Cllr Cahal Burke is now mayor following a ceremony at Huddersfield Town Hall.

Lib Dem councillor for Lindley Cllr Cahal Burke has begun his term with his daughter Sinead by his side as Mayoress. The councillor who was first elected to Kirklees Council in 2010 was described by party colleagues as “truly an outstanding councillor.”

Fellow ward colleague Cllr Anthony Smith (Lib Dem) nominated Cllr Burke to become the new mayor at today’s ceremony. He told the town hall: “Cahal is the epitome of a public servant and politician who aspires to office for all the right reasons.”

Cllr Smith spoke of Cllr Burke’s involvement in his local community of Lindley over the years including his role in establishing the Lindley Community Group of which he currently chairs. He added: “In the Lindley ward, everyone knows someone who has been helped by Cllr Burke.”

Seconding the nomination was Lib Dem leader Cllr John Lawson (Cleckheaton) who also spoke highly of the new mayor. Cllr Lawson described Cllr Burke as “driven to serve his community” and “somebody committed to people of the borough.”

He added: “The people of Kirklees can expect a hardworking, energetic mayor,” and described the new Mayoress as an “exceptional young woman with a bright future ahead of her.”

Addressing the town hall, Cllr Burke said: “Politics and elections were always part of my life. I remember as a child growing up going on polling day with my parents when they went to vote. By voting and participating, I knew early on that we were able to express our views to the decision makers about important issues.

“I think we all need to do more to open up the process to younger people and make politics and elections part of life. I know our children and young people’s engagement officers do a fantastic job with a democracy friendly schools programme and do great work engaging with children in schools and we need to support the work and ensure it continues so we can increase participation in our democratic process.”

He added: “Although the wonderful achievements of my predecessor will be a tough act to follow, I nevertheless pledge my energy and efforts to achieve another successful year supporting our civic life, council and most importantly all the residents and communities of Kirklees.

“It is a great honour and privilege and humbling experience for me to be mayor especially as Kirklees celebrates its 50th anniversary next year. During my term of office I’m looking forward to getting to meet many more community groups, organisations, businesses that make our borough a special place to live, work and visit.”

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