RUN-UPS to local elections often inspire a new wave of dirty tricks.
But even Kirklees's most hardened politicians were left reeling by the latest display of cold-hearted ambition - which saw a petition stolen from a meeting of the full council.
A thief is thought to have sneaked into Huddersfield Town Hall during a break in last Wednesday's meeting and slipped off with the paperwork.
"I've never known anything like it," said stunned Paddock councillor Jim O'Reilly, who handed over the 70-name list.
Along with Clr Linda Wild, he has been campaigning for a pedestrian crossing across Lower Blacker Road, Birkby.
"You get quite dirty tricks near an election, but nothing like this has ever happened before."
He added: "Part of our swearing-in is to behave in a manner to bring no party or group into disrepute."
Clr O'Reilly spent three weekends collecting the names on the list.
"I handed it in then, after we had a recess a couple of hours later, the mayor announced the petition had gone missing. It never materialised, so we found it a little bit shocking."
One other petition remained untouched.
"Our group were quite angry and we did think about calling the police in. But we are not sure it's a police matter," said Clr O'Reilly.
Fortunately, a photocopy of the petition had been made and was handed in later.