A WARD councillor has stepped down from City of York Council, triggering a by-election on the same day as the nation goes to the polls on July 4.

Hull Road Councillor Sophie Kelly said the demands of being in the role had been more difficult to balance with her personal circumstances than anticipated.

She said: “It has been a real privilege to serve the residents of Hull Road ward following my election to the council. 

“We’ve achieved some great outcomes in the ward including improved access to exercise facilities, support to residents during the cost-of-living crisis and enabling community groups to deliver a range of activities in the ward to combat loneliness and isolation.  

“I’m proud to have been part of a Labour administration that is delivering tangible improvements for residents in the most challenging of circumstances.

“This decision has not been an easy one, but Hull Road ward deserves 100 per cent commitment and I’m confident that is what residents will get with a new Labour councillor for the area.”

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Councillor Kelly was elected as part of the Labour intake in May 2023, receiving 1,316 votes out of the total of 6,906 cast in the ward.

She was elected alongside fellow Labour candidates Anna Baxter and Michael Pavlovic.

Labour group leader and leader of the council, Councillor Claire Douglas said: “I’d like to thank Sophie for her service and her firm commitment to both her residents and to what we’re trying to achieve as an administration for this wonderful city.

“It is a measure of this commitment that Sophie has taken the difficult decision to stand down, not wanting to reduce the time she knows it requires to carry out the role well.

“I wish her all the best in her career and am sure she will return to politics at a time that better suits her in the future.”

When a councillor is elected through a by-election, they will serve for the remainder of the original term.

The next local elections in York will be held in May 2027.

There are 47 seats on City of York Council and a majority party requires 24 or more seats to lead the council on its own.

At the May 2023 local elections, the Labour Party secured 24 seats.