wp header logo 51.png
Ai/ Internet

Council leader Cathy Scott says it's 'business as usual' for Kirklees Council despite upheaval and mass resignations – Huddersfield Hub

Select Page
Posted by | May 31, 2024 | | 0
Council leader Cathy Scott insists it’s “business as usual” for Kirklees Council despite a week of upheaval and more resignations.
At the council’s annual meeting last Wednesday Clr Scott shocked the council chamber when she sensationally quit the Labour Party but announced her decision to stay on as council leader.
Clr Scott, who had been ousted as Labour group leader in the wake of disastrous local election results, wrong-footed her former colleagues who tried and failed to call an extraordinary meeting and force a vote of ‘no confidence’ to remove her as leader.
Since the AGM, Clr Habiban Zaman, her son Clr Adam Zaman (both Batley East) and Clr Yusra Hussain (Batley West) quit the Labour Party followed by Clr Masood Ahmed (Dewsbury South) and Clr Paul Moore (Dewsbury East).
All five have joined Clr Scott’s new group – called Community Alliance – with three of them joining Clr Scott on a new-look Cabinet.
Clr Scott denied the council was in “limbo” and said: “It’s very much business as usual. The minimum we need for a Cabinet is three and we’ve got four so we are functioning as usual.”
A rift in the party: Clr Mus Khan with Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer
Clr Scott, elected as council leader until 2026, said the time was right to run the council on a cross-party basis, putting politics aside to run the council for the benefit of local people.
“This concept caught the other parties by surprise and it’s all about trust,” she said. “Everyone can have their political beliefs but in Cabinet we put them on one side and all work for the greater good.
“I think the time is right and there’s a big opportunity to make a change. I will be looking to meet with other parties and hopefully they will take up the challenge.”
Clr Scott said there were four other places to fill on the Cabinet and added: “I hope other councillors do put themselves forward. If they don’t that’s a reflection on them.
“They won’t be able to stand up and criticise in the council chamber knowing they had the opportunity to get on board.”
Under Clr Scott, Labour lost four seats and with it overall control of the council at the May elections.
Incredibly, Labour has seen 11 councillors resign from the party since January 2024, most in protest at Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer’s stance on the conflict in Gaza.
After the elections in May 2023 Labour had 36 of the 69 seats on Kirklees Council. It now has just 24.
Independents swept the board in Batley, Dewsbury and Heckmondwike with former council leader Shabir Pandor the highest profile casualty.
There are now two new groups on the council, both mainly made up of Labour defectors, namely Kirklees Community Independents Group – led by Crosland Moor & Netherton councillor Jo Lawson – and Clr Scott’s Community Alliance. Both groups have six members each.
Clr Scott said: “We have other people interested in joining us from across the chamber. This is not Labour Mark 2.”

The 11 Labour councillors to resign this year are: Ammar Anwar (Dewsbury West); Jo Lawson and Imran Safdar (both Crosland Moor & Netherton); Ebrahim Dockrat (Batley East); Mus Khan (Dalton); Habiban Zaman and Adam Zaman (both Batley East); Yusra Hussain (Batley West); Cathy Scott and Paul Moore (both Dewsbury East); and Masood Ahmed (Dewsbury South).
Clr Scott has reduced her Cabinet from nine to eight and takes the Corporate and Housing portfolios herself.
Habiban Zaman is deputy leader and is Cabinet member for Children’s Services. Adam Zaman takes Communities and Yusra Hussain has responsibility for Culture and Greener Kirklees.
The key role of Finance and Regeneration – formerly held by Golcar councillor Graham Turner – is vacant along with Learning and Aspiration; Health and Social Care; and Highways. Both Clr Turner and Clr Moses Crook (Holme Valley South) immediately quit the Cabinet in the wake of Clr Scott’s resignation from Labour.
At the AGM, the Labour group tried to call an extraordinary meeting for June 12 but that was voted down.
As a General Election has been called for July 4 it’s thought the Labour group might wait to challenge Clr Scott until the next full council meeting later in July. The next scheduled Cabinet meeting is June 11.
Council leader Cathy Scott quits Labour and pledges ‘new era of collaboration and transparency’



Leave feedback about this

  • Quality
  • Price
  • Service
Choose Image