Several Sheffield City Council seats may be hotly contested after increased attention brought by protesters.
Campaigners against the council’s tree felling plans have called for voters to support candidates unaffiliated with the Labour Party.
The majority of trees have been felled in the Ecclesall, Broomhill and Sharrow Vale, and Crookes and Crosspool wards.
Protesters against the tree felling plans hope for Labour losses in these areas.
Next week’s election isn’t about Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn. It’s about giving our city a council that cares about its environment & heritage – and that means defeating Julie Dore’s Labour in as many wards as possible. Think local, vote local. Labour Out. #saveshefftrees
— Save Sheffield Trees (@SaveSheffTrees) 24 April 2018
A community-led network of Sheffield residents called It’s Our City has also been established to target six ‘winnable’ wards where alternative candidates from The Green Party and Liberal Democrats could be elected.
The Labour Party currently holds 56 seats, with 43 seats required for a majority.
Out of the 56 seats held by Labour councillors, 19 seats will be up for grabs, which could lead to the loss of a Labour majority if all seats were won by other parties.
A number of seats in Sheffield were closely contested in 2016 with less than 100 votes between candidates in wards including Broomhill and Sharrow Vale, City, and West Ecclesfield.
David Ogle, an independent candidate for West Ecclesfield, said: “It is vital that we elect someone that is actually going to serve the community rather than the colour of their rosette.”
When standing in 2016 as a UKIP candidate, Mr Ogle lost out to Labour’s Zoe Sykes by a single vote.
Mr Ogle said: “I know the odds are against me, they’ve always been against me, but I’ll keep fighting.”
In total, 28 seats will be contested with one councillor elected in each Sheffield ward.
One forecast predicted that Labour will lose 11 seats, Liberal Democrats will gain eight, UKIP will lose one, and Greens will gain four seats.
A third of the council seats are elected every year, though all seats were up for election in 2016.
Douglas Johnson, Green Party councillor for City, said: “The number of safe seats means there is no real prospect of the council changing from Labour control.
“The First Past the Post system means that most seats in Sheffield are safe seats, whether for Labour or Liberal Democrats.”
Coun Johnson said his party would like to see a consensus rather than a “tribal” approach that he said was characteristic of council politics.
No it doesn’t. It means more Greens. And there are no Tories on Sheffield City Council, nor likely to be any. Just a massive Labour majority that’s doing huge damage to the streets & democracy https://t.co/vQzQgJgkYb
— Natalie Bennett (@natalieben) 12 April 2018
Sheffield City Council are preventing the public scruitinisung what they do. THIS IS NOT DEMOCRACY. https://t.co/pUGtUM0tXe
— Graham Wroe (@GrahamWroe) 28 March 2018
Neale Gibson, Labour Party councillor for Walkley, said: “That’s what the opposition will always say. The people of Sheffield have the choice every year of who they want to run the council and they are happy with the job Labour is doing as far as I can see this year.”
Coun Gibson added: “Walkley is not a hotly contested seat, don’t be taken in by the propaganda of other parties.”
The local election will take place on 3 May across Sheffield.