Local Elections: “It really is the cost of living election,” says Sheffield Labour candidate

Written by Lauren White

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

A Sheffield Labour Party candidate has drawn attention to rising inflation and energy bills in his campaign, telling Sheffield Wire “it really is the cost of living election”.

Tom Hunt is running for election in the Walkley ward – covering Langsett, Netherthorpe, Upperthorpe, Walkley, and Walkley Bank.

Mr Hunt, who lives in Upperthorpe and has lived in Sheffield for 15 years, said it is “all to play for” in the ward after the Green Party gained a seat from Labour in last year’s local elections.

In 2018, when the seat Mr Hunt is running for was last up for grabs, Labour’s Cllr Neale Gibson held the seat with a majority of 723 votes.

Tom Hunt (right) canvassing with campaigners and MP Paul Blomfield (Credit: Walkley Labour)

Mr Hunt, who is a researcher for Sheffield University’s Political Economy Research Institute, said there is a lot of anger at the Conservatives on the doorstep and “people want to send a message to the government in these elections.”

He said Labour’s policies on bringing bus services in Sheffield under public ownership is widely supported by voters, as are policies on more affordable housing in the Walkley area.

The issue of bus services in Sheffield are a big focus in most candidates’ campaigns this year as residents say transport is unreliable and too expensive.

Former Labour leader and current Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change Ed Miliband joined Mr Hunt’s campaign in Walkley last week, emphasising Mr Hunt’s climate crisis credentials in a video.

With Labour up to 13 points ahead in the polls, according to Survation, and expected to make gains across the country, Tom Hunt was reluctant to estimate how successful his Party would be.

“I am not taking anything at all for granted and I am taking as much time as possible to speak to as many people as possible, and I will be doing that right up to 10pm on Thursday night,” said Mr Hunt, who is Chair of Trustees at the Zest charity in Upperthorpe.

Also running in the Walkley ward is the Green Party’s Logan Robin, Evelyn Millward from the Conservatives, Liberal Democrat David Pallot, Victoria Kensdale of the Women’s Equality Party, and Alexander Helie from the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.

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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