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Preview: Who will you vote for on Thursday? Candidates and profiles for West Leeds wards

By John Baron

Thursday sees Leeds go to the polls to elect a new ward councillor for each of the city’s 33 wards.

Voters will have their say in Armley, Bramley & Stanningley, Calverley & Farsley, Farnley & Wortley, Kirkstall and Pudsey wards.

Just a reminder that if you’re voting in a polling station on Thursday, you will need to bring photo ID with you.

Armley ward

SCENE-SETTER: Possibly the most intriguing result will be Armley ward, where sitting Green Party councillor Lou Cunningham is seeking re-election in what is traditionally a Labour safe seat.

What makes it interesting is that Cunningham left Labour for the Greens in December, while the Labour candidate standing against her is Andy Parnham, who was a Green Party councillor in Farnley and Wortley between September 2008 and May 2010.

The Greens are confident of making gains in Leeds this year, while Labour have comfortably held Armley since seeing off the old Liberal/SDP Alliance back in 1990.

It’ll be interesting to see which way this one goes in 2023 – apparently there have been a large number of postal vote requests in the ward so looks like there could be a good turnout.

Full list of candidates:

  • Lou Cunningham – Green Party
  • Tamas Kovacs – Conservative Party
  • Edana Niamh McDonald – Yorkshire Party
  • Jim Muller – Independent
  • Andy Parnham – Labour Party
  • Dan Walker – Liberal Democrats

Want more information about who you can vote for? Full profiles of Armley Ward candidates can be found here.

Bramley & Stanningley

SCENE-SETTER: Bramley & Stanningley will see a new councillor elected no matter what happens. Labour’s Jools Heselwood is this time standing in Weetwood, creating a vacancy for someone new to step in. But will anyone be strong enough to challenge Labour’s dominance since 2003?

Full list of candidates:

  • Elizabeth Anne Bee – Liberal Democrats
  • Adam Daniel Cook – Conservative Party
  • Tom Hinchcliffe – Labour Party
  • Richard David Riley – Social Democratic Party
  • Keith Duncan Whitaker – Green Party

Want more information about who you can vote for? Full profiles of Bramley & Stanningley Ward candidates can be found here.

Calverley & Farsley

SCENE SETTER: Calverley & Farsley is currently split, with two Tories and one Labour councillor. This year, Labour’s sitting councillor Peter Carlill will be hoping to hold off the challenge of Conservative Jas Singh to maintain the status quo in the ward.

Full list of candidates:

  • Peter John Carlill – Labour and Co-operative Party
  • Ellen Graham – Green Party
  • Rob Lees – Yorkshire Party
  • Stuart McLeod – Liberal Democrats
  • Jas Singh – Conservative Party

Want more information about who you’re voting for? Candidate profiles for Calverley & Farsley Ward can be found here.

Farnley & Wortley

Another interesting one will be in Farnley & Wortley ward. There’s an interesting array of candidates here, including an independent.

Like Armley, we’re likely to again see Green fighting it out at the ballot box with Labour. Mark Rollinson is the Green Party candidate, taking over from sitting councillor Ann Forsaith. Labour’s challenger is Adrian McCluskey. Green Party stalwart Ann Blackburn lost out to Labour’s Mark Sewards last May, and 2023 promises to be a fascinating tussle too.

Full list of candidates:

  • Natalia Justyna Armitage – Conservative Party
  • Jack Michael Bellfield – Social Democratic Party
  • Christine Mavis Golton – Liberal Democrats
  • Bev Lockwood – Independent
  • Adrian McCluskey – Labour Party
  • Mark Terence Rollinson – Green Party
  • Andrea Whitehead – Reform UK

Want more information about who you can vote for? Candidate profiles for Farnley & Wortley Ward can be found here.


SCENE-SETTER: Kirkstall will also see a fresh face elected, no matter which way the voting goes. Sitting Councillor John Illingworth (Labour) is retiring after representing the ward since 1979. The ward has been exclusively red since 1979 – but the Green’s Victoria Smith has finished runner up in the last three elections and will be hopeful of mounting a challenge to Labour’s new candidate Andy Rontree.

Full list of candidates:

  • Adam James Belcher – Liberal Democrats
  • Reiss Lewis Capitano – Conservative Party
  • Stuart William Long – no party listed on Leeds City Council website
  • Andy Rontree – Labour Party
  • Victoria Helen Smith – Green Party

Want more information about who you can vote for? Candidate profiles for Kirkstall Ward can be found here.


SCENE-SETTER: Pudsey as been interesting in the past few years. Labour’s Mick Coulson, Josie Jarosz and Richard Lewis had dominated the ward since 1996, when Independent Peter Kersting stepped down in the old Pudsey South Ward.

But the Conservatives took two seats in 2018 to end a quarter of a century of Labour rule, and took the third seat a year later. The seat has been comfortably Tory since then.

Last year the Tories secured a 1,320-majority, but this was down 7.6% on 2020. Sitting Pudsey Conservative candidate Trish Smith will be hoping to hold off the challenge of Labour’s Riaz Ahmed at the ballot box this year.

Full list of candidates

  • Riaz Ahmed – Labour Party
  • Christine Amy Glover – Liberal Democrats
  • Alaric Timothy Peter Hall – Green Party
  • Tom Kelly – Reform UK
  • Trish Smith – Conservative Party

Current political make up of Leeds City Council

More information

The full list of candidates standing for election to Leeds City Council in West Leeds can be found here

All our local election 2023 coverage can be found here.


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