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New leadership system brings anger.

COUNCILLORS brought in a new leadership system last night - despite all parties opposing the move.

The Government has forced Kirklees to abandon its cabinet system and choose either a mayor elected by the public or a leader voted in by councillors.

Kirklees last night voted for the second of these choices, described by Lib Dem Clr John Smithson as "the least worst option".

The new system will be brought in after May's council elections.

A new leader will be elected to serve a four-year term, unlike the current system where the leader must win majority support in the council every year.

The new leader will choose their own cabinet. Currently cabinet members are elected by all 69 councillors.

Politicians of all parties criticised the Government last night for making Kirklees abandon its current cabinet system.

Lib Dem leader Clr Kath Pinnock described the move as part of "the continual rape of local government" by Whitehall.

Conservative deputy leader Clr Martyn Bolt said: "Central government has dictated that we are to do away with some of the most democratic structures we've got."

Thirty-seven Labour and Lib Dem councillors voted for the change to the new leader system, with 22 Conservative and Green councillors abstaining.

Dewsbury independent Clr Khizar Iqbal voted against.

CAPTION(S):

LEAST WORST OPTION: according to Clr John Smithson
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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:Dec 10, 2009
Words:220
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