Liberal Democrats Press for Weed Killer Ban


Liberal Democrat councillors are pushing the Council to ban the use of glyphosate-based weed killers because of safety concerns.

A motion calling on the Council to cease the use of the weed killers has been submitted by the group for debate at the Council meeting in July.

Leader of the Liberal Democrat group, Cllr James Baker (Warley) said: “The possible harmful effects of glyphosate have been the subject of scientific studies and debate around the world. We are particularly concerned that the World Health Organization has concluded that glyphosates probably cause cancer in humans and that other studies have suggested links with liver diseases and a correlation with neurological conditions.”

“Other studies have suggested that there may also be a harmful effect on bees, which are vital for pollination of many plants.”

“In recent court cases in America, juries have accepted the link between glyphosates and cancer and have awarded vast sums in damages.”

“Taking all this into account, we think the Council should adopt a ‘safety first’ approach for the sake of Council staff, the public and of wildlife, and immediately stop using glyphosates.”

“Alternative weed treatments are available and these should be used – as they are in other councils and in other countries”, said Cllr Baker.

People who want to support this campaign can sign a 38 Degrees petition set up by Caroline Schofield

Ruth Coleman-Taylor - Demanding better for Calder Ward



"I was a Councillor for 16 years in North Wiltshire before moving to Yorkshire to get married, to former Calder Ward councillor Mick Taylor. I am a graduate of York University. In my sixteen years I was council leader for much of the time and dealt with a wide range of issues, including economic development and housing.

I have trained, advised and delivered peer review to Councillors all over England and in many EU and Commonwealth countries. I have also been an Election Observer for national and regional elections in Europe and Africa.

For 10 years, I served on the EU Committee of the Regions, which represents the opinion of local and regional government to the European Parliament. I was the Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Asylum and Immigration Policy and worked closely with the Liberal Democrat group of MEPs.

I want to offer that experience to the people of Hebden Bridge, Heptonstall, Wadsworth, Blackshaw, Erringden and the Stoodley Town ward of Todmorden.

I know from discussions with many local people that our part of Calderdale feels very much left out of Calderdale. Many people feel that the Upper Valley is the poor relation when it comes to projects and services. The LibDem solution to this is to make use of the Localism Act to devolve many services to be run by local councils like Hebdenroyd, maybe in conjunction with the four rural parishes. This could include the market, the park, street cleaning, car parks, sports facilities (such as they are), libraries, public toilets. The Localism Act ensures that the money and staff involved in these services would come with those services when they are brought back to our local area.

On my travels, I have observed the fragility of our world and its environment. I believe passionately that we must all work together to protect our planet for the future. Other councils are undertaking a whole range of environmental projects and we should learn from and emulate them. In terms of the Upper Valley we can surely make use of water power and the council itself can aim to become carbon neutral very quickly. More can be done about recycling and the current approach to charging people for taking home improvement debris – the Tip Tax – must be stopped because it is leading to fly-tipping all over our hillsides.

I’m not just involved in politics. I write and read science fiction. I love gardening and when I can’t do that I knit, make and repair clothes and enjoy travel.

If you want to see change in Calder Ward then please vote for me this Thursday."

Yours Sincerely,

Ruth Coleman-Taylor

Liberal Democrat candidate for Calder Ward

Sue Holdsworth is demanding better for Greetland and Stainland


"There is an important story our national media fails to cover, but one that affects all our lives, on a daily basis. It is the story about our local life, the services that we get (or don’t get) in our area, the environment we live in here, the council taxes we pay. Its a story about Calderdale Council and the people that represent us. In May, there are important elections to Calderdale Council. Away from the national politics, I think it’s really important to have local councillors who put our area first and stand up for local people.

The Liberal Democrats have a proud record of representing Greetland and Stainland Ward for decades. I’m really impressed with the work of Councillors Marilyn Greenwood and Paul Bellenger. They fight to protect our green spaces from development, demand more money for our local services and work hard to help, and promote community groups and organisations. I want to join their team as they put local people first.

That’s why I am standing this May. I live locally in Norland with my husband and I work as a university careers advisor. The local Lib Dem Team are continuing to campaign for a better deal for our area - from more funds for local police resources and ensuring our roads and pavements are up to a proper standard. We’re opposing Labour’s Tip Tax. This charge is causing more and more fly tipping and we are fighting to get it scrapped!

We are campaigning for a better deal for commuters, we want to see improved services for bus and train passengers."

Sean Bamforth - It's time for change in Ovenden



In just a few days we will be heading to the polls in local elections. For too long residents in Wheatley, Lee Mount and Ovenden have been ignored by the Councillors.

People have rightly had enough of the two main parties. It’s time to vote for something different, and vote for a change.
I’m standing for election. I’m not a career politician.

Just an ordinary Halifax resident who has had enough with seeing things being run badly and wants to make a difference.

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Mick will bring power back to Todmorden


If you want a councillor whose first priority is Todmorden, then Mick Taylor is for you.

As your councillor, Mick will be a champion for Todmorden on Calderdale Council, standing up for our town and ensuring we get a fair share of resources, not a councillor who represents Calderdale Council to Todmorden.

Mick Taylor and the Lib Dems want Todmorden Town Council to take back control of local services from Calderdale, including the Park, the Sport’s Centre, the libraries, street cleaning, street lighting and managing the town hall. Mick wants the market to be run by the Town Council and local traders.

Mick also wants to protect and improve the environment and work towards eliminating flooding. The council should also be building affordable homes for rent and sale.

Power to Todmorden

The 17 strong Lib Dem Team for Todmorden Town Council will bring back local services to Todmorden if we win enough seats on Todmorden Town Council. We will do this by employing a Town Manager to oversee the services. Under new laws Calderdale would have to pass over the money and staff to run the services, though the Town Council could add more if it wished.

Stephne Harrison is demanding better for Luddendenfoot Ward



Stephne Harrison is standing for Calderdale Liberal Democrats to contest Luddendenfoot Ward. Stephne is a florist by trade. She is a Town councillor, a local flood warden, school governor, a representative on the Town Board, a trustee on Royd Regeneration & Mytholmroyd Business Network. Stephne is dedicated and actively involved in a number of local community initiatives throughout Mytholmroyd, and is always looking for ways to enhance local opportunities within our village and towns.

As a parent of a disabled child Stephne is also passionate about fighting to improve accessibility for disabled people. 

Stephne is campaigning for 

Affordable and sustainable housing

Investment in developing affordable and sustainable housing which utilises many of the brownfield sites within our Upper Calder Valley, protects our green spaces, brings in investment and enhances the environment in which we live

Local school funding for technology

Investment in advanced digital technology for local schools to ensure all our schools are able to thrive and educate our future generations in this 21st century without compromise.

A carbon neutral society

Investment in local & regional incentives to tackle environmental challenges & reduce co2, with the aim to become carbon neutral.

Disability Access

Continuous support for local disability access & recognition of services to accommodate the needs of our disabled communities.

Health Care

Investment to protect our local health centres to ensure these remain sustainable, & mental health services to engage young people who need our help.

Sustainable Communities 

Investment in our towns creating viable investment and sustainable communities. We strive to identify opportunities that enhance and support our communities, the environment in which we live, bring in investment, reduce isolation and give our local residents a voice.


James Baker a hard-working Councillor for Warley

Councillor James Douglas Baker has been a hard-working Councillor for Warley Ward on Calderdale Council. As the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on the Council, he has been able to deliver Liberal Democrat policies. Taking advantage of the Council being in no overall control to negotiate budget deals. 

In Warley Ward your Liberal Democrat Focus Team has a track record of winning. Voters from all political persuasions back us locally because they know how hard we work for the area, and that we deliver results. Councillor James Douglas Baker has been a great Councillor, some of his achievements within Warley Ward include:

● Successfully campaigned to stop the proposed housing developments on Roils Head Moor, Ling Bob Playing fields, Warley Town around Mount Tabor and Fountainhead Village.
● Helped to bring Superfast broadband to Warley Town and Fountainhead Village.
● Stopped the proposed closure of the Pellon Network Centre on Rye Lane. This centre now runs youth projects.
● Identified unspent funds the Council had received from developers and put them to use building a new play area on Sandhall Green.
● Worked to establish the Friends of Roils Head Moor and the Friends of West View Park as community groups alongside Cllr Ashley Evans.
● Campaigned for extra budget resources to go into enforcing fly-tipping and litter
● Introduced a petition scheme on the Council so that your petitions now trigger Council debates rather than being ignored.
● Negotiated Ward Forum budgets of £5,000 per ward to spend on local community projects.
● Moved a successful budget amendment to obtain funding for a traffic cop in Halifax. This has taken dozens of dangerous drivers
off our streets.
● Passed a Council motion calling for the Council to start using its legal powers to tackle anti-social behaviour.
● £50,000 funding to do up war memorials including the memorial in West View Park.
● Secured a £1.4M affordable warmth scheme. This has helped poor people insulate their homes.
● Campaigned against the unpopular ‘Tip Tax’ proposals.

He has a proven track record of delivery. He deserves your vote on Thursday 2nd May.





Tom Stringfellow is demanding better for Sowerby Bridge

Tom Stringfellow was born and bred in Sowerby Bridge. He's standing to represent the Liberal Democrats because he is fed up with how both the main two parties have failed us.

Both the Conservative party and the Labour party are moving to the extremes in their political views. The Conservative party is moving to the right and adopting the views and principles of UKIP. The Labour party are moving to the left with momentum taking over.

The Conservatives just cut without thinking, and Labour spend without thinking. In contrast, we have a plan to cut £1M fewer services by developing new ways the Council could raise an income through investment in our local economy and community fundraising for projects.  

Here in Calderdale we want to devolve power back to local people. We think Calderdale Council has become too centralised with decisions being made by a handful of people in Halifax Town Hall. We think power is best wielded by everyone and we would ensure decisions about Sowerby Bridge are made by your locally elected representatives, not cabinet members of the largest party on the Council. 

If you are fed up with both the main parties. If you want a local person representing you. If you want to see a change in Sowerby Bridge then vote for Tom Stringellow on the 2nd May. 


Tories slash special needs funding in Calderdale by £6,514 per pupil

Tories condemned for slashing local special needs budget by £6514 per pupil
The Liberal Democrats have today condemned the Conservative Government for slashing Calderdale's budget for special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) by £6514 per pupil in real terms since 2015, resulting in a loss of specialist provision.
The National Education Union, which published these statistics on 15 April, has warned that local authorities have now reached crisis point. 


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Labour's air pollution plan thrown out as inadequate

Calderdale Council has sent Labour's air pollution plan back to the drawing board. The plan had a number of major flaws in it. As such it would have been inadequate at addressing Calderdale's air pollution problems. The plan will now go back to the drawing board for improvements, before coming back to Council.

We have the following concerns about the plan:


1.  It contained no clear dates for completing actions to improve air quality. In the Estimated / Actual completion date column, many actions simply have no entry. As shown below a few actions simply have the entry as being 'date'. 

2. No evidence of an impact assessment or the methodology used is included within the report. Whilst we are aware of how much we need to reduce air pollution to meet statutory requirements, the report does not state whether the interventions will meet these objectives. It does not even predict what the shortfall will be.

Many of the impacts are listed as being 'neutral', others are given vague categories such as 'moderate' or 'significant' with no prediction of the likely pollutant levels after the intervention, or the percentage decrease. All of these points were raised by Defra in the formal consultation to the plan. They can be read on page 59 of the report. The administrations attempt to address these points is clearly insufficient. 

Some of Defra's many criticisms:

"The Technical Guidance TG(16) states that the Local Authority should subject their AQAP measures to an impact assessment that provides a clear estimate of the emissions reductions the measures may be expected to deliver within an agreed timescale. 

It is also expected that there will be an assessment of whether the package of within the AQAP can expect to meet air quality objectives. These are expected to be reflected within a final action plan and future ASR reports. 

There is no evidence that the measures presented in Table 5 have been assessed for their impact and potential effectiveness to reduce emissions in the AQMA, and emissions reductions have not been quantified to an agreed timescale. "

3. The report makes no mention of air pollution sources other than traffic. Whilst traffic pollution makes up a sufficient amount of air pollution it is not the only source. Woodburner stoves and coal fires also contribute. As do some industries. The Council has statutory powers in relation to the enforcement of the Clean Air Act 1993 and the enforcement of smoke control areas. There is also a significant problem with people burning building waste in Calderdale.  This should form part of our general enforcement activities. This issue is not addressed in the report.

4. The report fails to set out an adequate plan for monitoring air pollution levels. There are now readily available dual laser air sensors. These networked devices upload their data straight onto the cloud and onto websites. We could easily monitor air pollution in real-time. Furthermore, these devices measure PM 1 and PM 10 alongside PM 2.5 which is mentioned in the report. Currently, no local authority in the UK measures PM 1 levels. These devices have been used in Salt Lake City in Utah to good effect. Details on how they are used can be found here.

For these, reasons we are glad the report is being sent back to cabinet. If some of the issues we are raising here are incorporated into a revised report then the outcome will be an improvement in the air quality in Calderdale. 


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