A LEADING Dudley councillor is keeping quiet on her reasons for a surprise seat shift in the local elections.

Cllr Tracy Wood, cabinet member for the environment and culture, has represented Labour in the Netherton, Woodside and St Andrews ward since 2010 after winning the seat with a majority of 695.

She has now opted not to stand for re-election in the Netherton ward but instead fight for Upper Gornal and Woodsetton in the 2014 campaign.

Cllr Wood said: “It was a very difficult decision to make, it was for personal reasons and I don’t want to go into the details.”

Labour candidate Elaine Taylor will now fight to retain Netherton for her party against Tory Kamran Razzaq and former football manager Steve Daniels (UKIP).

The Green Party fancy their chances in Netherton after success in 2012 when Will Duckworth romped home to become the first Green Party councillor in Dudley.

Candidate Bill McComish is hoping to join Cllr Duckworth as a second Green Party member of the authority for Netherton.

Mr McComish said: “I have been working in the area for four years talking to local residents about housing, jobs, traffic and other issues, and keeping them informed with regular newsletters.

"If I'm elected to join Will Duckworth on Dudley Council, we will be able to do much more for local people.”