86 year-old former mayor Norman Hazell plots return to Wakefield Council chamber

Mr Hazell says he will help anyone who needs it, if he is elected to serve the Wakefield South ward.
Mr Hazell says he will help anyone who needs it, if he is elected to serve the Wakefield South ward.

An 86 year-old former mayor of Wakefield is plotting a sensational return to the council chamber as an independent candidate.

Norman Hazell is bidding to represent the Wakefield South ward at next week's local elections.

Mr Hazell retired from cricket umpiring in 2013, but is back at the crease now due to a shortage of people available.

Mr Hazell retired from cricket umpiring in 2013, but is back at the crease now due to a shortage of people available.

Mr Hazell, who has lived in his beloved Sandal for 60 years, is promising "help to anyone who needs it", in his fight for votes against Labour, the Liberal Democrats, the Yorkshire Party, and the Conservative party he used to represent.

Mr Hazell led Wakefield's Tory opposition group for eight years and served the city as mayor in 2000/01.

He also stood twice as a Parliamentary candidate for Wakefield in the 1980s and in Hemsworth in 1996, but left the Conservatives in 2001 after a falling out with the party.

He continued to serve as an independent councillor but lost his seat to current Tory group leader Nadeem Ahmed in 2006, by a margin of 17 votes.

Mr Hazell at Sandal Castle

Mr Hazell at Sandal Castle

In his pitch to the electorate, Mr Hazell said his knowledge and passion for the local area is one of his biggest assets.

He said: "Put simply, I've come back because it's important there's a candidate standing for the ward who's from Sandal.

"I love this area and I will work hard for people. If anyone has a problem and I can't solve it, I'll know someone who can.

"I will say 'hello' to everyone I meet in the street, and I will stop and talk to anyone over their garden fences.

"Even since I stopped being a councillor, people ring me up and ask for my help because they know I'm still in touch with how things work."

Mr Hazell is believed to be oldest candidate standing for election in Wakefield on May 2, but he believes his age is no barrier to serving the electorate. Instead, the former draughtsman, who spent time in the RAF believes his experience is a virtue.

He added: "My eyes are good and my brain is very good too.

"I'm a cricket umpire on weekends and I keep myself busy, that's the important thing."

Full list of candidates standing in Wakefield South

Daniel Cochran - Yorkshire Party

David Currie - Liberal Democrats

Norman Hazell - Independent candidate

Karl Johnson - Conservatives

Pete Rosser - Labour

This article is part of a series of profile pieces about the political parties and independent candidates standing in the local elections in Wakefield. Each profile will appear on our websites in the run-up to polling day.

Local Democracy Reporting Service