Friday, 31 May 2019

Press Release - Mirfield Town Councillor Steve Benson joins the Green Party

Kirklees Green Leader Cllr Andrew 
A Mirfield Town Councillor has left the Conservatives to join the Green Party.  Steve Benson who is a Town Councillor for the Crossley Ward of Mirfield Town Council said , 

"As a Green Party Councillor, for Mirfield, I will continue to carry out the hard work I have done for Mirfield over the last four years. I feel that I can do more for Mirfield as a Green for our environment, and the flooding problems we have with the River Calder. My achievements to date as a  Mirfield town councillor consist of work to provide and direct information to repair the retaining wall at Newgate adjacent to the River Calder. and the same for the retaining wall at Crossley lane which holds back the playing field.

I fought a long campaign to help put a stop to the development of Balderstone Field which in October 2018 the proposed development was brought to a successful conclusion and the residents and campaigners won"

In the May local elections the Green Party pushed Labour into 3rd place, by one vote, making them the new challengers to the Conservatives in the Mirfield Ward.

Green Party Leader on Kirklees Council Andrew Cooper said,

"It's great to welcome Steve as a new Green Party member . I've seen many of the environmental projects Steve has championed on the Project Mirfield website and it is clear he will be a real asset to the Green cause as he already is to the community he represents"

Councillor Cooper expanded on the growing voice of Greens at the local level in Kirklees.

"As Steve has joined the Green Party this means that we now have representatives on 4 out of the 5 Parish Councils in Kirklees. In the May local elections we won 10 seats on Kirkburton Parish Council. In the Wooldale Ward Darryl Gould topped the Poll to become our representative on Holme Valley Parish Council and Sonia King has recently been coopted onto Meltham Town Council. What they all share is a positive commitment to improve the environment in the area they live and I look forward to working with them."

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Kirklees Elections 2019 - Newsome Campaign reflections

Councillor Sue Lee-Richards and team at the count
Obviously I'm really pleased that Sue Lee-Richards our new Green Party Candidate for Newsome Ward won big this year. She was defending Julie Stewart-Turner's seat and you always wonder how a new candidate will fare with the electorate. The  result saw our largest majority since 2000, our vote share rose to 63%. Lots of factors played in our favour. Our solid year round work and some very tangible successes were always going to play well which has seen us through 18 election wins on the trot. We were further helped by the frustration of electors with Labour and the Conservatives over the way they have handled the Brexit shambles as were Greens Independents and Lib Dems around the country.

The Labour Campaign this year was quite different  from last years. Then the Labour campaign was misleading, unpleasant and went down badly with electors. The new Labour candidate decided to focus his whole campaign on saving Huddersfield Royal Infirmary and made no mention was made of other more local issues at all. A lot of the Labour literature was unintelligible to anyone other than a committed Health Campaigner and even then it vastly overstated the influence a Council has over NHS decisions. The headline on their leaflet said "Hands of HRI" I think they meant "Hands Off HRI"

We again had the intervention in the election from the local developer who dug up the Newsome Bowling Green and said he was supporting Labour this year because he had been "victimised" by Green Councillors and me in particular. Lots I could say about this but think I'll give it a miss on this occasion.

The day before the election a large number of Green Party posterboards were removed from lamp posts overnight and taken away by persons unknown. Though Labour boards were left untouched I'm confident the Labour Party didn't remove them.

During our campaign we focused on issues of concern to local people and promoted our strong record of action in the community. Sue won BIG with our largest majority for 19 years with 2455 votes.

We never assume in elections that we will win and always contest them vigorously and were really pleased with the enthusiastic support and encouragement we received from local people.