Ahead of the local council elections on Thursday 6th May, the Labour Party have confirmed that they will contest all of the 59 new seats across the borough.
This will be the first time that elections have been contested on new ward boundaries, with many residents moving to have two – rather than three – councillors for the first time.
34 sitting Labour councillors are seeking re-election, with 25 new faces seeking support to represent communities across Rotherham. The new candidates represent a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences, including:
Carole Foster, a youth worker and community project development officer in Kimberworth with over 25 years experience, and Ben Aveyard who is a support worker in an NHS nursing home working with adults with learning disabilities and complex mental health needs, both in Rotherham West.
Andrew Fenwick-Green, a former soldier who was discharged after 7 years’ service after breaking his back in a parachute accident while serving in The Royal Army Ordnance Corps and Royal Logistics Corps. Andrew will stand alongside his wife, current councillor Deborah Fenwick-Green, in the new Bramley and Ravenfield ward.
Angham Ahmed, who is well known for her work with the charity SENSE which supports people with physical and learning disabilities to lead full and active lives, and who is standing in the new Thurcroft and Wickersley South ward alongside pub landlord and charity fundraiser James Mault.
Richard Hunter, a music teacher, who will stand in Hellaby and Maltby West alongside the current Mayor of Rotherham, Cllr Jenny Andrews.
Rukhsana Haleem, a charity worker for more than a decade, school governor and campaigner against modern slavery, who joins the Rotherham East team.
Sheila Cowen, a retired secondary school teacher of 27 years experience, who is standing in Wath alongside sitting councillor Alan Atkin.
Tony Griffin, a parish councillor, former Children’s Safeguarding Manager and founder of Whiston Wildcats Junior Football Club, and Haroon Rashid who are part of the team trying to unseat current opposition leader Allen Cowles in Sitwell ward.
Beth Marles, a new mum, who is standing in Rawmarsh West, alongside Cllr Bob Bird.
Jo Carr, in Anston and Woodsetts, who has 25 years of experience working in the social housing and voluntary and community sectors, and who has run her own business for the last 7 years.
- Tony Browne, a Commercial Manager for an international shipping company, who is standing in the Keppel wards where he has lived for the last 35 years
- Amanda Clarke, an Environmental Health Officer and Rotherham Heroes volunteer, who will stand alongside sitting councillor Robert Taylor in Aston and Todwick
Overall, more than half of Labour’s candidates are women.
Last week, Labour candidates released their manifesto, “Building a Better Borough”, which sets out 68 specific commitments to residents in the borough. Amongst these are headline commitments to deliver additional investment in street cleaning and additional Streetpride teams, halve the number of potholes in the borough’s roads with a major programme of investment, build 1,000 new council homes and tackle rough sleeping, improve libraries – and continue to prioritise services for the most vulnerable children and families.
Labour’s manifesto can be found in full at: www.rotherhamlabour.org.uk/2021-manifesto.
Cllr Chris Read, Leader of the Labour Group on Rotherham Council, said:
“We have a great line of up candidates who have put themselves forward to represent all parts of the borough at this election. People of different ages and backgrounds that really do represent all different walks of life. Many of them are already known for the work they do in their communities, or for the way that they have stepped up in this extraordinary last year to support those more vulnerable than themselves.
“What unites all of us is the desire to see our communities grow stronger and fairer as we emerge from the pandemic, creating more opportunities for our young people, and continuing to drive improvements in council services. We’ve set out in detail a big agenda about how we will attract investment, improve infrastructure, and prevent people being left behind.
“And whilst of course I want people to elect Labour councillors and a Labour council, I want them to do so confident that we will continue to drive forward the changes that we need to see in Rotherham. Because if Rotherham chooses another road, we know where it leads.
“The Tories in government have already imposed £200 million of cuts, increased the number of families relying on foodbanks, and trebled the number of local people becoming homeless. They’re no friend of our vital public services, and none of their local people has muttered so much as a word of disquiet about it.
“And no matter how often the former UKIP-ers rebrand themselves, the so-called Rotherham Democratic Party is still the same team that recently opposed additional money for street cleaning, library resources and even against more people to answer the phones at the council. We just can’t afford to put our basic services at risk with people who hold those views – and we shouldn’t lower our ambitions for Rotherham at this critical time.”