Newly elected councillors relish challenge

Newly elected councillors relish challenge
By Tony Earnshaw
Local Democracy Reporter

KIRKLEES Council’s new councillors have spoken of their pride at being elected – and their excitement at the prospect of serving their communities.

The council will welcome 10 first-timers after the May local elections, including four in North Kirklees.

Perhaps the figure most likely to shake up the council chamber at Huddersfield Town Hall is Aleks Lukic, who has locked horns with council leader Shabir Pandor over the authority’s policy of serving non-stunned halal meat in its schools.

Formerly chairman of the Dewsbury, Batley and Spen branch of UKIP Coun Lukic, 29, a cyber security advisor, quit the party in 2017. He won his seat under the banner of Dewsbury Borough Independents.

He said he was “delighted” to be elected as a councillor.

He added: “This result couldn’t have happened without each and every one of my supporters, and I am determined to repay their trust with four years of hard work and perseverance.

“Residents want me to fulfil the pledges I made to them and so I will be fighting for a fair share of investment in Dewsbury, free short-stay parking, fully-equipped playgrounds, better police engagement and for all meat in school meals to be sourced from humane methods of slaughter.

“I expect to be spending a lot of time on planning matters, with Dewsbury town centre regeneration and the large housing allocation at Chidswell, which are both within my ward.”

Charlotte Goodwin held the Birstall and Birkenshaw ward for the Conservatives after former group leader (and Council leader) Robert Light stepped down last year.

The mother-of-two, who is a local business owner and an army reservist, described the run-up to the local elections as “a bit of a rollercoaster” but aims to use her new role to “influence positive change” both in her ward and across the borough.

Coun Goodwin said: “I have a background in construction and infrastructure planning and am keen to help improve the local built environment and that new development is delivered sustainably in a way that enhances the local environment for all.

“I studied earth and environmental sciences at university and have also previously worked in the waste industry. I plan to use this knowledge and experience to help reduce the carbon footprint in Kirklees and to help improve waste services, recycling and reduce fly-tipping.”

The two other new councillors in North Kirklees, Yusra Hussain (Lab, Batley West) and Aafaq Butt (Lab, Heckmondwike), have not responded to the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

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