ELECTION candidate Simon Alvy pulled off a shock in Liversedge and Gomersal last week and told voters: “It’s now over to you.”
The teacher narrowly won for Labour, defeating poll favourite Sharon Light by just 139 votes on a turnout of 25.3 per cent.
The by-election was called after the resignation of long-serving Tory Margaret Bates in April on health grounds.
Coun Alvy, who was installed at a ceremony in Huddersfield on Wednesday, said he wanted to follow in the footsteps of Mrs Bates.
He said: “One of things people always say is she was a very good ward councillor and that’s what I want to be.
“I’m here to help the ward and represent the people. I want to be an advocate for them and will be guided by the issues they raise.
“We got a fantastic response from the public. I’ll look into any issues and from that point of view it’s over to them as to what they want me to do.”
There were only three candidates. Coun Alvy (Lab) polled 1,517, Sharon Light (Con) got 1,378 votes while Richard Farnhill (Lib Dem) got 599.
The win pushes Labour to within three seats of having a majority on Kirklees.
Of 69 seats, they now have 33.
Mrs Light, wife of Tory leader Coun Robert Light (Birstall and Birkenshaw), vowed to continue working on community issues.
She said: “The development of green belt land and the threat of Kirklees Council reducing services to Liversedge and Gomersal remain.
“I will continue to work with (Tory) councillors David Hall and Lisa Holmes to campaign on issues that effect the local area.”
Mr Farnhill boosted the Lib Dem share of the vote to 17 per cent and may have another crack at Liversegde and Gomersal next year.
He said: “We were pleased with result, though we were trying to win. We were squeezed by Labour and the Tories, and that’s a bit of an honour.
“Both major parties engaged their machinery to fight us rather than each other, which is a sign of how well we're doing.”