Voters in Farnley and Wortley 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 …
Ann Blackburn, Green Party
9 Cobden Grove, Farnley, Leeds LS12 5PA
My name is Ann Blackburn and I am standing as one of the Green Party Candidates for Farnley & Wortley Ward.
I am married and have a grown up son and step-daughter. I have lived in the ward for 35 years and have represented the area as a Green Party Councillor since 2002 and taken up many matters since then resulting in improvements in the ward.
I have been instrumental in getting subsidised dance classes in various parts of the ward for local youngsters and also free football sessions for local youngsters on Farnley Recreation Ground.
I also organise the free hourly New Year’s Bus Service which is run by the local Green Party. I am concerned about the state of Farnley Reservoir and am pushing Yorkshire Water to have it cleaned out.
If elected, I will continue to work on the various matters I am currently involved with, including planning issues and problems caused by Leeds United Match Day Parking.
I have a proven track record of working hard in the ward and taking up constituents concerns, and I door knock through the year talking to people in the ward, as well as doing councillors surgeries. If elected, I will continue to report back how my community monies are spent through the Farnley & Wortley Green View.
I ask you to elect me to continue to represent you on 3rd May 2018.
David Blackburn, Green Party
9 Cobden Grove, Farnley, Leeds LS12 5PA
My name is David Blackburn, I live in the ward and I have represented the Farnley & Wortley area on the council since 1998, when I was elected as the first Green Party Councillor in Leeds.
During that time, along with the help of the Local Green Party Team, much has been achieved. We have used our Ward Initiative Monies, putting investment in our parks, solar panels on Old Farnley Community Centre and road safety schemes in various areas of the ward.
I also help people through my casework, taking up over 1,000 different cases a year.
In Council I have fought against the Administration having a target in the Core Strategy of over 70,000 new homes and constantly made the point that this figure it is far too high.
A lower figure was eventually put forward, but too late to stop housing developers applying to build a private development on a protected green field area in New Farnley. I intend to speak at the Site Allocation Plan Hearing later this year supporting the view of my constituents.
I put alternatives forward to Council during the Budget Debate to deal with litter and dumping, by coming up with alternatives to charging for bulky waste and inert waste, making clear my view that these charges are short-sighted and will increase dumping.
I am not lobby fodder, or for that matter, part of the ‘Punch & Judy’ politics of the larger parties. I ask you to support me on 3rd May.
Dorothy Flynn, Conservative Party
31 East Causeway Vale, Leeds LS16 8LG
Matt Gibson, Labour Party
23 Cliffe Park Drive, Leeds LS12 4XG
I live in Wortley and have experience in the charity sector, having been a listening volunteer with the Samaritans from 2013 until 2017 when I decided to wind down my other non-work commitments to focus on local politics.
Listening to callers describe their difficulties made me aware of the lack of support for people struggling with loneliness, individuals with disabilities and physical and mental health problems, for the underpaid, overworked, unemployed and underemployed and those in serious debt. I want to help Leeds City Council do more to help people in these situations.
I’ve also witnessed both my grandmas battle dementia and have first-hand experience of the problems facing adult social care. This is one area where I want to make a real difference across Leeds.
I feel that parts of our ward have been neglected. Our roads are in disrepair, there’s littering and dumping and buildings stand disused. Farnley Reservoir should be a local beauty spot but has been abused and neglected. We need more bins to reduce littering and for local businesses to work alongside the council to restore the site to its former glory.
I’m concerned about anti-social behaviour. Kids causing trouble on the street need to channel their energy into something positive. I’d like to revitalise our ward by turning some of our disused buildings into vibrant community hubs that can help with this and benefit us all.
I’m asking for the opportunity and honour to serve as your councillor and help unlock Farnley and Wortley’s massive potential.
Stuart Haley, Green Party
76 Tong Drive, Farnley, Leeds, LS12 5ND
My name is Stuart Haley and I am standing for election as a Green Party Candidate for Farnley and Wortley Ward in the 2018 Local Elections. I am 34, married, and have three sons. I work as a senior transport supervisor in Leeds, and previously served in the Army as part of the Bomb Disposal Unit. I live in Farnley, and am the Chief Executive Officer of Wortley Football Club, which consists mainly of teams under 18 years.
I am concerned about anti-social behaviour in the ward and would like to see more money spent on policing with regular PCSO patrols.
I have noticed that dumping has increased in the area since the Council started charging for bulky waste to be collected. Our Green Party Councillors tried to have this service restored through the Budget and, if elected, I will continue to argue the case for this.
I have been working as part of the Green Party Team to have dumped items collected, rubbish removed, pot holes filled and road/pavement repairs carried out.
If elected, I will report back how my community monies are spent through the Green Party Newsletters and will argue for more youth facilities and will do what I can to assist groups run for older residents in the ward.
I hope you will give me your support on 3rd May.
John Hardcastle, Conservative Party
8 Hunger Hills Avenue, Horsforth LS18 5JT
Andrea McKenna, Labour Party
24 Victoria Park Avenue, Armley, LS5 3DG
I have lived in West Leeds for 15 years with my husband Jim, who is a councillor in Armley. All my family live in this area and my grandchildren attend local schools. I passionately believe that every child has a right to an education that helps them achieve their full potential.
I work in Urgent Care at the LGI and see first-hand how the Tory cuts have pressurised our precious NHS. I have always worked, or volunteered , in the Health and Social Care for most of my adult life. I strongly believe than everyone should have the opportunity to free health and social care when needed.
I was involved in Neighbourhood Networks, which provide vital support for elderly people, through these networks and a High School , I set up food banks to support older people and families in these recessionary times.
I have passionately campaigned for years to provide sports facilities for children and young people in my communities and I have been involved in football, cricket and rugby league and I work closely with Leeds Rhinos Foundation.
My ambition is to see a Cleaner , Greener, Safer Community in our area.
Air pollution has serious health consequences for young children’s development and Labour will introduce a Clean Air Act .
I have been actively involved in litter picks in our areas and I work to encourage the whole local community to become involved in cleaning up our community.
Therefore I ask for you to support Labour on 3rd May.
Sam Melia, The For Britain Movement
23 Henshaw Avenue, Yeadon, Leeds LS19 7TP
I’m proud to be representing a new political party, The For Britain Movement. I’ve always wanted to give back to the city that I grew up in and would love the opportunity to serve the people of Farnley & Wortley.
I’m standing on 5 issues; Tackling anti-social behaviour and vandalism, Creating and promoting existing social groups for the elderly and parents of under-5s, making it easier for local businesses to start up and prosper, faster refuse collection (both bins and flytipping) and finally I’m hoping to ensure social housing goes to those that need it most, young families, the elderly and the disabled.
You’ll find most candidates in this race have similar campaign issues, if not exactly the same. What I’m really hoping to bring to Leeds City Council is a fresh pair of eyes and a passion for change, I’m not happy with how things are run.
There are 15 senior officers on over £100k and 7 of them on over £140k – the most well paid is on just over £176,000!. These are ridiculous salaries to be on for public servants.
Frankly the whole system needs an overhaul but at the moment I just want to do whatever I can for the people of Farnley & Wortley, for too long issues have been patched over, kicked down the road to be dealt with later.
No more. I’m headstrong and stubborn and I’ll fight for this ward, and the hardworking people within it, to make it the best it can be.
Hayley Nancolas, Conservative Party
6 Springfield Grange, Pudsey, LS28 5FU
Andy Parnham, Labour Party
11 Park Crescent, Leeds LS12 3NL
I work in Wortley, as an NHS funded Personal Assistant to a young man disabled by an accident. I have lived in the area for almost 30 years. For 10 years I lived on Farnley Ring Road, and my three children all happily attended schools in the ward.
These are difficult times for many of us, so it is important you elect councillors who are effective, hardworking and in touch.
From our regular newsletter, you can see that we are hardworking, and dedicated to improving our area. Imagine how much more we can achieve as your Councillors.
I believe that an effective councillor has to be a good listener, approachable, have an eye for detail, and be able to work with others.
As a priority, I want to see regular PACT Meetings between residents and the local police. I also want to work closely with the local Police Inspector to target and disrupt criminal and anti-social behaviour across Farnley and Wortley, and ensure that council housing tenants feel safe and secure within their neighbourhoods.
We also need to sort out the dreadful bus services, which I use on a daily basis.
I also want to support the approximately 15% of our community who are self-employed. Many operate businesses and provide services in the ward, and I want to see businesses thrive, and have personal experience of supporting small businesses.
Whether you want my help or support, or have a suggestion, I will be your champion.
Rosemary Spencer, Liberal Democrats
45 Half Mile Lane, Leeds LS13 1BH