Liberal Democrat group leader Councillor James Baker has been selected to contest Halifax in the event of a snap general election.
Commenting Cllr James Baker said:
"The Liberal Democrat's clear opposition to Brexit resulted in us beating both Conservatives and Labour in the last national election.
"Our membership in Calderdale is higher than ever and we are ready to contest a general election is one is called."
"Anything is possible in this election, never has the political landscape been more uncertain."
"Whilst Labour has no clear position on Brexit, the Conservatives have transformed themselves into a no-deal supporting Brexit party. In contrast, the Liberal Democrat's principles and values are clear. We want to stop Brexit. We are internationalists who know the only way to tackle issues like climate change, immigration and cross-border crime is to work together with other countries."
"Tens of thousands of people voted to remain in the EU in Halifax. Many more who voted to leave have changed their minds."
"People who believe in an open and outward-looking UK within Europe have been left politically homeless. I want to ensure these voters have someone standing up for their interests in this election. "
"I believe that Britain can be a leader in Europe. That we don't have to run away like cowards from the EU because we are scared that it controls us."
"We must avoid retreating into a little England mentality of isolation, loss of influence and division. We can be brave, strong and influence Europe. Our nation is at its greatest when it looks out to the world, and Halifax will be at its greatest as part of a strong UK within a strong EU."
"That is why I am proud to be standing up for bold Liberal values and I'm ready to contest a general election."
Joint political Statement on anti-Semitism in Calderdale.
As local political leaders we stand united in our commitment to tackle all forms of discrimination, whether it is homophobia, racism, Islamophobia or anti-Semitism.
On Saturday 3rd August the Calderdale Trades Council has invited Chris Williamson - an MP who has been suspended for remarks about how the Labour Party has handled anti-Semitism - to speak at a meeting in Hebden Bridge. The topic on which Chris Williamson has been invited to speak is the Labour Party’s handling of anti-Semitism. An extract from their advertisement for this event reads:
“Corbyn and McDonnell’s backtracking over delivering Brexit, on accepting the redefinition of anti-Semitism demanded by the IHRA and the witch hunt against Corbyn supporters and expulsions of members with records of decades of anti-racist activity raises the question that if Corbyn will not stand up to the right in his party - and the media pressure now, how will he stand up to the advocates of capitalism if Labour wins the next General Election?”
We believe this event seeks to undermine the IHRA's internationally recognised definition of anti-Semitism. We also believe it seeks to dismiss cases of anti-Semitism as a witch hunt. Inviting an MP suspended for saying Labour has been ‘too apologetic’ about anti-Semitism to this event sends out a harmful message that anti-Semitism is not to be taken seriously.
We believe this event will contribute towards creating a hostile environment for Jewish members of our community. That it will damage community relations in our Borough. As local politicians, we have a duty to take strong public stances against discrimination and we condemn the decision of the Calderdale Trades Council to host this event. We ask them to consider disinviting this speaker.
Craig Whittaker MP for Calder Valley
Councillor Scot Benton Leader of Calderdale Council Conservative Group
Councillor James Baker – Leader of Calderdale Council Liberal Democrat Group
Mark Pittaway – Chair of Calderdale Liberal Democrats
Councillor Colin Peel – Change UK
Liberal Democrat Matthew Doyle gained a seat from Labour in a Todmorden Town Council by-election. The by-election in Waslden was triggered after the last Labour Councillor elected didn't turn up to sign their acceptance of office in time.
We fought the campaign on our platform of giving more control and power to our local Town Councils and allowing them to run and manage public services that are currently run by Calderdale.
At the age of 22 Matthew Doyle becomes the youngest Councillor serving on Todmorden Town Council. Giving a much-needed voice to young people living in Calderdale.
This brings the total number of Liberal Democrat Councillors on Todmorden Town Council up to 7 after we gained seats in May's local elections.
The result, on a turnout of 25% in case you haven’t yet seen it was:
Matthew DOYLE (Lib Dem) 298
Majority of 112
As best we can calculate this represents a 28% swing to the Lib Dems since the Town Elections on 2nd May.
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
"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."
Liberal Democrat candidate for Calder Ward
"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."
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.
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 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.
Continuous support for local disability access & recognition of services to accommodate the needs of our disabled communities.
Investment to protect our local health centres to ensure these remain sustainable, & mental health services to engage young people who need our help.
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.
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.