Leeds election candidate profiles 2023: Farnley & Wortley Ward

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Leeds Civic Hall.
Leeds Civic Hall. Photo: John Baron/westleedsdispatch.com

Voters in Farnley & Wortley Ward will go to the polls on Thursday May 4, 2023 for the Leeds City Council elections. Voters will be electing one councillor.

Voters are reminded that from this year photo ID is needed to vote at polling stations. More details here. Your West Leeds Dispatch has written to candidates 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…

ARMITAGE, Natalia Justyna – Conservative Party

Address in Leeds.

BELLFIELD, Jack – Social Democratic Party

Address in Leeds.

GOLTON, Christine – Liberal Democrats

Address in Leeds.

Christine Golton is the mother of Cllr Stewart Golton, the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Leeds City Council.

Christine lives in Headingley, and appreciates that she is unlikely to be elected in a ward that has traditionally been a battleground for Labour and the Green Party (although the LibDems came within 34 votes of taking the seat in a byelection in the 90s!).

However, she is happy to stand so that dedicated local Liberal Democrat supporters can put a mark on the ballot paper that truly reflects their political preference.

LOCKWOOD, Bev – Independent

110 Green Hill Lane. Wortley LS12 4HG.

Bev Lockwood.

I’m passionate about defending freedom of speech, freedom of movement, truth, justice and upholding constitutional rights. 

I’m ex UK Forces and a former civil servant, now semi-retired. 

I moved to Wortley with my parents and siblings back in the early 1970s. I travelled with the RAF for 12 years and returned to Farnley, where I lived for 30 years, raising my children, before moving back to Wortley in 2021. It’s true to say that I know Farnley and Wortley like the back of my hand. Many of my wider family also live in the ward. 

I’m standing as an Independent candidate because I believe that political parties appear too often swayed by lobbyists and conflicts of interest. I would love to see political parties and their central funding removed from local politics and a move towards independent democracy within my city. 

A major issue within Farnley & Wortley is the lack of realistically priced rental properties and the unavailability of council / social housing. This situation is getting worse. I have a desire to investigate novel, creative short term solutions for accommodation within our ward. I want to talk with like-minded people to discuss thoughts and ideas; entrepreneurs, socially conscious construction businesses etc. I want to talk to people / families who are going through the nightmare of finding a home they can actually afford to pay for, without access to social benefits. 

Another issue I feel strongly about is the random blocking of streets within our ward, badged as Active Travel Neighbourhoods. These plans have no basis in reason and in reality will only cause knock on effect traffic on other roads in Wortley and Farnley. I would be very happy to help people fight these impositions on our freedom of movement. 

MCCLUSKEY Adrian – Labour Party

9 Dragon Drive, Wortley, Leeds, LS12 4AS.

Adrian McCluskey.

My name is Adrian McCluskey and I am so proud to be standing for election in my home of 32 years, Farnley and Wortley.

During that time, I’ve served as chair of governors for one of our local primary schools and I’ve retired after a long career as an NHS mental health nurse and manager. My wife and I raised our son here and now I want to give something back to the community that has given me so much.  

Last year, the people of Farnley and Wortley elected Mark Sewards as their Labour councillor. Councillor Sewards has accomplished a lot in 11 months, but he can’t do it all on his own and there is so much more to do. He and I have skills that complement each other and huge ambition for the whole ward. Together, we will form a team that serves everyone who lives here. 

I want to continue our investment in Farnley and Wortley’s green spaces. Money has been secured to fund repairs, refurbishments and replacements in four of our children’s parks but I want to go further. Farnley Fish Pond is one of our forgotten jewels and should be restored to its former glory. 

I think it’s essential too that the strongest possible action is taken to both prevent anti-social behaviour (ASB) and punish those responsible for causing it. Too many residents still have to deal with the consequences of ASB and I will always be on their side. 

Having lived on Dragon Drive for three decades, I know too well the parking and speeding problems that plague our ward. I will work hard to find solutions to some of these problems as your councillor. 

Please help us continue the change we all started last year. Please cast your vote for Labour. Vote McCluskey! 

ROLLINSON, Mark – Green Party

16 Aberdeen Grove, Armley, Leeds, LS12 3QY.

Mark Rollinson.

I am a 50-year-old father of three grown-up children and I have spent the last six years supporting Green Party councillors with their work in Farnley and Wortley.

I care for the community and its wellbeing. I have a history of working with community groups, securing funding and delivering actions and events to enrich the lives and experiences of local people.

Through this I have seen first-hand some of the fantastic individuals and groups who are working hard to make a positive and lasting difference in our community. It is my aim to do everything in my power to support these groups and help them grow stronger, more resilient and to help Farnley and Wortley to thrive.

One of my passions is for sports and the great things it can do for individuals and the wider community. I will do everything possible to protect the sports facilities we have in our ward from the Labour council’s obsession with building houses on them. I will also look for every opportunity to increase the facilities available.

As a Green candidate, another passion is for our parks and green spaces. It is important these are maintained to a high standard and are safe for all to use. I will be a strong supporter to all the Friends of parks groups in our area, who who my Green Party colleague has been so instrumental in re-establishing.

I am hardworking, results driven and will not rest until we have resolutions to the important issues around parking, litter and anti-social behavior in our area. Like you, I want to see safe, tidy and secure streets. I want everybody to feel safe within the community and to see opportunity and choices for all. 

Please elect me as your councillor for Farnley and Wortley on 4 May so I have the opportunity to deliver for our community. 

WHITEHEAD, Andrea – Reform UK

Address in Leeds.

Andrea Whitehead.

I am a retired successful businesswoman and have lived in West Leeds for the past 25 years, the last seven in Lower Wortley.

I am standing for election for The Reform Party, a common sense, down-to-Earth party. We need a change in politics, especially in the local elections. 

Lower Wortley will get Lower Traffic Neighbourhoods in the Highfield and Dragon areas that will direct traffic down Dixon Lane, so the Five Lane Ends roundabout will need modifying. It will affect residents and local businesses, the beating heart of the community, as well as delaying emergency ambulances getting to critically ill patients. 

The race for net zero is making us all poorer, and I’m absolutely against it.

The flooding on the Ring Road is an ongoing problem and has been for many many years. I can’t believe the main artery to the motorway network is allowed to be disabled in this way. Yorkshire Water and LCC need to work together to find a solution.

I’d campaign for more PCSOs in the area, and a higher police presence. The rise in burglary and car theft is alarming, as most of our area is street parking only. 

Leeds recycling centres need to start accepting free of charge the restricted waste category imposed some years ago. Not doing so encourages fly tipping.

Farnley and Wortley needs more proper social housing for families, not affordable housing, but safe accommodation for families. There are plenty of areas to build on without affecting our many parks and sports grounds, which are very important to us. 

I am a no-nonsense sort of person, but very chatty, honest and approachable. I’d always do my very best to resolve any issues that are important to you as they would be important to me too. If I couldn’t I would tell you why. I can’t say any fairer than that. 

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