Torrential rain couldn’t dampen Conservative spirits today as they made election history with the capture of Greetland and Stainland – the first time it has been blue since the inception of Calderdale in 1974.
Chris Pearson’s victory in what has been a traditionally Lib Dem stronghold and the capture of Sowerby Bridge from Labour capped a memorable day for the Tories.
Chris, 32, of Holywell Green, said: “It’s humbling, absolutely humbling. We needed an extra 31 votes last year and this time we kept going.”
In the end they amassed 2,317 votes compared to 1,473 for the Lib Dem’s Paul Bellenger. Robin Dixon, (Labour) came third with 1,004.
And it was made even more special by former council leader John Ford’s retention of his Elland seat with an increased majority.
His record since his first election in 1968 now reads: Won 11, Lost 8 and means he has served the public for 37 years, off and on.
John said: “I won by more than 200 votes from the Labour Party which is significantly up on the 65 votes I won by four years ago.
“I still enjoy politics as much as ever. I was leader of the council for quite some years but I am enjoying being a back bencher.”
Helen Roberts, who lives in Elland and who is deputy regional chairman of Yorkshire and Humber Conservative Party, said: “I am ecstatic. Absolutely delighted.
“It’s been an interesting election because on the doorstep when I was knocking on doors what the public were telling me and what the polls were showing was rather different. We knew it was going to be a good day.”
Elsewhere, Conservative veteran, David Kirton, romped to victory in Hipperholme and Lightcliffe – more than doubling the vote of his nearest opponent, the Labour Party’s Kashif Ali, 3,878/1,254.
Chris Pillai comfortably retained his Rastrick seat and Scott Benton, deputy Conservative group leader, won Brighouse at a canter with an almost 1,000 majority over his Labour opponent.
Labour Party group leader Tim Swift who retained his own seat in Town said of the Greetland and Stainland result: “In one sense I am not surprised. If UKIP had not stood the Lib Dems would have lost it last year. It just sums up the dire straits the Lib Dems are in.”
The results in Calderdale mean the Conservative group led by Stephen Baines runs the council with a minority administration.
Of the 51 seats, Labour lost one to go from 25 to 24, the Tories gained two, 19 to 21 and the Lib Dems lost one and went from six seats to five. There is one Independent.
|Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts||170|
Hipperholme and Lightcliffe
Greetland and Stainland
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John Frank Brearley
John Richard Ward
|Trade Unionist & Socialist Coalition||53|
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