York councillor stands down, triggering by-election on General Election day

Leaving us… Cllr David Levene. Photograph: York Labour Party
27 Apr 2017 @ 11.37 am
| News, Politics

A second Labour councillor is stepping down – triggering another by-election in York.

Cllr Levene was first elected in 2011 when Labour took control of the council, soon after becoming the youngest cabinet member in the country.

He is moving on because he now works outside the city.

The decision will see the by-election for his Hull Road ward seat take place on the same day as the General Election – Thursday, June 8.

Tough decision

“It’s with great sadness that I have taken this very difficult decision,” Cllr Levene said.

“York is a very special place to me and somewhere I’m privileged to have represented for six years.

“But my career has taken me out of York and I’m unable to balance the commute with my councillor responsibilities until the next local elections in 2019.

“It’s a tough decision but the right one for the residents of Hull Road ward and for my Labour colleagues on the council.”

Campaigning has already begun for the Micklegate ward by-election, triggered by the decision of his fellow Labour councillor Julie Gunnell to step down.

Difficult to replace

Campaigning with fellow Hull Road ward councillors, Neil Barnes and Hilary Shepherd. Photograph: York Labour Party
Cllr Levene served the Heslington ward until 2015, when ward boundaries changed and he became councillor for the neighbouring Hull Road ward. He was cabinet member for transport, planning and economic development during Labour’s time in power.

“David has been able to skilfully combine the role of ward councillor and local advocate with a strategic approach of working to address some of the bigger issues and challenges the city faces,” Labour group leader Cllr Janet Looker said.

“I’m very grateful for his contribution but understand his reasons for stepping down.”

Cllr Levene added:

I’m very optimistic that the work we have done in Hull Road ward will provide a strong platform for our Labour candidate to win this by-election, alongside returning our MP, Rachael Maskell, to Parliament for York Central.