Red letter day as Labour wins seats

Local Elections. Steve Sweeny.
Local Elections. Steve Sweeny.

LABOUR were the big winners at last week’s local elections, winning two of the three seats up for grabs in the upper Calder Valley.

Labour candidate Steve Sweeney celebrated winning the Todmorden ward seat, beating competition from sitting Conservative councillor Ian Cooper and long-serving Liberal Democrat Olwen Jennings.

Coun Sweeney said: “I think it is a great honour to represent the people of Todmorden.

“I’m looking forward to getting stuck in.”

Coun Sweeney, who lives in Hebden Bridge, also serves on Hebden Royd Town Council.

“I don’t think it will be a problem that I also sit on Hebden Royd Town Council, given that there are other councillors who do both,” he said.

“The fact that I live in Hebden Bridge shouldn’t be a problem because it doesn’t seem to have affected other councillors in a similar position.”

Ian Cooper, who lost his seat after four years on the council, said he was disappointed but still had lots to look forward to.

“I was pleased at the opportunity that the electorate had given me previously to represent them,” he said.

“I would like to think that during my time in office I have made a positive contribution. It’s just regrettable that I was unsuccessful.

“I’m deeply appreciative of all those who voted for me previously and all those who voted for me in this election.

“I hope they feel that I have not let them down.

“I will still be active on Todmorden Town Council, arguably even more so.

“I’m due to become Deputy Mayor of Todmorden on Saturday.

“There will be lots for me to do. I’m looking forward to that.”

Olwen Jennings, who during her political career has served on Calderdale Council for many years, said: “I’m disappointed and quite surprised.

“The country is going Labour but the people of Todmorden voted for someone who actually lives in Hebden Bridge, which is surprising really.

“I hope he will be a councillor that people really deserve.”

Council leader Janet Battye held her Calder ward seat for the Lib Dems.

She said: “It has been stunning the support I have had and I am delighted that I have got another four years of hard work.”

In the Luddenden Foot ward, Labour’s Simon Young ousted sitting Lib Dem councillor Christine Bampton-Smith