‘It's good to be back’.
Those were the words of Liberal Democrat Christine Iredale who was re-elected to Kirklees Council following the Golcar ward by-election.
And she puts her win down to “promising to do her best for local issues and not offering the world.”
Clr Iredale, who lost her seat in 2012, returns to Kirklees Council after the resignation of Labour’s Paul Salveson.
Labour lost the seat to the Libs Dems after Thursday’s vote, which was counted and revealed in an hour yesterday.
Clr Iredale said: “I feel very happy to be back in a role I enjoy and want to do.
“I have to say that I think the win is down to an honest campaign about local issues, I didn’t promise to save the NHS or make promises on national green energy schemes.
“I stood for local issues and for local people.
“People see me in the community, on the bus, in the bingo hall, I am available to people whatever their problem.”
Clr Iredale was originally elected as a Golcar ward councillor in 2003 and was due to be the Mayor of Kirklees when she lost her seat to Labour in 2012.
She said her absence from the council chamber had given her chance to reflect.
“I remained involved in local issues. I volunteered for Meals on Wheels in Golcar and still felt part of the community. Now I can get back to representing them.
“It feels good to be back.”
Lib Dem leader Clr Kath Pinnock said of Clr Iredale’s return to local politics: “The right candidate won.
“We have worked hard to campaign about local issues not national issues and that’s what people want from local representatives.”
Labour leader Clr Mehboob Khan said of the loss: “You win some you lose some. The significant result is that the Tories have come last.
“The Labour Party will continue to work hard on behalf of the Golcar ward.”
The by-election was called after Labour councillor Paul Salveson stepped down due to other commitments. He had been a Golcar councillor since 2012.
Christine Iredale LibDem 1,591
Stephan Jungnitz, Labour 901
Gregory Broome, UK Ind 450
Daniel Greenwood, Green 210
Clinton Simpson, Cons 189
Liberal Democrat gain from Labour.
Total electorate was 14,363 and the turnout was 3,341(23.4%).
The make-up of the council is now Labour 32, Conservative 18, Liberal Democrat 11, Green and Independent eight.