CANDIDATES for the next month’s Kirklees Council election have been announced.

Nominations closed at midday yesterday .

One third of the council’s 69 seats – one in each of the 23 wards – are up for grabs.

Labour, which has 22 seats, will be defending eight of them.

The Conservatives are defending six of their 20 seats, while the Lib Dems are defending six of their 18.

The Greens, who have four councillors, and the BNP, who have three, will each be defending one seat.

Independent Clr Terry Lyons of Holme Valley North is also up for re-election.

Labour, the Lib Dems and the Conservatives are contesting all 23 seats.

The Greens have a candidate in every ward except Dewsbury East and Heckmondwike.

The BNP will contest every seat except Ashbrow, Greenhead and Kirkburton.

Several ex-councillors are trying to get back on the council.

Former Lib Dem councillor Linda Wild is standing as an Independent in Greenhead while former Labour councillor Ian Rutter is the Lib Dem candidate in Crosland Moor and Netherton.

David Ridgway, a former Lib Dem councillor, is standing for the party in Colne Valley.

It is the only seat where the incumbent, Clr Gordon Beever, decided to retire rather than seek re-election.

Golcar Labour candidate Jeremy Cuss is also a former councillor.

The election will see the Kirklees debut for the English Democrats, who are contesting Denby Dale and Kirkburton.

Save Huddersfield NHS, which holds one seat, Crosland Moor and Netherton, is running a candidate in the ward.

Several independents are also standing, including Ian Brooke and Melvin Gray in Almondbury and Yvonne Hutchinson and Mel Mills in Ashbrow.

Other candidates include former Monster Raving Loony Party stalwart Boney Maroney, who is standing for the Blah Party in Holme Valley North, and David Pinder, of the New Party, in Mirfield.

Voting takes place on Thursday, May 1 and the votes will be counted the following day.

Anyone wanting to apply for a postal vote should do so by 5pm on April 16.

The deadline for applications for new proxy votes is 5pm on April 23.

Application forms can be obtained from Electoral Services, Council Offices, Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, and council district offices or information offices.

They should be returned to the Electoral Registration Office in Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth.

For more information call 01484 234623, or email