SHARON LIGHT – wife of Kirkees Tory leader Robert – is to contest a by-election next month for the Conservatives.
She has been chosen for the Liversedge and Gomersal poll to find a successor to long-serving councillor Margaret Bates.
Tory Mrs Bates, who was re-elected only last year, has stood down with immediate effect due to health problems.
Mum-of-three Mrs Light, of Birkenshaw, stood as the Conservative candidate for Batley West in the 2006 local elections.
She finished a poor fourth, well behind the Lib Dems, BNP and Labour, whose candidate Coun Gwen Lowe won.
Mrs Light may have a better chance this time as Liversedge and Gomersal is ‘safer’ ground for the Tories than Batley West.
But she may still have a battle as Mrs Bates won in 2012 with a decent, but not impregnable, 466-vote margin over second-placed Labour.
Mrs Light singled out Kirklees Council’s controversial planning strategy the Local Development Framework as a campaign issue.
She said: “With Labour’s plans for 42 hectares of green belt land to be developed, I’m committed to fight for our local communities.”
Mrs Light is a keen runner who has completed the Great North Run and London Marathon to raise funds for Help for Heroes and Leukemia Research.
She was also involved in the successful campaign for a mixed-sex high school to service Birkenshaw, Birstall and Gomersal.
It led to her being appointed as a non-executive director and chairman of governors at the recently established BBG Academy.
She works for Bradford Council’s behavioural support team, which helps struggling families.
Mrs Light said: “I know how important it is to have good local schools for our children and how key children’s centres are for many young families.
“We all know Kirklees needs to save money but I will fight to keep services in Liversedge and Gomersal.”
Coun David Hall, deputy Tory leader and chairman of Liversedge and Gomersal Conservative Association, backed Mrs Light’s campaign.
He said: “Sharon has a record of local campaigning, knows well the demands made on a councillor and knows the current issues affecting the ward.”