Polls open for all-out Rotherham Borough Council election

VOTERS go to the polls today in the first-ever all-out Rotherham Borough Council elections.

Ruling party Labour said it worked harder than ever on the campaign trail, while UKIP members are eyeing an historic victory.

Labour's manifesto includes commitments to improving children's services, roads and jop opportunities.

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UKIP group leader Caven Vines said if his party took control, it would hand scrutiny duties to opposition members to improve fairness within the chamber.

The Conservatives' Chris Middleton said his party could help the town "recover its reputation following the child grooming scandal".

The Liberal Democrats vowed to fight for positive and progressive change across the borough.

The party will contest wards in Keppel (Janice Middleton), Hoober (Steve Scutt), Brinsworth (Adam Carter)  Wales (Alan Marshall) and Wath (A Staples-McCall).

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Chair of Rotherham and Barnsley Liberal Democrats Janice Middleton said: “We are determined to support developments in the following areas:

“Safeguarding, by making sure that numbers of police and social workers are maintained.

“Employment opportunities need to be improved by developing higher levels of training.

“Rotherham needs more council houses to supply the increasing need.

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“The National Health Service needs to be linked with Social Care to enable the correct form of treatment/care for patients to be given at the appropriate point.

“Care for the elderly – care homes in Rotherham are too often judged to be less than adequate. On-going training for all carers and other staff needs to be embedded as elderly members of our community deserve the best care.

"Fracking ‑ as licences for research have been given we will keep the public aware of developments and when needed oppose suggestions which are dangerous to people or the environment.

“Our candidates will fight for positive and progressive change to benefit everyone.

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“The Liberal Democrats are determined to give the people of Rotherham a wider range of political choice.”

The Green Party, which established its own Rotherham branch in March, said the party's policies include championing communities, public transport, clean air and opposing academy schools.

Sixty three seats in Rotherham’s council chamber will be contested by 163 candidates. The borough’s unprecedented all-out election was ordered as part of a package of Government measures after the CSE scandal.


Labour is fielding 63 candidates, UKIP 41, Conservatives 23, Greens 13, independents 13, Lib Dems five, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition three and Yorkshire First two.

Councillors will remain in post until 2020.

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Voters will also be electing a new police and crime commissioner at the polls tomorrow.

The five candidates battling it out are Labour’s Dr Alan Billings, UKIPs Gavin Felton, Joe Otten for the Liberal Democrats, Conservative Ian Walker and David Allen, of the English Democrats.

Votes in the council elections will be counted at Magna on Friday. 

Visit www.rotherhamadvertiser.co.uk and follow our reporter Gareth Dennison on Twitter (@GarethAtWork) for the results as they are announced.