We have mandate, says leader

Coun Tim Swift.
Coun Tim Swift.

Calderdale Council leader Tim Swift says the electorate have handed him a ‘clear mandate’ to remain in control.

Labour were one seat short of achieving an overall majority, winning 25 seats, but Coun Swift, who was also re-elected leader of calderdale Labour group, says the party will continue as a minority administration.

He said: “In broad terms we feel Labour has a clear mandate to continue to run the council.

“We’ve still not quite got an overall majority but our intention is to continue as a minority administration and we are talking to the other groups about the non-cabinet positions.

“It is our intention to run it in an open way and we will consult other groups where possible.

“We will be finalising our proposals next week.”

Park ward’s Farman Ali, was one of nine Labour candidates elected or re-elected in a night of triumph for the party in Calderdale.

Leader of the Conservative group, Stephen Baines, was re-elected for Northowram and Shelf. He has been chosen again as leader, with Coun Scott Benton elected as Tory deputy leader.

Coun Baines said the Conservatives will offer no objection to Labour retaining control of the council.

He said: “We won’t be voting for (Labour) but we will abstain to give them the leadership. I’m pleased (Coun Swift) is going to have more dialogue with the other groups.

“They only got a third of the vote so more discussions would be better than just putting through their policies.”

Coun Janet Battye, Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, said: “It was a disappointing result but we still have a lot to offer.”