Six members of Kirklees Council will be retiring this year.
At the last full council meeting, members paid tribute to those coming to the end of their time as councillors. The six councillors will stand down at this year’s elections in May.
Leader of the council, Cllr Shabir Pandor, thanked Labour councillors Cllr Fran Perry (Ashbrow) and Cllr Mohammad Sarwar (Crosland Moor and Netherton), as well as former-Labour councillor, now Independent, Cllr Lesley Warner (Colne Valley) for their time spent on the council.
He explained that Cllr Perry was experiencing ill health and wanted to thank her for the work she had done in her ward. He added: “I’d like to thank her and I hope that she goes through a full recovery.”
Cllr Pandor spoke highly of Cllr Sarwar and said: “He got elected in 1999 – 24 years of public service, and those of you who know Sarwar, he is well-known in his community. He was a radio presenter before he became a councillor and he did some excellent work at that time when we needed that voice within the Asian community to get various messages out there.
He added that he was saddened to see Cllr Sarwar stepping down.
Of Cllr Warner, the Leader said: “Lesley has always been very supportive and an excellent councillor in her ward…I know you’ve been through some health issues yourself and I’m really pleased that you’re getting better but I really appreciate the work you’ve done in your ward.”
Conservative group leader Cllr David Hall (Liversedge and Gomersal) wanted to associate himself with the best wishes expressed by the Leader. He also wished to pay tribute to Mirfield ward Conservative councillor of 22 years, Cllr Kath Taylor who is retiring this year.
He said: “She’ll be a loss to this council, particularly for the way that she’s carved out a little niche for herself being quite knowledgeable, particularly about licensing and planning issues and for a long time dealing with adoptions and fostering panels which those of you that know and have been on the adoption and fostering panels is an awful lot of reading required and a very big time commitment so we thank her for those particular things that she’s done.
“She’ll be a great loss to our group as well so I’d like to send our best wishes and I hope the best wishes of the council to Kath Taylor.”
Independent group leader Cllr Charles Greaves explained that Cllr Paul White (Holme Valley North) and Cllr Aleks Lukic (Dewsbury East) were standing down this year after their four-year terms. He said: “As Paul would like it, I shall be brief and to the point. Paul stepped up from Meltham town council to help lead on housing, education and standards and he’s a real advocate of the place standard and locality-based working.
“Aleks has fought hard for many years to get elected to represent Dewsbury and his desire to see real improvements for Dewsbury is well known and hopefully, will soon come to pass. Offering a different perspective, he has worked hard within the council and within his community to make a real difference.”
The Mayor of Kirklees, Cllr Masood Ahmed, is also approaching the end of his year in office. Cllr Pandor thanked the mayor for his “excellent chairmanship of the council in hard times.”