VOTERS are heading to the polls today to determine the future of Kirklees Council.

Twenty-three of the 69 seats are up for grabs in the finely-balanced authority.

The ruling Labour group is defending seven of its 24 seats while the Lib Dems are fighting to retain eight of their 20.

The Conservatives are defending six of their 19 seats today while the Greens are trying to keep two of their four seats.

Parish council elections are also taking place in Kirkburton, Denby Dale and Meltham.

There will be no voting this year for Mirfield Town Council or Holme Valley Parish Council because of a shortage of candidates.

The 190 polling stations in Kirklees will be open from 7am to 10pm today. Ballot papers will not be given out after the close of polls.

Council officers have asked people to bring their polling cards to speed up the process – but anyone who does not have a card will still be able to vote.

Anyone who hasn’t received a card can call 01484 234623.

Completed postal votes must be received by the returning officer by 10pm tonight.

Anyone who has applied for a postal vote but left it too late to mail it back can drop off their ballot paper at their local polling station or at Electoral Services, Council Offices, 49/51 Huddersfield Road, Holmfirth, HD9 3ER.

Voters across the UK also have the chance to take part in a referendum on the electoral system.

The ballot paper reads: “At present, the UK uses the ‘first past the post’ system to elect MPs to the House of Commons. Should the ‘alternative vote’ system be used instead?”

For more information about the referendum visit or call the Electoral Commission on 0800 3280 280.

Votes from the 11 wards in Huddersfield, the Colne Valley and the Holme Valley will be counted at Huddersfield Sports Centre tomorrow morning, with results expected by lunchtime.

Mirfield, Kirkburton, Denby Dale and the nine wards around Dewsbury and Batley will be counted at the same time at Dewsbury Sports Centre.

Referendum votes from across Kirklees will be counted at Huddersfield Sports Centre from 4pm.

Counting for the 17 wards of Calderdale Council begins at 1.30pm tomorrow at North Bridge Leisure Centre in Halifax.

The referendum count will start at 4pm, with officials expecting a result by 6pm.

For live coverage of the counts go to from 11am tomorrow.

You can see full results and analysis in Saturday’s Examiner.

Council elections are taking place in many parts of England today in the first major electoral test for the Conservative/Lib Dem coalition government.

Mayoral elections are taking place in Leicester, Middlesbrough, Mansfield, Bedford and Torbay.

People in Leicester South are also taking part in a Parliamentary by-election after Labour MP Peter Soulsby resigned his seat to run for mayor.

There are also elections for the Northern Ireland Assembly, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Assembly. All 26 councils in Northern Ireland are also holding elections today.