Ward changes - 10 new faces

Local Elections.Labours ladies Anne Collins, Megan Swift, Lisa Lambert, Jenny Lynn and Ann Martin.
Local Elections.Labours ladies Anne Collins, Megan Swift, Lisa Lambert, Jenny Lynn and Ann Martin.

COUNCIL leader Janet Battye has held on to her seat by the skin of her teeth.

It looked at one stage as though, after representing Calder ward for 10 years, she would be swept aside by the Labour onslaught.

But she pipped Susan Press to the post with a majority of 145.

Green Party candidate Kate Sweeny pushed Conservative Gail Lund into fourth.

In the neighbouring ward of Luddenden Foot, Liberal Democrat councillor Christine Bampton-Smith was ousted after 14 years in the job by Labour’s Simon Young.

But she remains a member of Hebden Royd Town Council.

Lib Dem turned Tory, Coun Keith Watson, lost his seat in Greetland and Stainland ensuring the ward remains, as it always has been, a Liberal stronghold.

One of the biggest shocks was the ousting of Conservative councillor Howard Blagbrough, in Brighouse.

He is the political assistant of Calder Valley Conservative MP Craig Whittaker and he was too upset to talk after the result was announced.

It means a return to the council chamber for Labour’s Ann Martin.

The Conservative’s toe hold in the upper Calder Valley vanished when former cabinet member Ian Cooper lost his seat in Todmorden and the Conservatives were also unable to hold on to the seat in Sowerby Bridge which had been represented by another former cabinet member, Amanda Byrne.

The council’s last link with the British National Party was severed when Coun Tom Bates lost his seat in Illingworth and Mixenden.

Councillor Bates was elected as a BNP councillor in 2008 and became an Independent 18 months ago.

But his new image wasn’t enough to keep at bay the Labour newcomer Lisa Lambert.

It was all change in Park ward with the Lib Dem councillor Illyas Mohammed losing to Labour’s Jenny Lynn.

She is the first woman to win a council seat in the largely Asian area since 1980.

Ann Collins will join her husband, Coun Barry Collins, on the council after winning Ovenden and Coun Megan Swift, the wife of Coun Tim Swift, retained her seat in Town ward.

Altogether there will be 10 new faces on the council when gathers for the annual meeting on May 23.

That will be chaired by Coun John Hardy, who retained his seat in Skircoat ward and will be sworn in as Mayor.