News | Labour maintains stronghold in student areas
Labour candidates have won in local elections in the wards of Hyde Park & Woodhouse and Headingley.
Javaid Akhtar, who already held the seat in the Hyde Park & Woodhouse ward was re-elected, beating first year student and Conservative candidate Edward Hardy.
Speaking to LS after the result Mr Akhtar said: “My priority has always been listening to people. I want to see a balance between the student and local population. I want a greener, cleaner area but I need some help from students especially with their bins.”
He added: “There aren’t tensions between between local residents and students but I would say the one thing that’s a problem is when you have your late night house parties and we need to work with the students’ union on this.”
Mr Akhtar also attributed the 25% voting turnout in the ward to the poor weather.
In Headingley the Labour mature student Jonathan Pryor took 1296, beating Joe Salmon from the Green Party who received 1036.
Mr Pryor told LS he had been the victim of personal abuse from Liberal Democrats during his campaign.
“You need a thick skin to go into politics but this was beyond the pale. It’s desperation. Some quite personal things were said about me because they were desperate to hold onto this seat and now they’ve come third”, he said.
Talking about his experience campaigning in the area he said: “A lot of permanent residents have said they enjoy living in such a diverse area with lots of students although there is the odd problem house.”
Mr Pryor added: “I want to be that voice linking students to the Council.”
Further afield the Union’s current Education Officer Alice Smart won for Labour in Armley.
Rehema Figueiredo and Maddy KEating