Friday April 24th. A lovely sunny morning in downtown Dinnington . Spirited campaigners David Smith and Brian Lewis-both Dinnington Town Independent councillors-are betwixt the Spar shop and the open air market doing a fine job of gathering support for Cllr.Smith’s election campaign to be an Independent Borough councillor. Who is this approaching the pair ? Dinnington UKIP councillor Ian Finnie that’s who. Brian Lewis asked Cllr.Finnie why he had not attended more than one Town Council meeting? Ian Finnie took umbrage at this pertinent question and started to get upset, he asked “What’s he (Dave Smith) ever done?” This is a well known diversionary tactic, do not answer the question instead ask another different question. Brian Lewis is nothing if not persistent and eventually an angry Cllr.Finnie replied ” I’ve got a job to go to”. It all started to get heated-toe to toe was the expression used-and finally Dave Smith was able to restore some semblance of peace and order. Being elected as a councillor carries certain responsibilities including attending council meetings to represent your electors. *(You are ‘summoned’ to a council meeting)*. If this is too big a burden then A) Do not stand for election or B) Use your spare time-including evenings and weekends-to find out what your voters need and expect of you. Then campaign on their behalf to the council. Ian Finnie has-as stated-attended one Dinnington Town Council meeting and he stayed for only 20 minutes. He has disappointed his electors and local supporters of UKIP. The Leader of Rotherham UKIP Cllr.Cavan Vines could find this embarrassing given that Cllr.Finnie has a slim majority of 98. *(A Borough Councillor is summoned to attend an RMBC meeting and ‘requested/invited’ to a Town or Parish Council meeting if he/she represents the local area)* It is not unreasonable to ask a Borough councillor to attend Town/Parish meetings so that everyone is kept informed on what progress has been/is being made on local issues.
On with the campaigning and all is going well until…………………………………….. What’s this? Ah yes, Two of RMBC’s former Labour ‘not fit for purpose’ councillors in the forms of Judy Dalton and Jo Burton hove into view. Burton then started to harangue Cllr.Lewis accusing him of saying she had submitted an expenses claim for £11 and subsistence allowance of £6 for something or other.The problem with Labour candidates is they get so used to telling porkies they then get even more confused. Brian Lewis made the allegations against Judy Dalton not Jo Burton some months ago. Burton was somewhat agitated and then accused Cllr.Lewis of ‘Invading her space’. Let’s recap on this shall we? Messrs. Lewis and Smith had been campaigning from their chosen pitch for most of Friday morning whilst lost souls Burton and Dalton were skulking around Dinnington trying to pretend everything is rosy in Labour land (It isn’t, that is why no Labour candidates could be found to contest Dinnington and Anston Council seats) and Burton accused Cllr.Lewis of “invading her space”. Really? When Labour councillors are on the losing side they start a petty argument and throw their toys out the pram, this has been evidenced time and time again at Anston Parish Council meetings and Jo Burton’s behaviour on Friday is typical of Labour’s ‘cornered rat’ syndrome. The Labour party has abandoned this year’s Rotherham Borough elections and chooses instead to try to disrupt and discredit other candidates who have moral integrity, honesty and the courage to root out and fight the corrupt stench that turned the name of Rotherham into a bad joke on Labour’s watch.