Yes we know the elections are in May, but all candidates have now declared and there are insufficient numbers for Anston Parish Council and Dinnington Town Council.
What does this mean? Anyone who nominated themselves is now a Councillor and the big news is that the Labour Party has done one in Dinnington and Anston, they have vanished!
Labour big guns like Iain Saint John, Judy Dalton, Jo Burton, Dominic Beck and Simon Tweed have stood down leaving the field clear for a mass of mainly independent candidates.
Ralph McIver has also chosen not to continue as Dinnington’s chair, is no longer on the Council and no longer a member of the Labour party.
Indeed as has been pointed out even former Labour Cllrs who have re-joined do not seem to be describing themselves as Labour.
Anston Parish Council will be John Ireland (current chair and Borough candidate), Gordon Jarvis (current Cllr) and Philip Matthews for South and Clive Jepson (current Cllr and one of the few independent Borough Cllrs in South Yorkshire), Ivan Machin, Myles Manship (campaigner for Anston Skate Park), Christine Sadler, Drew Tarney, Stuart Thornton (current Cllr) and Paul Vernon for North.
Dinnington Town Council will be Leslie Clarke (Salvation Army), Pauline Davies (Former chair), Brian Lewis (Political agitator crossed with a flying picket!), William Loftus, Andrew Milner, Roy Mugglestone (current Cllr), Paula Russell (current Cllr), Steven Scott (Current Cllr) and Dave Smith (current Cllr, former NUM President and politico at large for Dinnington).
Why has Labour rode off into the sunset? A few theories doing the rounds:
1. After the CSE scandal in Rotherham the knives were out (metaphorically) for certain Labour councillors who had held responsibility in the past for child protection. Possible.
2. Shame? Never stopped them standing before?
3. Parish and Town Councillors don’t get paid? Probably the favourite explanation for the withdrawal of former Borough Cllrs! Many Borough Cllrs used the Parish and Town as a platform to drive their personal priorities and fiefdoms, now with these people stepping down from the Borough due to the problems in Rotherham, Parish and Town level does nothing for them.
4. They just got tired. There has been a lot more scrutiny of their actions over the last few years and many of them were conscripts and not battles hardened. Basically they ran away.
If anyone else has further theories, however wacko just leave a comment.