HOME Secretary David Blunkett could play a vital role in the debate over a merged police force for Kirklees.
Kirklees Labour leader Clr Mehboob Khan
is convinced that an intervention by Mr Blunkett, in response to concerns about the merger of police in Huddersfield and Dewsbury, could add weight to the objectors' case.
Clr Khan, who met Mr Blunkett at the Labour Party conference, said: "He was very sympathetic to the arguments I put forward to stop this merger.
"He agreed that merging the two divisions like this was not the way to keep policing close to the public. Rather, it takes accountability further away from the communities they serve.
"The Home Secretary promised to do all in his powers to persuade the police authority that this was not a good move and that it was more important for the police to stay close to the communities they serve than it is to embark on a cost cutting exercise."
A motion calling for the Home Secretary to intervene is to go to Kirklees Council tomorrow - although it seems unlikely he can order West Yorkshire Police Authority to change their minds.
Clr Khan said Mr Blunkett had said he did not have the power to scrap the merger.
"We would be far better off spending our time trying to persuade the people who are making the decision to give us guarantees that police stations will not close and the upward trend in police officer numbers will not be affected by the merged divisions."
Kirklees Tory leader Clr Robert Light expressed grave concerns over the meetings between councillors and police authority leaders.
He said: "Clr Kath Pinnock is correct in saying that all Kirklees elected members have spoken out against this merger, but it appears this has not always been the case.
"Whatever the truth of the matter I will be expecting a full explanation at the council meeting.
"All members of Council and the public need to be convinced that we have not been misled."