Labour councillors ousted their leader amid anger about plans to develop large swathes of green land.

Just a few days after failing to secure a Labour majority at the local elections, veteran Heckmondwike councillor, David Sheard, was sensationally voted out of the top job.

At the party’s annual meeting on Monday evening, Batley West’s Clr Shabir Pandor, was elected by 19 votes to 13.

The Examiner has learned dissatisfaction at the way the Labour cabinet was working without including the wider group led to a challenge to Clr Sheard’s leadership last year.

But the controversial Local Plan – which includes a proposal to build thousands of houses on Kirklees’ only public golf course and other green areas – appears to have turned more Labour councillors against the leader and his wing man, Clr Peter McBride.

A source said there was widespread dissatisfaction with the Local Plan with only the senior team in the cabinet getting input on its development.

The source said the shock proposal to close Bradley Park Golf Course to allow 2,500 homes to be built, had been a key driver in the change in mood.

Bradley Park Golf Course.

They said: “The cabinet bypassed the Labour group and head of steam has been built up with developing the Local Plan.

“There’s a disconnect between the wider group and the cabinet.

“Members felt they weren’t involved in key decisions – they were not communicating properly.”

A former councillor told the Examiner he was not surprised by the coup.

“People wanted a big change,” he said.

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The move to elect Clr Pandor is likely to see widespread changes to the top jobs in the council.

The cabinet is largely made up of supporters of Clr Sheard.

One, Clr Viv Kendrick, cabinet member for health, announced on Facebook last night that she would resign.

But speaking to the Examiner this morning she said she would wait and see what happened when the jobs were dished out on May 25 at the annual council meeting.

She added: “I’m disappointed for Clr Sheard because he’s been doing a great job.”

Deputy leader, Clr Jean Calvert, who retained her job in the vote, is thought to be one of those who turned against Clr Sheard.

Clr Calvert, who represents the Bradley area, spoke out against the golf course housing plan at a meeting and has been supportive of the club’s campaign to stop the plan.