Rockingham bucks trend as Labour dominate in Dearne Valley local elections

OYEZ, oyez, there’s a new “kid” in the council chamber!

Labour almost took a clean sweep of Dearne Valley wards in the local elections — but one independent stood firmly in their way.

Rockingham was the only ward in the Weekender patch not to go to Barnsley Council’s ruling party.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Independent candidate Andy Wray had taken time out from campaigning last week to do a town crier’s coronation speech in Hoyland — complete with traditional robes and bell.

And he was headline news himself in the village on Friday, having won a landslide victory in the council elections.

Newly-elected Cllr Wray, who admitted he was shocked by his success, said he planned to be visible on the patch, insisting: “I want to be out there.

“I don’t want to be coming back three years’ time and hearing people saying: ‘No, we’ve never seen this kid’.

“I want to be able to help.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The new independent councillor reiterated that being free from party influence meant he was going to be able to represent the residents without any pressure from the whip.

The hands-on activist had already made a name for himself by filling in potholes on his patch after becoming frustrated they were not being repaired, and providing makeshift litter bins near the new Evri postal depot in Hoyland Common.

Cllr Wray stood with the campaign slogan “Community, community, community” and vowed to stand by his word, revealing calls for help had already begun coming in from residents.

Rockingham’s was the biggest turnout in the area, with more than 30 per cent of eligible voters having their say — a fifth higher than the borough-wide rate of 24.79 per cent.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The result means Rockingham now has two opposition councillors, with Cllr Dave White now in Reform after being elected as a Tory last year.

Elsewhere, Labour won all but one of the seats up for grabs, turning Penistone East red but losing Kingstone to the Lib Dems’ Philip Wright.

Council leader Cllr Sir Steve Houghton said he had “mixed feelings”, adding: “

“We increased our majority but we lost a couple of wards which is really disappointing.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We’re going in the right direction but clearly there is a concern that two colleagues will not be there.”

There were no council elections in Rotherham this year due to a new programme of all-out elections following the town’s CSE scandal.

Voters were not called to the polls in Doncaster either, with all seats to be contested next May.



Benjamin Harrison (Cons), 334; Simon Hulme (LD) 168; Scott Andrew McKenzie (Reform) 374; Trevor Smith (Lab) 912 ELECTED.

Turnout: 22.73%

Dearne North

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Brian John Evans    (LD) 106; Gillian Millner (Cons) 152; Martin Morrell (Lab) 1,048 ELECTED; Maxine Spencer (English Constitution Party) 118; Steve Vajda (Social Democratic Party) 16.

Turnout: 16.95%

Dearne South

Linda Fielding (LD) 81;  Rosemary Jackson (Cons) 162;

Dave Jarvis (SDP) 446; Abi Moore (Lab) 1,066 ELECTED; Janus Polenceusz (English Constitution Party) 37.

Turnout: 19.54%

Hoyland Milton

Michael Davies (Reform) 436; Tom Heyes (Green) 148;

Glenn Lawrence (LD) 179; Cassie Northwood (Ind) 284: Tim Shepherd (Lab)  1.052 ELECTED; Michael John Toon (Cons) 292;-

Angela Ruth Waller (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition) 73.

Turnout: 26.9%


Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Karen Fletcher (TUSC) 21; Brian Gregory (Reform) 277; Mark Highmouch (Cons) 351; Trevor Anthony Mayne (Green) 99; Jane Townsend (Lab) 771; Sue Waters (LD) 99; Andrew Simon Wray (Ind) 1,028 ELECTED.

Turnout: 31.09%


Donna Marie Cutts (Reform) 235; Brenda Eastwood (Lab) 1,426 ELECTED; Robert Welton Green (LD) 159; Debbie Toon (Cons) 233.

Turnout: 20.99%