Local Elections: Sheffield Conservative candidate defiant in face of poor poll

Written by Lauren White

I am a trainee journalist at the University of Sheffield, Editor in Chief of nebeep.com and a proud Geordie.

Sheffield Conservatives Deputy Chair David Chinchen has said “there is only one poll that matters and that’s Thursday’s” as he bids to win a seat on the council in Stocksbridge and Upper Don.

It comes as a survey conducted by Electoral Calculus estimates the Conservatives will lose 548 seats across the country on Thursday following a rocky few months for the Party after the Prime Minister was fined for breaking lockdown rules.

Mr Chinchen, whose son Lewis beat UKIP in last year’s local elections to become a Conservative candidate in the ward, said: “Obviously we’re in tough times and there has been issues nationally that are affecting people.

“But this is a local election – it’s important people remember that. The national picture is colouring it.”

Before moving to Sheffield in 2013, where he worked as an immigration officer, Mr Chinchen was a Chief Superintendent in London and had been a police officer for 32 years.

He stood to be South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner in 2020 and his work in the police is something he says influences his views, with promises to tackle anti-social behaviour in Stocksbridge and Upper Don.

“People are frightened to go and use the shops after dark,” Mr Chinchen said. He proposes working with local schools and the youth centre in order to combat what he believes is a “drug problem” in the area.

Statistics from South Yorkshire Police’s Sheffield Central and North West force shows 3% of crimes in the past 12 months have been drugs related, and 15.4% have been anti-social behaviour.

When it comes to the outcome of Thursday’s vote, Mr Chinchen said that no matter what happens, he would be working to “make a difference” in the ward, helping to get better bus services for residents and moving house so he and his family can live closer to the area.

Mr Chinchen said: “I come to this as a public servant and I don’t particularly see the politics in it. I come to this to see the difference I can make to people in Stocksbridge and Upper Don.

“On the doorstep the big issues that we’re facing but most conversations are about bus routes and whether money paid by developers will come locally.”

Since 2018 the Conservative vote in the ward has increased and it remains to be seen if this trend will continue in the face of scandal surrounding the Prime Minister.

Other candidates standing in the ward are Labour’s Janet Ridler, Susan Davidson from the Liberal Democrats, and the Green Party’s David Willington.

Written by Lauren White

I am a trainee journalist at the University of Sheffield, Editor in Chief of nebeep.com and a proud Geordie.

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