Mirfield’s new mayor expects a bumper year

Councillor Vivien Lees-Hamilton the new Mayor of Mirfield.  (d601a321)
Councillor Vivien Lees-Hamilton the new Mayor of Mirfield. (d601a321)

Learner drivers in Mirfield will have to take extra care on their lessons, as some of them will be driving around the mayor of their town.

Driving instructor and councillor Vivien Lees-Hamilton will chair her first meeting of Mirfield Town Council on Tuesday.

She has been a member of the town council since 2004, and is also one of Mirfield’s three Kirklees councillors.

The 53-year-old said becoming the first citizen of the town was an honour.

“I was born in Mirfield, I have been here for the past 53 years and I care passionately about the area where I live,” she said.

“To be elected at town mayor, I feel it’s a great honour.”

Coun Lees-Hamilton got involved in local politics when she campaigned against a proposed waste transfer station in Hopton.

“That caught someone’s eye and I was contacted about joining the town council,” she said.

Since then, Coun Lees-Hamilton has been elected onto Kirklees Council twice and has engaged with a range of issues in Mirfield - from securing investment in traffic calming measures to setting a up a new skatepark in Knowl Park.

“It’s a real boost every time I go down to there and I see that park full of people doing their own activities,” she said. “It’s given the young people something that’s their own.”

The town council will face a busy year ahead, as it identifies new priorities by returning to 2008’s Mirfield Matters survey and working out what work still needs to be done.

Town councillors - including Coun Lees-Hamilton’s husband, Mark - will also be looking at issues such as the town’s public toilets and parking in the town centre.

“You learn to juggle,” she said. “As a councillor, you have to be committed to putting the time in.

“It’s not a Monday to Friday, nine-to-five job - it’s seven days a week, 24 hours a day.”

But Coun Lees-Hamilton added: “I enjoy the challenges. I very much believe in Mirfield and I believe in Mirfield people.

“Sometimes people just do not get a fair deal, who might not be in a position to fight back.

“They might not have all the knowledge or resources to fight back. That’s my role.”