Labour made losses on Sheffield City Council while the Greens and the Liberal Democrats both increased their number of seats in a good night for the opposition parties.
It reflected a pattern of lost seats for the party across the country, but in Sheffield it is thought that the trees paid a large part in gains for the minority parties.
The Labour administration in Sheffield has come under fire for its tree-replacement policy and the partnership with contractor Amey, and seems to have been punished for that with these results.
The student areas, where the crux of the tree issue has sat, generally voted against the Labour candidates. City ward is now the first ward in the city to have a full complement of Green councillors with Martin Phipps joining Rob Murphy and Douglas Johnson having beaten Beverley Thomas by just 16 votes.
Broomhill & Sharrow Vale was one of the biggest gains of the night for the Green Party, with Kaltum Rivers getting 2,703 votes ahead of Labour’s Janet Ridler on 1,926.
She said: “We campaigned on increasing the level of scrutiny and challenge to the Labour council, and that is what we’ll be aiming to do, starting today. It is clear that the undemocratic ‘strong leader’ method of government is unsuited to our aspirations and profoundly undemocratic.”
Labour’s only gain of the night came in East Ecclesfield, where former University of Sheffield student Moya O’Rourke won the seat off of UKIP with 1,534 votes. UKIP finished last with 343 votes.
While the results show that Labour are receiving some backlash in areas where tree-felling is a big issue, they consolidated their vote in areas like Burngreave and can take confidence from that.
They still hold a solid majority of 10 seats, and will be hoping to improve on this showing next time elections roll around.
Nationally, Labour gained Plymouth from the Conservatives, while they lost control of Derby and Nuneaton & Bedworth.