Hecky trio all have a role in new cabinet

A RESHUFFLE on Wednesday saw Heckmondwike emerge as the area’s new centre of political power.

Leader Coun David Sheard (Lab) brought fellow councillors Steve Hall and Viv Kendrick into his rejigged cabinet.

Coun Hall takes over planning and highways while Coun Kendrick gets the health portfolio.

It means all three Heckmondwike councillors now have powerful roles at the council’s top table.

Coun Cathy Scott (Lab, Dewsbury East) stays at investment and housing while Batley West’s Peter O’Neill and Shabir Pandor swap jobs.

Coun O’Neill moves from children’s service to leisure and Coun Pandor goes the other way.

The cabinet is now dominated by North Kirklees councillors, though Cath Harris becomes deputy leader.

Another Huddersfield councillor, 80-year-old Molly Walton, stepped down from the cabinet but will lead moves towards devolution (see page one).

She also takes over the health scrutiny committee, which covers issues such as Dewsbury District Hospital.

Coun Sheard said: “There are difficult times and we owe it to the electorate to find a way forward to rise to the challenges facing us.

“I’d like to thank Coun Walton for taking on her new roles, bringing all her experience to make sure these two important areas progress properly.”

• Coun Ken Smith formerly succeeded Coun Martyn Bolt (Con, Mirfield) as Mayor of Kirklees on Wednesday. The Labour veteran’s chosen charity is Kirkwood Hospice. Coun Paul Kane (Lab, Dewsbury East) is the new deputy mayor.

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