News of two more!

Thanks to readers it can now be reported that two more of next years crop have fallen on their own swords.

Firstly the veteran Councillor Sheila Walker, currently member for Keppel Ward largely made up of Thorpe Hesley, is standing down opening the way for some genuine fresh blood.

Labour, we have been told, will select their replacement next Wednesday. Should be one to watch!

Secondly, in a surprise move, Jo Burton, serving Labour member for Anston & Woodsetts Ward, has stood down a year early! This will, no doubt, add to the problems facing Anston & Woodsetts Labour as they are now in need of two candidates, with the added complication of quotas for women.

Darren Hughes, remember him? He won his seat four years ago as a Tory*! Defected to Labour and now hopes to be selected by Labour to be one of their candidates. Robin Stonebridge, we also understand is seeking support for his selection, as one of the two labour candidates, unfortunately for one of these two they, as you may have noticed, are both male!

Note: * Anston and Woodsetts Ward: Darren Jason Louis Hughes – A Tory who defected to Labour when the going got tough. This safe Tory seat that Darren Hughes took for them with 1704 votes and a whopping Tory majority of 520! Maybe it will be an uphill struggle for Labour, no matter which donkeys they pin their rosettes on?

Next years crop – badly in need of some weeding or pruning, perhaps?

I thought it might be interesting to take a quick look at sitting councillors on RMBC who would be expecting to be fighting their seats for their party at the local elections next May. Unless their Party tells them otherwise, that is! There are some real lulu’s on this list, for the moment, I will give you the opportunity to examine each of them yourself and maybe the comments might start fingering the real corkers!

Anston and Woodsetts Ward: Darren Jason Louis Hughes – The Conservative Labour Party Candidate – 1704 (520)
Boston Castle Ward: Mahroof Hussain – The Labour Party Candidate – 1545  (641)
Brinsworth and Catcliffe Ward: John Eric Gamble – BNP – 1430  (61)
Dinnington Ward: Simon Tweed – The Labour Party Candidate – 979 – (117)
Hellaby Ward: John Turner  – The Conservative Party Candidate – 1865 (1096)
Holderness Ward: Hilda Landells Jack – The Labour Party Candidate – 1311  (515)
Hoober Ward: Frank Hodgkiss – The Labour Party Candidate – 1322 (465)
Keppel Ward: Sheila Walker – The Labour Party Candidate – 1069 – (184)
Maltby Ward: Will Blair – British National Party – 702 (18)
Rawmarsh Ward: Glyn Whelbourn – The Labour Party Candidate – 1291 (369)
Rother Vale Ward: Jeb Nightingale – The Labour Party Candidate – 1161 (392)
Rotherham East Ward: Maurice Richard Kirk – The Labour Party – 1163 (559)
Rotherham West Ward: Kath Sims – The Labour Party Candidate – 1227  (269)
Silverwood Ward: Ann Russell – The Labour Party Candidate – 1044 (138)
Sitwell Ward: Middleton, Christopher Norman The Conservative Party Candidate 1213
Swinton Ward: Ken Wyatt – The Labour Party Candidate – 1341 (332)
Valley Ward: Simon Currie – The Labour Party Candidate – 982 (171)
Wales Ward: Thomas Anthony Fenoughty – The Conservative Party -1275 (377)
Wath Ward: Alan Gosling – The Labour Party Candidate – 1461 (619)
Wickersley Ward: Martyn Lawton Parker – The Conservative Party – 1355 (100)
Wingfield Ward: Lindsay Johnston – The Labour Party Candidate – 1110 (118)

Undoubtedly the poorest of the three groups of councillors both for Labour and the Tories!

Rotherham's Cabinet – What No Women!

Councillor Roger Stone Chairman Leader of Council

Councillor Jahangir Akhtar Cabinet Member for Safe and Attractive Neighbourhoods

Councillor John Doyle Member for Health and Social Care

Councillor Mahroof Hussain Member for Community Development and Engagement

Councillor Paul Lakin Member for Children and Young People’s Services

Councillor Richard S. Russell Member for Streetpride

Councillor Iain St. John Member for Cultural Services and Sport

Councillor Terry Sharman Vice-Chairman and responsible for Human Resources, Equalities, Training & Development

Councillor Gerald Smith Member for Economic Development, Planning and Transportation

Councillor Glyn Whelbourn Member for

Councillor Ken Wyatt Member for Resources

At first glance this Cabinet is pretty poor, lacking in talent, vision and ability. Nothing new about that then!

Second glance identifies the glaring omission. No Women at all! How can this be?

Thanks to Labour’s quest for gender equality, there are women Labour councillors but Roger Stone did not feel that any of them were up to it! Is he Right?

Jane Austen, Josephine Burton, Sue Ellis, Jaquie Falvey, Jane Hamilton, Jane Havenhand, Hilda Jack, Lindsay Johnston, Rose McNeely, Amy Rushforth (Kevin Barron’s daughter), Gwendoline Ann Russell, Pat Russell (Wife of R S Russell), Sheila Walker and Jennifer Whysall, have all been rejected by the Council Leader as not talented enough to serve in his Cabinet.

This means that not one of the fifteen female councillors is judged as able enough, by comparison with their male colleagues, to serve as Cabinet Members. Even a cursory glance at some in the Cabinet makes this appear patently ridiculous! There are at least four or five males that serve in the current Cabinet whose abilities are clearly inferior to one or more of the female back bench councillors and indeed, most if not all of their backbench Male colleagues!

Roger Stone is really taking the electorate for fools with this Cabinet. They are pretty well devoid of talent, arrogant, self opinionated and unwilling to listen to anyone but themselves and fully imbued with Rotherham’s culture of secrecy and Stalinist approach to control of decision making. Rotherham is also being run by a gerontocracy it seems!

We don’t have real democracy in Rotherham and this proves it!

This is just the latest example of Rotherham Labour treating those they are supposed to serve with complete and utter contempt. No wonder the people of Rotherham are disillusioned and more sceptical and cynical than I have ever known in the last thirty years.

Time for a change! I think.

Rik