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Monday, June 27, 2022

Cost of living and a Local Plan review among election candidates’ pledges

The Amazon development is a major concern for some candidates.

Local elections across the country will be dominated by the issues that matter to people in their areas and neighbourhoods, and Kirklees is no different.

Housing, traffic, congestion on the roads, multi-million-pound regeneration schemes for our towns, climate changes and safe active travel are all at the heart of the various political parties’ election campaigns.

Voters go to the polls on 5 May. The Local Democracy Reporting Service invited candidates to outline their pledges and aspirations should they be successful.

Here are the responses from the 11 people standing for election in Ashbrow, Cleckheaton and Mirfield.

ASHBROW

Dafydd Mills Daniel (Conservative)

If elected I will wholeheartedly oppose the current road and housing schemes, which, if left unchecked, will devastate local residents’ quality of life.

By negatively impacting Bradley Road and Cooper Bridge these badly thought-through plans negatively affect everyone.

I will lead a challenge and proper consultation with local residents.

Fran Perry (Labour)

My pledges to you:

  • Green spaces: I’ll organise regular litter picks and focus on environmental projects.
  • Crime prevention: I’ll listen to our community and put together practical projects to make a difference.
  • Invest in Ashbrow: I’ll use ward funds for local people, community groups and our children.

Manjit Singh (Lib Dems)

People are finding it hard as bills go up, Liberal Democrat plans to reduce VAT will help everyone. More needs to be invested in community policing so residents feel safer. Something needs to be done about local housing rather than building homes on the golf course that people can’t afford.

Brenda Smithson (Green)

Greens on Kirklees have produced costed plans to insulate thousands of homes to reduce energy bills and address the cost of living crisis. Labour have only come up with a few pilot projects with no plans to replicate them. We desperately need more Greens on Kirklees to properly address the threat of climate change.

CLECKHEATON

Piers Briggs (Conservative)

Already heavily involved in my community, I promise to continue to be visible and active as your councillor. I will not support the over-development of our communities, including the Amazon application. I will fight for services residents need and support them however I can to the best of my ability.

John Lawson (Cleckheaton)

Cleckheaton people appreciate that we work for them all year round, not just at election time. Whether we are supporting individuals, working with police to tackle speeding, or running major campaigns such as “No to Amazon” or our successful Spen Pool campaign, residents know we keep working hard for them.

Khalid Patel (Labour)

If I am elected I make this pledge to you now: I shall hold regular weekly surgeries within local neighbourhoods and listen to people’s concerns. I will try my best to solve problems as part of my elected councillor’s casework. You will also see me in your neighbourhood engaging with local residents.

MIRFIELD

Stephen Bird (Lib Dems)

Residents in Mirfield need an alternative. They’ve been let down badly by the national Conservative Party and overlooked time and again by the Labour administration. A Liberal Democrat motion earlier this year called for a review of Labour’s Local Plan that hit Mirfield so hard. People need a greater say in the things that affect them.

Geoff Kernan (Labour)

I will be on the side of working people and their families, putting communities first. I will fight to ensure Mirfield gets its fair share of funding, and that all means are employed to support our environment, vulnerable residents, and those facing financial hardship made worse by the Tory government.

Vivien Lees-Hamilton (Conservative)

My priorities are a fair deal for Mirfield. I want safer roads and all Mirfield residential roads to become 20mph zones by default. This will be safer for children, less car fumes, less noise pollution. We need better value from Kirklees, improved services, more efficiencies, and a lower council tax.

Catherine Whittingham (Green)

We lack a programme to support the development of a protected cycleway network in Kirklees. This proposal will kickstart that programme and we would push for a re-prioritisation of the West Yorkshire Transport Fund away from road building and road-widening projects.

Kirklees Council is currently in no overall control with Labour (33 seats), Conservatives (19 seats), Liberal Democrats (nine seats), Greens (three seats), Holme Valley North Independents (three seats) and other Independents (two seats).

Of the seats up for election this year, Labour hold 11, Conservatives six, Lib Dems four, Holme Valley North Independents one and Greens one.

The election count will take place at Cathedral House in Huddersfield from 8.45am on Friday, 6 May.

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