Departing Wakefield Council leader Peter Box to step down as Altofts and Whitwood councillor next week

Departing Wakefield Council leader Peter Box will also stand down as a ward councillor next week, it's been confirmed.

Coun Box has represented the Altofts and Whitwood area since 1983 and said last month that he would not contest his seat at the local elections next May, though it was expected he would continue to serve as a Labour councillor until then.

Coun Box is leaving local politics to become the chair of tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire.

Coun Box is leaving local politics to become the chair of tourism agency Welcome to Yorkshire.

However, it has now been revealed that he will step down as an elected member on November 30, the same day he will leave his duties as council leader.

He has led the authority since 1998.

In a statement issued on Monday, Coun Box said: "I am standing down as an elected member to avoid any potential conflict of interest with my new role as Chair of Welcome to Yorkshire.

"Obviously I am sad not to be able to see out my term of office as a ward councillor but having become Chair of Welcome to Yorkshire on the basis of openness and transparency, I believe that this is the right decision.

"I would like to thank the people of Altofts and Whitwood who have shown their support and voted for me over the last 36 years.

"It has been a great privilege to serve as your councillor."

The seat will remain vacant until a new councillors is elected at the polls next May.

Until then, Labour members Jacquie Speight and Jo Hepworth will be the only two councillors serving the Altofts and Whitwood ward.

Local Democracy Reporting Service