LABOUR took the Brighouse seat from the Conservatives in this year’s local elections.
And the win may help change the shape of Calderdale Council’s ruling party.
Clr Ann Martin returned to local politics for the first time since 2000 after winning the Brighouse seat with 1,329 votes against former Conservative councillor Howard Blagbrough’s 1,195.
Her win makes politics in Brighouse a mixed bag – the town is now served by Tory Scott Benton, Independent Colin Stout and now Labour’s Ann Martin.
Speaking to the Examiner after the win, Clr Martin said: “I knew it was going to be close, but I am very proud to win. I think change is in the air, to be honest.
“I think the people of Brighouse felt that somebody else was needed to take up their issues.”
Her work starts at 4pm today when she will meet Smith House estate residents to find out what her new constituents think her priorities should be.
Turnout in Brighouse was 32.68% – 2,822 votes out of a possible 8,635.
In Rastrick Clr Ann McAllister held the seat for the Conservatives.
She said: “I am very pleased that Rastrick voters had faith in me to continue to work on their behalf and represent them.
“When I was campaigning there was quite a lot of concern about national debates and that I can understand.
“But it does disappoint me because I am standing in a local election. I am here to directly represent them on the council at a local level and get things done which they need.”
She vowed to put Rastrick first and fight for opportunities for young people and the older, vulnerable sections of society.
Clr McAllister won with 1,311 votes against the Labour Party candidate Peter Judge with 1,046 votes and turnout was 30.64% – 2,631 votes out of 8,586.
Elland’s Clr Pat Allen held the ward with 950 votes. Labour Party candidate Angi Gallagher came second with 829 votes. Elland turnout was 30.85% – 2,607 from 8,451 eligible voters.
The Liberal Democrats held Greetland and Stainland, but with Malcolm James winning the 1,121 votes after former Lib Dem councillor Keith Watson defected to the Conservatives.
Mr Watson came second with 751 votes, losing his seat to his former party.
Turnout in Greetland and Stainland was 31.89% with 2,705 votes from a potential 8,483.
Clr Graham Hall kept the Hipperholme and Lightcliffe seat for the Conservatives, polling the biggest turnout of 35.33% – 3,090 voted out of potential 8,745.
Overall in Calderdale Labour won seven seats, giving them a total of 20. The Tories have 17 seats, Lib Dems have 12 and two are Independent.
In Monday’s Examiner we look at what effect the local election will have on Calderdale Council’s ruling party.