LABOUR sweep the board in local elections

LABOUR swept the board in the Dinnington and Maltby-area wards in the Rotherham Council elections.

There were no shock results in Anston and Woodsetts, Dinnington, Holderness, Maltby or Wales.

Voters in all five wards returned their existing Labour councillors for another term.

Controversially the BNP came second in Maltby and third in Holderness.

In some wards the turn-out was double that of previous local elections, boosted by the general election.

The biggest majority of 1,657 went to Gerald Smith, of Holderness, who won 2,891 votes.

Mr Smith said: "It's terrific. I didn't expect a majority as big as this."

"I am as fully committed to Holderness now as I was when I was first elected 31 years ago."

"We had a big turn-out and as we went round the polling stations we saw people queueing. The biggest concerns people had when we were campaigning were the economy and potholes."

He didn't appear overly concerned about the BNP vote and said: "It's the first time we've had a BNP candidate and he's a local lad so I thought he'd do quite well."

Amy Rushforth, daughter of Rother Valley MP Kevin Barron, who was himself celebrating re-election, was returned with 1,992 votes – a majority of 1,182.

Second was BNP candidate Michael Burke who had been hoping to follow the success of fellow party member Will Blair who was elected to the council two years ago.

Mr Burke said: "I'm pleased with the result because it's the first time I've run and I would run again."

"I've been getting a good reaction from people and have been asked for more leaflets. People everywhere are concerned about immigration."

Jacquie Falvey was returned in Dinnington with a majority of 1,129 votes and in Wales Jennifer Whysall beat her Conservative rival by 483 votes.

But it was a closer run contest in Anston and Woodsetts where 223 votes separated Labour's Jo Burton and nearest rival Conservative Simon Edmundson.

Jo said: "It was a tough fight. It was very close, they fought a good campaign and so did we."

"I want to do justice now to the confidence people have shown in me."

Kevin Barron's parliamentary rival, Conservative Lynda Donaldson, regained her council seat in the Hellaby ward with 2,254 votes – a majority of 284.

And she warned that Mr Barron's reduced majority was a sign of things to come.

After being declared the winner in Hellaby she said: "It's a good result backing up the strong level we took of the vote in the Rother Valley and we have clearly demonstrated that change is coming. We will continue to build on our six years in Hellaby."

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