over the last few years, a number of council tenants in our area have raised with us issues relating to external parts of their properties that have been wearing out. That includes things like soffits and fascia boards, where old wooden fixtures and fittings have got past their best.

In extreme cases this has resulted in draughts and leaks, sometimes requiring individual repairs, although more often it has just left homes looking a bit worse for wear.

We have been trying to make sure these works are part of the council’s maintenance schedule, so we were pleased to get confirmation that from next month a £4 million investment programme will come to Flanderwell, Sunnyside, Bramley and Wickersley in our ward.

As well as the direct benefit to tenants, the works should also make a visible difference to the appearance of some streets.

Works in other parts of Bramley and to Mark Grove Neighbourhood Centre took place recently, and tenants in our patch who will be affected should have recently received information about the planned works from the council. Further details with individual householders will be finalised closer to the time.

At the May 6th elections, one of our key Labour commitments as part of our Building a Better Borough plan is to deliver a major programme of new council homes, because we know that there are still thousands of people who can’t get a home to call their own at a rent they can afford.

But we also want to ensure that our existing properties are kept up to a high standard, so we are pleased to have been able to secure this investment in our community.

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Labour’s local manifesto to Build a Better Borough

This weekend we’ve set out in detail Labour’s plan for the council over the next three years – our plan to Build a Better Borough.

Starting with the progress made improving the council over the last few years, and the investments made in our recent budget, our plan set out how Labour councillors want to improve every community across Rotherham; halving the number of potholes, increasing investment to keep our streets clean, improving every library.

But it also sets out Labour’s agenda to build a fairer community; 1,000 more council homes to support people stuck on waiting lists, ending rough sleeping, and securing more jobs and the economic recovery after Covid – starting with our Young People’s Pledge to give young people cheaper bus fares and more access to training and work placements, which should begin this June.

As our economy grows, we need the benefits of that to be felt by local people. That’s why we’re committing to securing accredited Real Living Wage status for the council, so fewer people have to survive on poverty pay. It’s why we’ll introduce local labour clauses, so that developments given planning permission are required to offer jobs and training to local people.

We’ll deliver on our regeneration of the town centre – which will bring in £200 million of investment across the public and private sectors. And we will keep our commitment to our Towns and Villages Fund, to improve our local centres across the borough.

And of course we will keep our commitment to high quality Children’s Services, to building the next generation of social care facilities, and to seeing through dealing with the legacy of child sexual exploitation.

It’s the most comprehensive and ambitious Labour agenda ever set out at a local election in Rotherham.

You can read our plans in full by clicking here.

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