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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Bradford leaders predict which seats they will gain and defend in the local elections

Political leaders in Bradford have given their predictions about which seats they will successfully defend and gain in the local elections that are going ahead today.

Today, people from across Bradford District will take to the polls to vote in the local elections.

A third of seats in the Council chamber will be contested – one for each of Bradford’s 30 wards.

Bradford, like many Councils, operates on an election cycle that sees every Councillor face re-election every four years.

For three of the four years, there is an election for one of the three seats in each Council ward, while the fourth year is election free.

This year’s election will also see two referendums on the ballot.

People in Ilkley and Oxenhope will be asked their opinion on the newly drafted local plans for those two respective areas of the District.

The main four parties with seats on Bradford Council, the leading Labour group, Conservatives, Liberal Democrats and Green Party, are fielding candidates in most wards.

141 candidates are vying for a seat with the wards with the most candidates competing for the single-seat are Keighley West and Shipley, where seven candidates will be pleading with residents for their vote.

Just two candidates will be fighting for the single seat in the City ward.

Here are the seat predictions from leaders of the Conservative Party, Labour, Green Party, and the Liberal Democrats in Kirklees.

Cllr Imran Khan, Deputy Leader of Bradford Council.

Councillor Imran Khan (Bowling and Barkerend), Deputy Leader of Bradford Council, said: “I think we are going to do well. Tories are a national embarrassment and people on the doors are telling us that, residents are fed up to their back teeth with Conservatives. I believe we are going to do quite well across the district, with Labour winning most of the inner-city wards and defending all of our seats.

“The seat in Manningham is not at all a concern. We expect Cllr Shabir Hussain to have a comfortable win, he has been a fantastic councillor and people will continue to support him. Obviously, everyone is welcome to stand, and we want a challenge, but I don’t expect Manningham to vote in any other way than Labour.

“We fully expect to retain a seat in Heaton. In Bradford Moor, there is a new Lib Dem standing but it is still the same old Liberal Democrat party, which doesn’t actually stand for very much. If you look at their voting record, they mostly sit on their hands, abstain from voting and do very little to deliver. They may have put a candidate up, but I don’t expect that we will lose our seat.”

Cllr Rebecca Poulson, Leader of Conservatives in Bradford.

Councillor Rebecca Poulsen (Worth Valley), Leader of the Conservative Group, said: “I wouldn’t want to give a prediction on the results at the polls. We have seats that we currently hold and new seats that we are targeting. Different areas in Bradford have different issues on the doorstep.

“We have a wide range of candidates in all of the seats, and we are battling on today. We have a number of candidates who are first-time candidates.

“In the last election, we won a seat in Keighley by six votes, and we lost a seat in Bowling and Barkerend by 60 votes. Our candidate in Bowling and Barkerend has worked tirelessly to turn those 60 votes that he lost by last time, so that will be a close one to gain and we will see the results on Friday.”

Cllr Jeanette Sunderland (Idle and Thackley), Leader of the Bradford Liberal Democrat Councillors Group, said: “We are hoping to defend two seats and gain two seats. We are hoping to gain Idle and Thackley back from Labour, defend Eccleshill, gain Bolton and Undercliffe and gain Bradford Moor.

“We’ve got good strong candidates in Bradford Moor and Idle and Thackley fighting good campaigns. Labour has an appalling record with Children’s Services, and I am disappointed that people are trying to play out the Council elections in terms of national politics.

Cllr Jeanette Sunderland, leader of Liberal Democrats in Bradford. 

“If you look at some of the Council leaflets, there is no mention of the failure of Children’s Services and what they do to put it right and they make no mention of growing inequalities in the district.

“We are running good and strong campaigns around protecting local people and standing up for those who don’t have a voice, providing children with an excellent education and that our old and vulnerable people are properly looked after.”

Cllr Matt Edwards (Tong), Deputy Leader of the Green Group in Bradford Council, said: “We are hoping for four gains in the district this year. We are hoping to regain Shipley where we have won quite convincingly in the past, in Tong, where I won last year and Heaton where we have a really active member in the community standing.

“If you drive down Manningham Lane, there are usually just Labour posters but now it 50/50 Green and Labour. The other place is Craven ward where we are hoping to take that seat from the Conservatives.

Cllr Matt Edwards, Deputy Leader of the Green Group in Bradford Council.

“We are a bit uncertain of Ilkley. In Ilkley, there may be some votes with the Conservative votes collapsing. Greens came third last year so we may break into Ilkley as well. We campaign on a lot of local issues.

“In Tong, the Council have left places such as Home Wood and Bierley behind. Anti-social behaviour in Tong and Shipley needs tackling and people need to be seen doing things. In Craven, there is a lot of concern from residents surrounding the Greenbelt.

“Other parties are trying to focus on national issues, it is all that Labour can offer because they haven’t done a lot for local communities.”

For the full list of 141 candidates up for a seat, please visit here.

Asian Standard will be live tweeting the results of the elections as well as bringing you interviews from some of the candidates this evening.

Follow @Asian_Standard on Twitter for the latest updates and tweet us with some questions you would like us to ask them.

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