"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.
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 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.
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.
Javed Bashir, pictured, a specialist in innovation and business growth is standing for the Elland ward at the forthcoming election to Calderdale Council.
Javed was born in Elland and has lived here all of his life. Speaking at a meeting of local Liberal Democrats Javed recounted the story of how when his wife was about to give birth to their first son and his mum was helping out, the midwife arrived and his mum recognised her as the same midwife who had delivered Javed himself - so my roots are firmly anchored in Elland he said.
His grandfather came to Elland to fulfil the need for textile workers in the 1960's. Javed attended local primary schools and then Brooksbank School before obtaining a place at Huddersfield University. He graduated with an Honours Degree in Business Administration and Master's Degree in Innovation with Entrepreneurial Studies.
Javed now has four children with his wife Naseem who he met in Leeds, three boys (the youngest being born on the same day as HRH Princess Charlotte of Cambridge on 2nd May 2015) and a girl. He works for a regional organisation as an Innovation Growth Manager. He has 20 years experience working in various sectors from start-ups to global organisations and specialises in business transformation. He is regularly involved in seminars and workshops helping to pass on his experience to the next generation.
Javed's plan to regenerate Elland include
● Creating a new vision for Elland in Digital, Retail, Manufacturing & Services
● Creating a Business Enterprise Zone bringing the Community together
● Free Internet Access for Elland, everything is going online
● Developing Elland to become a leader in the new Green Economy
● Developing Elland’s export footprint and creating new higher paying jobs
● Creating a new local fund for local start-ups straight from school
● Creating a Digital Tech Hub in Elland to develop our local talent
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 Elland are made by your locally elected representatives, not cabinet members of the largest party on the Council.
So if you want to see a real change and the regeneration of Elland then vote for Javed Bashir on the 2nd May.
On the 15th March 2019, 51 people were brutally murdered by a white supremacist, a terrorist, during Friday prayers in a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
As Calderdale Liberal Democrats, we offer our deep condolences to those affected by this needless act of barbarism. We condemn those that would visit such horror on innocent Muslims, and we condemn again those that would do it at a time of prayer. We offer our condolences to the families who have lost children, parents and family, but also to the many people in Calderdale who feel grief and fear over what has happened. We hope we can help console you at this time. As no person should have to grieve alone, also no community should have to grieve alone. We stand with you, as brothers and sisters.
As well as thought, there should be action.
There is a rise of radicalisation across the world, and as a political party, we will redouble our efforts to reduce this. This year, Calderdale Liberal Democrats tried to make changes to national Lib Dem policy to help curb the use of the internet to recruit and train white supremacists. We shall be taking these policies back to our national party and we will fight harder for them. I have already written to our Policy chair about this.
In line with national guidelines set out at Spring Conference, we will also demand better of ourselves in creating more diversity within the Liberal Democrat party. This will be applied in terms of members, but also our councillors and executive committee. Our communities can understand each other better if we work together & there is more diversity in our local party.
Treasurer, Calderdale Liberal Democrats.
Chair, Halifax Branch, Liberal Democrats.