New analysis of the attendance at council meetings shows how Labour councillors work harder and offer better value for money than any other political groupings on Rotherham Council.

While Labour councillors have been hard at work at the job residents asked them to do, some Conservative councillors have been to fewer than twenty meetings in the last three years.

The latest data shows that the average councillor has attended 65 meetings since the last council elections in May 2021. The typical Labour councillor has been at 75 meeting during the whole of the last term, while the average for a Conservative councillor was just 48 and for the Lib Dems just 45.

The Leader of the Conservative Group, Cllr Simon Ball, had the seventh lowest attendance of any councillor.

Just two Conservatives attended an above average number of times.

Graph showing councillor attendance at meetings since 2021
Graph showing councillor attendance at meetings since 2021

The graph above shows councillor attendance, with Labour councillors in red and Conservatives in blue. Councillors in paler colours were elected under one party label and subsequently left that group.

9 of the poorest 10 attenders were elected as Conservatives in 2021, while 9 of the best attenders were elected as Labour councillors.

The effort put into crucial meetings, including Planning and Licensing, as well as crucial Scrutiny meetings to ensure the council is working well varied wildly. Conservative Ben Wormersley attended just 16 meetings in the whole three years, while Labour’s Wendy Cooksey attended 112.

Conservative councillors still haven’t filled six of their places on the council’s Scrutiny committees, leaving Labour to do the work for them.

In the Rother Valley constituency the findings were even more stark:


Graph showing Rother Valley councillors
Graph showing Rother Valley councillors' meeting attendance

Labour’s Lyndsay Pitchley, Tony Griffin and Jenny Andrews together attended more meetings that the worst attending seven Conservative councillors.

While there is more to being a councillor than just attending meetings, your voice can’t be heard if you’re not there. And while some councillors may have particular reasons for not attending, ill health or other commitments, there is a clear pattern between the political groups on show.

The record from the last three years is clear: if you want your councillor to turn up, represent you, and drive progress on Rotherham Council there’s one clear way to do it – vote Labour.


The records are as collected by RMBC’s Democratic Services. In the interests of fairness, councillors elected at by-elections since 2021, and the four councillors who were eligible to take time away on maternity leave under the council’s policies have been excluded from the figures.

A previous version of this post pointed out that Cllr Bennett-Sylvester had attended 84% of meetings against his own personal target of attending 90%. We are happy to clarify that those figures were based on all the meetings he could have attended, not necessarily those which are usually published on the council’s website. By this narrower measure, he has hit his own target over the three year period.

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