Wards to watch this Thursday: Sheffield City Council’s smallest margins

Written by Liv Hill

When councillors were last elected to Sheffield City Council, some seats were won by incredibly small margins and have become the areas to watch in the upcoming local elections.

Such narrow margins and low turnouts mean every vote could be critical in deciding which party has overall control in the Town Hall this Thursday. The three closest seats in 2019 had turnouts of 28.5, 29 and 31 per cent respectively.

In Walkley, Ben Curran (Labour Co-op) became the local councillor, beating Green Party’s, Bernard Little by only 41 votes out of 5,190.

This puts Walkley at the top of the watch list. The race between the parties is underway with Fran Belbin running as Labour’s candidate and Bernard Little running again for the Greens.

Ms Belbin has said she will be putting children and young people at the heart of Covid recovery: “Children’s mental health and education has been massively disrupted over the last year. Young people need to be able to access the right support in the right place and at the right time. Investing in young people is investing in our future, Labour are putting an extra £2m into youth services.”

The Labour candidate has also said she hopes to tackle the climate crisis as well as focusing on community wealth building.

Mr Little has said he will be: “Putting the climate and ecological emergency at the heart of all actions of the Green Council Group in creating a city for the future.”

Seats with the smallest margins in 2019: East Ecclesfield, Lib Dem (top), Walkley, labour (middle) and Beighton, Lib Dem (bottom).

Another seat in Sheffield to watch is Beighton, currently Liberal Democrat, with councillor Bob McCann winning the vote by six per cent above Labour.

In the upcoming election, Ann Woolhouse is running as the Liberal Democrats candidate against Labour candidate Julie Gledhill.

The Liberal Dems also won a seat in East Ecclesfield in 2019 with only a five per cent lead, making Victoria Bowden the councillor.

This year, Alan Woodcock, is running as the Liberal Democrat candidate. He said: “Tackling fly-tipping would definitely be one of my top priorities.”

The Liberal Dem will also aim to tackle issues with the Town Hall and problems with parking in Chapeltown.

He will be running against Labour candidate, Andy Bainbridge.

To see your local polling station, check your poll card or visit: https://www.sheffield.gov.uk/home/your-city-council/polling-stations

Polls open at 7am and close at 10pm on 6 May 2021.

Written by Liv Hill

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