LABOUR has again enjoyed a dominant night in the local elections in Halton.

Just one seat changed hands meaning Labour still enjoy a huge majority in the council with 51 of 58 seats.

However ‘Vomit-inducing’ smells could have cost Labour that seat.

The Lib Dems gained a seat from Labour in Heath, Runcorn – where drama has recently unfolded over the town’s controversial Energy from Waste facility.

It means  Halton Council, which covers Runcorn and Widnes, now has 51 Labour councillors, three Lib Dem councillors and two Conservative councillors.

The previous makeup was 52 Labour councillors compared to two Lib Dems and two Conservatives.

The seat up for election in Heath was held by Labour Councillor Charlotte Gerard, who took it in 2015 from Lib Dem Margaret Ratcliffe.

It is the first time in four years Labour has failed to retain every seat – and there is perhaps one specific reason why.

Heath, in West Runcorn, is in the vicinity of one of the UK’s largest energy recovery facilities, where waste is burnt to power homes.

Residents have frequently complained about ‘vomit inducing’ smells from the facility – and were outraged when the Labour-dominated planning committee approved plans to allow plant managers Viridor to burn more waste there earlier this year.

The planning meeting,  in February, ended in cries of “shame” – and many residents expressed disappointment that their local Labour ward councillors did not support their opposition  to the plans.

The Lib Dems, who now hold all three seats in Heath, have been outspoken on this issue and have been campaigning for better air monitoring around the facility.

Halton Lib Dem Leader Chris Rowe said: “National politics obviously has effect but on local issues the unhappiness with the incinerator has got to be a big factor.

“It’s  an unpopular facility at the best of times but with the recent planning application that came in for the increase in tonnage to be burnt some of the residents felt that they weren’t being represented in the way they would have liked an I think that’s galvanised people to turn out and support us because they have seen us actively working on that issue.”

Lib Dem Margaret Ratcliffe won the seat in Heath by a generous margin of 485 votes.

She was victorious with 854 votes compared to Labour candidate Victoria Begg who received 369 votes.

UKIP candidate Dave Myers received 199 votes while the Conservative candidate Ian Adams received 146.

While the Lib Dem victory in Heath was predicted, a surprise result of the night was in Beechwood.

Long-standing Labour Councillor Chris Loftus won by a small majority of 51, almost losing to Lib Dem candidate and former councillor Linda Redhead.

Concerns were raised about a lower than usual voter turnout – although figures have not yet been confirmed.

A much higher proportion of votes were spoilt this year compared to previous years – and Brexit has been blamed for this.

Halton voted to leave the EU, and council leader Rob Polhill said this was a major issue for local residents during Labour’s door knocking, despite being a national issue the local authority have no control over.

He said he feared people were taking their frustration over Brexit out on the local elections by spoiling their vote.



HARPER Duncan James Robert Local Conservatives 173

PHILBIN Ged Labour Party 856 Elected


BENTLEY Rhona UK Independence Party 176

DAVIDSON Peter Conservative Party 107

LOFTUS Chris Labour Party 412 Elected

REDHEAD Linda Liberal Democrats 361


BAKER Sandra Marie Labour Party 644 Elected

COVENEY Romana Aleksandra Liberal Democrats 227

POWELL John Robert Local Conservatives 528


GILLIGAN Robert Labour Party 821 Elected

HODNETT Joshua Nathan
Local Conservatives 159


BRADSHAW John Christopher The Conservative Party 543 Elected

DYER Andrew The Green Party 307

HODGE Miriam Lorraine Liberal Democrats 108

HUGHES Colin William Labour Party 374


COVENEY David Liberal Democrats 179

DOURLEY Eddie Labour Party 850 Elected

SPENCER Granville Local Conservatives 193


BAINES Andrea Patricia UK Independence Party 308

HARPER Colleen Mary Local Conservatives 459

MCINERNEY Angela Labour Party 981 Elected


DRAKELEY Philip Stanley Local Conservatives 82

LOWE Joan Margaret Labour Party 574 Elected

ROWE Joanne Allison Liberal Democrats 142

URQUHART Lee UK Independence Party 189

Halton Brook

ARMSTRONG Stephen Socialist Alternative 247

DORIAN David James Local Conservatives 144

PLUMPTON-WALSH Carol Patricia Labour Party 711 Elected

Halton Castle

CARLIN Chris Labour Party 712 Elected

POWELL Julie Local Conservatives 113

WHYTE Darrin David Independent 321

Halton Lea

DAVIDSON Sandra Margarett Conservative Party Candidate 181

LOFTUS Kath Labour Party 884 Elected

Halton View

CLARKE Tania Joni Local Conservatives 246

WHITLEY Louise Jane Labour Party 881 Elected


ADAMS Ian John Local Conservatives 146

BEGG Victoria Labour Party 369

MYERS Dave UK Independence Party 199

RATCLIFFE Margaret Anna Liberal Democrats 854 Elected

Hough Green

ALLEN Millie Green Party 216

MCLEAN Joanne Lesley Local Conservatives 173

WAINWRIGHT Kevan Peter Labour Party 759 Elected


BRADSHAW Brad UK Independence Party 174

GRIFFITHS Paul David Local Conservatives 66

WALL Andrea Labour Party 843 Elected


CLARKE Daniel David Local Conservatives 179

LUNT Jamie Craig Liberal Democrats 348

PLUMPTON-WALSH Norman Lee Labour Party 649 Elected

Norton North

DAVIDSON Sian Fiona Alexandra Conservative Party Candidate 211

INCH Diane Marie Liberal Democrats 450

ZYGADLLO Geoff Labour Party 630 Elected

Norton South

BURNETT Adam Robert Conservative Party 113

CARGILL Dave Labour Party 694 Elected

INCH Christopher Michael Liberal Democrats 107


HARPER Philip Local Conservatives 102

WALLACE Pamela Labour Party 493 Elected