The local elections are over and despite increasing my vote from 1,057 to 1,164 I lost my seat in Sowerby Bridge.
Through Your Say can I express how proud and privileged I was to serve the town for 12 years as their Councillor since 1999, and be re-elected in 2003, 2004 and 2007. In a marginal ward like Sowerby Bridge it will always be a knife-edge contest.
I look back with pride on some of the events the past 12 years I was involved with.
For example, the regeneration of the canal basin resulting in the recent visit of HRH Prince Charles.
The new swimming pool and market. The successful campaigns to halt development at the Rhubarb Fields on Scarr Bottom Road, and an intrusive go-karting scheme at Mearclough in the Copley Valley; which one again is facing another planning scheme due to be heard in June.
But also the people. I won’t name them because I know their modesty would make them embarrassed, but the youth football club, the ward forum, the campaign groups, and many of the people I acted for as a Councillor.
During the May election I was disappointed that every literature Labour put out was a negative knocking of the three hard-working Conservative Councillors, who over a decade have contributed their part in making Sowerby Bridge “The Most Improved Town in Calderdale”, and said nothing about what their candidate would do for the ward.
It took the combined efforts of 9,000 pieces of literature, the local MP, and resources paid for by the Trade Unions to win the seat for Labour.
Despite all the huff and puff Labour nationally failed to make the breakthrough they needed to persuade the people of this Great Country they are fit for government.
To the residents of Sowerby Bridge I finally say this. I will still take my daughter to the new swimming pool. I will still go for a drink and eat out in the many excellent bars and restaurants.
If you see me in the street you are very welcome to approach me and tell me what Sowerby Bridge means to you.
You are all special people, who might not have agreed with me politically, but your insights on life and observations helped to enrich me as a person. Thank you.