Liberal Democrat group leader steps aside after 23 years in charge

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A LONG-SERVING councillor is stepping down from her role as leader of her party on a Yorkshire council.

Councillor Kath Pinnock has been a member of Kirklees Council for 23 years and has led the Liberal Democrat group since she was elected in 1987.

She stepped aside from the leadership role on Wednesday. Colne Valley Councillor Nicola Turner was elected as the new leader, with Golcar ward Councillor Andrew Marchington elected deputy.

Councillor Pinnock, the first woman leader of Kirklees Council (2000-06), said: “After 23 years, I have decided that it is time to hand over the reins of leadership.

“It’s been a real privilege to lead so many hard working and loyal Liberal Democrats down the years and I thank each and every one for their commitment and support.

“This is very much a planned transition of leadership within the group. I was absolutely determined to step aside only when the local party and council group were in good health and our convincing defence of all five seats in the local elections last week clearly signal that we have turned the corner after a few hard years.

“Kirklees Liberal Democrats are now ready to look to the future and I am delighted to see Councillor Turner take us on from here. She is already an excellent councillor and will be an excellent party and group leader and a strong liberal voice on the council.

“I will continue to be fully involved in the running of the party and the council group and look forward to continuing to represent the people of Cleckheaton and the Spen Valley for many years to come.”