Independents hold the key

THE dilemma facing voters when local election time comes around is whether to put their cross against the party or the player.

Who has a track record of getting things done? Who has the potential to get things done? Reject a party because of the direction it is taking nationally? Stick to the party traditionally supported?

These will be the questions voters will be asking themselves as pencil hovers over ballot paper on May 5.

The interest in Brighouse area wards centres on the impact the Independent candidates are expected to make. They clearly hold the key to the outcome of this year’s more interesting than usual poll.

Joyce Cawthra is the councillor seeking re-election in Brighouse but this time with a different coloured rosette.

Unceremoniously deselected by the Tories, Coun Cawthra has opted to take the Independent route. With a strong local following she could make life difficult for her three rivals.

Chris Pillai contests Rastrick, a ward previously held by Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker.

Again, he is up against candidates who each have their supporters, not least Adrian Hartshorn who could make his presence felt as an Independent.

It could be a close-run thing, too, in Hipperholme and Lightcliffe where defending councillor David Kirton faces former Tory Chris O’Connor, another candidate wearing the Independent colours.

n Candidates for Elland are John Ford (Con); Angi Gallagher (Lab); Stella Haigh (Lib Dem); and Susan Thomas (Green). Contesting Town are Richard Armstrong (BNP); James Baker (Lib Dem); Tim Swift (Lab); and Geoffrey Thompson (Con).