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Bradford
Thursday, May 26, 2022

No coalition promise as polling day looms

Independents working for safer schools, green routes and improved play spaces.

The clock is ticking down to polling day on 5 May and the 2022 local elections.

A third of all 69 seats on Kirklees Council 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), Liberal Democrat (nine), Green (three), Holme Valley Independents (three) and other Independents (two).

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 May 5 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 Thursday.

The Holme Valley Independents are defending one of their three seats and are facing a challenge from the Conservatives, who came a very close second last year with just 113 votes in it. Here is the Holme Valley Independents’ “minifesto” courtesy of lead member Charles Greaves.

“Getting on with the job has always been our focus. We live in our ward, and we share the same services and experiences as residents do.

Our key priorities:

  • Keeping traffic flowing and improving our roads and footways.
  • Helping our schools to get the funding and support that they need.
  • Improving play spaces and helping our sports clubs to develop and expand.
  • Extending the Meltham Greenway and encouraging walking and outdoor activities.
  • Creating 20mph zones around our schools.
  • Helping to make our roads and streets safer.

“Our big projects are to create a modern transport hub in Meltham and to get more off-street parking in Honley.

“We follow a neighbourhood working approach that puts local communities first, and by doing this we are able to access new funding to deliver the most benefit for our residents.

“We are keen to work with our partners in policing, health provision and education to make sure that residents get the very best services, whilst also managing the ever-increasing costs.

“With no party in a majority, it is important that the council remains effective. Passing the council from one party to another won’t work, and forming any coalition is not easy. We aren’t prepared to back Labour or Conservative coalitions, but we will work with both.

“We want to get rid of the current ‘winner takes all’ cabinet system where one party dictates. We want to move onto a modern committee system where all voices are heard and all councillors are involved.

“Within a committee system, key decisions are made publicly and all views are considered. We think this is the best way of hearing the voices of all residents of Kirklees.

“If the government comes good on its promise to level up the country by putting back some of the money that it has taken away, we would like to freeze council tax or even reduce it.

“A fair funding settlement is long overdue for Kirklees and it is the only way to take the burden off hard-pressed residents.”

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