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Labour win delayed Copt Hill election, adding to numbers on Sunderland City Council

Labour have again celebrated council success at the polls in Sunderland just over a month on from the local elections.

By Nic Marko
Friday, 17th June 2022, 11:14 am

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Cllr Tracy Dodds from the party was re-elected in the ballot for one of three seats in the Copt Hill ward on Sunderland City Council on Thursday evening, increasing Labour’s majority on the authority.

The contest was originally due to take place on May 5, 2022, as part of the local government elections where a third of seats on Sunderland City Council were up for grabs.

However following the death of UKIP candidate Reg Coulson during campaigning, the election was put on hold and rearranged.

Cllr Tracy Dodds has been reelected.

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Labour’s Cllr Dodds came out on top in the poll, securing 969 votes ahead of independent Katherine Pearson in second and Conservative Patricia Francis in third, who received 606 and 384 votes respectively.

Having first been voted in to represent the ward in 2021, Cllr Dodds said she was “glad to be re-elected to serve the community again”.

She added: “I’ve had a positive campaign with no negativity against any of the other candidates, I’ve been true to myself and that’s what I stuck to all the way through.

“I’m passionate about supporting the children of the area, I’m going to continue looking for ways and means to keep them going with youth clubs and just finding something for them to do in the area.

The election count for the Copt Hill ward.

“We’ve got a problem in the area with antisocial behaviour which we need to address, with motorbikes and fly-tipping, I’m just going to be continuing what I’ve been doing for the last few years.”

She added it had been a “strange but exhausting” experience after campaigning to support her colleagues during the May local elections, followed by fighting her own battle this month.

Green Party and Liberal Democrat candidates also contested the poll, finishing with 158 and 61 votes respectively.

Labour’s Cllr Graeme Miller, Sunderland City Council leader, said they worked hard and treated the Copt Hill poll “like a by-election” and he was “deeply, deeply pleased” with the result.

He said: “Clearly people in Copt Hill understand that Labour delivers for them and that’s why we got such a big percentage of the vote.

“We’re seeing this across the city, you can see the Labour vote is just lifting and lifting because people can see we’re delivering for them.

“We’re listening to what they want and that’s giving us stronger vote turnout, which is why we’re winning elections now and winning them comfortably.”

The result means Labour now holds 42 of the 75 seats on the council, one fewer than they did prior to the May local elections.

Cllr Miller added: “I’m very, very pleased for Tracy Dodds, she was a good councillor and she’ll be a good councillor for another four years now, so it’s good news for the residents of Copt Hill.”

Cllr Miller also paid tribute to Reg Coulson, saying his thoughts were with his family after his sad death earlier this year.

Copt Hill results:

Mary Ann Boddy (Lib Dem) 61

Tracy Dodds (Lab) 969

Patricia Francis (Con) 384

Katherine Pearson (Ind) 606

Andrew Robertson (Green) 158

Turnout: 24.3%