Labour win delayed Hendon election as party prioritise tackling anti-social behaviour and poverty
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Councillor Lynda Scanlan was re-elected in the ballot for one of the three seats in the Hendon Ward on Sunderland City Council on Thursday evening (June 15), increasing Labour’s majority.
The contest was originally due to take place in May as part of the local government elections where a third of seats on the council were up for grabs.
However, following the death of Conservative candidate Syed Ali during campaigning, the election was put on hold and rearranged.
Labour’s Cllr Scanlan came out on top in the poll with 878 votes, just 13 more than Liberal Democrat candidate Steve Donkin.
Elsewhere, Conservative Georgina Young received 104 votes, Reform UK’s Ian Jones 87 and Green Party’s Helmut Izaks 79.
Speaking after the results were announced, following a recount of the Labour and Liberal Democrat votes, Cllr Scanlan said she was “delighted” to have been re-elected.
She said: “It feels really good. It was a really tight competition and a tight campaign, but we’ve worked really hard and we work hard in the ward all year round.
“We’ve delivered such a lot in Hendon the last couple of years. We are there everyday, we are there all the time. People email us and we reply immediately, we refer things to officers and get it done immediately.
“We just get on with it and we enjoy it, this is what we want to do, we want to work with the residents. I don’t want to work for the Council as such, I want to work for the residents in the ward.”
She added it has been a “very hard campaign”, with the rearranged poll giving other parties a “six week clear run” at the ward, which she claimed is what led to the poll being “so close”.
Looking ahead to her priorities, she said she will be working with her Labour ward colleague, Councillor Michael Mordey, to target issues such as the cost of living crisis and antisocial behaviour.
Cllr Scanlan said: “We’re in the most deprived ward in the city. You’ve heard it haven’t you, you feed your kids or you heat the house.
“Our priority is the kids, looking after the residents, and the antisocial behaviour we’ve got to tackle in the ward, because that’s always a big thing.”
Labour’s Cllr Graeme Miller, Sunderland City Council leader, noted by-elections can be “very tricky” and he was “delighted” at the result.
He said: “We got the Labour vote out to win and yes the margin is very small, but a win is a win and we continue to win by-elections against the Liberal Democrats in this city, which is a habit that I’m glad we’ve now got.”
Liberal Democrat group leader Cllr Paul Edgeworth said although they were disappointed to narrowly miss out, it was still a “fantastic result” for his party.
He said: “The fact the Lib Dems are challenging in all by-elections in all parts of the city including in places that are Labour citadels, or used to be, like Hendon, is actually good for democracy.”
Liberal Democrat Councillor Ciaran Morrissey holds the third seat in the Hendon ward, which will be contested as part of the 2024 local elections.
Now the council’s overall make-up is 46 Labour councillors, 15 Liberal Democrats, 13 Conservatives and one Reform UK.
Steve Donkin (Lib Dems) 865
Helmut Izaks (Green) 79
Ian Jones (Reform UK) 87
Lynda Scanlan (Labour) 878
Georgina Young (Conservative) 104