By Tony Earnshaw
There’s very little drama around elections in Kirklees – so far.
But it’s early yet.
Meanwhile what talk there is tends to focus on other parts of the country such as Oldham, where the council leader has been toppled in a shock defeat.
Then there’s Hartlepool, where the Conservatives have taken another Labour scalp, pulling a further brick from that once insurmountable “red wall”.
Votes are arriving on site for a day’s verification prior to the count beginning tomorrow (May 8). But the tables are largely bare.
Among those to be seen are Jacqui Gedman, chief executive at Kirklees Council and the authority’s returning officer. It will be her job to announce the results.
And the ballot boxes are rolling in: from Holme Valley North in the south of the district to Dewsbury West in the north.
In total 118 candidates are fighting for 25 seats with 23 wards being contested across the borough.
Labour, with 32 seats, is currently the party in control. However there is a scrabble for some key seats with the Conservatives eyeing Denby Dale and Heckmondwike, both currently held by senior Labour men Graham Turner and Steve Hall.
Meanwhile the Liberal Democrats are poised to regain control in Almondbury and hope that a former group leader, Nicola Turner, will be successful in Colne Valley.
And the Greens hope to build on their existing three councillors by nabbing a seat in Kirkburton from the Conservatives.
The current composition of Kirklees Council is:
- Labour – 32
- Conservative – 16
- Liberal Democrat – 10
- Green – 3
- Holme Valley North Independent Group – 3
- Independents – 3
- Vacant – 2