Girl power at the polls as red is still the colour at Leeds council

GIRL POWER: Leeds City Council local election results.
Winners together, from left, Labour's Caroline Gruen (Bramley & Stanningley ward), Salma Arif (Gipton & Harehills ward) and Lucinda Yeadon (Kirkstall ward).
6th May 2016. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

GIRL POWER: Leeds City Council local election results. Winners together, from left, Labour's Caroline Gruen (Bramley & Stanningley ward), Salma Arif (Gipton & Harehills ward) and Lucinda Yeadon (Kirkstall ward). 6th May 2016. Picture : Jonathan Gawthorpe

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Here come the girls! That’s the message for Leeds voters today after Labour kept a firm grip on the council chamber - and the number of its woman councillors overtook the men for the first time ever.

The display of girl power was just about the only notable change in the make-up of Leeds City Council.

Red remained the ruling colour and there are now 63 Labour councillors in Leeds, 32 women and 31 men.

The party retains its huge overall majority at Leeds Civic Hall.

2016 LEEDS LOCAL ELECTIONS - RESULTS IN FULL: Click here for more

It was the same story for the other parties, with the Tories, Lib Dems, Greens and Morley Borough Independents all holding the seats they were contesting. The Tories remain the largest opposition party with 19 councillors.

One third of the 99 seats in Leeds were up for the vote, one in each of the city’s 33 wards.

Among the big winners was Salma Arif, whose stunning victory in Gipton and Harehills helped increase the number of ladies in the ruling Labour group.

The 29-year old received almost 3,972 votes, with her nearest rival - the UKIP candidate - polling just 360 votes.

It was Coun Arif’s win - along with Eleanor Tunnicliffe’s victory in the Roundhay ward - which helped swell the numbers of female councillors.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of the council, said: “The results in Leeds give a clear indication that the people of the city back the hard work of their local Labour councillors and have re-elected them on that basis.

“I’m also delighted the people of Leeds have elected a Labour Group that for the first time has more female councillors than male.

“Despite continuing Government cuts to the council’s budget and the loss of around 2500 staff, the results give us a basis from which to fight to protect vital public services and promote economic growth to create much needed jobs for the people of Leeds.

“We now have a strong, diverse selection of Labour councillors that represent all ages and many communities from across the city.

“As a council Administration, I know Labour councillors will continue their hard work to do everything they can to ensure the best future possible for all those communities that they represent.”

As a result of the 2016 local elections in Leeds, where 33 seats of 99 were contested, the make-up of the city council is as follows:

Labour: 63 seats (no change) - ruling administration

Conservative: 19 seats (no change)

Lib Dem: nine seats (no change)

Morley Borough Independents: five seats (no change)

Green: three seats (no change)

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