Conservatives win town council by-election

Martin Ibberson won the Battyeford by-election for the Tories. (d27071103)

Martin Ibberson won the Battyeford by-election for the Tories. (d27071103)

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The Conservative Party has emerged victorious in a closely fought Mirfield Town Council by-election.

Tory candidate Martin Ibberson beat Labour’s Michael Hutchinson 562-507 in the Battyeford ward.

Mr Ibberson, a founder of business group My Mirfield, said: “It’s a strange experience, I’ve never stood in an election before. It’s all new but I have achieved what I hoped to achieve.

“I have always worked for Mirfield and I hope to carry on doing that. I now have a few more tools in the box so maybe we can get more done.

“I want to thank everyone who helped me to win this election and I want to thank everyone who voted for me.”

The by-election was called due to electoral complications after May’s local election.

Mr Hutchinson was one of the councillors elected to represent the Battyeford ward but was unable to take his seat because he did not make a declaration at the next Mirfield Town Council meeting because he was visiting a sick relative.

This led to him losing his seat, despite never taking it up, and months of disagreement between Labour and the Conservatives with both accusing the other of political point scoring.

Mr Hutchinson said: “This was a chance for the electorate to correct an injustice and some tried to do that but not in sufficient enough numbers.”

He believed the result came out differently than in May because there was only two candidates in the by-election, making it a head-to-head fight rather than the system of a number of councillors being elected to each ward, which was the case in May.

Mr Hutchinson said he was disappointed with the turnout of 20.68 per cent.

The next Mirfield Town Council meeting will be held September 1, 7.30pm, at the council offices in Huddersfield Road.