Sunday, 29 May 2011

Independents on the Council

Should read 'Independents'
We've had a number of Independents on Kirklees Council over the years. The first I remember were discontented members of the larger parties who either left or were ejected from the parties they were originally elected for. Rarely if ever were they ever re-elected with the 'Independent' badge. So when Terry Lyons got elected for Holme Valley North (my local Councillor) he was a fair bit of a rarity and it was down to good old fashioned graft and getting round meeting the people. So plenty of respect there for that. He's had a few fellow travellers with the Independent tag over the years. Jackie Grunsell was elected as a 'Save NHS Huddersfield' Candidate and rode the wave of discontent over maternity services being moved to Halifax. She was heavily plugged by the Huddersfield Examiner which gave a considerable boost to her campaign. Jackie was part of the Socialist Party/Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition/Trade Unionists against the cuts, so when her and Terry formed a group it did appear to be a marraige of convenience rather than a meeting of minds. Without a media backed campaign Jackie was always going to struggle and failed to be re-elected. Khizar Iqbal a Conservative Councillor fell out with his group following the selection of a posh barrister Tory for the Dewsbury Parliamentary Constituency rather than himself. He sat as an Independent for a while but didn't form a group with Terry and is now back in the Tory fold ( poor chap!). This May the second Independent Councillor was elected to Holme Valley North Edgar Holroyd -Doveton beating the Liberal Democrats. They sought to 'out' him as a 'socialist' (never been a scary word for me) but Edgar's campaign was built on the same lines as Terry's with his support and the necessary graft. So now as a group the Independent Two seem much more coherent than they have in the past. Kirklees hasn't quite got the idea that they are a group yet and Terry wasn't invited to join the Mayoral Party with other Party leaders at the Mayor making but I guess they'll catch up pretty soon.

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