Wakefield Metropolitan District Council

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Strike threat over Wakefield Council working conditions

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Union members working at Wakefield Council could go on strike in a dispute over a new sickness policy.

Wakefield Council

Members of Unison have been balloted after the authority made the policy changes.

A total of 77% of those who voted supported strike action, though legally further ballots will have to take place before any strike action happens.

Unison claims the changes, which include introducing attendance targets for staff on long-term sick and scrapping review meetings for long-term absentees, would make it easier to sack workers.

In a report which is due to go before a meeting of senior councillors next week, the council said the changes aim to make life better for the authority's employees.

It said the new policy, which was implemented in May, had already cut the average number of days lost to long-term absence and would make the council a more “caring” and attractive employer.

Brexit effect felt by Labour in Wakefield

Matt Soanes

Reporter, BBC Radio Leeds

It was a difficult night for Labour in Wakefield. They've lost three seats - two to independent councillors, one to a Liberal Democrat.

Wakefield count

I spoke to Labour's council leader Peter Box, who told me it was a particularly difficult year because of Brexit being the number one issue on people's lips on the doorsteps - and a lot of people are very frustrated with the way Westminster politics are working at the moment.

That could be why the Lib Dems have made a breakthrough in Knottingley, with their candidate Thomas Gordon telling me that frustration with the two main parties in Westminster has made it easier for candidates from smaller parties, like him, to break through this year.

Labour keeps control of Wakefield

Labour holds on to Wakefield Council with 49 seats.

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Serious criminals face ban on becoming taxi drivers

People convicted of serious criminal offences, including violence and terrorism, could be banned from becoming a taxi or minicab driver in parts of Yorkshire.

Getty Images

Currently, people convicted of these crimes and others, including drink and drug-driving, can still apply for a licence after a certain time has elapsed and only once they've completed their sentences.

But members of the public are now being asked to have their say on a proposal to introduce higher and consistent standards for Hackney carriage and private hire licensed drivers who have been convicted of offences.

Bradford, Calderdale, Leeds, Kirklees, Wakefield and York Councils are proposing a policy which will provide a common legal position, meaning drivers who've committed serious criminal offences will never be licensed.

We believe the introduction of a new policy will provide greater confidence for those who use Hackney carriage and private hire vehicles and will also ensure our passengers are as safe as possible."

Councillor Sarah Ferriby, Bradford Council