Lib Dems take control of council

May 4, 2007 6:06 PM

The Liberal Democrats took control of Rochdale Council for the first time on what Lib Dem Leader Alan Taylor called an "historic night" - gaining FOUR Council Seats. The Liberal Democrats won ten seats, Labour won eight seats and the Conservatives won two seats on a night that saw three, now former, councillors lose their seats - the Mayor, Labour's Jean Hornby, Labour's Darren Pedley and the Conservative's Ian Duckworth.

The council composition is now:

Liberal Democrats - 32 seats

Labour - 20 Seats

Conservative - 8 Seats

The closest result of the night came in Bamford ward where the Conservatives Ian Duckworth lost his council seat to the Liberal Democrats Andrew Abbott.

Councillor Abbot was whooping for joy and hugging his supporters as the realisation sank in that, after a recount, he had taken the seat by the slenderest of margins, he said he was "delighted" and his party leader Councillor Alan Taylor agreed saying: "I am particularly delighted for Andrew, like many of our candidates he deserves to win. We took seats off Labour and the Conservatives, which just goes to show our appeal in this Borough. I'd like to welcome Councillors Naim Mahmud, Doreen Brophy-Lee, Andrew Abbott and Liz Thirsk onto our growing team."

The Liberal Democrats also gained North Heywood as Mayor Jean Hornby (Labour) lost her seat to Doreen Brophy-Lee by just 56 votes. In Kingsway, former captain of the Rochdale Cricket Team - batted away Labour's unpopular Tom Stott. Councillor David Clayton, Naim's agent said, "This has been a hard fought campaign and Labour's attempts to mislead, and even worse threaten community cohesion should shame them."