I WANT to thank all the reporters at the Advertiser. The Advertiser’s March 4 headline reporting that Cllr Jon Ireland was found to have brought both RMBC and Anston Parish Council into disrepute, demonstrated once again the key role that the Rotherham Advertiser plays in our local democracy.
Time and time again the Advertiser is not scared to criticise or report any story about any local politician that is failing the people of Rotherham. It is a good job that they are standing up for the people of Rotherham, because the political leaders certainly aren’t.
As expected, as another scandal hits Anston & Woodsetts Labour party, the Rotherham Labour leadership is deafening in its silence.
This follows recent stories in the Rotherham Advertiser regarding Labour council candidate Jo Carr and her “misjudged” Facebook posts regarding child sexual exploitation. Not forgetting Labour’s Katherine Wilson being automatically removed from council last year for her non-attendance, leaving Anston & Woodsetts without full representation during the pandemic.
Each time it has been the Advertiser tirelessly calling out the wrongs and each time Labour’s leaders fail to act.
Locally in Anston parish the only other source of local news is the main online social media community forum which is run and administered by none other than Cllr Ireland. No criticism or reporting allowed of his recent misdemeanor; no criticism of RMBC allowed; successes of councillors and RMBC happily posted; any political opponents blocked and their messages deleted. A North Korean dictator would approve of the Anston fiefdom he has created online. For writing this letter l will certainly be branded at best a troll or at worst a Tory — neither of which I will point out is accurate.
Hopefully one day your paper may consider investigating concerns on how local online community forums are run as political tools. In the meantime, I am thankful in North and South Anston we have the Advertiser to at least enable local reporting of elected officials and holding them to account for their actions. A strong counterbalance to the online propaganda.
The continued mini-soap opera of the actions of Labour party councillors and candidates in Anston and Woodsetts would be entertaining if it wasn’t so serious. The Rotherham Labour leadership prefer to ignore their candidates’ failings, as long as these people fall in line and stay loyal.
As we cannot rely on the leaders to take a moral stance when councillors fail their electorate, I am glad the Advertiser is here to hold them all to account. We have seen you take on Tories, Labour, UKIP, RDP and independents in the past who have failed us. Please continue to do so. Long let your paper prosper.
J Smith, Rackford Road, North Anston