Readers say: Let Tim lead us

A DECISION on who will take on the role of leader of Calderdale Council is expected to be made today.

A poll of Courier readers showed overwhelming support for Labour’s Tim Swift over Liberal Democrat Janet Battye.

After the recent election, both political groups have been left with 13 seats, which combined gives them just enough for overall control of the 51-member council.

Councillor Battye (Calder) has led the authority for the past year as part of a Lib-Lab pact and she can expect additional support in the leadership battle from Robert Pearson (Warley), who recently quit her group but sits as an Independent Liberal Democrat.

Many believe it is time for Coun Swift to take on the top job, as he has been involved with the council for nearly 20 years and helped his group gain three seats in the election.

The Liberal Democrats lost two.

Talks have been taking place between the two sides all week about sustaining the coalition and the Lib-Dems were due to meet last night to decide what recommendations to make to the annual council meeting next Monday.

Some Courier readers want the Conservatives, as the biggest single party with 19 seats, to be directly involved in running the council.

Group leader Steph-en Baines (Northowram and Shelf) and his colleague Ian Cooper (Todmorden) also received votes in our poll. At next week’s meeting Coun Nader Fekri (Lib-Dem, Calder) will be appointed as next Mayor of Calderdale and chairman of the council, while Coun Peter Wardhaugh (Lib-Dem, Greetland and Stainland) will be the Deputy Mayor.

Calderdale’s youngstest councillor, 22-year-old Daniel Sutherland, who was elected in Illingworth and Mixenden last year, has been appointed as the Labour group whip and will be responsible for ensuring his older colleagues toe the line.