Labour fail in bid to take overall control

LABOUR failed to take control of Kirklees Council in elections yesterday (Thurs) - with the loss of the Liversedge and Gomersal ward proving decisive.

The party were one seat short of a majority and could have been set for a takeover when they won Colne Valley.

But defeat to the Tories in Liversedge and Gomersal saw Labour stand as they did before as the biggest party with 34 seats out of 69.

The incumbent councillor there, Labour's Simon Alvy, stood down after just one term in office.

Nominee Jawad Khan faced claims from Save Gomersal Hall activists that he tried to associate himself with their campaign in election leaflets.

He polled a respectable 1,243 votes but came second to Tory Michelle Grainger-Mead on 1,803 votes.

Elsewhere, claims of polling irregularity did not stop Coun Martyn Bolt winning the battle of the big-hitters in Mirfield.

He received 64 per cent of the vote in a sizable win over Labour's Coun Karen Rowling.

She had been deselected in Dewsbury West - which was said to be wide open with the Lib Dems and Greens fancying their chances.

Before the election a Lib Dem activist told The Press he believed they had "taken" Dewsbury West.

But Labour candidate Mussarat Pervaiz romped home with 3,164 votes - some 62 per cent of all ballots cast.

Well-known local names including Coun Paul Kane (Lab, Dewsbury East) and Coun Kath Pinnock (Lib Dem, Cleckheaton) were re-elected.

In total Labour won 12 of 23 the seats contested. The Tories took six, Lib Dems three, Green one and independents one.

The turnout was 35 per cent. The new make-up of the full council is: Lab 34, Con 20, Lib Dem 9, Green 3, Independents 3.

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