The first female councillor elected in Park Ward for more than 30 years has spoken of her joy at winning the seat.
Jenny Lynn, 64, won by a landslide in last week’s local election earning 2657 votes - her nearest rival Shakir Saghir (Con) managed just 838 votes.
“I’m not surprised to have won, because I was always confident, but I am surprised to win by so much,” said Mrs Lynn, of Warley Road, Halifax.
The demographic of Park Ward sees around 70 per cent of voters from an Asian background but the new councillor said this was not an issue at the election. “People voted regardless of ethnic background – we worked hard and did an awful lot of door knocking,” she said.
“For 20 or 30 years there has been an assumption that councillors would come from that largest majority group – we have been determined to break that. I am proud that the community have scotched this myth that they will only vote for someone from the Asian community.”
“We tried to persuade people of all different backgrounds and let them know they can make a difference.
“I love this area and this community. It’s fantastic. People are friendly and warm.
“I live alone but I feel very sheltered by the community.”
The last female councillor in the ward was Margaret Berry in 1980 when the ward was known as St John’s.
Mrs Lynn said the support of women in the area had been crucial to her victory: “Part of the reason why I agreed to go forward was because last summer two women came to see me and they said they wanted to find a way for women to feel more involved in politics.”
Before her move into local politics Mrs Lynn worked as chief executive of the West Central Halifax Partnership working to regenerate communites.
She said this has stood her in good stead for understanding what communities want and also interacting with people.
“I am keen to promote community spirit and get back to that idea of neighbourliness.
“My message has been I am only an ordinary person - I can’t wave a magic wand but by helping each other out we can get through these hard times.”
Mrs Lynn has predicted this could open the floodgates for more women councillors.
“You ain’t seen nothing yet. I hope in the future we will see more women coming and this will be a catalyst.”