"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