Departing with dignity

Amanda Chadderton and Harry Catherall

For the second time in a day over one year a Council Leader has accepted her defeat with good grace and dignity, despite being another victim of a grotesque smear campaign, writes Neil Wilby.

Amanda Chadderton became the third Leader in successive elections (2021, 2022 and 2023) to lose her seat and the top job in Oldham Metropolitan Borough Council. She followed the lead of her predecessor, Arooj Shah, took defeat on the chin and responded in a manner befitting her lofty role.

Last year Arooj gave a memorable speech in the election count media centre moments after her shock defeat and few, if any, who heard it, or read about, would ever forget that masterclass (read here).

This is what Amanda has to say:

“I’m no longer a Councillor in Royton South but I wanted to post this to say thank you.
I honestly could not have been prouder to be a Councillor in Royton South for the past 11 years. I was brought up in Royton, went to school here, bought my first house here and probably spent too many weekends out on a Friday and Saturday in Royton!

“Being elected a Royton Councillor at 25 was the proudest moment of my life, only topped last year when I became leader of the council, and I’ve never once taken it for granted how fortunate I was, to have the people of Royton put their faith in me.

“Being Leader made this election unique and there were very clear dividing lines between what I stood for and what the Royton Independents do.

“I campaigned on things I have done for Royton, the things I would do and fundamentally what an ace place Royton is. The Royton Independents made promises that can’t be delivered but overall campaigned on negative, highly personalised, dog whistle tactics that were aimed to appeal to the lowest common denominator.
I’m not a ‘peado protector’ and I’m not ‘hiding grooming gangs’.

“I could have been negative and done that whole level of campaigning but that’s not me and I won’t ever regret not doing it; I unashamedly love Royton.

“Ultimately though, this is the beauty of democracy, Royton kept me as Councillor for 11 years and it is your right to vote me out when you deem I’m not good enough.

“I will forever be grateful for every single person that voted for me this week and every election before this”.

Sean Fielding, deposed in 2021, returned yesterday to politics by winning a seat on Bolton Council topping the poll in his Breightmet ward.

Arooj also returned in style to Oldham Council with a landslide win in her home ward of St Mary’s.

Over to you, Amanda.

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Page last updated Wednesday 3rd May, 2023 at 0800hrs

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Published by Neil Wilby

Former Johnston Press area managing director. Justice campaigner. Freelance investigative journalist.

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