Local Elections 2021: Candidates for Doncaster mayor role state why they should be elected on May 6

Doncaster voters will get to choose between seven candidates for the position of elected mayor.

Thursday, 6th May 2021, 11:24 am
Updated Thursday, 6th May 2021, 11:43 am

The mayor is the council’s political leader and is elected by constituents on a four-year term of office.

They have executive powers and are responsible for the effective implementation of council policy and delivering services.

They also have eight cabinet members to advise and support them – each cabinet member has a specific portfolio responsibility such as the environment, public health and transport.

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The Civic Office of Doncaster Council in Sir Nigel Gresley Square

Here’s what each candidate has to say on why they should be mayor.

Joan Briggs - Independent

This election is about more than polling day, it’s the moment of truth for every voter to elect a new mayor and have their vote count for something to them and their families.

I am standing because I am a committed, passionate, and experienced resident who cares deeply about Doncaster.

Joan Briggs, an independent candidate for the Doncaster mayoral election

I want to assure people that a vote for me will deliver for every town, village and hamlet, every child and family after the years of severe neglect by successive mayors, that only seem to focus on town centre vanity projects and empty promises that result in nothing for our towns and villages.

In my parish, like every other parish in Doncaster, I have seen first-hand the impact of the poor leadership of Doncaster Council, the loss of Sure Start centres, council owned buildings left to rack and ruin, and council run old people’s homes and youth services vanishing before our eyes, while local charities seem to have to pick up the pieces and deliver more services to the community than ever before by dedicated volunteers.

I will ensure Doncaster Council raises the bar, looks, and acts professionally and finally delivers for the people of Doncaster once and for all.

Andy Budden - Yorkshire Party

Andy Budden, the Yorkshire Party candidate for the Doncaster mayoral election

I served with the Royal Corps of Signals in Germany, Belgium and the Falklands from 1981 until 1993.

On leaving the Army, my wife and I moved to Doncaster, her hometown, with our three children.

Over the last 27 years, I have invested time and energy into helping children as the chairman and head coach of Danum Phoenix junior rugby team. My wife and I have also looked after children for short-term respite care and as foster parents.

I have a depth of experience from serving in the Army, having worked as an apprentice mechanical engineer, a financial advisor, in the printing industry and currently in car sales.

Frank Calladine, an independent candidate for the Doncaster mayoral election

This is all experience I will bring to the role of mayor.

For too long, communities in Doncaster have been forgotten. Providing good-quality homes gives people respect and self-worth, saving money on social services in the long term.

Working with residents, I want to invest in neglected estates, reduce crime and help restore pride in our towns and villages.

Throughout the pandemic, frontline services have gone above and beyond. However, many now feel cheated by Government. As mayor, I will pressure Westminster to match the four per cent increase offered in Scotland and deliver the new hospital.

Frank Calladine - Independent

I have been a committed parish councillor for 15 years in my local community of Adwick Upon Dearne, before moving to Sprotbrough two years ago.

Warren Draper, the Green Party candidate for the Doncaster mayoral election

I am 38-years-old, a father and step father of three children who work and attend local schools. We have a family business in Mexborough.

I have always had the uppermost interests in striving to provide a local voice for the people within the local towns, villages, businesses both large and small.

I feel that as mayor of Doncaster, I would be able to fulfil the many areas which need addressing and improving. We need change, and major development.

The role of an independent mayor is to provide unity between all political parties. So in an unbiased view, and outcome of all issues raised by all people within the local communities can be resolved and implemented.

Issues that need addressing are waste management and fly-tipping, protection of Greenbelt land, protecting flood plains, crime & anti-social behaviour, council services, stopping outsourcing and privatisation, and investing in our future generations by providing apprenticeships.

I give firm commitment to carry out the wishes of the people and not use the position of mayor for any political, personal or financial gain.

Warren Draper - Green Party

I welcomed the council’s decision to declare a Climate and Biodiversity Emergency back in September, 2019. Some Green Party members sat on Ed Miliband’s Climate and Biodiversity Commission (CBC) panel and I welcomed the publication of the first report.

DMBC’s plan to plant 80,000 trees sounded impressive till the Middlefield Road tree fiasco saw 64 healthy trees destroyed before residents and activists persuaded the council to change its policies. But we now need to plant 80,064.

With their fondness for the polluting industries - use of glyphosate, building incinerators, industrial pig farms and airport expansion etc, I concluded that the only way to get a real ‘Green New Deal’ for Doncaster is to stand for mayor myself.

I will support small businesses. Help farms to grow food locally and sustainably, breaking down council contracts, enabling small local businesses to tender for them.

I will follow the Preston model and implement the principles of community wealth building within and across the borough.

For ten years I have worked, helping create Doncopolitan magazine, talking about a new positive vision for our region and at Bentley Urban Farm showing how resources already exist to give everyone in our region healthier, happier lives.

Surjit Duhre - Reform UK

Doncaster needs a mayor for the borough not just a leader of the council.

I will bring the next industrial revolution and major inward investments into our towns, and provide the right solution to the cladding scandal, ensuring lease holders are not punished.

The marketplace needs reinvigorating and brought back into council control. We need to ensure fair tax for the lowest paid.

We must open equal opportunities for all taxi drivers at the train station regardless of sex, religion, colour.

We must reform to ensure that the same person is not the Mayor for more than eight years. I believe in Britain, British values and British laws for which I nearly paid with my life in the last election.

To date my real-life experiences include: a volunteer worker helping young people and crime prevention, a factory worker, a taxi-driver, an engineer, a teacher and as a bank manager. I have a unitary family, I’m a team player, a good follower and have excellent listening skills.

We need a constructive opposition to do the due diligence, checks and balances and ask the right questions that are required for a healthy democracy. Reform Doncaster is the best insurance policy.

James Hart - Conservative

As someone who grew up and has lived in Doncaster for the vast majority of my life, I see that Doncaster can be much more than it currently is.

I believe that I can lead the council to improving the services it delivers, improving the quality of the environment in which we all live and improving the life prospects of everyone right across the borough.

I want to see an end to the vast amounts of fly-tipping that we see on a regular basis all over our town, repair our crumbling roads and stop our brain drain by providing great prospects for young people.

Now’s the time for Doncaster to look forwards and work together to build our town.

Doncaster has fantastic opportunities ahead to build employment opportunities, places to live and communities. Only by having an ambitious and positive plan for our town can we achieve this.

As mayor, I’ll drive our town forward to take advantage of the investment that we are receiving from central government, attract inward investment and build a local economy that is resilient and able to take part in Britain’s role on the world stage after Brexit.

Ros Jones – Labour

In 2013, as the newly elected mayor, I led Doncaster out of Government special measures and oversaw the continued improvement of children’s services.

In 2017 this was recognised at the highest level, as I was honoured to receive a CBE for services to our borough.

I have fought for investment for Doncaster, delivering such as the new museum, and schemes have brought jobs, growth and housing to Doncaster, whilst ensuring we spent local where possible.

Massively reduced Government funding has forced cuts to services, but despite this we’ve driven our economy forward and protected our most vulnerable.

Under my leadership pre-pandemic we achieved record employment, the highest for over a decade, average weekly wages higher than the Yorkshire average, and house building that exceeded targets.

I have a ten-year borough strategy that is about people, place and planet and a recovery that leaves no one behind, that enables everyone to share in the success and thrive.

The past year has been difficult for all, but I am determined to lead the borough that I love. To limit the spread and damage of coronavirus, help keep us all safe, and re-open our economy.

We can, and we will, by doing this together.

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Reform UK candidate Surjit Duhre
Conservative candidate James Hart
Labour candidate Ros Jones