Conservatives win by-election in Dinnington, keeping the town all blue

The Local Conservatives claimed victory in a key by-election in Dinnington, with the town remaining a Tory stronghold ahead of next year’s general election and all-out local elections.
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Local Conservatives candidate and business owner, Julia Hall, came out on top last night as she was announced the winner of the by-election in Dinnington, beating Labour by 244 votes.

She was able to increase her party’s vote share in the historic mining town after her predecessor, former Conservative councillor Charlie Wooding, stepped down from Rothertham Council following a suspension over attendance issues.

Ms Hall told the Local Democracy Service: “I’m excited, proud. I can’t wait to represent the ward where my family lives and my business is.

Alexander Stafford MP with Julia Hall, the Conservative candidate for DinningtonAlexander Stafford MP with Julia Hall, the Conservative candidate for Dinnington
Alexander Stafford MP with Julia Hall, the Conservative candidate for Dinnington

“I loved being part of a team, they are amazing. It’s just nice and I’m humbled. I’m a little bit speechless – which is not me. It’s overwhelming, I think. I’ll do my best.

“I just love people and helping people, so that’s all I want to do. I’m ready.”

Alexander Stafford, the Rother Valley MP, was very much involved in the campaign.

He said Ms Hall’s win sent a clear message: the Conservatives are “here to stay” in the Rother Valley.

Mr Stafford said: “It’s a clear vindication that the Conservatives are winning in Rother Valley and winning in Dinnington.

“It’s a very, very good win; better than last time and it shows we’re here to stay.

“It’s a clear message from Dinnington that we’re not going to be neglected by Rotherham Council.

“We’ve got £12m from the government, we have to make sure Rotherham Council spends it wisely. The other message was to stop building in the green belts and start listening to us now.

“Rotherham needs to remember that it’s a borough council, not just a town council.”

Ms Hall is joining fellow Conservative councillors Sophie Castledine-Dack and Ben Whomersley in Dinnington.

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  • Julz Hall, Local Conservatives 1064
  • Tony Harrison, Reform UK 61
  • Peter Robert Key, Yorkshire Party 28
  • Paul Neville Martin, The Green Party 59
  • Matt Mears, Liberal Democrats 262
  • Dave Smith, Independent 196
  • John Vjestica, Labour Party 820
  • Electorate: 9,117
  • Ballot Papers Issued: 2,496
  • Spoilt papers: 6
  • Turnout: 27.38 per cent.

Rotherham Council leader, Labour’s Chris Read said they had had a “strong campaign” and made some progress but it wasn’t enough this time.

He said: “I’m disappointed, of course. We thought we had a strong campaign. We made some progress from where we were two years ago in this part of the world.

“We clearly didn’t get the result we’d hoped for. We know that the Tories put a huge amount of effort for the last six months into this and, clearly, we weren’t able to persuade enough people that there was a strong Labour alternative for this moment in time.

“I think as we move towards the general election, people’s focus turns to who we want to run this country. I think people might take a different view.”

When he was asked about Ms Hall, Cllr Read said he welcomed her at town hall and he was looking forward to working with her.

Coun Read added: “I genuinely respect anybody who stands for election, who wants to represent their community – 99.9 per cent of the people who do it, do it for all the right reasons.”