A BY-ELECTION in Mirfield is a waste of taxpayers' money, it is claimed.
Tory councillor Martyn Bolt, Mirfield's mayor, says the election for one seat on the town council will cost up to £2,000 to organise - but will make no difference to the make-up of the council, which has 15 Conservative members and one Labour.
The seat became vacant after Tory Lester Edon, who represents Battye- ford, failed to attend meetings.
If enough people sign a petition then a by-election must be held, otherwise a new councillor can be co-opted.
A petition was submitted and the election will be held on Thursday, August 26, after four nominations were put forward.
They are Roy Dobson (Labour); Michelle Gilbert (Conservative); Karl Hanson (British National Party) and Imelda Marsden (Independent).
Clr Bolt said Labour supporters were behind the petition.
He added: "The Battyeford ward is the biggest one on the council and takes in the London Park estate and West Mills playing fields. The result of an election will make absolutely no difference to the political make-up of the council.
"It seems a waste of taxpayers' money, when we could co-opt someone who is committed to serving the people of Mirfield.
"I suspect it's just mischief-making by Labour supporters."
But the sole Labour councillor, Michael Hutchinson, hit back.
He said: "What price do you put on democracy? The Tories are taking the electorate of Battyeford for granted."
Clr Hutchinson - a former Kirklees and county councillor - added: "The outcome will not affect the overall control.
"But since the Tories took control they have manipulated standing orders to stifle debate and changed the rules to sweep things into committees, so it's harder for me to keep track of what they are doing.
"An extra Labour member would help immensely in this."