BNP aims for town council

THE British National Party is fielding nine candidates in this year's all-out election for Mirfield Town Council.

Four of the nine candidates are from the town while the other five are from Heckmondwike, Dewsbury Moor and Thornhill Lees.

Coun David Exley (Heck), BNP group leader on Kirklees, said it had not been a conscious decision to target the town.

He said: "It wasn't the case that we wanted to fight nine seats. We just had nine people come forward and say they wanted to stand for election in Mirfield. They don't all live in Mirfield but they are within the catchment area, within three miles of the town."

The party's only previous Mirfield town councillor, Roger Roberts, left the council after he failed to attend a meeting for six months.

Mr Roberts claimed he had resigned by sending a fax to the council offices, but the town council, which did not have an administrator at the time, said it had not received his fax.

He had been elected onto the town council as a Tory but defected to the BNP after becoming disillusioned with the Conservative party.

No BNP candidate has ever been elected in Mirfield.

At the elections on May 3, eight town councillors are defending their seats, six are standing down, and former mayor and councillor James Taylor, who resigned late last year, is restanding but for Northorpe instead of Crossley ward.

Couns Michael Hutchinson (Lab), John Nottingham (Con) and Edwin Pugh (Con) are defending seats in Battyeford, Coun Martyn Bolt (Con) in Crossley, Coun Vivien Lees (Con) in Eastthorpe, Coun Bob Bennett (Con) in Hopton and Couns Keith Sibbald (Con) and Kath Taylor in Northorpe.

The Labour Party is fielding four candidates, the Conservative Party 16 and the New Party one.

Standing for the BNP will be: for the Battyeford ward, Andrew Cookson, Dawn Cookson and June Ellis; for the Crossley ward, Alan Girvan and Alistair Stewart; for the Eastthorpe ward, Frank Atack; for the Hopton ward, Simon Towers; and for the Northorpe ward, Nicola King and Russell Scott.