Residents in Kirklees’ Batley East ward are being reminded to vote for a new councillor to represent their area in this Thursday’s (31 August) by-election.
Upon the resignation of former Labour councillor, Fazila Loonat, at the end of July, a by-election was called for the Batley East ward. Ms Loonat’s resignation came after she was given a 14-week prison sentence for perverting the course of justice in an attempt to help her partner avoid a speeding penalty.
Despite previously being a safe Labour seat, the Batley East ward became a highly competitive battleground in this year’s local elections. Just 14 votes separated Labour councillor Habiban Zaman and Conservative candidate Hanif Mayet following multiple recounts.
Mr Mayet is not standing in the by-election with a new candidate – Beverley Smith – put forward by the Conservatives. A new candidate has also been nominated by the Labour group – Ebrahim Dockrat.
Candidates from the Green Party, Yorkshire Party, Liberal Democrats and Social Democratic Party stood for various wards in May’s local elections, and the full list of candidates is as follows:
Labour: Ebrahim Dockrat.
Green Party: Simon Duffy.
Yorkshire Party: Bikatshi Katenga.
Liberal Democrats: Stephen Long.
Conservatives: Beverley Smith.
Social Democratic Party: Mark Steele.
Like with the local elections, residents must bring a valid form of ID with them to take part in the vote. Voters can also use a Voters Authority Certificate, though this had to be applied for in advance.