Chris Read – another Leader for now?

News doing the rounds, Labour Group has chosen Chris Read as the new Leader for now!

Rotherham Labour Group Choose New Leaders

At a meeting last night, Rotherham’s Labour councillors elected Councillor Chris Read as their new Group leader, and Councillor Gordon Watson as Deputy Leader.

Councillor Read, 32, has represented the Wickersley ward since 2011.

Councillor Watson was elected for the Wales ward in 2012.

Click this link to learn more about Leader Reed

39 thoughts on “Chris Read – another Leader for now?

    • Rotherlad

      Both Read (and his partner Hoddinott) are full time Unison representatives paid for out of the public purse and employed by North Yorks Council. In addition, they are both paid from the public purse for a SECOND time as councillors for RMBC. Nice one if you can get it.

      They have worked and carved out ‘careers’ from the public purse and would prove more endearing to the Rotherham electorate if they got a proper job and learned some of life’s invaluable experiences at their tender ages. There are a few more like them who are also RMBC councillors.

      More worryingly, Read’s new ‘tenure’ of stepping into disgraced Hoddinott’s shoes smacks of similarities with Shaun Wright when he thought his wife could keep his councillor seat warm when he became SYPCC. A neat way to keep up to date with RMBC business and allow a spouse (or partner) to contribute to decision making via the bed pillow.

      In Wright’s case, he completely underestimated the local electorate in Rawmarsh who had long sussed him out (and his arrogance). Caven Vines was duly elected as the first UKIP councillor in Rotherham. The same ward re elected him in 2014 and the rest is history. Read (and Hoddinott) need to take notice.

      Now wasn’t Gordon Watson seen on TV as part of the Union rent a mob outside the UKIP shop a couple of weeks ago? Not least, why was he protesting when he should have been at work teaching at Maltby Academy? It was not a school holiday and it was inappropriate Union business to leave a classroom to usurp democracy.

      Please note Ian Thomas as his absence would not be suitable grounds for Leave of Absence with or without Pay or as appropriate Union business.

      Oh and not forgetting, Watson was interviewed on the Town Hall steps by Channel 4 two days after denying Casey’s findings along with his Labour cronies? Oh dear.


  1. After Louise Casey’s explosive report why would NYCC want Hoddinot back? She has been exposed as a complete and utter failure, having said that the ‘revolving door’ syndrome in the public sector is what keeps unsuitable people in highly paid posts.
    Is it a case of ‘I’ll support Read if he helps me get back to NYCC’?


  2. Everybody asked for change, well now we’ve got it. So I suggest we leave them alone to get on with the job and judge by results. Good luck to both of them.


    • No, we asked for and were promised a fresh start, what we’ve got is little more than a reshuffle – AGAIN. Just like the fresh start we were given after the Jay report.


    • @blade.
      ” and judge by results”
      They were judged. By Louise Casey. ‘Not fit for purpose’ was the verdict.
      Chris Read is a nowhere man going nowhere.
      Or are you seriously suggesting that because they are Labour party members they can do no wrong?


      • We left the Labour Party to get on with the job. And look what as happened. We have had the results of their last years. And it is horrifying what as been allowed to go on, and None will take their responsibilities and say we have failed Rotherham in a big way.We are awaiting who will take responsibility for the situation of Not Fit for Purpose.


  3. Same old, same old, no matter how many times you change the furniture around and varnish it, it’s still the same old rotten piece. Lessons learned , change of culture, working for the people, tired old platitudes which will be falling on deaf ears. Time for a strong laxative , roll on May elections.


    • These two Labour apparatchiks were comfortable with the way things were, until just the other day. Bullied by some councillors determined to corrupt the entire body politic in Rotherham!
      Neither of these miserable specimens, changed anything then, so why would we expect anything more than ‘business as usual’ now, and into the future?
      Read is up in May for the Wickersley Ward, wouldn’t fancy his chances of re-election? Remember Keith Billington? He lost, when his voters completely lost confidence in him, as then, it is the Wickersley voters that will be deciding that!


  4. I don’t know Chris Read or Gordon Watson, and as far as I know I’ve never met either of them.

    Rotherham, Rotherham Council and the Labour Party in Rotherham (and dare I mention South Yorkshire Police) all need a fresh start – we also need justice for the victims in the form of prosecutions and sackings.

    For the Labour Party, it will take a new generation of party members to take over before there’s a fresh start without any link to the CSE scandal and the rest. However, Chris Read and Gordon Watson have only been on the Council 3 or 4 years, so this represents a fresh start of sorts.

    No doubt there are some UKIPers who would like to see Labour wiped out, and have a council with just 61 UKIP councillors (I’m seem to remember that Labour nearly achieved a Council where there were only Labour Councillors in the 1990s – I think they were 1 short at one point). Well this would be as bad for Rotherham as a Council that was totally Labour dominated. Only the most anti-democratic out there wouldn’t want to see a fit for purpose Labour Party in Rotherham. Let’s hope this is a small step towards getting a fit for purpose Labour Party.


    • Nice sentiment, but you risk being lynched for harbouring such woolly thoughts on this site. Don’t you know only the collective hanging of any and all Labour party members – past, present and future – from the town’s lamp posts will suffice?


      • To be fair, some of them should be hung from the lampposts for the failure to carry out their responsibilities and for their part in the council being declared not being fit for purpose!

        I am inclined to agree with you Andrew that a total fresh start is needed but history shows that this type of political fresh start doesn’t happen over night. As others have mentioned, where are these new fresh Labour faces coming from? As for Read and Watson, I know nothing about them and wish them luck with their monumental task BUT the elephant in the room is still there i.e. the Labour group in Rotherham is still made up of the same individuals who brought us the CSE scandal and a council not fit for purpose.

        I suspect (unfortunately) that despite these relatively new and untarnished faces heading up the Labour run council, the same old faces will still be in the background pulling the strings with the inevitable result of continuing denial, lack of transparency and blaming others for the mistakes they were responsible for.

        As for UKIPers wanting to see the labour party wiped out and have a council full of just UKIP members, its no different to what the Labour party wanted which was a one party dominated council. They succeeded in doing this in Rotherham for maybe 30-40 years without so much as a whimper from labour supporters that it was undemocratic or bad for Rotherham.

        Its funny now that the writing is on the wall for Labour that its suddenly bad to have a one party dominated council. I’m afraid its typical of the hypocrisy of the modern Labour party at both local and national level.

        (For the record, I personally would like to see a much more balanced council whereby no one was in overall control but where agreement and consensus were achieved by means of proper debate and discussion).

        The B.


    • Sorry Andrew but we do NOT want an all labour council ever again you can see what happens when one party has power for so long it becomes arrogant and complace nt we need a council for the people who will help the victims of this terrible scandal perpetrated by Labour and the South Yorkshire Police nothing they say or do can ever make this go away


    • Anyone who has been in post with the Labour Party in Rotherham for 4 years is tainted, unless they’ve been shouting from the rooftops about CSA, and i can’t recall any doing that.

      People remaining who stayed silent for 4 years is not anything like a fresh start, of any sorts, promoting one or more of them is, apart from an insult to most peoples intelligence, despicable.


      • Therefore, for consistency, am I correct in assuming that all the existing members of council should resign? After all, this is what Casey said:

        “Whilst the opposition in Rotherham is small, we saw limited evidence of them raising concerns and putting pressure on the leadership. In terms of CSE, we could not find evidence that the opposition had been at all effective in scrutinising and challenging, or active in getting the matter on the agenda.”

        So, Councillor Vines et al had very little to do, but even failed to do that. And, it appears, Councillor Vines brought the same level of incompetence to his membership of the South Yorkshire Police Authority, when he opposed the appointment of someone to take the lead on sexual exploitation.


    • Caven why could they not have appointed yourself as deputy leader at least it would have shown the public they were working with UKIP for the good of the town and victims of the scandal


      • ” why could they not have appointed yourself as deputy leader”
        Good question.
        Unfortunately for the rest of us the Labour party in Rotherham loves power and in many ways they actually did the UKIP opposition party a favour; No cabinet posts, no portion of blame.


      • I’d be interested to see what Caven says but my view is that the Labour party is scared of any opposition (in this case UKIP) and are scared of conceding any power to anyone.

        Judging by the propaganda currently being pumped out by Labour central office, only the Labour party should have a say in how things are done and they are apparently the only party fit to rule. They have a level of arrogance that suggests that they are the only party worthy of being in power.

        If the local Labour party were to work with UKIP it would go against that principle and to the Labour party, their principles mean more than the victims of CSE or the people of Rotherham.


      • Are you serious? Chris Read has been appointed the leader of the Labour group. How on earth do you imagine the Labour group could elect the UKIP group leader as the Labour group leader?


  5. “rodger”
    Yes he was the RMBC Cllr who in front on thousands of viewers denied the Cassey report out right. I just hope someone can come up with the link to the C4 news to publish on this site. What is even more worrying is that Cllr Watson is an Ex Teacher. An ex Teacher denying the Cassey report is not a “fit and proper person” to be serving on RMBC Council.


    • S Thornton
      Watson an ‘ex teacher?’ Oh dear, another Labour councillor with an out of date Declaration of Interest. Notice there’s a lot of activity on Labour Declarations of Interest ‘tidying’ them up. Notice Hoddinott has added ‘ shareholder of Wortley Hall’. .


  6. Just looked at that clip again, sadly I see that Watson says he doesn’t agree with the Casey report (2.40 into the clip).

    So if the new Deputy Leader of Rotherham Council disagrees with the Casey report and is still in denial, does the Labour party really have the willingness or the right people to take the council forward? I doubt it very much.

    Oh dear, perhaps that fresh start might have to wait a while longer.

    The B.


  7. I agree with some of the comments with people concerned about Rotherham going from absolute labour control to absolute ukip control. Rotherham needs a pluralistic democracy, and there is parties rising that need support, especially on the left that could help to create a healthy future for our town and provide scrutiny and accountability in a democratic fashion.


  8. Someone is telling porkies:

    Copied from this morning:

    “The Labour Group has a Leader, Cllr Paul Lakin, a Deputy Leader Cllr Emma Hoddinott as well as 5 Cabinet Members responsible for portfolios that cover the various functions of the council. Cllr Doyle, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care and Health. Cllr Dominic Beck, Cabinet Member for Business Growth and Regeneration. Cllr Mahroof Hussain, Cabinet Member for Environment. Cllr Christine Beaumont, Cabinet Member for Children and Education Services. Cllr Maggie Godfrey, Cabinet Member for Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods.”

    The entire cabinet resigned a fortnight ago in disgrace, Lakin and Hussain resigned as councillors, so you’d have thought they’d have updated this page by now. The decent thing to do would be to put up an apology, wouldn’t it? Or would that be asking too much?


  9. Think about the previous Labour government and the art of spin propounded and promoted by Campbell and McBride. It is easy to understand how ‘massaging the message’ filtered down through the lower ranks to Labour controlled councils As the Casey report mentions RMBC is more concerned with managing its image than managing its problems.
    I would be surprised if 50% of the borough’s residents know any details of what transpired in Rothertham therefore ‘If they don’t ask, don’t tell them’.


  10. I have no party to vote for in rotherham , wonder if others feel the same ?I’m not voting Labour as we need a clean sweep their , Ukip I’m unsure of , Conservative never. What a sorry state we are in 😦 bring on May and let’s see what happens. I don’t want to waste my vote, but what choice have I got ?


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