VOTERS in the Batley East ward will go to the polls on October 26 to elect a new councillor.
A by-election to replace Labour’s Amanda Stubley, whose seat was declared vacant after she stopped attending meetings, will be contested by five candidates.
Labour are strong favourites to retain the seat and will be represented by Habiban Zaman, a Batley Carr-born community worker.
The other candidates are Paul Young (Conservative), Jon Bloom (Lib Dem), David Smith (Green Party) and Aleks Lukic (Heavy Woollen District Independents).
Nominations closed last Friday afternoon.
Former Labour councillor Amanda Stubley failed to attend council meetings for six months, meaning that she automatically forfeited her seat.
The 46-year-old mother-of-two took office in 2011 and was last elected in May 2015 with a sizeable majority.
She was suspended by the regional Labour Party in November 2016 following a clash with protesters in Batley Market Place, after which she decided to cut all ties with the party.
Following her suspension, the former tenants’ campaigner tried to set up a new Batley Independents political group and sat as an independent councillor before officially losing her seat last month.
The new Labour hopeful, Habiban Zaman, was awarded a British Empire Medal in the Queen’s Birthday Honours in 2014.
The council engagement officer was also presented with a British Community Honours Award at the House of Lords in recognition of her contribution to social cohesion and integration in North Kirklees over many years.
Aleks Lukic, the former local UKIP district chairman and Brexit campaigner, has again announced that he is standing. The teacher from Staincliffe argues that he would be “hard-working, fresh and distinctive” as the area’s third councillor.
He is also planning a new local Heavy Woollen Independents group, which will compete in next year’s council elections.
Mr Lukic said: “It will be virtually impossible for anyone to beat Labour, but residents in Batley East have been very encouraging and I have already delivered thousands of personal letters.”
Polling stations on Thursday October 26:
Park Road JI & N School, Park Road
Field Lane JI & N School, Albion Street
Heavy Woollen Scout Activity Centre, Purlwell Lane
Trinity Centre, Upper Road, Batley Carr
Pre-School Room - Lydgate J & I School, Lydgate Road, Soothill
Soothill Bowling Club, France Street, Soothill,
Mobile Library Unit, Land Opposite 12-22 Wyvern Close
Mill Lane JI & EY School, Mill Lane
The Community Building, Warwick Road Primary School, Howard Street
Batley Town Hall, Market Place