Kirklees Council

Last updated

Kirklees Council
Third of council elected three years out of four
Coat of arms of Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council.png
Kirklees-logo.png
Kirklees Council Logo
Type
Type
Houses Unicameral
History
Founded1 April 1974
Leadership
Mayor of Kirklees
Cllr Mumtaz Hussain, Labour
since 12 June 2019
Leader of the Council
Cllr Shabir Pandor, Labour
since 23 May 2018 [1]
Chief Executive
Jacqui Gedman [2]
Structure
Seats69 councillors
United Kingdom Kirklees Council December 2019.svg
Joint committees
West Yorkshire Combined Authority
35 / 69
17 / 69
10 / 69
3 / 69
1 / 69
3 / 69
Elections
Multiple member first-past-the-post
Last election
2018
Meeting place
Huddersfield Town Hall
Website
www.kirklees.gov.uk
Constitution
Constitution

Kirklees Council is the local authority providing most local government services for the borough of Kirklees in West Yorkshire, England. It is a metropolitan district council and one of five constituent councils of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. [4]

Contents

History

Kirklees Council was established in 1974 by the Local Government Act 1972, with the first elections being held in advance in 1973.

The council was initially a second-tier authority, with West Yorkshire County Council providing many key services. However, the metropolitan county councils were abolished by the Local Government Act 1985, and so in 1986 Kirklees Council took over responsibility for most of these functions within the borough.

Policing, fire services and public transport continued to be run on a county-wide basis by councillors from all five West Yorkshire boroughs. In 2012 responsibility for policing was transferred to the directly-elected West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, and in 2014 responsibility for public transport was transferred to the West Yorkshire Combined Authority. The members of Kirklees Council elect one member of the combined authority.

Since the council's inception it has been controlled by both Labour and the Conservatives at times. From 1999 to 2018 the council was under no overall control as no political party held a majority of seats. [5] Since 2018 Labour has been in overall control of the council.

'New Council'

Following several years of funding cuts from national government, in 2016 the council started transitioning to a different service model which the cabinet calls being a New Council. The stated aim is to focus the reduced resources on services that only the council can provide, particularly those supporting vulnerable people, while encouraging communities to do more for themselves. [6]

Leadership challenge

Shortly after the 2016 local elections, Labour councillors initially decided to replace incumbent council leader David Sheard with Shabir Pandor. [7] [8] [9]

Pandor was nominated to become leader at the council's AGM, but his nomination fell by 33 votes to 31. Sheard and three other Labour councillors Scott, Turner & Hughes did not attend the meeting and councillors from all other parties voted against Pandor. With no leader, the council was run temporarily by the Chief Executive. [10] [11]

Pandor eventually resigned as Labour group leader. Sheard was re-elected as leader of the council and appointed Pandor as his deputy. [12] Pandor was subsequently elected leader of the council in 2018.

'Ratesgate' scandal

In June 2016 the Huddersfield Daily Examiner exposed several councillors who had failed to pay their Council Tax. Five serving councillors, four Labour and one Conservative, had been issued with court claims after previously receiving reminder letters. [13]

Two councillors who had denied the allegations, Deputy Leader Jean Calvert and Amanda Pinnock, were suspended by the Labour Party. It was the second time in as many years that Calvert had failed to pay her Council Tax when it was due, and Pinnock had accused the Examiner of racism. All councillors subsequently paid their debts before facing the court. [14]

Failings in children's services

In late 2016 Ofsted inspected Kirklees Council's services for vulnerable children and judged them to be inadequate. [15] In response, Education Secretary Justine Greening appointed Eleanor Brazil as Children's Services Commissioner to make recommendations for improvement. [16]

In her report published following the 2017 general election, Ms Brazil found that Kirklees did not have the leadership or management capacity to achieve the required standard. She recommended that Kirklees enter a formal partnership with Leeds City Council, a good neighbouring local authority. [17] The Director of Children's Services in Leeds, Steve Walker, took overall responsibility for services in Kirklees. [18]

Elections

Electoral arrangements

The council is composed of 69 councillors, three for each of the district's 23 wards. Elections are held three years out of four, on the first Thursday of May. One third of the councillors are elected, for a four-year term, in each election.

Exceptions to this include by-elections and ward boundary changes. In 2004 the wards were redrawn, so there was a general election of the entire council. [19] The electorate were given three votes each to elect three councillors for each ward. The candidate with the most votes was elected for the standard four-year term, the candidate with the second highest number of votes was elected for three years and the candidate with the third highest number of votes was elected for two years; therefore the next election for their seat was held in 2006.

Political history

All three of the United Kingdom's main political parties: the Labour Party, the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have had strong representation on the council. Each of the parties has formed the largest group on the council at some point. From 1999 until 2018, no single party had a majority.

Each of these parties has wards where they currently hold all the seats with a comfortable majority of votes at recent elections: [5]

The other wards may be seen as marginal, with different parties capturing them in different years.

The Green Party has been represented on the council since 1996, when they won a seat in the Newsome ward. Since then, the ward has consistently elected Green Party councillors.

The British National Party had a councillor elected in Heckmondwike ward in 2004, and then gained two more seats in 2006. By 2010, they had lost all of their seats and the party no longer stands in local elections.

In 2006 a Save Huddersfield NHS group was formed to campaign against plans to move medical services from Huddersfield Royal Infirmary to Halifax. The group fielded three candidates, including a local general practitioner who gained a seat in the Crosland Moor and Netherton ward. [20] The councillor was not re-elected in 2010.

In 2017 the Heavy Woollen District Independents started to compete in elections in that area. They had their first councillor elected in Dewsbury East ward in 2019. [21]

Current political make-up

The council is currently controlled by the Labour Party with a majority of 1 councillor.

The political make-up of the council is as follows:

Party Political make-up of Kirklees Council
PartySeats [22] Current Council
  Labour
35
                                                                     
  Conservative
17
                                                                     
  Lib Dem
10
                                                                     
  Green
3
                                                                     
  Heavy Woollen
1
                                                                     
  Independent
3
                                                                     
Majority
35
                                   
351710313
LabourConservativeLiberal DemocratGreenHWInd

Previous election results

Decision making

The council uses executive arrangements. Councillors elect a leader, who appoints other members of the cabinet. [23]

Local committees

The council established Area Committees for councillors representing groups of wards to meet in their localities. In 2014 the wards were regrouped into four larger District Committees with the prospect of greater devolution of decision making from the Executive. [24] However, in 2017 the District Committees were not re-established, and since then individual councillors have been allocated budgets instead. [25]

Mayor

Councillors appoint a chairman annually, who serves as the Mayor of Kirklees. The mayor represents the council at civic engagements and supports the work of their designated charity.

Mayors of Kirklees [26]
NamePartyCivic Year
Reginald Hartley, M.B.E., J.PLabour1974–75
William GregoryLabour1975–76
Andrew Alastair MasonConservative1976–77
Jack BrookeConservative1977–78
Charles Cyril Kenchington, M.B.E., Major (Retired)Independent1978–79
Donald WhiteLabour1979–80
Marjorie FisherLabour1980–81
Fred Pickles, J.P.Labour1981–82
Jack WoodLabour1982–83
Alfred RamsdenLabour1983–84
Stanley DawsonLabour1984–85
Colin C. Walker, J.P.Labour1985–86
Mary WalshLabour1986–87
George Speight, J.P.Labour1987–88
John Greaves HoltConservative1988–89
Colin WatsonLabour1989–90
Thomas Patrick O'DonovanLabour1990–91
Jack BrookeLabour1991–92
David A. Wright, O.B.E., J.P.Labour1992–93
John Mernagh, J.P.Labour1993–94
Harold SheldonLabour1994–95
Kenneth Douglas SimsConservative1995–96
Allison HarrisonLabour1996–97
Rita BriggsLabour1997–98
Michael BowerLiberal Democrats1998–99
Harry FoxLabour1999–00
Ann Elspeth DenhamConservative2000–01
Mohan Singh Sokhal, J.P.Labour2001–02
Margaret R. Bates, D.L.Conservative2002–03
Barbara AllonbyLiberal Democrats2003–04
Mary HarkinLabour2004–05
Margaret FearnleyLiberal Democrats2005–06
Donald FirthConservative2006–07
Jean CalvertLabour2007–08
Kamran HussainLiberal Democrats2008–09
Julie Stewart-TurnerGreen2009–10
Andrew PalfreemanConservative2010–11
Eric FirthLabour2011–12
David RidgwayLiberal Democrats2012–13
Martyn BoltConservative2013–14
Ken SmithLabour2014–15
Paul KaneLabour2015–16
Jim DoddsConservative2016–17
Christine IredaleLiberal Democrats2017–18
Gwen LoweLabour2018–19

Notes

    Related Research Articles

    Mirfield Town and civil parish in West Yorkshire, England

    Mirfield is a small town and civil parish in Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is on the A644 road between Brighouse and Dewsbury. At the 2011 census it had a population of 19,563.

    Kirklees Metropolitan borough in England

    Kirklees is a local government district of West Yorkshire, England, governed by Kirklees Council with the status of a metropolitan borough. The largest town and administrative centre of Kirklees is Huddersfield, and the district also includes Batley, Birstall, Cleckheaton, Denby Dale, Dewsbury, Heckmondwike, Holmfirth, Kirkburton, Marsden, Meltham, Mirfield and Slaithwaite. Kirklees had a population of 422,500 in 2011 and is therefore the most populous borough in England that is not a city; it is also the third largest metropolitan district by area behind Doncaster and Leeds.

    Huddersfield Town in West Yorkshire, England

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    Heckmondwike town in the metropolitan borough of Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England

    Heckmondwike is a town and electoral ward in the metropolitan borough of Kirklees, West Yorkshire, England, 9 miles (14 km) south west of Leeds. Historically part of the West Riding of Yorkshire, it is close to Cleckheaton and Liversedge. It is mostly the Batley and Spen parliamentary constituency, and had an estimated population of 17,066 in March 2001, reducing to 16,986 at the 2011 Census.

    Dewsbury (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

    Dewsbury is a constituency created in 1868. This seat is represented in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom Parliament since 2019 by Mark Eastwood of the Conservative Party.

    Batley and Spen (UK Parliament constituency) Parliamentary constituency in the United Kingdom

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    Leeds City Council Local government body in England

    Leeds City Council is the local authority of the City of Leeds in West Yorkshire, England. It is a metropolitan district council, one of five in West Yorkshire and one of 36 in the metropolitan counties of England, and provides the majority of local government services in Leeds. Since 1 April 2014 it has been a constituent council of the West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

    Kirklees is a metropolitan borough of West Yorkshire, England. One third of the Council is elected each election year. Every fourth year there is no election. Since the last boundary changes in 2004, 69 councillors have been elected from 23 wards.

    Save Huddersfield NHS is a minor British political party registered in 2006. The party campaigns against a proposed reorganisation of National Health Service facilities in the Huddersfield area and is led by Dr. Jackie Grunsell, a local general practitioner and member of the Socialist Party. The party contested elections to Kirklees Council, West Yorkshire, England in 2006–2008.

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    Kath Pinnock, Baroness Pinnock British politician

    Kathryn Mary Pinnock, Baroness Pinnock is a British Liberal Democrat politician, life peer, and former school teacher. Since 1987, she has been a member of Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council. She was leader of the council's Lib Dem group from 1991 to 2014, and leader of the council from 2000 to 2006. She was created a life peer in 2014 and now sits in the House of Lords.

    Paul Salveson,MBE FCILT, is an English politician, activist and author. He is currently a Visiting Professor in transport and logistics at the University of Huddersfield. He works for Arriva UK Trains as group advisor, community rail.

    2016 Batley and Spen by-election 5th by-election to the 56th UK parliament

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    2018 Leeds City Council election

    The 2018 Leeds City Council election took place on 3 May 2018 to elect members of Leeds City Council in England. They were held on the same day as other local elections across England and the rest of the UK.

    2018 Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council election

    The 2018 Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council election took take place on 3 May 2018 to elect members of Kirklees Metropolitan Borough Council in England. This was on the same day as other local elections in England. The result gave the Labour Party majority control of Kirklees Council with 36 of the 69 councillors representing the party.

    The Heavy Woollen District Independents is a political party based in the Heavy Woolen District of West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. The party was registered with the Electoral Commission on the 13th of September 2017. Its current leader is Aleksandar Lukic who was the chairman for UKIP's Dewsbury, Batley and Spen branch until 2017.

    References

    1. Earnshaw, Tony (23 May 2018). "New era for Kirklees Council as Shabir Pandor is elected leader". Huddersfield Examiner. Retrieved 17 June 2018.
    2. Council, Kirklees (30 January 2016). "Chief Executive, strategic directors and service directors". www.kirklees.gov.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
    3. "Councillors".
    4. "The West Yorkshire Combined Authority Order 2014". www.legislation.gov.uk. Retrieved 30 July 2019.
    5. 1 2 "Previous Local elections summary". Kirklees Council. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
    6. "Our new council". It's time to talk. 23 January 2017. Retrieved 1 July 2017.
    7. "Kirklees Council leader Clr David Sheard announces shock departure". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. May 2016. Archived from the original on 25 June 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
    8. "Toppled Kirklees Council leader David Sheard takes to Twitter to vent anger". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. May 2016. Archived from the original on 22 May 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
    9. "Ousted Kirklees Council leader speaks out over Labour coup against him". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. May 2016. Archived from the original on 22 May 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
    10. "Put up or shut up!' Angry Kirklees Council leader-elect Shabir Pandor vows to fight on". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. May 2016. Archived from the original on 29 May 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
    11. "Chaotic scenes as Kirklees Council struggles to find a new leader". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. May 2016. Archived from the original on 28 May 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
    12. "Re-elected Kirklees Council leader David Sheard adds new faces to his top team Angry Kirklees Council leader-elect Shabir Pandor vows to fight on". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. June 2016. Archived from the original on 1 July 2016. Retrieved 30 June 2016.
    13. "Named: The Kirklees councillors summonsed over council tax arrears". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. June 2016. Archived from the original on 5 June 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
    14. "Councillors suspended by the Labour party after council tax controversy". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. June 2016. Archived from the original on 7 June 2016. Retrieved 8 June 2016.
    15. "Inspection of services for children in need of help and protection, children looked after and care leavers and Review of the effectiveness of the Local Safeguarding Children Board" (PDF). Ofsted. 25 November 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
    16. "Statutory direction to Kirklees Council in relation to children's services under Section 497A(4B) of the Education Act 1996" (PDF). Department for Education. 25 November 2016. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
    17. Brazil, Eleanor (14 September 2017). "Kirklees Children's Services: report to the Secretary of State" (PDF). Department for Education. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
    18. Shaw, Martin (15 September 2017). "MPs vow to hold Kirklees to account after Leeds City Council brought in to sort out failing children's services". The Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 21 September 2017.
    19. "The Borough of Kirklees (Electoral Changes) Order 2003". Office of Public Sector Information. 2003. Archived from the original on 19 March 2009. Retrieved 15 February 2009.
    20. "A Clear Mesage". Huddersfield Examiner . 6 May 2006. p. 1.
    21. "Independent Aleks Lukic takes seat from Labour in Dewsbury East". Examiner Live. 3 May 2019. Retrieved 4 May 2019.
    22. "Current composition of the council". Kirklees Council. 4 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
    23. "Committee details - Cabinet". Kirklees Council. 28 June 2017. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
    24. Douglas, Joanne (2 June 2014). "Four new district areas for Kirklees Council devolution put forward - see which district your home would be in". Huddersfield Daily Examiner. Retrieved 28 June 2017.
    25. "Ward Budgets 2017/18". Kirklees Council.
    26. "Former mayors". Kirklees Council. Retrieved 28 June 2017.