Voters in Farnley & Wortley Ward will go to the polls on Thursday May 6, 2021 for the Leeds City Council elections. Voters will be electing one councillor.
Your West Leeds Dispatch has written to 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 …
David Blackburn – Green Party
9 Cobden Grove, Farnley, Leeds LS12 5PA.
I have represented the Farnley & Wortley area now for 23 years, being the first-ever Green Party member of Leeds City Council and have lived in that community for the last 39 years and in West Leeds all my life.
Since my election in 1998 I, with the help of my colleagues, have worked hard for our constituents, brought a different perspective to Leeds City Council and, at times, punched significantly above our weight.
I am not someone who is controlled by a party whip, but like all Greens we make our minds up on things using common sense and environmental concerns.
Common sense things like understanding that if you introduce charges for bulky waste and inert waste you are going to make it more likely people will fly tip and that is what is happening.
On the issue of Climate Change it must be remembered it’s not just about electric cars and planting trees, it’s about changing how we live.
It’s about not building houses on green field sites like TV Harrison Sport Ground or the former PAS site in New Farnley, which some of our opponents on Council support.
It’s about building new buildings that meet the standards of tomorrow not the outdated standards of yesterday. It’s about retrofitting existing properties so they meet the standards required for tomorrow.
Bearing in mind the events of the last 12 months or so and the damaging effects, it’s even more important that we have councillors who can think outside the box and are not just lobby fodder.
We need change, we need action, not spin or sound bites.
We need cross-party work and co-operation, not the Punch and Judy politics of the larger party.
I hope you to support me on Thursday, 6 May 2021.
Ian Cowling – Yorkshire Party
Address in Leeds.
The Yorkshire Party has elected Ian Cowling as your local candidate for the local elections on Thursday 6th May 2021.
Ian is married with two grown up daughters. He has lived in Leeds all his life and has campaigned on issues affecting the Farnley & Wortley ward over the last couple of years.
Being a proud Yorkshireman he wants to see all parts of Yorkshire and especially this part of Leeds blossom into a great place to live and work.
Leeds is one of the top places to work outside London but most of the money the council get is spend in Leeds city centre. This has to change, and I would like to be part of that change. Voting me onto the council would give me and my fellow Yorkshire Party councillors a voice at that table to question WHY?
My top five challenges are:
- Save TV Harrison Sport Ground for the children of Leeds, NOW.
- Campaign for safe cycle lanes into Leeds city centre and out to local amenities.
- Make Farnley Balancing Reservoir a wildlife haven and local beauty spot to be proud of.
- Create green spaces for people to enjoy locally rather than driving to the dales or the coast.
- Get people working in the area once more. New technologies can provide work for all.
We have most of this on our doorstep already so with local action and moderate investment WE can get the council to support this vision for Farnley & Wortley and make it a great place to live and work.
All these projects reduce the carbon footprint, increase activity, attract new investment and bring our quality of live to a higher level without having to move. I would say it’s a WIN WIN for all.
Maria Anne Frank – Liberal Democrats
Address in Leeds.
Matt Gibson – Labour Party
23 Cliffe Park Drive, Leeds LS12 4XG.
As a Wortley man, I was honoured to represent our community on Leeds City Council between May 2018 and May 2019.
Since then, I’ve been working hard as a volunteer for Armley Helping Hands assisting vulnerable people shielding from coronavirus throughout Wortley and Farnley; volunteering with, advising and helping to establish the Community Soul food bank in Wortley; and I became a governor at Lawns Park Primary School.
I appreciate that national issues were a big factor in the way people voted in 2019. But this year I’m asking you to vote for me based on my track record of getting things done when I was a councillor.
I have listed below just some of the things I got done whilst I was your councillor:
- Installation of a crossing patrol outside Lawns Park Primary School and Farnley Academy
- Essential road resurfacing on Green Hill Lane and Low Moorside Lane
- A defibrillator installed outside New Farnley Community Centre
- Set up and organised an annual community fun day held outside Hillside Hall Community Centre for families across the ward
- Had a deep clean carried out on Whitehall Road Held regular community litter picks, including at Farnley Reservoir where divers were deployed to remove rubbish
- New road markings on Lynwood View and Dixon Lane, addressing safety concerns raised by residents
- Knee-high fencing installed around the play area on Bawn Avenue to protect children
- A new roof funded for the 24th South West Leeds scout hut
- Lots of new bins installed across the ward, including at litter hot spots like Farnley Reservoir and around the Bawns.
I got these things done within one year as a new councillor. If I’m elected in May, I want to add to this list by sorting LUFC matchday parking, cleaning up our roads, stopping illegal dumping and much more.
Cormac John Trigg – Conservative Party
Address in Leeds.
I am a keen 22 year old ready to bring my energy to local politics, with the goal of improving the lives of everyday people in our community.
I am a passionate environmentalist, and want to encourage community led, grassroots approaches to protecting and enhancing our local environment and green spaces.
Having lived across Leeds for the past five years, I have seen a continued decline in the quality of our local environment, and have heard a lot of talk but no action from Leeds City Council to fix the situation.
If elected, I would do my part in holding the Council to account for its failure to effectively tackle the issues we face.
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.