Cabinet member may be among councillors in danger of deselection in Rotherham

Cllr Dominic Beck, the cabinet member for transport and environmentCllr Dominic Beck, the cabinet member for transport and environment
Cllr Dominic Beck, the cabinet member for transport and environment
A cabinet member – and one-time parliamentary candidate for Rother Valley – may be one of the councillors who could face deselection in Rotherham.

Coun Dominic Beck, the cabinet member for transport and environment, could be gone as a Labour councillor in next year’s local elections, a source told the local democracy service.

Coun Beck has been on the council for 12 years and he was also picked to be Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Rother Valley last year.

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He later stood down over criticism related to his position in a cabinet that resigned in 2015 following the release of a report into child sexual exploitation in Rotherham.

At a cabinet meeting this week, Coun Simon Ball, the leader of the opposition, asked the council leader about the deselection rumours.

Coun Ball said: “It is understood that several councillors have been prevented from standing in next year’s local elections by the national Labour Party, including the deputy mayor (Coun Sheila Cowen), at least one cabinet member and also the chair of the planning committee (Coun Alan Atkin), and one that’s already resigned (Coun Stuart Sansome) forcing a by-election.

“Why, if your party thinks they are not fit to be Rotherham councillors are they still in their positions this morning?”

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Coun Chris Read, the leader of the council, said he was not going to comment on “what is an ongoing Labour Party process”.

He added, however, that no councillor has been deselected or selected by the Labour Party just yet.

Coun Read said: “Coun Sansome has clearly stood down from the council and he has his own reasons for doing that – and I haven’t spoken to him, I don’t know what they are.

“But beyond that, factually, at this moment in time, no one has either selected or deselected.”

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Coun Ball, in a supplementary question, asked Coun Read if they (the said councillors) were to be deselected, would he “remove them immediately”?

The leader of the council said he wasn’t going to speculate about “what might happen”.

A source told the Local Democracy Service that “a number of them (councillors) failed their interviews for reselection for next year”.

A Labour spokesperson said: “We do not comment on any individual cases because our internal procedures are confidential.”

Coun Beck and Coun Atkin have not responded to a request for comment.