Fallout from the Calderdale Council local elections 2018

Lib Dem leader James Baker, top left, Conservative leader Scott Benton, bottom left and Labour Leader Tim Swift
Lib Dem leader James Baker, top left, Conservative leader Scott Benton, bottom left and Labour Leader Tim Swift

As the dust settles on the Calderdale Council Local Elections 2018, the leaders of the respective political parties have had their say on the results.

Although Calderdale Council remains with no party in overall control, Labour leader Tim Swift was pleased with his party’s performance, which saw it finish the day with a net gain of one after the May 2018 election count at North Bridge Leisure Centre, Halifax.

In particular he hailed his party’s victory in Skircoat ward of Halifax, which saw Colin Hutchinson edge out Andrew Tagg in what has always been a Conservative stronghold as “extraordinary”.

“It’s a pretty good result for us overall,” said Coun Swift.

He said the party was disappointed to lose Warley but had gained Luddenden Foot and pulled off the shock of the day in Skircoat.

“The results show how politics in Calderdale is changing.

“If you would have said we would have won a ward in Skircoat for the first time in Calderdale’s history, well, that’s an extraordinary result.”

Councillor Swift (Labour, Town) said the party’s Conservative opponents had run a scare campaign centred around the Local Plan – but it had been comprehensively rejected.

Liberal Democrat group leader on Calderdale Council, Councillor James Baker, was very happy to see the party pick up its first council seat gain for eight years.

In Warley ward Amanda Parsons-Hulme won the seat from Labour, and with Councillor Marilyn Greenwood comfortably holding on in Greetland and Stainland, Coun Baker (Warley) was pleased with the party’s May 2018 election results.

It was the first council seat in Calderdale the party had won rather than defended since the party governed nationally in the Coalition Government with the Conservatives.

“We are really pleased to have gained a council seat for the first time since 2010.

“We feel like we have turned a corner and are looking forward to carry on implementing our local council manifesto,” he said.

Councillor Baker said his party was the only one which had produced a manifesto for local government and with Calderdale still being a hung authority would work towards getting as much of it as possible put in place.

Conservative group leader on Calderdale Council Scott Benton said his party’s performance in Calderdale Council’s elections on May 4 and been “solid” with some strong performances in traditionally Labour areas.

The authority ended the day with no party in overall control, Labour increasing its representation by a net one seat, but with gains also for the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats.

Against a national backdrop of being in Government for eight years, Labour had still been unable to gain control of Calderdale, said Councillor Benton (Brighouse).

“Given that the Conservatives have been the party of Government for the last eight years, the results were a solid performance for us.

“We gained a seat in Ryburn and put in a number of strong performances in traditionally Labour areas in Halifax.

“It was disappointing to lose hardworking colleagues in Skircoat and Luddenden Foot and to miss out on two wards (Elland and Skircoat) by less than 100 votes.

“The fact that Labour are still unable to win overall control of Calderdale, and their poor performance in areas of the Calder Valley, despite being in opposition nationally for eight years, demonstrates that they are nowhere near winning a General Election,” he said.