Tense wait for veteran

IN a tense wait, long-serving Tory councillor Bill Carpenter held on to his Northowram and Shelf seat for yet another year.

The former leader of the Calderdale Council Conserv-ative group saw off BNP candidate Graham Nalton by just over 100 votes.

Polling 1,231 votes, Councillor Carpenter, of Long Ridge, Brighouse, is a former Mayor of Calderdale and has been a member of the council since 1980.

In what could have been the shock of the night, Coun Carpenter appeared visibly shaken by his close call.

He said: "Initially I didn't expect it to be so close, but once I saw the votes coming out of the box, then I realised it was going to be very close - far too close for comfort really.

"I thought I was going to hold it but was on tenterhooks all the way through.

"I've been a councillor for 23 years and I just felt that I deserved better.

"I don't know whether I will be back next year. I am 77 now and shall be 78 come that time and I really feel that another four years from there would not be a good thing."

Councillor Carpenter originally represented the Rastrick ward and is a member of the cabinet with special responsibility for schools and children's services.

Newcomer Mr Nalton of Witchfield Hill, Shelf, nearly brought the BNP's tally to two.

He said: "I am so delighted to come second place to a seasoned campaigner like Bill Carpenter.

"I am pleased that I came so close to him. I never, ever in my wildest dreams expected to get 1,000 votes. I am absolutely delighted and will be back next year.

"I think people were looking for a new party and were a little bit disgruntled with the Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats.

"Maybe we are the new party to turn to."

The defeated Labour candidate Mr Derek Fox Haviour of Shibden, Halifax, gained 525 votes.

A total of 270 votes went to Independent candidate John Pulman of Vickerman Street, Halifax.

Trailing in with 7 per cent, Mrs Janet Sherrard-Smith, of Lea Avenue, Skircoat Green, Halifax, stood for election for the third time and won 243 votes for the Liberal Democrats.


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