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Mark Andrew reports from the front line.

The Conservative Group, led by Cllr Stephen Baines MBE achieved a famous reduction of 1% in Council Tax for this year. This is even though the do not have a majority of the 51 seats. There are currently 21 Conserrvatives, 16 are LDs, 9 Lab, 3 Independents,1 BNP and 1 English Democrat

The Two Westminster seats are Calder Valley, (Target 24) and Halifax (Target 80) both have a history of Conservative Members in recent years. Our candidate in Calder Valley is Craig Whittaker while in Halifax – it is Philip Allott.

While national media attention has been focused on Labour’s controversial selections in Calder Valley (the sitting member retiring), they now have Steph Booth, a member of Cherry Blair’s family as candidate.

The LDs have had many problems in Calderdale, their first PCC in Halifax resigned and is standing in the General Election as an Independent, a former Todmorden Town Mayor resigned to join the Conservatives and is our candidate in the Ward

In Calder Valley there are nine Wards and in Halifax eight, all are being contested by the three main parties.

With only one seat being defended in Calder Valley a strong campaign is mounted to make enough gains to make us the controlling party.

In Calder Valley the Greens are challenging in six wards, there is only one BNP and an Independent ‘Put Britain First’ in Todmorden where Labour have another of the Blair ‘ Booth ‘ family as their candidate.

Perhaps the most interesting contests will be in the East of the Valley, where two Independents are challenged by Conservatives, including former Leader John Ford, and the Independent Group Leader by
another Conservative.

In Halifax BNP are contesting five seats and there are three Independents and only one Green

Halifax member Cllr Baines – Northowram & Shelf, is defending his seat as is Cllr Peel, Sowerby Bridge (Planning Chairman) ,and Cllr Ginley, Warley where the other two seats are held by LD’s

Halifax Park Ward will have an interesting contest with only the three main parties having Asian candidates, Labour now hold only one, the current Mayor, having lost to the LDs in 2008 and the other moved to the Independent Group and then joined the Conservatives.

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