Voters in Armley Ward will go to the polls on Thursday May 3, 2018 Leeds City Council elections. As this is an ‘all out’ election, each voter will have three votes to cast.
Your West Leeds Dispatch has written to each candidate asking them for a statement of up to 250 words and a head and shoulders photograph to help you decide who to vote for. Here are their responses …
Andrea Kay Binns, Green Party
30 Lawns Green, Leeds, LS12 5RR
Rob Hooper, Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts
4 Rombalds Avenue, Leeds, LS12 2BA
I am standing for TUSC to save public services and stop spending cuts, after seeing the effects of ongoing austerity as public services reduce or are closed completely.
This weak and divided Tory government won’t last forever and Leeds should be fighting for its services now, so we can demand funding is restored by the next government instead of waiting until we can rebuild basic services.
I support the policies of TUSC’s candidates up and down the country;
- Oppose all cuts to council jobs, services, pay and conditions. We reject the claim that ‘some cuts’ are necessary to our services or that the national debt is a reason for austerity.
- Use all the legal powers available to councils to oppose both the cuts and government policies which centrally impose the transfer of public services to private bodies. This includes using councils’ powers to challenge local NHS decisions. The latest is the plan to transfer hospital staff into a ‘wholly-owned’ private company which would be outside NHS terms and conditions
- Support all workers’ struggles against the cuts, privatisation and government policies making ordinary people pay for the crisis caused by the bankers and the bosses.
- Reject increases in council tax and rent to compensate for government cuts.
After 2020 councils will only be funded by local council tax and business rates – we need to redistribute wealth across the country and I will campaign against these changes. We need fighting councillors now to represent ordinary people and campaign on all these issues.
Gideon Matthew William Jones, Green Party
Flat 11, 31 Vesper Road, Kirkstall, Leeds, LS5 3NU
I have lived in west Leeds since August 2015, moving to the city for a job in the software industry. I quickly found myself at home here and alongside work, I enjoy cooking & cycling with my daily commute passing through Armley by bike.
As a regular cyclist and car driver, I have also noticed a significant increase in the number and severity of potholes.
These are hazardous to all road users and I will pressure the council to prioritise fixing them.
Armley is an area with character. Lots of small businesses are part of the community and I am aware of pressures applied by the opening of a new shopping centre. As a Green Party councillor I will be fully committed to supporting independent local business wherever possible.
I have also sadly noticed a significant rise in fly-tipping, something exacerbated by the Labour administration removing the free bulky household waste collections, and I will speak out where possible to try and push for these to be re-instated.
Other issues could be avoided with more Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs). Armley currently has fewer than other parts of Leeds. If elected I will push the council for PCSOs to be fairly distributed across the city meaning more for Armley, helping make the area feel safer.
I believe that I can help make a difference. A vote for me in the council elections on 3rd May is a vote for a greener, cleaner and safer Armley.
Matthew Leech, Conservative Party
Flat 1, 89 Town Street, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 5BP
I am a 42 year old single parent, School Governor and Town Councillor in Horsforth. I want to improve the lives of people living, working and going to school in Leeds every day.
I am standing in this election to help bring about change for Armley.
Armley is an area where all 3 serving City Councillors are Labour Councillors.
Armley is a vibrant, multicultural area with some fantastic local groups and projects all working hard for the community. But like all areas, it has its problems. When we think about what our Labour City Council have wasted on needless projects in recent years, we need to ask ourselves what a difference some of that money could have made in Armley.
- £29m on a “Cycle Super Highway” that is not fit for purpose.
- £5m on a failed City Centre Hotel.
- Millions wasted on failed SuperTram and Trolleybus schemes.
And on 18th April it was announced that our City Council were receiving a £7.3m tax rebate from HMRC. City Councillors voted to transfer this money into the Council’s “general reserves”.
If elected, I will demand that instead of projects like those which benefit the few, money is spent in Armley to improve things like road conditions, traffic problems, and anti-social behaviour.
On your way to the Polling Station, look around you. Are you happy with the Armley that you see? Do you trust your Labour City Councillors to improve your community? A vote for your 3 Conservative Candidates, myself, Robert and Nicky, can help change Armley for the better, and for everyone.
Alison Lowe, Labour Party
45 Monk Ings, Birstall, Batley, WF17 9HH
Hi everyone, my name is Alison Lowe and I am standing for election in Armley ward on 3rd May 2018.
I have been honoured to serve the people of Armley for 28 years and during this time, I have worked hard to represent you and your interests both locally and in the Civic Hall.
I am particularly proud of the work I have done – as part of your local Labour team – to develop local people and organisations to stand up for themselves to make Armley a better place to live and work.
For instance, I and my colleagues have supported New Wortley Community Centre be become self sufficient, bringing in hundreds of thousands of pounds of external funding whilst building the capacity of local people to find their own solutions.
Armley councillors supported Armley Helping Hands to develop as an older people’s service to ensure older people from the area stay in their own home for longer whilst combating loneliness and isolation.
Together with my fellow elected councillors, we fought to bring Armley library back into use as a rejuvenated One Stop Centre and also secured over a million pounds worth of income for a state of the art leisure centre.
Personally, I have done hundreds of surgeries, hearing about people’s problems and then doing the case work to improve their lives.
Armley councillors attend tenants and residents meetings, keeping in contact and supporting people to deliver improvements such as the Victoria Park pocket park and the locally-led Gotts Park Golf House and mansion.
I am standing again in 2018 because I am passionate about Armley, its people and its potential to be an even bigger part of Leeds’ success.
James McKenna, Labour
24 Victoria Park Avenue, Leeds, LS5 3DG
I have represented Armley on Leeds City Council since 1988. In that time I have served my community in many different roles: School Governor for Swallow Hill Academy and Christ the King Roman Catholic Primary School.
I live in The Armley Ward and until recently I also worked in my ward for Armley Helping Hands.
Non- Executive Member of Leeds West Primary Care Trust where I was instrumental in bringing Armley Moor Health Centre and Wortley Beck Children’s Centre to our area. I also was involved in establishing the new state-of-the-art Oncology Hospital on the St James’s campus.
I was Lord Mayor of Leeds in 2010/2011 and have been deputy chair of the council on three occasions since then. I am a long-term member and chair of the planning committee.
With my two ward colleagues, we were successful in winning two Heritage Lottery bids to renovate “Mike’s Carpets” and the new build extension to New Wortley Community Centre.
We are also proud of our successful bid to refurbish and renew the pavements along Town Street. We have also secured funding to build new Changing Rooms for West Leeds Eagles RLFC, which allows them to improve facilities for young girls and women’s Rugby.
We have also funded a Park Run in Armley Park which commence soon.
We have worked with the Police to curtail Street Drinking and Anti-Social behaviour in our area. I am aware there is much more to do and I would therefore ask for your support on 3rd May.
James Miller, The For Britain Movement
15 Raynville Place, Bramley, Leeds, LS13 2PT
I am proud to be representing a brand new political party, The For Britain Movement, in Armley ward, having previously been a member of UKIP in Leeds for 17 years.
UKIP’s job is done, and now For Britain is starting a new battle for accountability in politics, along with limiting immigration, pride in our culture, and an efficient, free NHS.
Secondary Modern School educated, I enlisted for 6 years in the Regular Army, then worked as a lorry driver for many years, before obtaining a BSc. (hons) degree as a mature student.
I have been self-employed, as a same day Courier van driver, for the past 14 years. I will be reaching retirement age shortly, and will thus be free to focus my time and energy, on trying to stop Labour wasting more of your hard-earned money. Socialism never works, it just costs you more.
It is essential that we maintain a balance by creating a business friendly city, with efficient, cost-conscious council services, in order to provide the money for great schools, health and welfare services.
For Britain intends to cut regulation, parking charges, and local business taxes to aid local economic growth. We will end plans to privatise the NHS, and also put a stop to health tourism.
We will restore Police numbers to keep on top of crime. Brown field development will be prioritised in Leeds, and we will invest in social housing to replace what has been sold off. Our main priorities will be to keep your council tax down, and to ensure that local government leaders, and council executives are fully accountable.
Robert Murphy-Fell, Conservative Party
15 Springfield Road, Guiseley, Leeds, LS20 9AN
I’m a 34 year old charity worker and throughout my life I’ve been proud to call this amazing city my home.
The local elections are your chance to make a difference to not only the way your city is run but also the way your community is run too.
Having been a resident of Armley I know that there are many wonderful aspects of this diverse and culturally important part of Leeds.
As with any area, however, there are issues.
The Labour controlled Council believe that Leeds doesn’t have a transport problem. I would argue that anybody who has travelled via Armley Gyratory would disagree. Our roads need proper investment.
Leeds needs a bold and visionary transport system to better connect the areas of our city. It doesn’t need money wasted on ineffective schemes like the scrapped trollybus idea which was not at all suitable.
As residents will also know, Armley Town Street has faced problems due to anti-social behaviour. It needs proper regeneration and if elected I will insist that this is made a real priority.
There are many wonderful social initiatives and support groups in the area and I will pledge to support and give them my full backing to help make Armley all it can be.
This election day, make your voice heard and your votes count.
Conservative councillors have a proven track record of achievement and a vote for myself, Nicola and Matthew is a vote for real change that will benefit everyone.
Alice Smart, Labour Party
43 Tavistock Mews,Leeds LS12 4DQ
It has been an incredible privilege to serve the people of Armley for the last 4 years. I have always worked hard to represent local people and speak up for our community on a citywide level.
I am particularly proud of the work I’ve done – as part of your local Labour team – to revitalise Armley Town Street and tackle the ongoing issues of street drinking, cleanliness and anti-social behaviour which plagued the area for too long. Our work on this issue is not finished, and there’s much more I want to do if you re-elect me this May.
I’ve worked closely with local residents and volunteers to bring back the Armley Festival and set up an Armley Business Forum as well as contributing to the successful campaign to prevent more off-licences from opening in the area.
The Armley Labour team will continue to hold surgeries every week in New Wortley Community Centre and Armley One Stop Centre where we’ll listen to your concerns and act on them. We’ll also go door-to-door throughout the year to ask residents about issues affecting them on their street.
I live in the LS12 area with my partner and our two cats and I’m involved in a local domestic violence charity. I’m passionate about Armley and I’m delighted to be standing for re-election this May. We need a strong Labour team who fight for Armley’s best interests and champion local people. Please support this mission and use all three of your votes for Labour on May 3rd.
Nicola Tinsley, Conservative Party candidate
24 Kirk Lane, Yeadon, Leeds LS19 7ET
Dan Walker, Liberal Democrat
173 Green Hill Road, Leeds, LS13 4JY
I came to Leeds from Leicester in 1996 for University, and loved it so much I stayed. I am committed to equality, and passionate about liberty and social justice. I want to serve on the Council to improve transport, education and housing for Armley & the rest of the city. I am also keen that successful community-led projects such as the New Wortley Community Centre are supported and encouraged by the Council.
I am strongly opposed to Brexit. While it may not seem to be a local issue, in fact the Government’s own studies predict a 7% economic drop in Yorkshire and the Humber, with Leeds’ important financial sector especially at risk.
I have lived in West Leeds since 2007 and currently live in Armley. I work at the University of Leeds as a computer programmer.
John Withill, Democrats and Veterans Party
89 Somerdale Close, Bramley, Leeds, LS13