Councillors return as Tories lose one area seat

12:33pm Friday 11th May 2012

Elections which left Bradford Council in disarray produced only one major change in the Ilkley area.

Long-serving Conservative councillors retained their seats in the Ilkley and Wharfedale wards of Bradford Council last Thursday.

In the Craven ward, which includes Addingham, Silsden and Steeton, the Conservatives lost a seat as now-independent candidate Adrian Naylor was voted back in with more than 40 per cent of the vote.

A former member of Bradford Council’s Executive, Councillor Naylor quit the Conservative party and stood as an independent after he failed to win reselection.

Conservative candidate Andrew Rowley polled 26.5 per cent of the vote, with Labour’s Val Carroll taking a quarter.

Coun Naylor thanked local voters, and attacked unnamed critics who made claims about his conduct via regional and national press in the run-up to the election.

Quotes were attributed to a “Tory spokesman” in one publication, but local and national wings of the Conservative Party have confirmed they did not sanction any press release.

Coun Naylor said: “I’d like to thank everybody who had not only helped me and worked with me, but everybody who has voted for me. I think the point that has been made is that people actually want people to represent them who actually work for them and deliver things.”

Councillor Anne Hawkesworth comfortably regained her seat in Ilkley, despite being challenged by former Labour MP Ann Cryer.

With an above district average turnout in the Ilkley ward, Mrs Hawkesworth gained a total of 2,436 votes – almost 50 per cent of those cast in the ward. Mrs Cryer gained a respectable 34.1 per cent share.

Mrs Hawkesworth said: “The majority slipped a little I think because of the timing of the election and because of national politics, but I am pleased to be able to represent Ilkley for another four years and will always do my level best for people.”

There was an easy win in Wharfedale ward for Conservative Dale Smith, who gained more than 60 per cent of the vote. He is expected to become the new Lord Mayor of Bradford in the coming weeks.

A “delighted” Councillor Smith said he had never assumed he would win, and stressed that voters were anxious about protecting the green belt from development.

CRAVEN: Adrian Naylor (Ind) 1,836; Andrew Rowley (Con) 1,204; Val Carroll (Lab) 1,134; Stuart Ebden (Lib-Dem) 184; Robert Nicholls (Green) 182

ILKLEY: Anne Hawkesworth (Con) 2,436; Ann Cryer (Lab) 1,683; Paul Latham (UKIP) 354; Peter Ferguson (Lib-Dem) 227; Brian Ford (Green) 238

WHARFEDALE: Dale Smith (Con) 2,252; Dave Allen (Lab) 694; Janet Souyave (Green) 565; Gillian Thorne (Lib-Dem) 193

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