Calderdale Council: Councillor who has served Halifax for more than 20 years to step down
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Labour councillor Megan Swift, who has represented Town ward for more than 20 years, is leaving the council in May due to health issues.
She said she was very sad to be standing down.
“I was first elected in 2002, so representing Town ward and serving my local community in Calderdale has been a huge part of my life,” she said.
“Growing up in Halifax and leaving school at 16, I could never have imagined that I would have this opportunity and I am grateful to local electors and the local Labour party for giving me the chance to service.
“Unfortunately, since I was re-elected in 2021, my health has deteriorated significantly and it is becoming impossible for me to carry out my duties in the way that I would want to.
“Although I am still seeking a diagnosis for my condition, I have to accept that I am not going to regain the mobility and health that I need to continue, and so with sadness I have decided not to seek re-election.”
Re-elected on five occasions, thanks to her leadership Town ward has remained a Labour seat, with the party winning every local election in the ward since 2006, say ward colleagues.
These include her husband Coun Tim Swift – deputy leader of the council – and Coun Joe Thompson, who replaced another long-standing Labour colleague Bob Metcalfe in 2022.
A strong campaigner for redevelopment in Halifax and a passionate advocate for the Borough Market, children and young people have always been Megan’s priority.
From 2011 until 2019, she was the lead member for Children’s Services, taking the service from being ‘Inadequate’ when she took over to securing a rating of ‘Good’ with ‘Outstanding’ features when she stood down.
During her time in this role, a number of important school development projects were agreed including the rebuilding of Moorside and Copley schools, and the conversion of the former central library at Northgate in Halifax into a new sixth form facility.