VOTERS head to the polls tomorrow to determine the shape of Kirklees Council in the year ahead. BARRY GIBSON finds out what people are talking about on the doorsteps.

KIRKLEES Council’s leader is in buoyant mood ahead of tomorrow’s election.

“We’re hoping to hold on to all the seats we’ve got and gain one or two others,” said Clr Mehboob Khan, who heads the 24-strong Labour group.

The Greenhead councillor believes the Lib Dems are vulnerable to an anti-government backlash in several seats around Huddersfield.

“We hope to take Dalton and we’re running neck-and-neck with the Lib Dems in Golcar,” he said yesterday.

“Colne Valley is a three-way fight between ourselves, the Lib Dems and the Tories.

“On the doorstep people are concerned about the haste and depth of Government reductions in public services, they are worried about jobs and growth.”

Clr Khan added that voters were also concerned about issues closer to home.

He said: “People are interested in the protection of the green belt and they are worried about safety, given that West Yorkshire Police is to lose 1,500 jobs.”

Clr Kath Pinnock, who leads the 20 Lib Dems on Kirklees, hopes her party will not be punished by voters angry at the coalition government.

“We’ve had a very positive reception but it’s up to the voters to decide what happens,” she said.

“I really don’t know if we will face a backlash, no doubt there will be some voters who put national issues above local matters.

“But it’s a foolish politician who makes predictions.”

The Cleckheaton councillor added that the concerns of voters varied across Kirklees.

She said: “It’s different from ward to ward. In Colne Valley a lot of people feel that the green belt is a very important issue. In Dewsbury there is more concern about housing and road safety.

“People in Cleckheaton are talking about the situation with the bus station.

“There’s a real variety of issues.”

Clr Robert Light leads the Conservatives, who have 19 seats on Kirklees.

He said many voters were concerned about the Local Development Framework (LDF) – the Kirklees blueprint for 28,000 new homes by 2028.

Clr Light said: “People are worried about the scale of erosion to the green belt which the council is proposing.

“The LDF consultation was a botched job and residents feel that Kirklees is totally ignoring their views.”

The Birstall and Birkenshaw man added that this was part of a wider problem.

“Kirklees isn’t listening to the people,” he said.

“People in north Kirklees think the council is too Huddersfield-centric and that applies equally to people in the valleys.”

Clr Light hopes his party can win seats, despite being in power in Westminster.

He said: “There’s always some degree of anti-government backlash but a lot of people recognise that the Conservative government is trying to clean up the mess left by the last Labour government.”

The Greens are defending two of their four seats in this year’s election.

Party leader Clr Andrew Cooper is optimistic of Greens holding on in Newsome and Kirkburton.

“It’s going well and we’re getting a good reception on the doorsteps,” he said.

“We’re confident of holding the seats. People are telling us they have already voted for us by postal ballot, which perks us up.”

Clr Cooper added that his party also had high hopes of winning control of Kirkburton Parish Council.

The Newsome councillor said: “We’re running 17 candidates compared with 10 for the Conservatives and we’re hoping for a strong showing.”

KIRKLEES is divided into 23 wards, each of them with three councillors.

One seat in each ward is up for grabs tomorrow.

Labour, which currently runs a minority administration on the council, is defending seven of its 24 seats this year.

The two most vulnerable are Dewsbury East – which the party won by 600 votes in last year’s election – and Heckmondwike, where Labour had a majority of 800 in 2010.

The Lib Dems are the second largest group on Kirklees with 20 seats.

The party is defending eight of them this year.

Clr Roger Batttye faces a tough fight to keep his seat in Dalton.

Labour’s Clr Peter McBride won by 1,000 votes in the ward at last year’s election.

The Lib Dems are also under pressure in Holme Valley North from the Conservatives and independent candidate Ed Holroyd-Doveton.

And the Tories will also be pushing hard to retake the seat they lost to the Lib Dems in Lindley last year by just 150 votes.

The Conservatives are the third largest party on Kirklees with 19 seats, of which six are up for grabs this year.

The party appears most vulnerable in Dewsbury South, where Clr Salim Patel is trying to keep his seat.

Labour won the ward by more than 2,000 votes last year.

The Greens are defending two of their four seats.

The party held Newsome last year with a majority of 600.

The Greens look vulnerable in Kirkburton, where the Tories won by 1,100 votes in 2010.

Seventeen of the 51 seats on Calderdale Council are also up for grabs tomorrow.

The council is currently run by a Lib Dem / Labour coalition, but the Conservatives are the largest party.



James Blanchard, Lib Dems*

Craig Fennell, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts

Tony Leach, British National Party

Elliott Ledsam, Labour

Eileen Marchant, Greens

Janice Thomas, Conservatives


Bill Armer, Conservatives

Sharon Fallows, Greens

Cath Harris, Labour*

Manjit Singh, Lib Dems


Jon Bloom, Lib Dems

Peter Cunnington, Greens

Mark Griffin, Independent

Mohammed Laher, Conservatives

Amanda Stubley, Labour*


John Birkenshaw, Conservatives

Matt Blakeley, Greens

Irfan Iqbal, Lib Dems

Peter O’Neill, Labour*


Suzy Brain-England, Lib Dems

Robert Light, Conservatives*

Clive Lord, Greens

Michael Williams, Labour


Robert Barraclough, Greens

Dan Howard, Labour

David Pinder, Conservatives

Andrew Pinnock, Lib Dems*


Donna Bellamy, Conservatives

Lynn Bradbury, Lib Dems*

Chayley Collis, Greens

Tabatha Ellam, Labour

Melanie Roberts, United Kingdom Independence Party


Chas Ball, Greens

Jackie Grunsell, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts

Mahmood Hussain, Lib Dems

Mohammad Sarwar, Labour*

Louisa Waple, Conservatives


Roger Battye, Lib Dems*

David Honour, Greens

Chris Meadows, Conservatives

Cliff Preest, Labour


Craig Armistead, Lib Dems

Rachel Firth, British National Party

Paul McEnhill, English Democrats

Terry Sigsworth, Greens

Graham Turner, Labour

Elaine Ward, Conservatives*


Greg Burrows, United Kingdom Independence Party

Mark Eastwood, Conservatives

Eric Firth, Labour*

Dennis Hullock, Lib Dems

Tony Kelsall, Greens


Naheed Arshad-Mather, Labour

Adrian Cruden, Greens

Bernard Disken, Lib Dems

Chris Kennedy, Independent

Shaun Maddox, Independent

Salim Patel, Conservatives*


Naz Hussain, Lib Dems*

Darren O’Donovan, Labour

Andrew Stimson, Greens

Christopher Walker, Conservatives


Daniel Greenwood, Greens

David Hill, Independent

Robert Iredale, Lib Dems*

Matt Moll, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts

Hilary Richards, Labour

Clinton Simpson, Conservatives

Skye Turner, British National Party


Michelle Atkinson, Greens

Mohammed Haleem, Lib Dems

Judith Hughes, Labour*

Robert McGuin, Conservatives


David Brooks, Greens

Josie Pugsley, Lib Dems

Mark Roberts, Conservatives

David Sheard, Labour*


Edgar Holroyd-Doveton, Independent

Ian Leedham, Labour

Basil Smith, Conservatives

Barry Ward, Greens

David Woodhead, Lib Dems*


Oliver Constance, Lib Dems

Sue Macklin, Greens

Steven Morris, Labour

Ken Sims, Conservatives*


Carol Dixon, British National Party

Mike Greetham, Labour

Derek Hardcastle, Greens*

Amanda Shaw, Conservatives

Jatinder Singh, Lib Dems


Tony Brice, Conservatives

Douglas Morgan, Labour

Richard Plunkett, Greens

Tony Woodhead, Lib Dems*


Karen Allison, Greens

Richard Farnhill, Lib Dems

Lisa Holmes, Conservatives*

Gordon North, Labour


Brian Firth, Lib Dems

Karen Rowling, Labour

Kath Taylor, Conservatives*

Cassandra Whittingham, Greens


Mohammed Saeed, Labour

Philip Scott, Lib Dems

Ian Slattery, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts

Julie Stewart-Turner, Greens*

Jas Virdee, Conservatives



Scott Benton, Conservatives

Matt Bowles, Lib Dems

Joyce Cawthra, Independent*

Edith Martin, Labour


John Ford, Conservatives

Angi Gallagher, Labour

Stella Haigh, Lib Dems

Susan Thomas, Greens

(independent councillor retiring)


Jim Gallagher, Labour

Mark Mullany, Greens

Sam Stafford, Conservatives

Peter Wardhaugh, Lib Dems*


David Kirton, Conservatives*

Chris O'Connor, Independent

Jennie Rigg, Lib Dems

Anthony Rutherford, Labour


Adrian Hartshorn, Independent

Peter Judge, Labour

Chris Pillai, Conservatives*

Nick Yates, Lib Dems

* Denotes the defending party