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Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Labour pledges to invest hundreds of millions in the borough

It will focus on children's services, climate change and housing.

Tomorrow the people of Kirklees will go to the polls for the 2022 local elections.

A third of all 69 seats are up for election with one seat in all of the borough’s wards going to the polls.

The council is currently in no overall control with Labour (33 seats), Conservative (19 seats), Liberal Democrat (nine seats), Green (three seats), Holme Valley Independents (three seats) and other Independents (two seats).

Cllr Shabir Pandor, Leader of Kirklees Council.

Of the seats up for election this year, Labour hold 11, Conservative six, Lib Dem four, Holme Valley Independents one and Green one. There are 100 candidates standing.

Voting will begin at 7am on 5 May and will end at 10pm. Counting will begin at 1pm on 6 May with a full declaration expected by 6.30pm.

The Local Democracy Reporting Service asked the main parties – Conservative, Green, Holme Valley Independents, Labour and the Liberal Democrats – to provide “minifestos” for what they would do if they find themselves in administration after 5 May.

Labour are defending 11 wards with three – Denby Dale, Dewsbury East and Heckmondwike – being eyed by the Conservatives because winning would mean Labour could lose Cabinet members Will Simpson, Cathy Scott and Viv Kendrick.

As a consequence Labour has wheeled out some high-profile figures – including shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, deputy leader Angela Rayner and West Yorkshire Mayor Tracy Brabin – to offer support with doorstep campaigning.

Here is Labour’s “minifesto” courtesy of group leader Shabir Pandor:

“Despite cuts to our budget of £200m we have developed big ambitions that is matched by an approved investment plan and budget.

“Only through outstanding leadership by Kirklees Labour Group we are able to have an ambitious plan that is on your side and our determination is to make Kirklees the most inclusive, thriving and happiest place it can be.

“Our £965m capital programme up to 2027 is the most ambitious and far-reaching we’ve ever seen in Kirklees on top of £295m investment in housing.

“Unlocking the potential of this borough means we need to invest in its people, services and infrastructure. We are developing the Huddersfield Blueprint and Dewsbury Masterplan. We are also investing millions in Batley, Cleckheaton, Holmfirth and Heckmondwike.

“We have committed to a Budget of Recovery with priorities of investment in roads, parks, footpaths and public spaces. We are tackling inequalities, investing in children, places, and regenerating our towns and villages, which will ultimately provide more opportunities for local people to succeed.

“We aim to make Kirklees carbon neutral by 2038 and to tackle the climate emergency, to make our children’s services outstanding and to make sure young people can buy decent homes when they grow up making Kirklees a place to be proud of.

“The pandemic was a result of nature but the cost-of-living crisis has been created by humans. We have already begun to put money and resource to help families and residents who are struggling to eat and heat their homes.”

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