A SECOND sitting Labour councillor has been deselected as the party’s candidate for their seat in next May’s local authority elections in Barnsley, it has emerged.

Coun Pauline Phillips has served one term representing the Dearne North ward where she lives but has lost a vote within her local Labour Party to stand for that ward in May next year, with branch secretary Wendy Cain winning the poll.

That means she joins Stairfoot Coun Wayne Johnson as Labour members deselected as candidates for next year’s elections.

Both have said they have yet to decide on what to do next.

It is usual practice for sitting councillors to win an automatic nomination to re-stand, unless their branch party decides on a contest.

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Coun Phillips said she was unsure why she had lost the vote, but said around a dozen Labour members turned up for the selection evening when meetings normally attract around half that number.

She had been offered the Labour nomination for the Dearne South ward, where colleague Coun Charlotte Johnson was standing down, she said, but she had turned down that opportunity because she lacked the ‘110 per cent’ commitment for that area which she held for Dearne North. The Dearne South seat will now be contested for Labour by former councillor Dorothy Coates.

Coun Phillips said she had stood as councillor after being encouraged to do so by Labour politicians because of her extensive community work in the area.

“Way before I became a councillor I was always interested in the community,” she said.

“When I retired, the park was a no-go area, with drugs.

“Me and a couple of other individuals took it on and got events going.

“I was on the Ward Alliance (a body which works to improve the local area) before I was a councillor.

“I love voluntary work and decided to stand as a councillor. I have had four years and enjoyed what I have done.

“I am disappointed the local Labour Party have decided they don’t want me when they are struggling in our village.

“I was initially intending to stand down but I thought in this climate that the Labour Party need someone who is well known in the community.”

Her community work has involved schools and helping to save a community centre which had been threatened with closure. She is among the trustees and the centre has stable finances.

She has also been involved in the Big Thurnscoe project, which has had money to invest in helping to secure a better future for residents.

“I am going to carry on with what I am doing with my voluntary stuff. I understand funding and if people want help, I will be there,” she said.

* Provided by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.