Night belongs to Labour

LABOUR was resurgent in last week’s council elections yet Independent, Lib Dem and Conservatives hung on to seats on the Leigh side of the borough.

Liberal Democrat Councillor Robert Bleakley clung on to his seat in Tyldesley ward after fears the party’s poor national popularity would see it punished at the local ballot boxes.

However, it was a close run as Coun Bleakley held off the challenge of Labour candidate Joanne Marshall by just over 100 votes.

Coun Bleakley said: “I’m delighted. We lost last year but this year we have held it against all the odds.

“People in Tyldesley know I’m a hard worker, and they have voted on local issues rather than on national politics. I can promise everyone in Tyldesley that for the next four years they will get 110 per cent commitment from me.”

In Atherton, the borough got one of its youngest councillors when Jamie Hodgkinson, aged 21, retained the seat for the Independent Group after popular local stalwart Bob Splaine stepped down.

He said: “I want to stand up for the people of Atherton on issues such as the new high school, the libraries and on the petition for a town council.

“I also want to help the youth of the town and get them off the streets. Bob has been a great icon for Atherton and I hope to continue his superb work.”

Labour candidate Joanne Platt took Astley Mosley Common after Conservative former councillor Sean Ell stood down, easily defeating the party’s new candidate, while James Grundy defied the Conservatives’ national unpopularity to retain Lowton East in another close battle with Labour.

The nearest Labour came to defeat was in Atherleigh, where Coun Susan Loudon held off the challenge of two Independent candidates, winning by around 240 votes.

Coun Yvonne Klieve comfortably defeated the Community Action Party in Golborne Lowton West, while there were also large Labour majorities for Kevin Anderson in Leigh South, Keith Cunliffe in Leigh East and Susan Greensmith in Leigh West.