Labour can only run Calderdale Council by working in coalition, or by forming a weak minority administration.
The latter requires one of the other political groups to abstain, and effectively hand them control. Whether we like it or not, the electorate of Calderdale have chosen (the share of the vote figures are: LD 24%; Lab 32%; Con 32%; Others 12%. ) a Council in which discussion and agreement need to be the order of the day. I was always brought up to believe that when you disagree with someone you try to seek a compromise. Coalition administrations are one way in which two political groups that have different values can through compromise come together in the best interests of the people they represent. Labour acknowledge that the coalition in Calderdale has been fruitful, recently a Labour Councillor wrote in these letter pages that the record of joint local governance was a ‘record to be rightly proud of’. It is a shame they have chosen to break this agreement in order to protest and oppose government reforms that seek to reduce the deficit and make sure work pays. The Liberal Democrat vision for Calderdale is one in which power is devolved into the hands of the people. We seek to build a stronger economy by raising the poorly paid out of tax, supporting people to start and run their own businesses, and helping young people into work with record numbers of apprenticeships. We strive to create a fairer society in which your local school is given extra money to help support children from poorer backgrounds, in which the cost of social care in old age is capped, in which communities have new rights to protect assets such as local pubs, post offices and parks that matter to us all. The break down of the Lab/Lib pact on Calderdale demonstrates Labour are happy to turn their back on all of this, in order to follow their own vision of protest and dissent. In doing so they demonstrate they are more concerned with pursuing one party rule in Calderdale than a genuine one nation approach.
Coun James Baker
Lib Dem Warley