Fulford and Guildhall wards reviewed
Fulford and Heslington
The Fulford ward, which merged with Heslington in 2015, is home to 3,770 residents. Average incomes are higher than the City average. 65% of residents own their home. 22% rent privately and 10% are social tenants. There are 118 Council homes in the area. 1.4% are out of work. Crime levels are slightly above average. 90.9% of residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live (York average 88.6%). Source
This area has been a LibDem stronghold for decades. The current Councillor, Keith Aspden, is the Deputy Leader of the York Council.
He secured 55% of the vote at the last elections.
There is a strong University influence in parts of the ward.
The main concerns of residents relate to planned development in the area. Work has recently stared on a major new housing scheme at Germany Beck. As wheel as environmental implications residents have voice fears about flooding and traffic levels.
Family and Friends might best describe the candidate selection policies of he other parties. Former Lady Mayoress – to Green Councillor Dave Taylor – Susie Taylor contests her first local poll. The mother of a former Tory Parliamentary candidate carries the torch for the Tories.
Keith Aspden has come through an unfair and protracted attempt by Council officers and some members to smear him with bogus allegations about breaking the Councillors code of conduct. Hopefully he will be stronger from the experience. He can expect to be re-elected.
1 LibDem seat
The Guildhall ward is home to 16,650 residents. Average incomes are lower than the City average. 37% of residents own their home. 38% are private renters and 22% are social tenants. There are 788 Council homes in the area. 1.3% are out of work. Crime levels are well above average. (the ward includes the central shopping/pub area) 86.2% of residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live (York average 88.6%). 35.7% believe that they can influence decisions in their local area (City average 26.2). Source
A complicated voting trend history with the Greens gradually overhauling Labour to take one of the 3 seats at the last local elections in 2015. A retiring Labour Councillor Brian Watson, who was deselected by his party, contested the ward as an Independent gathering a modest 416 votes. (He is trying his luck in Acomb in the 2019 poll)
The demographics are changing with expensive City centre property prices leading to the gentrification of some areas. This, and the higher General Election turnout, may account for the modest Tory revival in 2015
All parties seem to struggle to find candidates who live in the ward. The Greens and LibDems haven’t found any locals to contest this ward. The Tories have done better. Labour have selected Fiona Fitzpatrick to join their team. She lives in the ward but stood down from her Hull Road seat in 2015.
The Clifton based, and current Labour Council Group Leader, Janet Looker only came third in the popular vote in 2015, when the Greens “First Choice” candidate Denise Craghill topped the poll. Whether the Greens can get their “Second Choice” candidate elected as well this time, will be one of the more interesting results on 2nd May
There is an articulate electorate in area who may demand more from their representatives in the future.
2 Labour seats, 1 Green seat