Kirklees Tory leader to stand down after 15 years

Coun Robert Light has announced he is stepping down after 15 years of leading the Kirklees Conservative Group.

Coun Robert Light has announced he is stepping down after 15 years of leading the Kirklees Conservative Group.

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Kirklees Conservative Leader Robert Light has announced he is standing down from the role.

The Conservative Group will elect a new Leadership Team on Monday May 23 ahead of the council’s annual meeting next week.

Coun Light is one of only nine politicians who have been leader of the council since it came into being in 1974 and one of only two Conservatives to lead the council.

He was first elected to Kirklees Council for Birstall and Birkenshaw Ward in 1987 serving until 1995 (Deputy Conservative Group Leader 1992-1995).

He was elected again for the same ward in 2000 and has since been re-elected four times.

He will continue as a councillor representing the Birstall and Birkenshaw Ward and being an active and influential backbench councillor.

In a statement Coun Light said: “It has been a privilege to be the Leader of the Kirklees Conservative Group for 15 years.

“Along the way I have had the honour of being council leader for three years and was the first chairman of the Leeds City Region.

“During my time as Leader of the Council, Kirklees was singled out as one of the top performing councils in the country and selected as Council of the Year in 2008.

“I feel though that now is the right time to hand the reigns to someone else and that I need to take a step back from the frontline and spend more time with my family and working for the residents of Birstall and Birkenshaw who have been good enough to elect me to represent them on so many occasions.

“I hope to continue to have influence in the wider political arena, but the time is right for a new Leadership Team to shape the Conservatives future in Kirklees.

“I will remain active and supportive of whoever Group selects to take them forward.”