Baroness Pinnock hopes to put Spen ‘on political map’

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Cleckheaton councillor Kath Pinnock took her seat in the House of Lords this week after being put forward for a peerage by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg.

The former leader of Kirklees Council, who has taken on the title of Baroness Pinnock, swore an oath of allegiance to the Queen in front of a full house of peers during her introduction on Monday.

After reciting her oath, Baroness Pinnock - who will now have to combine her new role with her duties as a councillor - was invited to take her seat by Baroness Bakewell of Hardington Mandeville, Somersett and Baron Shutt of Greetland.

Baroness Pinnock, who has served as a councillor for 27 years, said: “It was a very proud moment for me and something that was always beyond my wildest imagination.

“It was all very nerve-wracking and I just thought ‘wow, how have I ended up here?’”

The House sits for 36 weeks each year on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

And Baroness Pinnock, who is a former teacher and now governor at Whitcliffe Mount School, said she thinks her new appointment will help put Cleckheaton on the political map.

She said: “It was a great honour and privilege but it’s also an honour for Kirklees and Cleckheaton.

“One of my aims is to raise matters of concern from a local point of view and I want to put Cleckheaton and Kirklees on the map, politically.

“It’s over to me now to see how I can use it to benefit the people in Cleckheaton and Kirklees.”