Calderdale goes to the polls but will anyone gain overall control?

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Calderdale residents will take to the polls today with question marks remaining if any political party will gain overall control of the authority.

The 51-member authority has been run by the Labour group, under Coun Tim Swift’s leadership, on a minority basis, meaning a handful of seats changing hands either way can have a major influence on its future direction.

Until May 3, the council’s make-up is Labour 23 seats, Conservatives 21 seats, Liberal Democrats five seats and two independent councillors.

The last time all 17 wards were contested was 2016, with an active UKIP factor. The party had a key effect in several wards, including Brighouse, Greetland/Stainland, Illingworth/Mixenden, Skircoat, Sowerby Bridge and Town.

The party is not standing any candidates in the 2018 borough elections.

A strong showing by an independent candidate in Ryburn that year also made that ward’s result harder to read.

Last year, with no UKIP candidates standing, all three of wards which did have elections to fill vacancies, Rastrick, Todmorden and Hipperholme/Lightcliffe, saw clearer cut results for the winning parties.

Both independent councillors, Colin Raistrick in Hipperholme/Lightcliffe and Robert Holden in Ryburn, are up for re-election as is another high profile figure, Coun Stephen Baines, Conservative group leader Scott Benton’s deputy, in Northowram/Shelf. Yorkshire and The Humber MEP Amjad Bashir is standing in the Park ward for the Conservatives.

The full list of candidates is as follows.

Brighouse: Howard Granville Blagborough (Conservative); Jennie Rigg (Liberal Democrats); Kate Sweeny (Green); Oliver George Willows (Labour).

Calder: Sarah Courtney (Labour); Richard Hugh Marshall (Conservative); Donal Antony Martin O’Hanlon (Liberal Democrats); Jenny Shepherd (Green).

Elland: David Collins (Conservative); Barry Edward Crossland (Green); Angie Gallagher (Labour); Michael Wallace Whiting (Liberal Democrats).

Greetland and Stainland: Mike Barnes (Labour); Marilyn Greenwood (Liberal Democrats); Mark Richard Mullany (Green); Oliver Darryl Williams (Conservative).

Hipperholme and Lightcliffe: Steven Cliberon (Labour); Martin John Hey (Green); Alisdair Calder McGregor (Liberal Democrats); James Pillai (Conservative); Colin Raistrick (Independent).

Illingworth and Mixenden: Guy Beech (Conservative); Sean Loftus (Independent); Alexander Parsons-Hulse (Liberal Democrats); Angela Christine Street (Green); Dan Sutherland (Labour).

Luddenden Foot: Catherine Jane Crosland (Liberal Democrats); Scott Anthony Patient (Labour); Michael John Prior (Green); Jill Smith-Moorhouse (Conservative).

Northowram and Shelf: Stephen Baines (Conservative); Jon Grinham (Liberal Democrats); Elaine Hey (Green); Daniel Richard Manning (The Yorkshire Party); Helen Sutcliffe (Labour).

Ovenden: Katherine Louise Horner (Green); John Reynolds (Liberal Democrats); Helen Josephine Rivron (Labour); Gill Tolley (Conservative).

Park: Amjad Mahmood Bashir (Conservative); Surraya Bibi (Independent); Finn Mygind Jensen (Green); Mohammed Naeem (Labour).

Rastrick: Regan Gerhard Dickenson (Conservative); Kathy Haigh-Hutchinson (Liberal Democrats); Peter Judge (Labour and Co-operative); Angharad Lois Turner (Green).

Ryburn: Robert Holden (Independent); Steven Leigh (Conservative); Rosemary Tatchell (Liberal Democrats); David William Veitch (Labour and Co-operative); Katie Witham (Green).

Skircoat: Sean Bamforth (Liberal Democrats); Colin Hugh Hutchinson (Labour); Anne Marie Nelson (Green); Andrew James Tagg (Conservative).

Sowerby Bridge: Jeff Featherstone (Conservative); Dot Foster (Labour); John Richard Ward Nesbitt (Green); Tom Stringfellow (Liberal Democrats).

Todmorden: Janet Mary Battye (Liberal Democrats); Jacob Nathaniel Cook (Conservative); Chris Jackson (National Front); Susan Mary Press (Labour); Kieran Luke Turner (Green).

Town: Mark Llewellyn Edwards (Conservative); Alan Patrick McDonald (Green); Bob Metcalfe (Labour); Benjamin George Simmons (Liberal Democrats).

Warley: Frank James Holt (Green); Amanda Parsons-Hulse (Liberal Democrats); Shakir Saghir (Conservative); Audrey Smith (Labour).