Council publishes greenbelt review – Covers up details of locations

We recently pushed for all Council working group meetings to be held in public. The working party for the greenbelt review did just that recently. Sadly however the report was written in a way to deliberately obscure what bits of greenbelt in Calderdale were likely to be re-designated. The detailed list that contains all the reviews of each parcel of reviews are all contained in an Annex to the report which members of the working party were not given, and which hasn’t been put out into the public domain.

So much for transparency on Calderdale Council!

You can download the report and papers for the meeting here. Good luck in trying to work out how a local bit of greenbelt near you has been assessed though.


We need Cross-Party Working on Local Brexit Effects

We are calling on councillors from across the political parties to be involved in facing the local challenges of the UK leaving the European Union.

Leaving the EU will affect Calderdale Council and the people of Calderdale and the Council as a whole needs to start working now to ensure that any harm is minimised. I have therefore asked that the Council establish a cross-party steering group as soon as possible.

A number of issues come immediately to mind: What will happen to the European funding received by the Council and how will this impact on our plans? What will we do to offer advice and support to local businesses? What plans are there in place in terms of economic hardship that could arise if firms relocate, if prices go up, or interest rates rise?

I am sure that others will have further issues to discuss and that important issues will arise in the future.

Although we think our country would have been better served by remaining in Europe, we will be working as hard as possible on the Council to ensure Calderdale is well placed to tackle any of the challenges ahead.

The people were lied to, the brexit dream they were promised will be an economic nightmare


Millions of people have been lied to on an industrial scale. They were promised an extra £350M for the NHS, sold a dream of what life would be like outside of the EU. Told the election was really about immigration. This morning we are waking up to an economic nightmare as markets across the world react to the economic suicide we have just committed.  People will soon wake up to the fact that there is no £350M extra for our NHS. That things haven’t improved, that their streets are still dirty, that the roads still have potholes that they are in fact even poorer than they were before.

Farage said this is a ‘war’. It isn’t a war. We need less inflammatory language in our politics. It is however a debate about the future of our country. This debate will be ongoing. It looks at this stage of the morning that the leave campaign have just scrapped to a marginal victory. The country is still hugely divided on this issue. Large areas such as London and Scotland wanted to remain.  Many younger people who will live with this decision also wanted to remain. In a few years time public opinion could easily shift to wanting to be a part of Europe again, especially if people realise they were lied to and experience the economic fallout of yesterday’s historic referendum.



Tonight our thoughts are with Jo Cox’s family

This evening many of us are reacting to the shocking news that one of our West Yorkshire MPs Jo Cox was brutally killed whilst serving her community.
Jo was a passionate supporter of positive contribution immigrants can bring to our communities, the plight of Syrian refugees, and the need to stay a member of the European Union. These are all causes and values that many Liberal Democrats hold dear.

Tonight we stand shoulder to shoulder with the politicians in West Yorkshire’s Labour movement who we know and work alongside with . Many of whom will be grieving the loss of a friend. Our thoughts go out to Jo’s family, no child should lose a mother and no husband should lose a wife in such a hateful act. We hope some small crumb of comfort is taken in the knowledge that the values that Jo stood for will never be extinguished as easily as her life was brutality taken today.

All of our local campaigning for the European Referendum is currently suspended in respect of Jo. We will return to this campaign with zeal however, and return to it in the knowledge that we are fighting for light, peace, and international cooperation against the tide of dark nationalistic hatred that is sweeping our country.

I condemn the homophobia of Councillor Roger Taylor


I’m calling on Calderdale Conservative’s to take action against the hateful homophobia of Councillor Roger Taylor. Offensive and insensitive language like this directed at a minority group within our society is totally unacceptable. The bile and spite that he spews in response to an invite to a remembrance vigil  stands totally opposed to the values of tolerance, openness and liberalism that we uphold.

Cllr Taylor has previous form of sending totally unacceptable and offensive emails. The Conservative party needs to take action to make it clear that he does not stand for their views.


Traffic Calming – Mount Pellon School Battison Road – Now to include Blackwood Grove

The Council has drawn up plans that would see humps outside of Mount Pellon School on Battison Road. I’m personally in favour of traffic calming outside of all schools, and would very much like to see a scheme like this outside of Ling Bob School and Christ Church too.

One problem with the Battison Raod scheme as initially drawn up was that it missed off Blackwood Grove. There is a nursery entrance to the school along this road so it made sense for it to be included too. After a resident raised this issue I got in contact with the Council officer responsible for drawing up the plans. The good news is that today he has confirmed that Blackwood Grove will be included in the scheme.

I’ve amended the plans so that they provide for three round-topped road humps and a new warning sign to be provided on Blackwood Grove, as suggested.

Mini Roundabout at Junction of Highroad Well Lane, Court Lane, Paddock Lane

I recently raised  safety concerns about the mini roundabout at the junction of Highroad Well Lane, Court Lane, and Paddock Lane. I was hoping perhaps that there might be an engineer solution that would make this roundabout safer as currently a number of drivers are cutting across it and making dangerous manoeuvres on it.
Today I got a reply from the Council’s road safety officer. It seems a bit like passing the buck here to the Police. No doubt if we contact the Police they will say the Council needs to make improvements to the road to improve safety! I’m not convinced the Police have anything like the traffic enforcement capacity to deal with problems like this.
Dear Cllr Baker
Thank you for raising your concern over the illegal driving behaviour taking place at the mini roundabout at the junction of Highroad Well Lane, Court Lane and Paddock Lane. The issue of taking action against such behaviour lies with the Police and we would encourage those who have raised the matter with you to approach the Police on the issue.
Kind regards
Road Safety Officer

We don’t back either party, we do what we think is right!

Labour say the Liberal Democrats always vote with the Conservatives. The Conservatives bemoan the fact we vote with Labour. The truth is that Calderdale Liberal Democrats vote for what we think is right for the people of Calderdale based on our own values, and our own principles.

This hasn’t stopped Labour from making the claim on leaflets that Lib Dems have ‘time after time voted with the Conservatives instead of joining Labour to stand up for Calderdale. IMG_3222

We decided to fact check this. Out of 57 votes in the last year 70% had cross party agreement from all three parties. Shock horror folks local politicans actually all agreed with each other on 70% of the topics that came to the vote at Council.

In actual fact there were no votes where we voted just with the Conservatives and without Labour. There have been in previous years though, it just depends on what the issue is as how the other two parties vote doesn’t effect how we vote as we have our own ideas and views.

There were 11 votes where we voted with Labour but not the Conservatives. There was 1 vote where the Conservatives and Labour voted together but not us (this was senior officer pay policy). There were two votes where we abstained and different Labour and Conservatives voted differently. There are three that are uncertain or we couldn’t ascertain.

Total No of Votes 57 %
Con+Lab+LD 40 70%
Con+LD (Not Lab) 0 0%
Lab+LD (Not Con)* 11 19%
Con+Lab (Not LD)** 1 2%
LD abstain, Con + Lab vote differently 2 4%
Uncertain*** 3 5%

You can see the table that we used to work all this out. It is possible there are a few mistakes, it’s not always clear to work these things out as there is no electronic system on Calderdale Council that automatically records things.

Action being taken by your Lib Dem team on problems around Battinson Road area


Fly-tipping on side roads off Battinson Road- Action taken with these being reported to the Council.



Abandoned car – reported to the Police and the Council for removal and investigation. We found disused needles nearby and evidence of drug use.



Dogs neglected and left in their own mess on Dyson Road. Reported to Council and the RSPCA. (sorry this picture doesn’t want to rotate)




Here is what it is like to live in Halifax under a Labour run Council

When you talk to people who have lived in Halifax a long time they will tell you how nice all the terraces looked, how people used to look after the place, how the Council kept the area clean. Roll onto 2016 and the place is looking like a rubbish tip. People have to live amongst this squalor. A mixture of cutbacks, a lack of tidy behaviour from residents, and Council money wasted elsewhere rather than being spent on anti-litter campaigns has resulted in rubbish just piling up in the streets.

It’s clear we need a two pronged attack to tackle the grime. An education campaign that encourages people to take pride in where they live, and a tougher approach at enforcement. There are companies that could do this enforcement for the Council, simply collecting their income from the revenue raised in fines. The proceeds of these fines could be put towards an education campaign.

All it requires is the political will to make this happen, and sadly the current Labour administration seem unwilling to tackle this sort of problem, preferring instead big vanity regeneration projects like redoing the Piece Hall or Northgate Library.