Local elections provide another win for Labour in Fallowfield ward
- Labour councillors re-elected following local vote
- Low turnout in the popular student area raises questions
At the city council elections last week, many incumbent councillors in Manchester were fighting to be re-elected.
All 92 seats in the city's 32 wards were up for grabs, including those with heavy student populations such as Fallowfield, Didsbury and Chorlton.
The turnout, however, particularly in Fallowfield, was noticeably low with just 17% of people voting.
Fallowfield had the unenviable record of having the lowest turnout in the whole of Manchester.
Labour councillors who stood for re-election in Fallowfield were Grace Fletcher-Hackwood, Zahra Alijah and Ali-Raza IIjas. All three managed to retain their seats
Councillor Fletcher-Hackwood said: “We’re delighted to be re-elected. It's an honour and a privilege and we’re committed to keep working hard for Fallowfield and for Manchester.”
The question remains that why was it such a poor turn out for Fallowfield considering it is now younger people who have the ‘power to change things’.
Student Kate Harding, 21 did not vote in the recent elections, stating: “I didn’t see the point in voting this time round, to be quite frank I didn’t even really know they were happening.
“I think if they want to get more people to vote they actually have to start putting into place what we want as a community as so far I don’t feel like there has been much change.”
Councillor Fletcher-Hackwood added: “There are tough times ahead as a Tory government cuts continue to bite, but we’re going to keep working on the issues that residents have told us are most important to them: good quality housing, mitigating the impact of Welfare ‘reforms’ such as Universal Credit, cleaner and safer streets.
“it's always difficult to engage young people in local (as opposed to general) elections - particularly students, as student accommodation makes it difficult for us to canvass or even leaflet them in the same way we would other residents: halls are usually inaccessible to us and we don't get a great response rate from doorknocking large shared houses.
- That said, we were disappointed with this year's turnout and will be working with the SU and others to encourage greater voter registration and engagement with the elections next year.”