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Calderdale Coup - Labour ousted from power

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Yesterday evening, Liberal Democrat councillors decided to stop backing the Labour Administration and changed their support to the Conservatives. A vote of no confidence in the Labour administration was carried by 24 votes to 22.

Calderdale council has 51 elected councillors - 25 are Labour, 19 Conservative, 6 Liberal Democrat and one Independent. The Council will now be under Conservative minority control.

The wording of the motion included the following: "It has become clear that the Labour Group has no intention of honouring the assurances it gave in May 2014 that it would consult and work with the other parties represented on Calderdale Council.

"This has come to a head over the past week, when there have been two instances (Hipperholme crossroads and the imposition of parking charges) where the Labour Cabinet have made clear their intention to push ahead with their own agenda. They are ignoring the views of the public of Calderdale and the wishes of the Council that were clearly set out at its budget-setting meeting in February."

Labour argues that the action proves Lib Dems and Tories are two sides of the same coin after they concocted a secret deal to carry out a coup of Calderdale Council last night.

Calderdale Labour Group

The photo above shows the Labour team including Dave Young and Ali Miles who are 2 of the 3 councillors representing Hebden Bridge (Calder Ward). The third councillor representing Hebden Bridge is Janet Battye, (Lib Dem) who seconded the motion of no-confidence.

Speaking after the council meeting, Labour Group leader Tim Swift said, "This cynical coup proves once and for all that the Lib Dems and the Tories are two sides of the same coin. In Westminster for four years they have been in cahoots and now they are going to do the same here in Calderdale.

"It shows that if you vote Lib Dem you get Tory. The chaos and hours of deliberations which followed their power-grab last night showed they didn't have a clue what to do next – if that is a sign of how Calderdale Council is to be run for the next nine months I worry for the people of the borough – they deserve better than this.

"In the ultimate show of hypocrisy, the two issues Cllrs Battye and Baines pretended this was all about – car parking charges in the town centre and Hipperholme crossroads – these two issues were subsequently swiped from the agenda and so were not even discussed at all.

"The Tories and Lib Dems have been exposed as power-hungry shadows of their national parties, putting their selfish goals above the best interests of Calderdale residents.

"Labour will hold the new administration to account strongly and will be working harder than ever to secure an overall majority on Calderdale Council in next May's elections."


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