Former member to stand for council

Gordon North talks about the Local Development Framework with Spen MP Mike Wood
Gordon North talks about the Local Development Framework with Spen MP Mike Wood

FORMER councillor Gordon North has thrown his hat into the ring for the May elections.

Mr North, who is the warden for the Spen Valley Greenway and Ringway, will fight the Liversedge and Gomersal seat for the Labour party.

He was first elected to represent the area – then known as the Spen Ward – in 1996, serving for eight years.

He said he had been prompted to stand again following the controversy surrounding the Local Development Framework.

“I attended the public meeting at Roberttown parish church a few months ago, got talking to lots of people and they asked if I was going to stand again,” he said.

“There are lots of issues where people’s views don’t appear to be being heard and I have a track record of standing up for the Spen Valley in general, and Liversedge and Gomersal in particular.

“I live in the area and was very proud to represent the ward in the past. In fact, people still come knocking on my door asking for help, so I feel I’ve been a de facto councillor since 1996 anyway.”

Mr North, who is also deputy chairman of Spen Valley Civic Society, was instrumental in setting up the Spen Action Committee, which became a model for the area committees which were replicated across Kirklees.

“We felt the area was being neglected. Kirklees can be very remote and this helped to bring power back to the Spen public,” he said.

As a councillor, Mr North was deputy chairman and then the first Cabinet member of environment.

“It’s something I am passionate about. There are lots of issues I feel strongly about, such as the impact of the LDF, eyesore sites such as Harrison Gardners in Hightown and the situation with Spen’s schools,” he added.