Election 2012: Mirfield candidate statements

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The following candidates are standing for election in the Mirfield ward:

MARTYN BOLT (defending)

Conservative Party

I was born and still live in Mirfield, and have served Mirfield for over 20 years as a volunteer on community projects and on both the Town Council and subsequently on Kirklees Council.

Mirfield is my home and it matters a great deal to me. I have campaigned hard for and with Mirfield community groups. There is still more to be done on making sure our town continues to prosper, that we make sure Mirfield’s voice is heard in Huddersfield.

Through meeting residents, I get the information to be able to speak with passion and knowledge on our behalf. Mirfield has a strong team working for our benefit, I am proud to be part of that team.

After 25 years running my own businesses I was offered a job as a community development officer. I am a trustee of Mirfield Educational Charity, helping young people and schools in our town. I have been the secretary of one of Mirfield’s sports clubs for eight years. I also serve on a National charity helping cyclists injured in accidents.

I said in 1998 that Mirfield Matters to me, it did then it does now and it always will do.

BRIAN FIRTH

Liberal Democrat

Brian Firth has spent all his life in this area. Educated at Wheelwright Grammar School. For many years Brian ran a successful small business. Now Brian helps students with disabilities at Huddersfield University.

IF ELECTED, TOGETHER WITH THE LOCAL LIB DEM TEAM, HE WILL:

Protect the Green Belt areas under threat in Mirfield;

Campaign for decisions to be made in Mirfield for local services such as roads and pavements, street cleaning and lighting, parks, flower beds, libraries and grants to community groups;

Campaign to protect Dewsbury and District’s Hospital services.

He supports Lib Dems helping the low paid who will benefit by £60 a month when the £10,000 starting point for paying income tax is brought in.

The Lib Dems have given pensioners £9.70 a week since 2010 – compared with Labour’s miserly 75p rise.

The Lib Dems pupil premium is giving extra funds to local schools.

We need an effective councillor to stand up for our area. Someone on the side of and working for local people and fighting for a better deal for Mirfield.

THOMAS HIRST

UK Independence Party

It’s about time the people of Mirfield had a fresh alternative to the tedious common ground consensus of the three failed old parties.

UKIP believes in localism, and we have lived and breathed it, rather than just talking about it. If we are to truly embrace a credible form of localism, we must have as much money taken from the taxpayer as possible spent at as local a level as possible, after all, government, whether it be local or national, doesn’t actually have any money – it’s YOUR money and it should be treated as such.

But more important than that, we should have local referenda on key issues that affect local people. It has always been my view that Tesco should have gone to a referendum.

I am also in favour of low rates of taxation, and on the council would vote against any further rises in council tax.

But be assured at all times, I do not see politics as a career, that is completely and utterly wrong, because when politics becomes a career, career comes before country. So if you want to send a young, strong, straight-talking voice to fight for you, vote for me this Thursday.

JIMMY MCLEOD

Green Party

Kirklees Council should provide good services and a decent environment. Our existing Green Party councillors have brought forward a number of initiatives, for example, on saving energy use in council buildings, reducing staff travel costs and, of course, the free element of the Warmzone. All these saved money without cutting services and benefited the environment. By the same token, the Greens were the only group to oppose the cuts in social care to the elderly, disabled people and children in Kirklees. The council has its priorities wrong.

We also oppose the plans for massive expansion of house building and other developments in the Kirklees LDF. The population figures used are wildly inaccurate and the whole proposal needs to be revisited – Greens proposed the lowest amount of new housing – 16,200 – back in November and we will continue to work for a more realistic, sustainable and truly Green LDF.

Local services need to take local people’s needs fully into account. Councillors need to spend more time talking to the people they represent rather than each other. That is why the Greens alone of the parties have consistently called for a north Kirklees council for nearly a decade.

PETER SYKES

Labour Party

Peter Sykes has previously served as a Kirklees councillor for eight years used to be chair of the highways department.

An engineer with ICI (now Syngenta) for 37 years, Peter has been an EETPU/Unite Branch Chair, shop steward and delegate.

An ex-rugby player, youth coach and trained reflexologist, Peter is now an active rugby supporter.

Peter is also proficient at building dry stone walls.

Peter joined the Labour Party at the age of 18 and he supports traditional Labour values. Peter has always been an active member held many positions in the party.