Rochdale Lib Dems celebrate best result ever - THANK YOU!
Rochdale Liberal Democrats are celebrating dramatic wins in Balderstone & Kirkholt, and Central Rochdale, though they had a scare with Mayor Peter Evans perilously close to losing his seat to the Conservatives in Littleborough Lakeside, as Labour failed to win a single seat in Rochdale. The result was the best for the Lib Dems since records began and Labour nearly slipped into 3rd place.
TAKEN FROM www.rochdaleonline.co.uk
In what was a genuine three way contest in Balderstone & Kirkholt, Conservative candidate Ian Duckworth took votes off Lib Dem Pat Colclough, which had given Labour hope that their candidate, Darren Pedley, would take the ward, but for the second year running Mr Pedley was pipped at the post.
Pat Colclough was "ecstatic" at her win. She said: "It was a close run thing but we did a lot of hard work and have been rewarded for that."
A bad night for Labour as they had anticipated winning Central. Lib Dem victor Zulfiqar Ali said: "I was confident we were going to win and I am pleased to continue representing the community."
Mayor Peter Evans was clearly relieved to retain his seat. It is always very difficult for mayors to retain their seats as they are unable to do constituency work, and three previous Mayors have lost their seat, including Jean Hornby last year. Councillor Evans said: "Getting re-elected during the mayoral year is problematic and I have proved no exception, so I am delighted to have won."
Labour's Tom Stott lost again in Kingsway, this year to David Clayton. Mr Clayton told Rochdale Online his brother had phoned him from Munich to congratulate him.
Jean Ashworth held the seat for the Lib Dems and said it had been very stressful, and to win was a huge relief. She added: "The people of Smallbridge and Firgrove have again put their faith in me and I shall continue to work with my ward colleagues to make Smallbridge and Firgrove a better place. I shall also continue to campaign against the cuts in hospital services and will not let the underhand dirty tricks employed by the Labour Mayor-elect get me down."
Councillor Pat Flynn retained her Castleton seat quite easily and said: "This result shows that the people of Castleton have clearly recognised 27 years of hard work and action on their behalf."
Council Leader Alan Taylor was beaming and clearly a very happy man at having led his party to an increased majority he said: "It has been an excellent night for Liberal Democrats and I am very satisfied with the results. We ran a very positive campaign, we have a lot of very positive policies to implement and we have already implemented many positive policies, and this has clearly been registered by voters.
"I want to thank all our campaign teams for their hard work and I am particularly pleased that we have now pulled off a hat-trick of wins in Balderstone & Kirkholt, what was until recently a solid Labour seat.
Rochdale Liberal Democrat MP Paul Rowen said he was pleased with the result, adding: "The increased majority for the Lib Dems gives the town stability as we will continue to lead the council for at least the next two years."
The Liberal Democrats have retained political control of the council with an increased majority of one seat. The council makeup is now:
Liberal Democrat: 33 seats
Labour: 18 seats
Conservative: 8 seats
Other: 1 seat (Councillor David Murphy was stripped of the Labour whip just prior to the election).
Share of Vote
Lib Dem 36.1%
Lib Dem 18,572