Council shake-up talks continue

Tim Swift

Tim Swift

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THE future direction of Calderdale Council should become clearer after a series of meetings this week.

Labour is the biggest party with 20 seats after this month’s local elections putting it in its best position for more than 10 years.

As the largest political party - the Conservatives have 17, Lib-Dems, 12, and there are two independents - Labour group leader Tim Swift will be looking to take a firm grip going forward.

Labour and Lib-Dems have shared power for the last two years and there is a good chance that will continue.

But, there could well be a change at the top with Coun Swift (Town), currently deputy leader of the council, possibly taking over from Coun Janet Battye (Lib-Dem, Calder).

Councillor Swift said his party’s first priority was to put together a stable and effective administration which will carry the council forward for the next two years.

“The experiences of the past two years have shown the advantages of a strong partnership with shared priorities, particularly in the light of the difficult financial circumstances forced on us by Government cuts of more than £50 million,” he said.

“Whilst we have worked closely with the Liberal Democrats for the past two years, we are happy to talk to representatives of all the political groups on the council about the best way of securing the certainty and direction needed in these challenging times.”

The Labour group meets today (MONDAY) and decisions taken this week should give a clear sense of direction in the lead up to the council’s annual meeting on Wednesday, May 23.