THE Tories are celebrating in Calderdale after taking more council seats.
They have the majority with 21 seats, an increase of two.
But the future is uncertain – Labour and the Liberal Democrats both have 13 seats each which, combined, gives them a majority with 26.
Previously the Lib Dems and Labour worked as a coalition. But they’ll have to sit down over the coming days and decide if they will continue to work together.
Joining the council is a 23-year-old, a former council leader and the chairman of a Huddersfield cricket club.
In Brighouse Scott Benton won for the Tories with 35.25% of the vote.
In December he un-seated Joyce Cawthra, the former Tory councillor who resigned from the party after being de-selected. She stood against him as an independent.
Scott, 23, said: “I expected it to be really close. My age isn’t a factor, I joined the Conservative party when I was 13 and it wasn’t fashionable, they were averaging 25% in the polls but they have values I believe in still.”
Asked what the main issues on the doorsteps where, Clr Benton said: “Recycling and protecting our open spaces were the main issues, especially closer to Brighouse town centre.
“I feel that Brighouse doesn’t get our fair share of resources like Halifax does, we need to make sure they do.”
Returning to the council chamber will be John Ford. He was leader of Calderdale Council from 1999 to 2005 and stood for re-election each year after losing his seat four years ago.
He is the first Tory to win an Elland seat for a full term since the 70s.
Clr Ford said: “I’m very pleased to be back, I put up three times since I was last here but I live near Elland and I believe in representing the area you live in.”
Asked if he wanted a return to portfolio, he replied: “I want to be involved in making decisions and getting the best for Elland.”
New Rastrick councillor Chris Pillai has big footsteps to follow in. He takes over from MP Craig Whittaker, who had a dual role as MP and councillor after he won the Calder Valley seat last year.
Tory Clr Pillai, who is chairman of the St Augustine Cricket Club in Salendine Nook, said: “I’m relieved to have won and very excited and proud too.
“It’s a tall order for me to follow in Craig’s footsteps, he did a brilliant job as councillor and I will do all I can to offer support to the people of Rastrick.”
He said highways and parking problems were the main issues residents spoke about on the campaign trail.
The Tories were also celebrating in Hipperholme and Lightcliffe, where Clr David Kirton held onto the seat with the biggest majority in the Lower Valley – 43.05%.
But Greetland and Stainland was held by the Liberal Democrats, with Clr Peter Wardhaugh retaining the seat with 37.47% of the vote.