Just a few hours of campaigning remain before the country goes to the polls for the 2022 local elections.
In Kirklees, 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).
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 May 5.
The Conservatives are defending six wards with both Colne Valley and Holme Valley South facing a scrap for the winner.
The Tories are also looking to repeat last year’s victory in Lindley, where they defeated the Lib Dems, and to make gains in Denby Dale, Dewsbury East and Heckmondwike where the seats are held by Labour Cabinet members.
Group leader David Hall is also defending his Liversedge and Gomersal seat, which is a traditional Conservative area and unlikely to face an opposition threat.
Speaking in February Cllr Hall and deputy group leader Cllr John Taylor hinted that with Tory gains in key seats an informal coalition was achievable and that by working with other groups some key projects – such as the widening of part of the A629 Halifax Road in Huddersfield and the felling of 126 mature trees – could be re-assessed.
Here is the Conservatives’ “minifesto”.
Freeze Council Tax:
- No increase in the Council Tax for 2022, removing the 2% increase.
Increased investment in road infrastructure:
- Scrap part of A629 scheme that’d remove trees and scrap the Occupation Road scheme.
- Amend proposal to remove Bradley Junction filter and review Cooper Bridge alternatives.
- Amend Holmfirth proposal allowing either staggered parking or loading/unloading for limited times.
- Scrap cycle lane plans on A629 Wakefield Road from Waterloo.
- Fund feasibility studies into Flockton Bypass and congestion relief in Slaithwaite.
- Propose 20mph speed limits around schools.
- “Spring clean” town and village centres, replace worn out litter bins and invest in innovative littering/fly-tipping prevention.
- Dedicated budget for maintaining assets e.g. bins, footpaths, benches.
- Ensure communities look attractive and not neglected due to poor maintenance.
Invest in Levelling up educational attainment:
- Invest £3m in schools to support ALL under-performing pupils to catch up with their peers.
Review Local Plan:
- Due to changes and revised population projections, review Local Plan immediately, allowing removal of controversial proposals in Labour’s plan. Include reviewing supplementary planning documents.
Invest in winter maintenance:
- A full review looking at innovation to help communities when facing icy/snowy conditions.
Turbo charge plans to reduce waste:
- The Waste Strategy lacks ambition. People are keen to do more and we’ll bring forward proposals to pilot reducing food waste and starting doorstep glass collection earlier.
Realign Huddersfield and Dewsbury Regeneration:
- Review Huddersfield and Dewsbury Blueprints. The last two years have changed the way our towns/villages work.
- Levelling Up proposals present an opportunity to reshape these, taking advantage of funding that becomes available. Will ensure the investment is more fairly shared to ensure all benefit from the investment.