Oliver Coppard's term was cut short by constitutional change. Credit: SYMCA

South Yorkshire candidates line up

With nominations closed, four contenders will challenge incumbent Oliver Coppard to become Mayor of South Yorkshire.

Voters across Sheffield, Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham will go to the polls on Thursday 2 May to decide on who will be the mayor.

Following the inaugural four-year mayoral term from 2018, Coppard was elected to lead the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority in 2022, in what was originally intended to be a four-year term.

However, with police & crime commissioner duties now being subsumed into the mayoral role, it was decided in February that this switch meant the role is effectively a new one.

May’s winner will serve in office until 2028.

Those in the running are:

  • Nick Allen, Conservative Party
  • David Bettney, Social Democratic Party
  • Oliver Coppard, Labour & Co-operative Party
  • Douglas Johnson, Green Party
  • Hannah Kitching, Liberal Democrats

Johnson sets out his priorities as better buses and trams; warmer, healthier homes; green jobs and businesses; wildlife corridors, safer roads and a stronger stance on Gaza. Kitching is majoring on safer, connected communities and skills, while ex-solider Bettney talks of promoting British and Yorkshire industry at the expense of net-zero aims.

The Conservatives said that Allen, a Doncaster councillor for nine years, is “the only candidate in this election with a credible plan to support the reopening of Doncaster Sheffield Airport”.

At the top of Coppard’s list is a pledge to follow West Yorkshire’s recent move to bring buses back under public control, along with renewing and extending the tram network.

The airport, where a lease was agreed in March, also gets an airing, while Coppard said he intends to plant 1.4m trees, in what has been a hot topic for Sheffielders in particular.

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