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Thumbs up from Rochdale Lib Dems at Rochdale Town Hall
Thumbs up from Rochdale Lib Dems at Rochdale Town Hall
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Night of joy for Lib Dems

Damon Wilkinson and Helen Johnson
2/ 5/2008

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

Balderstone & Kirkholt - Lib Dem gain

Candidate Party Votes
  Pat Colclough Liberal Democrats 821
  Ian Duckworth Conservative 658
  Darren Pedley Labour 760

Bamford - Con gain

Candidate Party Votes
  Jane Gartside Conservative 1,766
  Ben Robertson Labour 388
  Mohammed Shafiq Liberal Democrats

988

Castleton - Lib Dem hold

Candidate Party Votes
  Ronald Crossley Conservative 467
  Pat Flynn Liberal Democrats 1,386
  Jean Hornby Labour

637

Central Rochdale - Lib Dem hold

Candidate Party Votes
  Daalat Ali Labour 1,422
  Zulfiqar Ali Liberal Democrats 1,869
  Roger Howarth Conservative

309

Healey - Lib Dem hold

Candidate Party Votes
  Tom Bailey Liberal Democrats 1,214
  Phillip Bethell Labour 525
  Andrew Neilson Conservative 920

Kingsway - Lib Dem hold

Candidate Party Votes
  David Clayton Liberal Democrats 1,245
  Phil Grantham Conservative 314
  Tom Stott Labour 1,116

Littleborough Lakeside - Lib Dem hold

Candidate Party Votes
  Peter Evans Liberal Democrats 1,086
  John Hartley Labour 335
  Andrew Jones Conservative 1,001

Milkstone & Deeplish - Lib Dem hold

Candidate Party Votes
  Javed Iqbal Independent 637
  Sue Pawson Conservative 178
  Ghulam Shahzad Labour 796
  Mohammed Sharif Liberal Democrats 1,872

Milnrow & Newhey - Lib Dem hold

Candidate Party Votes
  Debbie Abrahams Labour 620
  Michael Butler Conservative 663
  Irene Davidson Liberal Democrats 1,193

Norden - Con hold

Candidate Party Votes
  Anthony Bennett Labour 278
  James Gartside Conservative 1,450
  Peter Greenwood British National Party 421
  Hilary Rodgers Liberal Democrats 874

Smallbridge & Firgrove - Lib Dem hold

Candidate Party Votes
  Jean Ashworth Liberal Democrats 1,053
  Leonard Branton Conservative 412
  Amna Mir Labour 841

Spotland & Falinge - Lib Dem hold

Candidate Party Votes
  Surinder Biant Labour 1,151
  Steven Scholes Conservative 452
  Barbara Todd Liberal Democrats 1,304

Wardle & West Littleborough - Con hold

Candidate Party Votes
  Ashley Dearnley Conservative 2,157
  Andy Kelly Liberal Democrats 264
  Mike Radanovic Labour

263


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Most recent 1 of 1 user comments

   all those pensioners with yellow badges.

Quite scarey..

Who are they?
mandy40
5/05/2008 at 22:04
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