We’ve invited each of the candidates hoping to represent Dewsbury East on Kirklees Council to tell us why they deserve your vote on May 7.
Greg Burrows (UK Independence Party)
Another year gone, is Dewsbury East in better shape than the year before that, or the year before that? This is my fourth time standing for Dewsbury East. 2011 beat the Greens, 2012 beat the Greens and Lib/Dems, 2014 beat the Greens, Lib/Dems, and the Conservatives. Hopefully this year we can add Labour to that list, with your vote. We need change and fresh ideas. I have had a busy year this year, founding a UKIP Dewsbury/Batley and Spen Branch. UKIP now have seven local council candidates, and two parliamentary candidates in the Dewsbury/Batley and Spen constituencies. UKIP had only one candidate standing in North Kirklees last year – me. We are now a power to be reckoned with and with your help we can make great strides in making much needed change.
Mark Simon Eastwood (Conservative)
At these local elections you have an important choice to make. Do you choose councillors who lack the ideas and imagination to cope with reduced budgets, whose only solution is to increase council tax for hard working families and destroy essential frontline services? Or do you choose me, your local Conservative candidate, someone who is willing to look at alternative ways of doing things to ensure that any savings the council need to make have a minimal impact on local residents, someone who has a clear plan for Dewsbury East and Dewsbury town centre? If elected, these will be my priorities for Dewsbury East: Dewsbury Town Centre Regeneration – I shall continue the campaign for free parking, for investment to be channelled away from Huddersfield to Dewsbury and for a review of business rates; Chidswell Green Belt – With a new local plan about to be released, I shall continue to fight on behalf of local residents opposed to the destruction of the Chidswell Green Belt; Greater Independence For Dewsbury – I will continue to campaign to ensure that money raised in Dewsbury from rates and council tax is spent in Dewsbury and not in Huddersfield as is currently the case.
Eric Firth (Labour)
No statement supplied.
Dennis Hullock (Liberal Democrats)
If elected, together with the Dewsbury Lib Dem team, I will: campaign to save Dewsbury Museum and improve Crow Nest Park; protect the Green Belt in areas under threat like Chidswell; campaign for FREE parking in Dewsbury to help shoppers and shops; dight to keep our children’s centres and a sixth form college for Dewsbury; continue the campaign to protect Dewsbury hospital services; build affordable homes that meet our needs; continue Lib Dems helping ordinary workers by £800 in April 2015 with extra £400 cut in income tax from 2016; continue Lib Dems Triple Lock for Pensioners – state pensions will go up by the biggest of inflation, wage rises or 2.5 per cent; continue Lib Dems pupil premium giving extra funds to local schools together with free school meals for all year one and two children. Local people need a hard working councillor who gets the job done, working for local people and fighting for a better deal for Dewsbury.
Tony Kelsall (Green)
Tony lives with his wife in Hanging Heaton, Dewsbury, working as a volunteer in the charity sector. Like other Greens, he realises that the cost of energy is a matter that will continue to concern people even if a Labour-led government that ‘freezes’ energy prices for two years is elected nationally. He would have liked to extend the Energy in Deprived Communities Scheme for this region which cost £14m for the period 2010-2013 and received £7m towards the cost from the EU and has benefitted some residents in Chickenley to other areas of Dewsbury East. Unfortunately, the scheme ended in May last year because the Liberal-Conservative coalition thought it more important to reduce the contribution to the EU raised through taxation so that tax cuts for the rich could be afforded than funding programmes that benefit people in deprived communities. This has also meant that the hard-pressed local council needs to fund existing schemes in their totality by diverting money from other much needed local causes. In Kirklees we have been fortunate to have benefitted from provision of free insulation in the Kirklees WarmZone project. The Green Party councillors in Kirklees were behind this.