Labour miss out on overall majority ... by just one seat

LABOUR are within reach of an overall majority on Kirklees Council following elections last week.

The party made two gains, including Dewsbury South, to stand just one seat away from taking full control.

Labour run Kirklees as a minority and have to do deals with other parties to get policies through.

In Dewsbury South, incumbent Tory Salim Patel lost to Labour’s Nosheen Dad, while Labour also took a seat in Almondbury.

Elsewhere there were few surprises, with some candidates backed by big majorities.

Coun Darren O’Donovan, involved in Labour de-selection row, won Dewsbury West in a landslide.

Coun O’Donovan, Coun Amanda Stubley (Lab, Batley East) and Coun Kath Taylor (Con, Mirfield) each polled more than 5,000 votes.

Labour's Marielle O’Neill also broke the 5,000 barrier to succeed her father, former Labour cabinet member Peter O’Neill, in Batley West.

Party leaders Coun David Sheard (Lab, Heckmondwike) and Coun Robert Light (Con, Birstall and Birkenshaw) were re-elected.

Highs for the Lib Dems were Coun Andrew Pinnock retaining Cleckheaton and Shehzad Hussain polling nearly 1,200 votes in Dewsbury West.

But elsewhere they finished behind the Green Party in seats including Mirfield and Birstall and Birkenshaw.

The new make up of 69-member Kirklees Council is as follows:

• Labour Party 34 seats (up two);

• Conservative Party 18 seats (no change);

• Liberal Democrats 10 seats (down one);

• Green Party four seats (down one);

• Independents three seats (no change).

Coun Sheard made his bid to remain council leader at a local Labour Party annual general meeting this week.

He added: “My biggest worry is what happens next with the Conservative government. I’m worried about local authorities facing bankruptcy. I don’t think we’ll be the first but I do think it’s a reality for some by 2020 unless the government sorts funding out.”

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