Gateshead Labour Councillor Anne Wheeler is on a bit of a journey. She arrived on the council in 2010, winning back a seat from the Lib Dems in Pelaw and Heworth ward which we had held since taking it from Labour in 2000. Having served 2 terms Anne moved ward to Wardley and Leam Lane in 2018. Whether this was a voluntary switch of ward or imposed on her I do not know. Either way, it was for her a good move as Wardley and Leam Lane was one of the strongest Labour wards in the borough. Pelaw and Heworth on the other hand was moving back towards to Lib Dems. In 2016 we took one of the three seats by only 20 votes. Labour clung on by around 100 votes in the ward in 2018 but Anne was safe with a majority of 868 in the next door ward.
Alas, things don't look so comfortable for her now. She is no longer Labour candidate in the Labour fortress of Wardley and Leam Lane. Instead, she is back in Pelaw and Heworth facing a Lib Dem majority of 648 from 2021. The sitting Labour councillor has decided to retire and retirement for Anne is now looking likely as well. The ward is a top target for the Lib Dems and Labour's campaign has been rather minimal.
A ward to watch on Friday 6th May.