How youth won over experience

TWENTY-three-year-old Scott Benton will be the third youngest member when he takes up his seat on Calderdale Council.

The trainee teacher took Brighouse for the Tories with 1,278 votes relegating Labour veteran Ann Martin and former Conservative Joyce Cawthra to the minor placings.

Controversy surrounded the party last December when Coun Benton was selected as the Tory candidate ahead of Mrs Cawthra who resigned from the party soon afterwards. She stood against him as an independent receiving 968 votes.

Councillor Benton said he was expecting the vote to be really close. “I joined the Conservative party when I was 13 and it wasn’t fashionable, they were averaging 25 per cent in the polls but they have values I believe in still.”

While out speaking to people on their doorsteps Coun Benton was told that the main issues were recycling and protecting open spaces, especially closer to Brighouse town centre. He said the town had a lot of potential and felt more could be done to get the most out of it in the future.

He wanted to make sure the town gets its fair share.

Mrs Cawthra who was unable to attend the count because of prior arrangements said she was upset with the result. “I have agreed to continue with Brighouse Civic Trust, Brighouse Road Safety and 3Bs and anything else anybody wants me to do. But I will never stand for council ever again. I have done my best and if it wasn’t good enough, it wasn’t good enough,” she said.