Labour will hope to extend their power at Sheffield City Council as voters go to the polls in today’s local elections.
There are 28 seats up for grabs, one third of the total council, of which 15 belong to the Liberal Democrats and 13 to Labour. The Green Party are defending one seat, in the Central ward, which they won by only 48 votes four years ago.
Polling stations opened this morning at 7am and will close at 10pm tonight, with the results announced tomorrow at the English Institute of Sport, in Attercliffe.
One of the most interesting individual tussles is for Broomhill, in which the council’s former leader Paul Scriven is fighting to keep his seat.
The Conservatives, who lost their only council seat in 2008, are hoping for a gain in Dore and Totley, where the Lib Dems polled a majority of only 800 last year.
Making the case for her party’s return to the council, Christina Stark, Conservative candidate for Ecclesall said:
"We haven't got a single councillor in Sheffield, which we feel is a shame because apart from anything else it doesn't add that extra discussion and we think the the Conservatives could bring quite a lot back. We've been in before and we'd like to get back in again.
“We feel that when it comes to economy, we've got a good record in the past and we would like to think that we could come in again and bring some common sense with some reduced spending, looking after the budget - which is limited - just as we all have at home."
Current council leader, Julie Dore, will also defend her seat, in Arbourthorne. She said: “We are standing up for Sheffield and fighting for our city by taking action to provide opportunities for young people, keeping our communities safe and protecting services for the most vulnerable in the face of this Government attack.”
But Shaffaq Mohammed, Leader of the Lib Dem Group on Sheffield City Council, said:
“Labour have made their priorities clear – Town Hall managers, their trade union pals, and the Park Hill development. Unfortunately, it has come at the expense of local people’s priorities. Our manifesto sets out the things that matter to local people, like having their bin collected every week.”
Along with electing a third of the council, Sheffield will choose whether to have a directly elected mayor.
It is one of ten cities, including Leeds, Bradford and Wakefield, to hold a mayoral referendum.
An elected mayor would hold the council’s existing powers of housing, planning and transport, plus substantial new powers decided by the Government. The referendum result will be announced around 4pm tomorrow.
This is the second referendum voters have faced in a year, following the rejected proposal of an alternative voting system.
Click the interactive map to see who is standing for election in your area.