Batley councillor set to be Mayor of Kirklees will step down in 2022

Five Labour councillors are set to step down at next year’s elections in Kirklees.

Thursday, 21st October 2021, 2:00 pm
Batley East councillor Mahmood Akhtar, currently the Deputy Mayor of Kirklees, pictured with his wife. He is to step down in 2022 and will not now become Mayor

The Local Democracy Reporting Service (LDRS) understands the five members to be veteran councillor Peter McBride, Harpreet Uppal (Ashbrow), Erin Hill (Crosland Moor and Netherton), Mumtaz Hussain (Dewsbury West) and Mahmood Akhtar (Batley East).

Coun Akhtar is currently the Deputy Mayor. However he will not now become the Mayor in 2022.

That honour will instead go to Coun Masood Ahmed, who represents Dewsbury South for Labour.

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Coun Mumtaz Hussain (Dewsbury West), who is stepping down as a councillor after 16 years.

Coun Akhtar has been a member for Batley East since 2004 but always on the back benches.

The father-of-five and grandfather of seven has served as a school governor in Batley.

For more than 25 years he has been associated with the Pakistan and Kashmir Welfare Association and was heavily involved in creating its community centre.

He made headlines in the run-up to the local elections 2018 when Labour printed campaign materials that accused the Tories of “shi**ing on us to fund tax cuts for the wealthy and giant corporations”.

Coun Akhtar, the Batley East candidate, later apologised describing his leaflet as “a genuine mistake and an oversight”.

Coun Hussain was the borough’s Mayor from 2019 to 2021. He served a two-year term of office due to the coronavirus pandemic – the only mayor in the history of Kirklees to do so.

He said: “I have been a councillor for 16 years for Dewsbury West ward.

“In that time I have been Deputy Mayor in 2019 and Mayor for two years.

“I have done my best to help people across Kirklees and it’s been a pleasure to serve as a councillor.

“It’s time to bring [forward] young people with new ideas as we have a lot of challenges ahead.

"I would like to thank all those people who have supported me and who I have worked with, and all my family and friends.”