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Local elections: Sheffield to vote on one third of Council chamber

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Photo by Dai O'Nysius (Wikimedia Commons)

Local elections will take place on 2 May, with one third of Sheffield's 84 councillors up for re-election.

In three years out of four, a third of the council chamber's seats are re-elected, and councillors serve four year terms. The next year without a local election will be 2021.

Councillor Magid's term as Lord Mayor also ends on 2 May and he has said he will not seek re-election as a councillor.

The Broomhill and Sharrow Vale councillor is the Green Party's lead candidate in the European elections that are due to take place on 23 May.

We are contesting seats in Sheffield, precisely because it is dominated by Labour

Labour's Tony Downing will become the new Lord Mayor.

Councillor Steve Wilson, the husband of former Labour MP Angela Smith, has resigned from the party rather than face a re-selection battle. On 28 February, he tweeted a photo of his membership card cut in half.

"I have yet to make a final decision on whether I will stand in the forthcoming local elections," Cllr Wilson told Now Then in March.

"I do believe, however, it is important people in the ward have the fullest choice possible at those elections, and can vote for someone who truly understands the area and wishes to represent local people and does not just want to espouse narrow ideology."

He has since entered the running for the East Ecclesfield ward as an independent. He is also a candidate in the European elections for Change UK, the party formerly known as The Independent Group.

The Green Party are contesting all 28 seats up for election. Their manifesto calls for the online broadcasting of council meetings as well as "supporting local businesses making a living in the local economy, no more big private contracts."

The Greens are hoping to capitalise on the street tree row that has led to many Labour members feeling unable to campaign or vote for the party on a local level.

UKIP will be hoping to defy a recent decline in their national polling since the Brexit referendum in 2016.

The Lib Dem group would immediately set a target for Sheffield to be a carbon neutral city by 2030

Keith Davis, one of UKIP's three councillors, told the Star in February that he won't be seeking re-election. He recently posted publicly on Facebook the words "fuck off bitch" about Shamima Begum, who has lost three infant children in Syria and had her British citizenship revoked last month due to her links to Islamic State.

"Two of the three UKIP seats are up for re-election," party councillor John Booker told Now Then. "Graeme Waddicar will be standing in Councillor Davis's ward."

We asked Cllr Booker if he agreed with comments Cllr Davis made to the Star, saying that he was stepping down because Labour have "a stronghold on the city which is impossible to break."

"We are contesting seats in Sheffield, precisely because it is dominated by Labour," Cllr Booker said. "We are fighting their doctrines and ideologies, which may help the Labour Party but don't help Sheffield and its citizens."

The Liberal Democrats, who were in power in Sheffield City Council as recently as 2010, are hoping to increase their share of 22 seats.

One of the Lib Dems' most high-profile candidates is Dr Rebecca Atkinson, co-owner of the zero-waste shop Unwrapped in Crookes. She recently presented a petition to the Council asking them to bring forward the target date for the city to become carbon neutral to 2030.

"The Lib Dem group would immediately set a target for Sheffield to be a carbon neutral city by 2030, and organise a citizens' assembly to inform climate policymaking," Atkinson told Now Then.

"We would increase the city's recycling capacity, look at food waste collection for composting, and move Sheffield towards a circular economy model," she added.

"Labour in Sheffield are not transparent, nor collaborative," said Atkinson when we asked her about the current administration, led by Cllr Julie Dore.

"Currently power is concentrated, where in effect a handful of people make all the decisions about Sheffield's future. We need a new approach, with a local democracy where individual councillors have more say in the decision-making process."

Lord Mayor Magid has been contacted for comment.

Sam Gregory

This article was updated on 2 May to state that Cllr Magid will be running in the European elections and that Cllr Steve Wilson is contesting his council seat as an independent.

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