Calderdale Council Election Results 2016: The reaction

Local Elections. Janet Battyte and Josh Fenton-Glynn.
Local Elections. Janet Battyte and Josh Fenton-Glynn.

The local election results are in and there is no change in Calderdale’s political situation, with no party gaining enough seats to form a majority administration.

Long-serving local Liberal Democract councillor Janet Battye lost her Calder ward seat after being beaten by Labour’s Josh Fenton-Glynn.

Elsewhere, Colin Peel (Conservative) took the Brighouse seat from Labour’s Ann Martin.

Labour also lost the Warley seat to Liberal Democrat candidate Ashley Evans.

Speaking about the result, Janet Battye said: “I’m sad that my time as a Calderdale councillor has come to an end as I have really enjoyed it.

“I hope that I have been able to help and serve local people.”

And reacting to his win, Josh Fenton-Glynn said: “I’m really pleased with the result. The campaign went very well, it was all about sending a positive message to voters.

“The priority right now is to serve the constituents and deal with the issue of flooding in the area.

“We have all got to work together on the council now and we have to be resilient against central government cuts.”

Colin Peel said he was delighted with the result and praised the work of his team during the campaign.

He added: “I want to boost Brighouse and I’m prepared to put some hard work in, because I am a hard worker.”

Tim Swift, leader of Calderdale Council, said: “It was a really good result for Labour.

“We’re still the largest party, we won more seats than any other party, we hold almost 4,500 more votes than the Conservatives, so I think it’s a really positive result.

“There is strong support for what we have been trying to do in the council.

“Obviously we will have to see what happens now, but we very much hope that continues.

“Labour now holds all three wards in the upper Calder Valley. We knew we ought to win Calder, but it’s taken a lot of time to turn that around so I’m really pleased by that result.

“I very much hope that Labour will still be leading the council.

“We’ve all got group meetings over the next few weeks. We’ve had discussions and Conservatives in the past have said they think the largest party should lead the council.

“We are the largest party. Clearly we will look to build on what we have done in terms of trying to make sure that whilst we provide strong leadership, that’s also done in an inclusive way so that other parties have a full say in that.

“We want to continue with some of the key priorities from before - the focus on jobs and greater fairness remains a priority,

“There’s work we want to do in building up the support around the strengths of the different market towns. We want to do that in a partnership way and we recognise that every councillor should have the right to have some influence and some say in the council as well and we think there’s probably more that can be done to make that happen.”

Meanwhile, Stephen Baines, leader of Calderdale’s Conservative group, said: “I think for the Conservatives, it’s a very positive message for us.

“We’ve gained a seat from Labour - they have reduced the number of seats and I’m looking forward to 2018 when we will again have the opportunity to take control of the council.

“There’s got to be some sort of coalition, unless one party goes as a minority administration. We’ll just have to see how the negotiations pan out.”

He also revealed he would be stepping down as leader, with Brighouse councillor Scott Benton tipped to take his place.

He added: “Hopefully Scott Benton will be elected as our leader on Monday and I will be 100 per cent behind him and he will forge ahead.

“I have been inundated with complaints about the road system in Calderdale, the potholes, the white lines which are non-existent, the street lights which haven’t been operational and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“Everywhere I have been in Calderdale, they have been disgusted with the standard of service. It’s time to fight back.”

James Baker, the new leader of Calderdale’s Liberal Democrat Group, said: “We’re feeling fairly positive.

“Last year we won one ward and this year we’ve won three wards.

“A lot of people wrote off the Liberal Democrats and said we were a completely dead duck, but actually it’s a sign of making a comeback.”