Independent councillors allowed back on committees after resolution at Rotherham Town Hall

INDEPENDENT councillors are allowed back on committees after a solution was found and a fresh vote taken at Rotherham Town Hall.

The RMBC elected members not belonging to political parties had been barred from seats in other meetings after one took a stand at the May meeting.

Cllr Michael Bennett-Sylvester voted against the arrangements over the long-standing councillors who were at the infamous 2005 CSE seminar still being chairs.

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Under national rules, an independent voting down the committee set-up bars all independents from any involvement - even though RMBC did not enact the legislation when Cllr Bennett-Sylvester voted the same way in 2021 and 2022.

The item brought to last week’s full council meeting did not include voting for the chairs, and this was approved without dissent.

It means Cllrs Bennett-Sylvester, Ian Jones, Tracey Wilson and Rob Elliott can continue their efforts to formally scrutinise RMBC’s work.

“We’ve got four free thinking independents who aren't part of a group or have any whips back on committees, and I haven't put my hand up to say it's okay for those who knew what was happening in Rotherham to chair committees,” said Cllr Bennett-Sylvester.

“I'd call that a result.

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“We had a grown up discussion among the four of us about who could best serve with their talents well and are all ready to serve.

“We do have questions for the future and, if re-elected next year, I'll take the same stance.

“Regardless of the law or procedures, it's just plain wrong that my voting with my conscience should see a collective punishment on other independents.”

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