THE Conservatives will go on running Kirklees Council.
No councillors voted against the Tories continuing to take charge through a solely Conservative Cabinet at a special meeting yesterday.
It was the first full meeting since the May 1 elections.
The elections saw the Conservatives overtake Labour as the biggest party.
The Tories won two seats, taking them up to 22, while Labour lost one to fall to 21.
The Liberal Democrats made one gain, taking their total to 19. The Greens remained on four while the BNP lost one of their three seats.
Conservative council leader Clr Robert Light said: “We achieved the highest share of the vote across Kirklees and our vote went up in every ward except one. That’s a vote of confidence in us.”
Clr Light, who represents Birstall and Birkenshaw, won re-election as council leader by 46 votes to none, with 18 Labour councillors abstaining.
The Lib Dems supported Clr Light.
Party leader Clr Kath Pinnock said: “The Conservatives have again pledged to allow the Lib Dems to contribute to decision-making. Therefore we felt able to allow the Conservatives to continue in the Cabinet positions on this basis.”
But the Cleckheaton councillor added: “We will oppose the Tories when it is right to do so.”
The Greens and the BNP also supported the Conservatives.
Labour leader Clr Mehboob Khan, explaining his party’s decision to abstain, said: “We will not sell our principles for party gain, therefore – since the Conservatives are largest group – we will not stand in the way of them forming an administration.”
The council decided on a nine-person Conservative Cabinet to run Kirklees at yesterday’s meeting.
Clr David Hall, of Liversedge and Gomersal, has replaced Clr Martyn Bolt as member for transport and green services. Clr Bolt, who represents Mirfield, stepped down from the post in April.
Clr Donald Firth, of Holme Valley South, joins the Cabinet to replace Clr Hall as member for corporate and business services. Other positions are unchanged.
Clr Jim Dodds, of Denby Dale, stays on as deputy leader and member for children’s services. Clr Margaret Bates, also of Liversedge and Gomersal, remains responsible for health and adult services.
Clr Andrew Palfreeman, of Birstall and Birkenshaw, is member for finance and governance, while his ward colleague Clr Liz Smaje has the leisure and neighbourhood services brief. Clr Khizar Iqbal, of Dewsbury South, continues as member for safer and stronger communities and Clr Ken Sims, of Holme Valley South, remains in charge of regeneration.