Kirklees councillor resigns

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Former Mayor Coun Margaret Bates is stepping down from Kirklees Council.

Coun Bates, the Conservative councillor for the Liversedge and Gomersal Ward, today announced that for health reasons she will be retiring immediately.

Her letter of resignation was handed to the Chief Executive earlier today.

She said: “It was a hard decision, but one I had to make. In the past few months I have found it more and more difficult to represent the voters of Liversedge and Gomersal to the standard that both they and I would expect. For the sake of myself and my family I really had no option.

“I will miss every part of being a councillor, particularly the day to day contact with individual problems and the major issues that continue to affect the Ward. If you are lucky enough you get older. But with age often comes problems and you have to decide when it is best to move on. After a quarter of a century of public service I’ve decided that the time is now.”

The Leader of the Kirklees Conservatives, Coun Robert Light praised Coun Bates’ service and dedication saying: “We respect Margaret’s decision but this is a sad day, not only for the Conservative Group and the Liversedge and Gomersal Ward, but for Kirklees as a whole.

“She has been a giant on the council, respected by all the political parties. Her interest in issues affecting the elderly and vulnerable has helped shape council policy and ensured that many people have benefited from a much enhanced standard of life.

“We were both elected to the council on the same day and Margaret has been an enormous part of my political life. She has been a loyal member of the Conservative Group, a wonderful Mayor and an invaluable friend. We all wish her and her family well.”

Coun Bates has represented Liversedge and Gomersal continuously from 2000 to the present day.

She had two previous terms as a Kirklees councillor from 1987-91, and 1994-98.

She served as Mayor of Kirklees in 2002-03, and later became a key Cabinet Member in the Conservative Administration towards the end of the decade.