Labour sees by-election as ‘an opportunity’ to send Tories a message

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The Labour Party wants to send a message to the government and the local Conservatives in next month’s by-election in Dinnington.

After Cllr Charlie Wooding, who was suspended pending an internal investigation by the leader of the opposition at Rotherham Town Hall, stepped down, a by-election was triggered for July 13 in Dinnington.

Mr Wooding was a first-time councillor after winning in the last local elections in 2021 with a clear majority – in fact, he received the most votes in the ward.

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Labour is yet to name its candidate for the by-election but Jake Richards, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Rother Valley, told the Local Democracy Service that they see the by-election as “an opportunity”.

Rotherham Town Hall.Rotherham Town Hall.
Rotherham Town Hall.

He said: “After 13 years of Tory government, people in Dinnington are struggling with the cost of living crisis and our public services and infrastructure is broken.

“People are waiting weeks for a GP appointment in Dinnington, the local sewage system is overflowing, and the bus service is a disgrace. They promised to level up, but have cut funding to Dinnington and given more money to the South East than Yorkshire.

“The last Tory councillor didn’t show up for a meeting in six months. This by-election is an opportunity to send the government and the local Tories a message: we will not be taken for granted.”

He added the party’s candidate would be selected this week.

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The Conservative Party has already named Julia Hall, the owner of Julz Boutique from Dinnington high street, as their candidate for the vacant seat and Dinnington Town Council chair Dave Smith is standing as well.

The candidates have until June 16 to submit their nomination papers.

Residents in Dinnington ward have until midnight on June 27 to register to vote if they are not already on the electoral register and the deadline for new postal votes or to change or cancel existing postal and proxy votes is the day after, at 5pm on June 28.

The deadline for applying to vote by proxy is 5pm on July 5.