Voters in Pudsey 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.
You can find your polling station here.
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 …
Jude Arbuckle, Liberal Democrats Party
209 Hall Lane, Horsforth, LS18 5EG
Mick Coulson, Labour Party
23A The Towers, off Hilltop Road, Leeds, LS12 3SQ
I have been proud to be elected as Councillor for Pudsey for over 20 years. During that time I have been actively involved in and engaged with numerous community activities, key decisions and development plans for Pudsey.
My role as Chair of the Outer West Community Committee means that I am at the heart and forefront of decisions relating to the support of community groups and ventures. This includes allocating funding streams to local projects and events such as the Christmas lights switch on, Pudsey in Bloom and Pudsey Carnival .
I am a community champion and work closely with the neighbourhood policing teams and council teams to ensure that the residents of Pudsey get the best possible services.
One of my key strengths is in working with voluntary organisations and supporting them and helping them to achieve their full potential. A striking example of this is my ongoing portfolio with Swinnow Community Centre. Two years ago this community centre was earmarked for closure, but with my input and expertise, and the support I have given to the amazing group of volunteers, I am proud to say in 2017 the centre won the ‘Best Community Centre in Leeds Award’.
I look forward to continuing my work for Pudsey alongside Richard, and welcoming Lou into our team so that we can continue to deliver for the people of Pudsey with a strong Labour team. I urge people to use their three votes for Pudsey’s Labour team.
Lou Cunningham, Labour Party
8 Arksey Terrace, Leeds, LS12 2NQ
I am delighted to be standing as the new Labour candidate for Pudsey.
My background is in nursing and third sector work, and I have been an active campaigner for local communities in West Leeds for many years.
During this time I have built strong relationships with voluntary groups and organisations within the area. I feel very strongly that community cohesion is a key factor in shaping change and betterment within people’s lives.
I am enthusiastic and a great communicator and some of my main strengths lie within organising and empowering individuals within communities to unite and share ideas, identify common ground and bring plans to fruition.
Issues that matter to me, especially as a mum and a nurse, are health and social care, childcare and family provision. Other areas which I feel are at the heart of community wellbeing are housing and community safety.
The hard work of the existing Pudsey Labour Councillors, Mick Coulson, Josie Jarosz and Richard Lewis in these areas is evident within the community.
I feel honoured to have been selected to take on the legacy of dedication and commitment that Josie has established. I would urge people to use their three votes for the Labour team, so that I can join them to continue listening to and working for the people of Pudsey.
I believe that it is crucial to maintain a strong Labour council in our city, making good local policy which empowers people, and allows families and communities to develop and grow.
Christine Glover, Liberal Democrats
3 Harker Terrace, Stanningley, Pudsey, LS28 6BL
Mark Harrison, Conservative Party
2 Chapeltown, Pudsey, LS28 8QR
I moved to Pudsey when I was six months old, and apart from a few years in between I’ve lived here all my life.
Now living with my wife and children, both of whom are at local schools, I am passionate about the town. I am standing for election, with Simon Seary and Mark Neve, because I am sorry to see how Pudsey has become neglected and without a proper voice for its residents.
I’ve got to know Simon Seary better through my involvement with the Pudsey Carnival, and have since taken the decision to stand with him for election.
My wife works in the centre of Leeds, and travels in every day – so when Cllr Lewis said that “Leeds doesn’t have a traffic problem” it didn’t ring true. It feels as if Pudsey isn’t represented by people who live and work in the same realm as the rest of us – I wanted to stand for election to redress that balance.
Pudsey is a great place to live, but is ‘punching below its weight’. I want to stand up for the town, and give it the voice it deserves.
Helen Hart, Green Party
11 Hawley Way, Morley, Leeds, LS27 0SA
I came to Leeds in 1978 to study French at Trinity and All Saints College. After falling in love with the city, I made it my home and currently live in Morley.
I am a self-employed driving instructor and also own a business importing and selling African crafts. I joined the Green Party three years ago as they shared my views on fracking.
I am standing in Pudsey because I want to make a difference to the local community. I have recognised the need for ordinary people to get involved in local politics.
Transport is a massive issue in Pudsey. The buses are late or don’t show up at all, the car park at New Pudsey Station is always full and the cycle path is poorly designed and therefore underused.
The Green Party in Leeds is working on a rail vision that will revolutionise transport in our city and the wider region. It will connect local communities and reinvigorate forgotten areas. Even as a driving instructor I recognise the need to get cars off the road for the good of our city and its residents.
Planning is an important part of getting our city moving: where houses and businesses are placed matters and I will oppose any unsustainable developments.
If elected I would take the lower councillor allowances that the Green Group of councillors currently accept (9% lower than Labour and the Conservatives). I believe in community empowerment and engagement and I would represent the people of Pudsey.
Martin Hughes, Liberal Democrats
Aire Cottage, 1 Fleet Through Road, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 4LP
Richard Lewis, Labour Party
173 Smalewell Road, Pudsey, LS28 8HT
I’m very proud to be a member of Labour’s team of councillors for Pudsey, along with Mick Coulson and Josie Jarosz. Mick’s dedication to Pudsey is second to none and Josie has been a fantastic chair of our local forums. We’ve been very lucky to find Lou Cunningham as Josie’s replacement. Lou is a thoughtful and caring person who is great at bringing out the best in people and getting them to work together.
Lots have been achieved by the team over the last few years:
- We’ve upgraded all our parks and play areas
- We’ve built and expanded schools from Swinnow to Tyersal
- We’ve made our roads safer for all users
- We’ve protected our green space
- We’ve massively improved the condition of our council housing
- We’ve brought about environmental improvements in the town centre and many other locations
Because councils have experienced the biggest cuts in government funding in history I think we all become cagey about making extravagant promises that we won’t be able to keep, but I would like to commit the team to:
- A big increase in car parking at New Pudsey station to encourage commuting
- A major improvement to Dawson’s Corner roundabout to reduce congestion
- A facelift for Richardshaw Lane from the viaduct up to the By-pass
Labour’s track record in Pudsey is of listening to what residents tell us and keeping our promises, no matter what setbacks we face. I urge all your Pudsey readers to use all three of their votes for Pudsey’s Labour team.
Mark Neve, Conservative Party
2 Crawshaw Close, Pudsey, LS28 7UF
I never set out to stand for election, but rather decided to put myself forward alongside Simon Seary (and Mark Harrison) because I became convinced that Pudsey deserved a stronger voice than it was getting.
I was born in Lincolnshire but have lived in Pudsey for a number of years. I’m married, and my wife and I chose Pudsey to bring up our young daughter, who attends a local nursery school. In short, I am invested in Pudsey – I work from home, too, so I see Pudsey every day: it needs new hope.
Take the market, for example. We are a market town, but the market needs investment if we are to deserve that title.
The hard-working traders need support – rather than building a space-ship bus station next door, approved by our current Labour councillors – I’d have preferred to see investment in the direction of the market. When the bus station was built, the market was not given the right sort of support.
At present, there appears to be nothing to retain people in Pudsey – even the car parks have become park and ride facilities to get in to Leeds. If we could free up a little more space in town then more would be available to support the local shops and businesses.
I’m fed up, too, at the amount of litter and dog mess that can be found on almost every street. Much of this is about better education – but we need more bins too.
We have so much potential in Pudsey, but for years we’ve been overlooked. If I am elected, with my fellow candidates in Simon Seary and Mark Harrison, we will be a far stronger voice for local people.
Conor O’Neill, The Yorkshire Party
24 New Street Grove, Pudsey, LS28 8EZ
Having lived in Pudsey my entire life I’ve been able to see what fantastic potential this community has.
The community spirit is evident in so many places, be it the local sports teams like Farsley Celtic where I am proud to say I spend many of my Saturdays, or in the great events that are put on by some superb local organisations we have in the area.
Unfortunately, I feel that Pudsey has been let down by Leeds City Council, houses are being built on an unsustainable level without the proper infrastructure in place to support increased numbers of residents.
Proper transport is necessary in a city like Leeds. Leeds is the largest city in Western Europe without a metro system of its own.
If elected, I, along with the Yorkshire Party, will campaign for a proper transport system for Leeds to help it fulfil its enormous potential. New houses are necessary but if they are to be built then there needs to be enough services in the area to support them.
If elected I would ensure that new housing permits are only granted if there is first the ability for the area to support new developments. Otherwise local areas can be overrun and lose their character like we have already seen in many parts of Pudsey where pubs and parks have been replaced with housing estates.
This will help us ensure fantastic sites like Greenside Tunnel are not recklessly destroyed.
Reach Leeds’ potential. Elect Yorkshire Party councillors this May.
Simon Seary, Conservative Party
4 Victoria Rise, Pudsey, LS28 7SU
Having been born in Swinnow, and lived in Pudsey for my whole life, I feel Pudsey needs a much stronger voice: I believe that I can be that voice.
I am standing for election because Pudsey needs much stronger advocates than it has right now. I am closely involved in a very wide range of local groups, and speak to residents all the time – I know they share my sadness at how Pudsey has declined over the years. Labour has a monopoly on Pudsey, and our three councillors have become complacent.
I’ve got fresh ideas, and a vision to bring Pudsey back to how it was.
First, I would make it a priority to get the basics right – fixing potholes and pavements, supplying more grit bins, and working to ensure that litter is reduced (not least by providing more litter bins).
Secondly, I would work with local businesses to give them what support they need to continue to create jobs, and provide vital services to our community. Our town needs them!
My other priority must be to protect our greenspaces from development. The plan to build 70,000 new houses – whichever way you cut it – are excessive. And they led to the ‘need’ to put great swathes of greenbelt on a list for development. If elected I would fight this every step of the way.
More Conservative councillors would also help to redress the balance in Leeds more widely – for example, reversing the decision to charge for disposing of waste at the tip (which is already leading to more flytipping).
I’ve used my position as Chairman of Pudsey Carnival to support the installation of 11 defibrillators in the town over the last three years – working as a community really can make a difference and I want to do even more if elected.
Local elections are about local issues – if you think that Pudsey deserves better, then I believe I am the man to deliver this, together with my colleagues Mark Neve and Mark Harrison.