NO CHANGE was the order of the day in the Oldham borough elections.
Saddleworth’s three incumbent councillors were re-instated, along with 17 others up for election across the borough, to leave the council with the same composition as before.
The voting turnouts were 70.01 per cent in Saddleworth North, 71.78 per cent in Saddleworth South, and 64.37% in Saddleworth West and Lees – the three highest in the borough.
In Saddleworth North, Derek Heffernan won the seat for the Liberal Democrats with 1,440 votes, while Conservative Sean Curley came second with 1,155.
Cllr Heffernan holds onto the seat for another four years and improved on his majority of just 17 votes over the independents when he was elected in 2011.
He said: “I am delighted with the result – and my wife is very happy too.
“It is better than it was four years ago and it is a significant increase in my majority so that is very pleasing.”
In Saddleworth South, Graham Sheldon also held onto his seat for another term, receiving 2,489 votes against Lib Dem Alan Belmore with 1,494 in second place.
Cllr Sheldon, who has also served 12 years on Saddleworth Parish Council, commented: “I am pleased with the result. I will continue working with other councillors to get the best for the area.
“I know the area and the people so I was hoping to win but I didn’t expect to win by so much.
“I think that is down to the school and my support for the Uppermill site. Oldham Council have got it wrong and I will be making representations to the new Minister for Education to continue pushing on this issue.”
In Saddleworth West and Lees, Adrian Alexander retained his spot for Labour after receiving 1,735 votes, ahead of UKIP with 1,237 for Ian Nurse.
Cllr Alexander, who battled against cancer last year, increased his 2011 majority from 130 votes to just short of 500 this time around.
He said: “It is a great result for me. It’s been a hard battle across Oldham and Manchester.
“When the result and my name were read out there was a big cheer across the hall, which is wonderful to hear.
“And it’s a massive increase from last time, and that is great. I want to thank everyone who voted for me, particularly in Grotton, Lees and Springhead, the care homes and Springhead Football Club.”
Overall, one third of the 60 council seats were up for election and Labour held 16 seats, Liberal Democrats three and Conservatives one across the borough – exactly the same as they started with.
The results leave the composition of Oldham Council as Labour 45, Lib Dem 10, Conservative 2, UKIP 2, and Independent 1.
Cllr Jim McMahon, leader of the Council who held onto his seat for Labour in Failsworth East said: “It has been a hard year of campaigning but it has paid off.
“UKIP resorted to personal attacks on me. It was my 13-year-old son who saw the leaflet they published and he showed me and that is upsetting.
“You’ve got to win by respect, not by ragtag politics which I believe people don’t want to see.”
He continued: “Oldham has got to be unique in that everybody has come out of these elections with what they went in with.
“Labour has got the majority of the seats. Our councillors have proved they are doing their jobs well for the people of Oldham.
“We have got some ground work to make up in other places, including Saddleworth, but we will focus on building a strong Labour voice across the whole borough.”
Full for election results, visit the Oldham Council website.