Conservatives select Barnsley-based businessman Clive Watkinson as South Yorkshire mayoral candidate

The Conservative Party has selected their candidate vying to become the next elected mayor of South Yorkshire.

By George Torr, Local Democracy Reporter
Thursday, 10th March 2022, 10:55 am

Clive Watkinson, who is the managing director of Barnsley-based furniture retailer firm J C Snell, was chosen to become the Tory candidate following a members selection process on Wednesday night (March 9).

Mr Watkinson is also a director of Barnsley and Rotherham Chamber of Commerce.

Tory bosses said his campaign would focus on transport infrastructure, helping businesses ‘make the most of global opportunities’ and working closely with the Government.

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Clive Watkinson has been selected as the Conservative candidate for South Yorkshire mayor

Mr Watkinson said he hoped to follow the example of Tory mayors in Teesside and the West Midlands where the party upset the odds beating Labour in their historic strongholds.

He added that he was ‘thrilled’ to be selected by members and will hope to unseat Labour come election day where voters head to the polls on May 5.

The businessman, a former deputy chairman of the South Yorkshire Conservatives, also stood for Parliament in 2005 in the now abolished Barnsley West & Penistone seat coming second to Labour.

He said: “South Yorkshire has always been my home and I understand the people, the issues and what needs to be done to solve them. I cannot wait to get campaigning to talk to people about my plans and priorities to improve the lives of everyone living and working here.

“We have a huge potential here in South Yorkshire and as Mayor I want to unlock that and create a real powerhouse that will benefit every single person and every business in the region.

“To help this region grow and thrive, my campaign will focus on improving our transport infrastructure, not just in Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham, but across the whole area, including our links to Manchester and the North West.

“I want to help cut bureaucracy for both individuals and businesses, I want less form filling, less pointless meetings and more action. Brexit has released us from EU bureaucracy and I’ll make use of that to create new opportunities for all.

“I will be the strong voice South Yorkshire needs, and I’ll take everyone with me rather than taking them for granted.

“But I also want my campaign to show my passion for my home county and knowledge andexperience I have gained from living and working here and why this makes me the best candidate to become South Yorkshire mayor.”

Other candidates running for South Yorkshire mayor include:

Simon Biltcliffe – Yorkshire PartyOliver Coppard – LabourBex Whyman – Green Party