Night of joy for Lib DemsDamon Wilkinson and Helen Johnson
IT WAS smiles all round for the Liberal Democrats as they increased their majority at Thursday’s elections
The party picked up seats in Balderstone and Kirkholt, and North Heywood, but lost out to Labour in East Middleton to finish one seat up from a last year – an overall majority of six.
The Lib Dems now have 33 seats on the council compared to Labour’s 19.
And it is as you were for the Conservatives after they failed to make any gains, leaving them with eight seats.
The council leader, Councillor Alan Taylor, said the result vindicated the changes put in place by his party, such as the switch to fortnightly bin collections.
He said: "I am delighted because we fought a very positive campaign.
"Rochdale has had a Lib Dem council for two years and we are starting to see the difference we have made
"We have listened to people and put them first and they have responded.
"The switch to fortnightly bin collections has been a brilliant success.
"There were a few teething problems to start with but generally people have welcomed it.
"We have increased the amount we recycle and have saved about £2M."
He added the Lib Dems were now looking to stay in power for a long time.
"When people have a Lib Dem council they seem to keep re-electing them," he added
"Look at Stockport. The Lib Dems have been in power there for more than 20 years and that is because people know we do not have to toe the party line.
"We listen to people and act on their concerns."
Outgoing Labour leader Allen Brett who, after not standing in Balderstone and Kirkholt saw his seat taken by Lib Dem Pat Colclough, blamed the disappointing showing on voters’ disenchantment with the Prime Minister, Gordon Brown.
He said: "It’s disappointing but, having said that, we had some good results in Spotland and Falinge, Smallbridge and Firgrove, and Milnrow and Newhey, where we had a lot of votes.
"This year, national politics were against us."
Councillor Brett added that he was not retiring altogether from politics, but was ‘going into the background’.
Conservative leader Ashley Dearnley, who held his Wardle and West Littleborough seat with the biggest majority of the night, said there were encouraging signs for his party.
He said: "I am delighted we have held every seat that we fought because tonight the public has sent out a protest message to the government.
"They have voted for the party they thought were most likely to get rid of the Labour councillor and in a lot of places they thought that was the Liberal Democrats.
"But a lot of those people are Conservative voters and we will work hard to get them back
"And once they see us getting stronger on a national level, I am sure they will come back.
"We have a young team of people and we are very determined to work at it."
There'll be full in-depth coverage and pictures in Saturday's Observer ...
Results (out of 20 seats up for election): Lib Dem 11 - Labour 6 - Conservative 3
State of the Council: Lib Dem 33, Labour 18, Conservative 8
|Pat Colclough||Liberal Democrats||821|
|Mohammed Shafiq||Liberal Democrats||
|Pat Flynn||Liberal Democrats||1,386|
|Zulfiqar Ali||Liberal Democrats||1,869|
|Tom Bailey||Liberal Democrats||1,214|
|David Clayton||Liberal Democrats||1,245|
|Peter Evans||Liberal Democrats||1,086|
|Mohammed Sharif||Liberal Democrats||1,872|
|Irene Davidson||Liberal Democrats||1,193|
|Peter Greenwood||British National Party||421|
|Hilary Rodgers||Liberal Democrats||874|
|Jean Ashworth||Liberal Democrats||1,053|
|Barbara Todd||Liberal Democrats||1,304|
|Andy Kelly||Liberal Democrats||264|
Most recent 1 of 1 user comments
Register now and have your comments heard.
- Most read
|Capital One BT Exclusive||3.0%|
|Virgin Credit Card||2.98%|
|Capital One Platinum||3.0%|
|Barclaycard Platinum 'As on TV'||2.9%|
|Moneyback Bank Loan||7.2%|
|Barclaycard Personal Loan||7.3%|
|Alliance & Leicester Personal Loan||7.7%|
|Halifax Personal Loan (Semi-exclusive)||7.8%|
|Bank of Scotland Personal Loan (Semi-exclusive)||7.8%|