Seat held by Lib-Dems

The Liberal Democrats held on to the Calder Valley seat at yesterday's by-election when Janet Battye stormed to victory with 46 per cent of the vote.

She pulled 883 votes to win a seat on Calderdale Council, with Labour candidate Mike Towl clocking up 448 in second place.

Conservative Craig Whittaker managed 364 and Green Party candidate Jamie Johnson had 235 votes.

The by-election was held after the resignation of Liberal Democrat Julie Dower who has moved away from the area.

Councillor Battye, of Keighley Road, Peckett Well, said she was delighted with the result and said the whole team had worked very hard.

"I have been delighted by the response of local people," she said. "A lot have come forward with lots of issues that I can now tackle as a councillor. We want to increase the presence of police in the area."

The 53-year-old said she would also be looking at the cost of Passport to Leisure and also the parking charges in the Upper Calder Valley which come in to force next April.

Mr Towl said he thought the result was very disappointing but vowed to fight on. "The public has voted for apathy because voting for the Liberal Democrats is basically the same thing."

Mr Whittaker said he was pleased with the result which had seen a 3 per cent swing for the Tories.

"Labour are the big losers" he said. "This is a massive swing for us and my congratulations go to Janet."

The result means the Liberal Democrats now have 15 seats on the council, the Conservatives hold 23, Labour has 11 and there are 3 Independents.

There are still two vacancies following the resignation of Labour's Andy Metcalfe in Mixenden and Tory Gareth Henderson in Rastrick.

The total number of votes polled was 1,935 and the turnout was 22.2 per cent. The result came through at Todmorden Town Hall just over an hour after the polling stations had closed.