Email error lets slip Labour’s ‘key’ areas ahead of local elections in Rotherham

Rotherham Town HallRotherham Town Hall
Rotherham Town Hall
“KEY wards” being prioritised by Labour in the local elections have been revealed in an email accidentally sent to an independent councillor.

The party’s new organiser contacted members of the ruling party, but mistakenly included Cllr Michael Bennett-Sylvester.

The email said: “We have several key wards that we need to win in this election, these are: Rother Vale, Dinnington, Maltby East, Hellaby & Maltby West, Aston & Todwick, Rotherham West, Rawmarsh West.”

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Cllr Bennett-Sylvester suggested that Labour “do their homework” – and said: “This is why Labour voted for a back-dated increase in allowances, to help them pay for a new organiser via their allowance levy.”

December’s five per cent increase on the £11,471-a-year basic allowance was back-dated to April, and members of the ruling group contribute a portion of this to party funds.

Cabinet member Cllr David Roche, responding on social media, said: “In every election, and often in between, we have an organiser, and that includes the years we voted ourselves a pay cut.”

It is understood that Labour has put new procedures in place to prevent a recurrence of the email error.

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The last all-out elections in 2021 returned RMBC’s biggest opposition contingent in recent years. The Tories went from zero to 20 seats, although this number has dropped to 15.

Labour currently holds only five of the 16 seats across the seven wards identified as key in the organiser’s email.

A spokesperson for the Labour Party said: “Now more than ever we need Labour representing communities at all levels, to put an end to Conservative chaos which has blighted the lives of local people by crashing the economy, wrecking our healthcare service, and letting criminals free on our streets.

“Labour will get Britain’s future back with our plan to grow the economy, deliver two million more NHS appointments a year, and to take back our streets from gangs, drug dealers and fly-tippers.”

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When the pay rise was adopted in December, sources suggested that back-dating to spring 2023 had been a sweetener for the outgoing Labour councillors who have been deselected or are choosing not to stand this May.

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