Voters in Armley Ward will go to the polls on Thursday May 6, 2021 for the Leeds City Council elections. Voters will be electing one councillor.
More details about the election can be found here.
Your West Leeds Dispatch has contacted each candidate asking them for a statement of up to 300 words and a head and shoulders photograph to help you decide who to vote for. Here are their responses …
Richard Chaves-Sanderson – Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition
Flat 16 Aire Cross Green Lane, Leeds LS9 8BJ.
My name is Richard. I am an aspiring bilingual professional currently working at the University of Leeds, as well as studying a diploma that will allow me to translate and interpret in a court of law, and I am standing as your TUSC candidate in Armley to provide a credible opposition to the Conservative government that we have all suffered under.
It is no secret that the austerity forced upon us in the UK by this Conservative government has led to national and local deterioration, and in order to improve the lives of those suffering; our youth, pensioners, those employed and unemployed, ethnic minorities and those native to the UK; then society needs investment, not cuts.
As your TUSC candidate, I oppose the spending cuts and privatisation that have damaged our communities. Whether it is cuts to the NHS, cuts that have caused our day centres, libraries, sports centres and recycling centres to close, I understand full well that austerity is not a means to an end, but a policy intended to increase the wealth of those in power, whilst the majority of the country grow poorer.
The damaging privatisation that has swept the country and exploited a number of British industries and sectors, causing job loss, poorer pay and poorer job security, is something I stand firmly against as a TUSC candidate, and I believe it is time our community demanded more by calling for the reversal of cuts and privatisation.
As your TUSC candidate I will be working with Trade Unions and community groups in order to support the growth of a socialist movement, using a grass roots-bottom-up approach that will counter the damaging policies currently being pushed in parliament as we speak and to fight for the funding necessary to provide Armley with the services it needs and deserves.
Tamas Kovacs – Conservative Party
Address in Leeds.
Tamas is a higher education chemistry lecturer with a strong scientific and educational background. Tamas’s strong interpersonal skills allow him to get on
well with people. People are his passion.
Tamas has been living in Leeds since 2007. Originally, he immigrated from
Hungary and he is a great supporter of integrated community action.
He is a local resident who is aware of the current and historical issues in Leeds West.
He strongly believes in the potential of Armley to benefit from regeneration of Town Street.
If he is elected as a councilor he would work hard to get local people involved
in policy-making by offering regular meetings with them and to arrange regular
surveys on key local issues.
He is aware of the high crime rates in Armley, and he considers it a priority to get it reduced. His development plans will also include better roads and traffic, parking, transparency and visibility of policy makers and improved local support, including mental health support.
Andrew Alexander Martin – Social Democratic Party
Address in Leeds.
Please see our website for more.
Jim McKenna – Labour Party
24 Victoria Park Avenue, Leeds LS5 3DG.
I have represented Armley for many years and I have served our communities in many roles:
- School Governor on Dixon’s Unity Academy
- Member of the Leeds West Primary Care Trust
- Lord Mayor of Leeds in 2010/11
- Chair of the Armley Forum
- And I am currently the Deputy Chair of Leeds City Council
My major achievements as your councillor include helping to bring much-needed NHS healthcare to our ward such as Armley Moor Health Centre, Wortley Beck Children’s Centre and the new Children’s and Young People Mental Health Facility on the St Mary’s site.
During the pandemic I’ve been fully engaged in supporting vulnerable families and older people in our communities. I was proud to work with Leeds Rhinos Foundation during the the lockdown as a volunteer for the Armley Hub bringing food hampers and hot meals to older people and families.
Proud to say that our Labour Council provided free schools meals to over 34,000 children in Leeds during the school holiday and no child in Armley went hungry.
Despite the Tory government’s £2 billion cuts from the council’s budget we have stood by and continue to served the most vulnerable people in our communities.
Social housing has been neglected by the Conservatives for over a decade and the housing waiting list continues to grow and grow.
Our Labour council plan to build over 1,500 much-needed new social houses for families in Leeds over the next few years and we are also investing in healthy living and mental health services, increased pay for our deserving key workers and energy efficient social housing.
Much, much more to do to reduce the long term effects of the pandemic but with your support and Labour’s policies this can, and will, be achieved.
Mark Terence Rollinson – Green Party
16 Aberdeen Grove, Armley, Leeds LS12 3QY.
Hi neighbour, my name is Mark Rollinson and I live in Armley.
Armley is a town which has huge potential but has been let down by having councillors without the vision to realise this potential. If elected I will play my part in making it the best place in Leeds to live, work and study.
Local jobs, businesses and apprenticeships
Armley has a good mix of businesses and industrial land, that if nurtured and positively developed within a Green sustainable framework, can bring wealth and prosperity to all its residents. As councillor I would strive to drive this forward.
Schools fully supported
For a strong Green local economy we are going to have to work hand in hand with our schools to develop our children into conscientious, educated and hardworking members of the community.
I would work hard to build strong links between our business community and schools to ensure our children have the pathway to local, well paid and secure jobs.
High quality affordable housing for all and safe streets
A successful Armley requires high-quality safe housing in which we can all take pride. We need to ensure landlords are keeping their properties to the highest standard and that there is a good supply of housing for all local needs.
Sporting activities, facilities
We live in difficult times and we need to be able to let our hair down, enjoy ourselves and get out and exercise. This is essential for our health and wellbeing.
I would fully support our local sports and arts groups in providing high quality leisure activities for all.
If elected I would ensure that Armley’s undervalued and neglected assets like Gotts Park, Armley Mills and our Town Street are brought back to life and play their part in a happy, healthy and wealthy Armley future.
If you would like me to deliver this vision, please vote for Mark Rollinson on 6th May.
Dan Walker – Liberal Democrats
Address in Leeds.
I came to Leeds from Leicester in 1996 for University, and loved it so much I stayed.
I have lived in West Leeds since 2007 and currently live in Armley. 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 very keen to extend the successful Rothwell food waste collections city-wide, and to invest more in housing.
The LibDem/Green coalition in York is building a net-zero carbon housing development at Burnholme which I would love to use as a template in Leeds, ideally on “brown field” sites.
Leeds also needs a proper mass-transit system – this has been discussed in various forms since I moved here, nearly 25 years ago! We are the largest city in Western Europe without one.
On a national level, the recent actions of the government have proved the need for a Liberal voice at all layers of government. Restricting peaceful protest, limiting judicial review, and proroguing Parliament show the current government has no regard for vital civil liberties and freedoms, nor for the checks and balances of parliamentary debate.
The right to dissent, and to have representatives scrutinise and object to laws, is equally vital in Councils; this is why the new West Yorkshire Mayor should not invest all its power in one person.
On a longer term basis, the UK does need to be much less centralised. I am in favour of the One Yorkshire concept and a great deal more power being wielded, closer to the people, by the nations and the regions of the United Kingdom.
West Yorkshire mayoral elections
West Yorkshire will also be holding its first elections for an elected mayor.
Here’s a list of candidates who are standing.