So who will win the York Council elections?

Dringhouses and Fishergate wards reviewed

Dringhouses and Woodthorpe

The Dringhouses ward  is home to 11,639 residents. Average incomes are lower than the City average. 80% of residents own their home. There are 360 Council homes in the area 1.6% are out of work. Crime levels are below average.  86.5% of residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live (York average 88.6%). 40% believe that they can influence decisions in their local area (City average 26.2). Source

Elections

The Dringhouses Ward has traditionally been a LibDem stronghold. The only break in their domination came in 2011 when Labour took two of the seats.  Normal service was resumed in 2015 when the LibDems scored a clean sweep with a substantial swing.  Ann Reid, who retires this year, secured record breaking support, for a local election, when polling 3104 votes.

The poll is remarkable this year as 7 of the 14 candidates declined to give their address on their nomination forms. One has subsequently confirmed that he lives in the ward. However that means that there are only 3 candidates who have confirm a local home. A rare UKIP candidate makes an appearance and another disillusioned Tory is seeking election as an Independent. .

Development of green spaces is a major issue in the ward and already the Labour candidates seem to have blundered by highlighting the threat to Askham Bog. It was the last Labour controlled Council who, in 2013, first included Moor Lane in their “Big City” Local Plan development proposals. Fortunately that threat has now receded as a revised Local Plan which preserves the Green Belt has been agreed  by the coalition.

With Tory support haemorrhaging, it is difficult to see any other result than another LibDem clean sweep in in this ward.

Prediction

3 LibDem seats

Fishergate

The Fishergate ward  is home to 10,123 residents.  Average incomes are lower than the City average. 48% of residents own their home. 39% are private renters and 10% are social tenants. There are 148 Council homes in the area.  2.3% are out of work. Crime levels are slightly above average.  94.7% of residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live (York average 88.6%). 35% believe that they can influence decisions in their local area (City average 26.2). Source

Elections

Fishergate is now the Green Party’s York stronghold They have held the seats there for over 16 years.

The Tories did poll well in the area 25 years ago but have been in decline in the ward  in recent years, reaching the point in 2011 where they didn’t even put forward any candidates.

Labour support has been stable but well behind the Greens

There are a lot of young student voters in the ward as highlighted by the high proportion of privately rented property.

The Green Councillors have struggled not to become part of the political establishment but recently they took the City’s Lord Mayoralty for the first time and have led campaigns to have ResPark charges reduced! 

Labour have nominated a retiring Councillor, and recent Lord Mayor (Barbara Boyce), as a candidate albeit one who represented the Heworth Ward . She and the other non Green candidates look set to be “also ran’s”.

Prediction

2 Green seats

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