Top Marks for Northern Gas Networks

 

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Following a complaint about these service containers being placed on an unadopted road without permission I contacted Northern Gas Networks via email. I sent the email at at 7.25pm on Thursday night and despite this being out of work hours they had responded to me with a phone call in less than an hour. This phone call was then followed up by a second phone call from another member of their staff to confirm I was happy with the outcome. They informed me the containers would be removed by Monday at the latest, but they had removed them by Friday afternoon. Less than 24 hours of me complaining about them.

You have to give credit where they are due. I only wish every organisation I dealt as a Councillor displayed this level of customer service and competency!

Why didn’t back either Conservatives or Labour

The Liberal Democrat group on Calderdale Council took the decision to retain our independence and didn’t back either Conservative or Labour’s bid to run the Council. The consequence of this is that Labour as the largest political group on the Council went ahead and formed a minority administration.

It probably would have been possibly to try and do a deal with either party, if we had done so we would have gained some additional positions of power on the Council. Instead we took the decision that it was more important to focus on retaining our independence, so we are free to set out our own values. We took a stance that puts our principles ahead of attempts to grab power.

Additionally the Conservative government unrestrained by Liberal Democrats moderating influence is intent on introducing a further £12Bn of welfare cuts, scrapping the Human Rights Act and risking our economy with the uncertainty of a referendum on our place in Europe. In this situation we would have struggled to continue supporting a Conservative administration on the Council.

This year we were the only political party to actually produce a manifesto for Calderdale Council. Our manifesto was created entirely from the ideas contributed by local members. This is what we offer to residents who vote for us in local elections. A genuine democratic model of local government, in which local members get to determine the issues and priorities of the Council.

Our manifesto includes commitments to reform how Calderdale Councils operates, returning it to the democratic committee system, involving residents in how local services are run, and putting local people in charge rather than delegating responsibility to a small group of senior officers. We will strive as an independent, Liberal and democratic party to implement these changes.

Update on Housing Development down at Maltings Site

There is currently a housing development going on down by the Maltings College in Fountinhead Village. The development is on the old depo site, which is known locally as ‘the slab’ by some residents. The development of 47 affordable homes is being undertaken by the Housing Association ‘Home Group. The development has been set back though as the builder (Southdale) has gone into administration. We are now in a situation where the Housing Association is trying to find another builder to continue the development.

Concerns have been raised with me by residents with regards to issues of land contamination. The developer did submit details covering land contamination and our Environmental Health team made the following comment on that submission:

“Contaminated Land: Condition 5 – The Contaminated Land report by Solmek of 2014, is a good report that details the issues well for this site. I am pleased to see they have identified issues and solutions for remediation of the site: Please accept that the remediation proposals are approved, but to acknowledge that the condition cannot be marked as satisfied until the validation report for the land contamination issues have been submitted and approved.”

Following the query from a resident, and my question of the situation the Council will investigate to ensure that the builders Southdale going into administration hasn’t had any adverse impact on the remedial solutions for dealing with any contamination on the site.  I hope this helps alleviate any concerns local residents may have concerning the matter.

Big litter clean up around Mount Pellon

 

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On Wednesday morning I joined Council workers and residents for big litter and household waste blitz in the area around Mount Pellon School on Queensway and Batterson Rd. This area has to be one of the worst in the ward for litter and junk and rubbish left in people’s yards. It was amazing just how much stuff got filled into skips. Sadly this isn’t a long term solution, this type of litter blitz from the Council is good work, but I think we need a much more concerted effort to try and change the mindset that says it’s acceptable just to throw junk and rubbish on the floor.

Calderdale Big Clean

Calderdale Council is conducting a ‘big clean’. This is big community clear up event where members of the public get together with Council officers to clean up their neighborhood. There are events happening all over Calderdale, but here are the details for the one taking part in Warley ward

Wednesday 27 May – Pellon area, meeting on Queensway at 10am. Working from Queensway to ASDA Skips are being provided in the Mixenden and Pellon clean ups, with support from the Ovenden and Mixenden Initiative and Pennine Housing

Posters everywhere, thank you!

Thank you so much everyone who has put up a poster or a poster board to show their support for my re-election campaign. Walking or driving around it’s clear how many people are going to be backing me in this campaign. All the things i’ve managed to do for Warley Ward and all the people i’ve been able to help was only possible because people voted for me in 2012. With a week to go i’m confident but not complancent I can win this election.

If you would like to put up a poster too I still have a few left. Simply call or text me on 07817 605 162

Boards

Re-election campaign gathering strength

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I’ve been campaigning hard to get re-elected so I can continue to represent you as one of your Councillors in Warley ward. You probably will have seen all the posters and garden posters that have gone up around the ward. Thank you so much if you have agreed to take one. If you haven’t got one already just get in touch with me and I’ll drop one off for you. Thanks as well to the residents who have offered to help delivering some of my elections leaflets or who have donated to my campaign.

I know some people are getting a bit of sick of the leaflets from all political parties, it’s just a few more weeks to go now though then it will all be over! If you can offer any help in the final weeks of my campaign please do get in touch.

Pothole blues

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Anyone driving around Warley ward can’t helped to have noticed we are inundated with potholes at the moment. Over the past week or so some of these potholes appear to have been marked out, raising hopes that at some point they might be filled in. The problem is though when the Council finally does fill them in they do such a temporary quick job.

Next time you are driving down Sandbeds Rd just take a look at how the repairs done last year already need re-doing. As a  Council we must spend a fortune on these temporary repairs, perhaps it’s better we just bite the bullet and get the whole road re-surfaced properly?

It’s not like the Council is sort of money in the Highways department either. Last year the budget was underspent by around £0.75m, which is an amazing mismanagement on behalf of the first Labour and then Conservative portfolio holders who managed the department during the year. This underspend was then subject to the budget debate as Labour proposed using that underspend on other priorities. This would have cut almost £800,000 from the Highways budget which could have made the potholes even worst.

 

Tackling litter and fly-tipping

 

Litter and rubbish around parts of the wards are terrible at the moment. In past budgets the Liberal Democrats have done what they can to protect the Safer Cleaner Greener teams that help to tackle this problem. When I am out and about delivering my Focus leaflets I regularly report instances of fly-tipping I come across. In the past few days I’ve reported problems at the following sites:

· Paddock Lane, Halifax, West Yorkshire
· Beckenham Place, Halifax, West Yorkshire
· Pathway at Queensway, Halifax, West Yorkshire
· Bin store Byron Street, Halifax, West Yorkshire

If you come across an instance of fly-tipping yourself you can report it on-line using the Council’s website, or feel free to get in touch with me and I’ll report it for you.

Money from the £5,000 community funding scheme I established is also being used to help tackle problems of litter in the ward. £500 is going towards a clean up taking place in May in the Mount Pellon area, and some money has gone towards the  litter clean up day that the Friends of West View Park carried out.

Improving the cleanliness of our streets is also part of our local election manifesto:

Improve our streets: Many streets across Calderdale are in need of repair. We would invest to resurface our streets, protect gritting services and put efforts into ensuring our streets are free of litter and dog fouling.

Read our local Calderdale manifesto

Our local election manifesto sets out our ambitions to improve local services. To date we are the only political party in Calderdale to publish a local election manifesto for the local Council elections that take place on May 7th, the same day as the general election.

The manifesto sets out policies and ideas we would implement if we were running the Council. Some of the highlights of their manifesto include:

  • A commitment to resurface local roads.
  • Reforming the Council’s top heavy management structure and sharing “back office” functions with other local organisations and services to make the Council more efficient.
  • Exploring the possibility of the debt on Calderdale Royal Hospital being bought out to get rid of the debt that Labour saddled local people with.
  • Continuing to improve waste collection and recycling to include garden waste and plastics.
  • Involving local people more in how the Council makes decisions through consultations, ward forums, web casting meetings and opening up planning committees.

Our local election manifesto is full of ideas from our grass roots members who are all Calderdale residents.  All of our members were invited to attend our manifesto day where everyone had a chance to discuss and put forward ideas to be included in the manifesto. As a democratic party our members who are all local Calderdale residents have had a real say in shaping this manifesto.

On May 7th there are two elections and people will have two decisions to make. This manifesto demonstrates our serious commitment to improving local services and the difference voting Liberal Democrat locally will make.

Manifesto