The Heworth Without ward is home to 3,933 residents. Average incomes are lower than the City average. 89% of residents own their home. 7% rent privately and 3% are social tenants. There are no Council homes in the area. 1.3% are out of work. Crime levels are significantly below average. 94.12% of residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live (York average 88.6%). 18.75% believe that they can influence decisions in their local area (City average 26.2). Source
This area had been held by the LibDems for most of the last 20 years and longer. The only interruption came in 2007 when, following a change of LibDem candidate, the late Bill Bennett won the seat for the Conservatives.
His triumph didn’t last long as he sadly passed away a few months later. The resultant by election saw Nigel Ayre elected with a substantial majority.
The ward has been solidly LibDem ever since.
Neither the Tories nor the Greens have found a local candidate while Labour have not revealed where their candidate lives.
Nigel Ayre is popular in the ward and has worked hard to free it from the threat of development. He may be less well regarded in some other parts of the City where he has fronted the Councils, sometimes divisive, leisure polices. He was also one of those, together with Keith Aspden, who was unjustly accused of breaking standards rules.
The LibDems will expect to retain this seat.
1 LibDem seat
The Holgate ward is home to 12,786 residents. Average incomes are lower than the City average. 23% of residents own their home. 23% rent privately and 12% are social tenants. There are 476 Council homes in the area. 1.5% are out of work. Crime levels are slightly above average. 90.32% of residents are satisfied with their local area as a place to live (York average 88.6%). 30.0% believe that they can influence decisions in their local area (City average 26.2). Source
This ward was won by the LibDems in 2003. It has been Labour since 2007
.. & that is the problem for the LibDems both here and in nearby wards with a high proportion of social housing. For many years in York the LibDems were the natural alternative to Labour in the poorer parts of the City. The 2003 success was based on attracting large numbers of votes from Council tenants and those living in smaller terraced properties in the Leeman Road area. The by election campaign, which should have been easy fodder for the LibDem machine, seemed to falter in those areas. Some blame an influx of “Middle England” strategists into the local party for the failure.
The trend figure disguises a freak poor performance for the LibDems in 2015 probably as a result of the General Election taking place on the same day. A by election in February 2018, which saw the LibDems fielding a credible local candidate, saw the parties share of the vote return to 32.3% – but still well behind Labour.
If the party has now got its act together, it should win seats here. It has arguably got the best candidates (local, experienced, committed to the area).
If the lessons have been learnt, then, starting from a strong second place, the LibDems should overhaul Labour. Labour have sacked two of their existing Councillors. They join Sonya Crisp who quit earlier and caused the by election.
In their places are two new youthful candidates only one of whom lives in the ward (The other is one of those who declines to reveal her address).
She is less frank than one of the Tory candidates who admits to living in Beverley. That is an 80 mile round trip and probably some kind of record! Her fellow Tory candidates decline to say where they live.