A former councillor who was deselected over the controversy surrounding the misuse of a blue badge is looking to rebuild her political career by being elected as a councillor in Farnley and Wortley ward.
Andrea McKenna, a former Lady Mayoress of Leeds, was deselected from standing for Labour in the Garforth and Swillington ward in the May 2016 elections after being fined for misusing a blue disabled parking badge.
She was stripped of her approved candidate status by regional Labour Party chiefs.
Ms McKenna told the Dispatch the incident was now ‘ancient history … a lot of water has passed under the bridge’. She added:
“People should judge me on my campaign and what I can bring to the ward. I have a lot of experience as a councillor.”
The YEP reported at the time that Ms McKenna was fined £120 by magistrates in September 2015 after pleading guilty to disabled badge misuse.
She was given a parking ticket when she was caught wrongfully using the badge on Wormald Row, off Albion Street in Leeds city centre on February 11 2015.
Ms McKenna, who has been a Labour party member for more than 40 years, maintains she hadn’t done anything untoward. She served as Leeds’s lady mayoress in 2010 and 2011 and said she had been ‘a good councillor’ and had the role of older people’s champion on the council.
She told The Dispatch her focus was on ensuring the people of Farnley and Wortley get the services that they deserve in an area she feels has been neglected for many years.
Ms McKenna, who works for the NHS, said she has been supporting people worried about living in tower blocks following the Grenfell Tower disaster, tackling potholes in the ward, looking at problems with parking on Leeds United matchdays and using her existing contacts on the council’s executive board to ensure local priorities are met.
Joining her as Labour party candidates in the May 3 elections are Andy Parnham, a former Green Party councillor in Farnley and Wortley ward, and Matt Gibson, who works as a sub-editor for the Press Association in Howden.
The May 2018 council elections will see all three seats in every Leeds City Council ward up for election.
Farnley and Wortley ward Green Party candidates are Ann and David Blackburn, who are currently sitting councillors. Stuart Haley will replace Terry Wilford, who is standing down as Green Party councillor.