South Yorkshire Mayor: Oliver Coppard re-elected for Labour

Labour's Oliver Coppard has been re-elected as South Yorkshire mayor.

Mr Coppard won the election with 138,611 votes, roughly 51% of all votes cast in the ballot.

He was first elected mayor in 2022 and should have served a four-year term, but the election was brought forward after the roles of mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) were merged.

Mr Coppard will serve until May 2028 and will take over the role of PCC from Dr Alan Billings, who is retiring.

However, it is likely that Mr Coppard will appoint a deputy to be PCC, as other regional mayors have done.


Speaking after his victory, he thanked those involved with running the election and the public, saying that with a vote share of 51%, they had given him a "mandate".

He added: "Today, you have offered me not just your consent but your blessing to continue on the journey we started to pursue the change we so desperately need across South Yorkshire."

Mr Coppard said he wanted everyone in the region to "be able to stay near and go far", adding that people had the chance to "join with people from across the North to call out this government for their failure to level-up our country, to do what is right for the whole of our country".

He said he would "think first of those, who all too often come last" and aimed to build the "pride, purpose and prosperity" of the region.

As mayor, Mr Coppard had already started the process of bus franchising and had said he would take a final decision to bring services back under public control within 12 months.

He also pledged to continue with plans to re-open Doncaster Sheffield Airport.

South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority has already committed £138m to create an aviation hub, known as South Yorkshire Airport City.

In his new role as Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Coppard has the power to make police forces more accountable and responsive and can appoint or dismiss a chief constable.

During the election, he pledged to establish a Community Confidence Board to help residents shape policing priorities.

Analysis by Lucy Ashton, BBC Political Reporter, South Yorkshire

Labour's Oliver Coppard now holds one of the most powerful roles in the region as both mayor and Police and Crime Commissioner.

It is likely he will appoint a deputy to be the PCC, but we will need to wait to find out who that is.

In a government public consultation, 65% of people said they did not want the roles to be merged.

Objections included concerns the PCC would no longer be directly elected and would be "fundamentally undemocratic" with "a lack of accountability".

The new PCC will need to understand how history weighs heavily on South Yorkshire Police.

Chief Constable Lauren Poultney told a recent meeting of councillors there were "unique challenges to trust and confidence" as a result of the Hillsborough disaster, child sexual exploitation in Rotherham and the policing of the Miners' Strike, particularly at Orgreave.

Six years ago the force was put into special measures, but is now ranked adequate, good or outstanding in all areas.

Mr Coppard says improving policing and restoring people's confidence will be key.

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