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What matters to you about Rotherham? Whatever needs changing in the town, you could be the person to change it by becoming a local councillor.
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (MBC) can only be as effective, relevant and vibrant as the people elected to run it. Decisions made by councillors affect the lives of everyone in the area in countless ways, from education to housing and regeneration, community safety, environment, roads and helping local businesses to thrive.
Rotherham Council is changing for the better and we need councillors who are capable, energetic and engaged, with a commitment to local people and a passion for change. If you think this might be you, take our quiz to find out more.
Councillors are the elected representatives of Rotherham MBC. They are elected for four years unless they are elected at a by-election, in which case they must stand again at the next normal election for the seat.
Representing people in Rotherham, understanding the issues and concerns they face and being taking action is the most important task that any councillor undertakes. Significantly, it is also often the role that local people value most.
Rotherham MBC comprises 21 wards, all of which have three councillors representing its residents – making a total of 63 councillors. You can find out about the political make-up of the council here.
The council is currently overseen by five Government-appointed Commissioners. They take all decisions previously taken by the Council’s Cabinet and Licensing Board, and have a range of other powers. The council is working closely with the Commissioners to improve it for residents, and you could be an essential part of the changes.
Councillor Eve Rose is a very busy person. As one of Rotherham’s newest councillors – elected in May of this year – she combines her work as local member for the Swinton ward with her job as a priest in the Church of England and full-time hospital chaplain.
London-born Eve has made Rotherham what she describes as her “forever home” after meeting and marrying a local man. She had been considering standing as a councillor for a while before actually deciding that the time was right for her. She was keen to stress that a lack of formal qualifications is absolutely no bar to being an effective councillor, and a passion for the place and its people is the key to doing a great job.
“As a local councillor you can really help people, you can actually make the the changes happen that you and the people around you want to see,” she said. “Anyone can be involved. If you are proud of the area that you live in and you want to make Rotherham a better place, then this could really be for you.”
You could say that becoming a local councillor was a natural progression for Jeanette Mallinder. She has spent many years working in the community, supporting vulnerable people and their carers through difficult times, signposting them to help and support and fighting for their rights.
Alongside her experience in health and social care, Jeanette has seen life from a range of different perspectives, but helping people and making a real difference to their lives is what really motivates her. She was elected to represent Rotherham’s Dinnington ward in the local election of May 2015.
“Coming from a mining village and living in a close community setting, I grew up with a strong sense of fairness and equality for all. It’s really important to me that everyone in our society should have the same access to the services they need, and understand where they can go if they need help,” said Cllr Mallinder.
“A councillor’s work is not necessarily about experience and qualifications – it’s about passion, commitment and a love of where you live. Being a councillor can be a tough job – you are effectively on call and available whenever someone needs you but the hard work and commitment bring reward.
“There are lots of people out there in our communities who have the potential to take on the job, and probably don’t even realise it – yet. Hopefully this campaign will change that – bring new people forward who understand the size and scope of the task, but are up for the challenge and time commitment required.”
Caven Vines has always lived in Rotherham, and began his working life in the Sheffield steel industry, where he trained as a mechanical engineer and earned a Masters Degree in the subject. He went on to specialise in water treatment and travelled to many countries – many in the developing world – to work on providing safe drinking water for communities.
Married with three adult children and two grandchildren, Cllr Vines is one of three members elected to represent Rotherham’s Rawmarsh ward and he also leads the Borough Council’s largest opposition group of councillors. He previously spent two years as an independent councillor in Rotherham West ward.
“I’m a local man at heart, and feel very passionately about the issues that affect us all, including the trauma which unemployment brings to individuals and their families, having been through it myself,” said Cllr Vines.
“Being a councillor is all about doing all you can to make things better for people who live and work in your local area. Sometimes this can be through a major project or initiative, but other times, it can be something relatively small that changes lives – helping to fundraise for the local park; supporting community groups, or leading the fight against anti social behaviour.
“I am a very outspoken individual, who is well-known for voicing the opinions, issues and concerns of local people, and I believe in simple common sense policies,” said Cllr Vines. “There must be lots of other people out there in the community who have considered standing for election in the past. Hopefully this campaign will encourage them to take it a step further and find out more.”
Take the quiz to find out whether you are eligible to stand to be a councillor.
Provide contact details, at the end of the quiz and we’ll be in touch about the upcoming learning and development sessions.
If you’d like to find out more about being a councillor for a political party please visit:
A summary publication that outlines the role of a councillor and how the council works, gives perspectives from existing councillors and provides contact details for further information.
An interactive workbook, providing a more detailed, practical understanding of the role of a councillor.
How can I find out about upcoming training and development sessions?
Email Virginia Ponton at Virginia.firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m not sure about whether I am eligible to be a councillor at next year’s election. How can I find out?
I would like to be a candidate for a political party. Who should I contact?
For contact information about each of the political groups, please see the tab above this one named ‘How do I become a councillor in Rotherham’.
How can I stand for council without joining a political party?
You can stand for council without belonging to a political party. You might find it helpful to read the Electoral Commission’s guidance for independent candidates.
I am still unsure. Can I talk to someone?
If you would like to talk about whether or not to apply, please email Judith.email@example.com.