We’ve invited each of the candidates hoping to represent Dewsbury West on Kirklees Council to tell us why they deserve your vote on May 7.
Simon John Cope (Green Party)
I have lived with my wife in Dewsbury for 12 years, and am proud to call the town my home. I got involved in politics in an effort to make sure our two children grow up in a fair and just society. I am passionate about education. My eldest daughter attends Boothroyd Academy, and I have served on its governing body. My teacher friends tell me that the Green education policy is the most comprehensive and common sense that they have read. I would love to see it implemented to create equality of opportunity for all our children. We are also committed to tackling the growing social housing problem. Penalising tenants via the bedroom tax is not the answer; building more affordable housing on brownfield sites is. At council level, Greens fight for social housing to be more energy efficient, saving people money on their fuel bills, and contributing to the local economy. I often read comments from local folk that they are fed up with Kirklees Council, yet at last year’s elections, not one seat changed hands across Kirklees. If you are not happy, then please use your democratic power, and vote for change. Vote Green Party.
Shehzad Hussain (Liberal Democrats)
No statement supplied.
John David Nottingham (Conservative Party)
Despite the fact there are three Labour councillors in Dewsbury West, Labour-run Kirklees Council continues to neglect our area, preferring to pour money into Huddersfield. I will fight against their proposals and stand up for the people of Dewsbury West. I will oppose their proposed library closure in Ravensthorpe, and their threat to parks and community centres. I will oppose future Council Tax increases which offer no value for money and deliver reductions in services, and I will fight for true local democracy through the devolution of decisions and funding so we can provide genuinely local services that our residents want and need. The neglect of roads and streets in Dewsbury has to stop. We need facilities for young people to meet and socialise and the Council needs to provide more services locally. For too long Dewsbury has been the poor relation in Kirklees with more emphasis placed on the regeneration of Huddersfield, whilst the town is allowed to decline. Unlike your current councillors I will work with the council, West Yorkshire Combined Authority, funding agencies and local businesses to encourage the revival of the town. There is much that could be done in our area. All it needs is a strong voice, my voice.
Darren Thomas O’Donovan (Labour Party)
I am extremely proud to be standing for re-election. Since I was elected in 2011 I have worked hard across all communities. The needs of the area are diverse and I believe I can meet those diverse needs that communities have. There is not a patch in Dewsbury West that I have not been to. I always endeavour to respond quickly to residents needs where ever they are in the ward via phone, email, text or Twitter. I’ve secured new and ongoing funding for many new and existing groups, helping them deliver older people’s groups, young people’s activities, sports groups and resident forums, etc. I delivered the first ever Dewsbury West community festival in August. I brought a once-in-a-lifetime exhibition of the authentic Wallace Hartley violin played on the Titanic to Dewsbury in 2013. I established and developed an annual music festival in Dewsbury town centre. I have worked positively with hundreds of people in Dewsbury West on housing, environmental and highways issues to name just a few. If re-elected I plan to continue working hard for all residents and in all areas of Dewsbury West. I’ll continue to be accessible and professional and work towards improving services and opportunities.