Wakefield Council calls by-election after MP Paula Sherriff gives up councillor role

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Pontefract councillor Paula Sherriff has decided to retire now she is the MP for Dewsbury.

Miss Sherriff, who represented the Pontefract North ward on Wakefield Coun, took the seat from the Conservatives’ Simon Reevell by a majority of 1,451 at the general election in May.

She was first elected as a councillor in Pontefract in 2012 and served the town for three years.

Miss Sherriff said: “When I decided that I was going to stand to be an MP I always said I wouldn’t do two jobs.

“I don’t agree with any MP doing two jobs. It wouldn’t have been fair on the people of Dewsbury or the people of Pontefract.”

Miss Sherriff campaigned to keep Pontefract’s accident and emergency department open and also fought for changes at the town’s notorious Town End junction during her time as a councillor.

She said: “It was a wonderful privilege to have been a councillor in Pontefract.

“It’s a great town and one that I will forever hold with great affection.

“There are some fantastic people doing some brilliant work and I’d like to thank everyone I worked with during my time.”

Miss Sherriff said she will continue to fight changes to car parking at the district’s hospitals, including Pontefract and Dewsbury, which mean disabled blue badge holders now have to pay to park.

She said: “I think Pontefract has got a fantastic future ahead.

“With all of the development work that’s going on at the castle and at the Prince of Wales Colliery site I think it is going from strength to strength.

“I wish my successor, whoever it may be, all the best. Pontefract is a great ward.”

A by-election will be held next month to find a replacement for Paula Sherriff.

Voters will go to the polls on September 24 to elect a new councillor for the Pontefract North ward.

Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on Thursday, September 24.

Nominations for candidates close at 4pm on Thursday, August 27.

Poll cards should be delivered by September 1.

Wakefield Council said proxy application applications must be received by 5pm on Wednesday, September 16.

The result of the by election will be available on the council website at www.wakefield.gov.uk/elections on Friday, September 25.

For more information contact Wakefield Council’s electoral services team on 01924 305023.