TALKS over the coming weeks will decide the make-up of Calderdale Council’s ruling coalition.
Overall in Calderdale Labour won seven seats at last week’s local election, giving them a total of 20.
The Conservatives have 17 seats and the Liberal Democrats have 12 seats. A further two are Independent seats.
Previously the Lib Dems and Labour each had 13 seats and they formed a coalition with Lib Dem’s Clr Janet Battye leading the council with Labour’s Clr Tim Swift as her deputy.
Talks will take place over the coming weeks and the make-up of Calderdale Council’s ruling party will be announced at the Annual Council meeting on May 23.
Clr Tim Swift, Leader of the Labour party in Calderdale, said: "Seven gains is a great result for us – more than we predicted in advance.
"I think we need to be realistic about why we gained. We did put in the footwork locally and that’s helped, but what’s happening nationally will have a reflection.
"There will certainly be talks about how we can go ahead with the coalition but we are the largest party and we’d hope to be looking at leading roles going forward.
"We’ve worked well together for the last two years and we need to talk about how we do that from now."
Clr Swift, who represents the Town ward, said helping Calderdale residents during difficult times would be his priority.
"We need to do everything we can to support people," he added.
It was a view shared by the current Council Leader, Clr Janet Battye, who secured her Calder seat in last week’s local elections.
Clr Battye said: "The Labour party has made gains as you would expect from the national matters and we’ve struggled to hold on to our seats but have got one seat back.
"We’ve worked well with Labour over the last two years. We share the administration and we have to look at what grounds we have to continue that relationship for the next two years.
"My priority is that the council should be about local issues.
"If a council has one powerful controlling party there is the possibility of them becoming inward and they don’t listen to people and think they can rule the world.
"A Coalition of parties keeps us on our toes certainly and it makes us assess issues from other angels.
"As a Liberal Democrat my roots are in community politics. Having been pounding the streets for the last month my head is full of ideas and issues from people and they’re all local."