Kirklees Council candidate statements: Liversedge and Gomersal

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We’ve invited each of the candidates hoping to represent Liversedge and Gomersal on Kirklees Council to tell us why they deserve your vote on May 7.

Jessica Berry (Green Party)

Jessica is a student. As with other Greens, she supports protecting services to people of all age groups, especially but not only those who are vulnerable. Government cuts have slashed services for young and less young alike and Greens believe it is important to seek best value for money or the “least worst” option for local services while continuing to call for an end to austerity. Greens want people in areas with their own identities, like Liversedge and Gomersal, to have more say in how local budgets are spent and more control over what services are delivered locally. We also want urgent agreement on a new Local Development Framework to protect our green spaces and only build when genuinely needed: we would like to look first at using existing empty or underused buildings, especially close to town centres, rather than building new all the time. Like many younger people, Jessica supports the Greens’ plans to scrap tuition fees and work for a fairer society. The Young Greens are now the largest political youth group in the country. We face many problems in the years ahead with global warming and fewer resources, but Greens have hope – and answers.

Richard Allan Farnhill (Liberal Democrats)

Despite not being a councillor yet, I have already made a big difference in our communities. The council has formally agreed to set aside enough money to build a new pool. The Lib Dems Save Spen Pool campaign attracted over 4,000 signatures. The result will be a brand new pool! I am campaigning for our green fields to be kept green. I will work hard to ensure that Liversedge and Gomersal is heard, that we aren’t left behind, and that our roads and pavements are properly maintained and our streets clean. I will work closely with the police to tackle anti-social behaviour. There is a need for more housing at rents people can afford. I will work hard to get derelict sites developed with affordable housing. Local residents tell me that they want to see somebody standing up for them in the far-flung reaches of Huddersfield. It’s time that Liversedge and Gomersal had a proper voice. That is why I support the Lib Dem proposals to have decisions about our area made in the Spen Valley. Importantly, I will fight tooth and nail for Liversedge and Gomersal, and always make sure that our beautiful area gets the best care possible from Kirklees.

Simon Holbrook (UK Independence Party)

No statement supplied.

Lisa Jayne Holmes (Conservative Party)

I have been proud to represent the people of Liversedge and Gomersal for the past four years. I very much hope to continue after May 7. It has been a very difficult time for everyone under the Labour Administration in Kirklees. Labour do not protect our green spaces, they are content to build on our greenbelt without first looking at redeveloping brownfield spaces. Labour, yet again, turned down the government grant and chose a two per cent council tax rise whilst voting to cut services that would have been safe under a Conservative budget. Labour are happy for the greater share of funding to go to Dewsbury and Huddersfield. That is not acceptable to me and I will continue to fight for Liversedge, Gomersal, Roberttown and Hartshead. Residents deserve to send their children to a good local school, have a library, have local sports facilities, police patrolling the neighbourhoods, clean streets and decent roads and pavements. My promise to you is that I would continue working to protect our local services. I would fight for our fair share of funding and work hard on your behalf to protect the things you care about the most. Thank you for your support.

Cath Pinder (Labour Party)

I have lived in Gomersal for over 10 years and previously in Liversedge for over 10 years and I love the area. I have been a campaigner fighting to save our NHS and Dewsbury hospital in particular for a number of years and will continue this fight. Over the last 18 months I have spoken to over 4,000 residents on the doorstep in the area who are concerned about our roads, our hospital, our libraries and our local sports facilities. I have seen over the last five years councils such as Kirklees have borne the brunt of the disproportionate cuts levied by the National Tory-led coalition. With less money and more vulnerable people to support Labour in Kirklees are fighting hard to protect vital services and invest in local communities. The redevelopment of Spen Pool is a major example of vital services being delivered by Labour in Kirklees a commitment that will improve health and well being and is an investment in our community. I am committed to fighting for the people of Liversedge, Gomersal, Hartshead and Roberttown to protect our local facilities and ensure that our area has another strong Labour voice along with Coun Simon Alvy in Kirklees. What affects you affects me and I would relish the opportunity to represent you. Thank you all for your support.