Councillor and Cabinet Member to step down in May

Marielle and Peter O'Neill.
Marielle and Peter O'Neill.

A Kirklees councillor is to step down after eight years representing Batley.

Coun Peter O’Neill, a Labour councillor for Batley West, will leave his job at the end of his term in May.

Coun O’Neill, who is stepping down for health reasons, is now backing his daughter Marielle to replace him in Kirklees Council’s elections on May 7.

Miss O’Neill was selected as the Labour Party candidate for Batley West last night.

Coun O’Neill has also served on Kirklees Council Cabinet for six years. He is currently Cabinet Member for Leisure and Communities.

He said: “Marielle is energetic and passionate about social justice and equality. She will work hard to help everyone in Batley to have a fair shot in life.”

Miss O’Neill, 26, has been active in politics for 10 years having worked in Westminster and in Washington DC, but it is her hometown of Batley that she wants to represent.

She currently works supporting vulnerable older people.

Miss O’Neill said: “My dad is the most committed councillor we have in Kirklees and his dedication and hard work make him a difficult act to follow. But I intend to be 100 per cent committed to representing the people of Batley West and fighting for their interests.”

Coun O’Neill added: “Marielle is an empathetic person who can relate to people from all works of life whilst at the same time having the professional expertise to successfully represent the people of Batley on the Council.”

Coun O’Neill said he was looking forward to spending more time with his five grandchildren and on his interests – reading and listening to music.

He also hopes to continue to support local people in a volunteering role.