Fresh blood in the Town Hall
From Jason Elliott
Wednesday, 24 November 2010
With local Town Council elections coming up next May, and the rumour of up to eight of the current councillors standing down for various reasons, maybe now is a good time for a fresh set of faces and opinions guiding Hebden Royd through the next few years?
The recent event put on by Jason Boom, our new and energetic Town Clerk, designed to show prospective candidates what the role entailed and some of the exciting projects in the pipeline (like the possible takeover of the Picture House) was very poorly attended.
Although they had plenty of notice, neither the Labour nor Lib Dem parties sent a single person, so could this be the perfect opportunity for some energetic independent councillors to take the town forward?
This is your town and, yes, you get your say at the ballot box, but if you really want to make a change why not put yourself forward as a candidate? It doesn't cost anything to stand.
You don't need to sign up to a political party and follow someone elses rules about how to vote, (lets face it, none of the parties are particularly covering themselves in glory right now), you just need to stand up for what you care about and what you think is right.
It's also worth noting that while you do need to be over 18, you don't necessarily need to be over 40!
If you're interested, Jason Boom will be holding another introduction in the new year so drop him a line on firstname.lastname@example.org or give him a call on 01422 842181.
From Rev Tony Buglass
Sunday, 28 November 2010
Not disagreeing with any of the above, but - am I the only one who is worried by the title of this thread? I mean, I've chaired some pretty lively committees in my time, but are town hall meetings that bad? Puts pacifists at a disadvantage, if you ask me... Do volunteers have to sign a disclaimer, that their families will deal with the funeral if they get killed during a meeting? And is that better than dying of boredom, which is more likely in most committees?
From Jason Boom
Wednesday, 1 December 2010
For all those interested we will again be offering a chance to learn more about your Town Council and what being a Councillor entails on Thursday 17th February 2011 at 7.30pm in the Town Hall.
The previous news article includes information as does this website.
We hope nobody will die of boredom, although we cannot promise that a little blood will not get spilt.
From Jonathan Timbers
Monday, 6 December 2010
As a former town councillor, I strongly support this initiative to encourage more people from the community to stand for the town council. I hope it is successful.
Some years I ago, I stood Labour down from the town council in the expectation that it would encourage more genuine politics and less superficial party political sniping. I believed that the town council should be a place where community and voluntary sector voices could be heard over the white noise of party politics. This was not successful, and the local Labour Party understandably decided to stand candidates again some years later. Since the change in policy, I think they have avoided stupid party political spats and done a very good job.
Personally, I feel I could only stand as an independent candidate at this level (though I still see the need for party politics on Calderdale and in Westminster), but would not if I had to stand against an official Labour candidate, to whom I would give my support.
Also, I would not wish to do stand under the 'independent' label as I think that it is misleading. People speak on behalf of different interest groups, of which there are a number in Hebden Bridge. I want to vote for someone who is prepared to speak up on behalf of working class people in Hebden Bridge (or whatever you want to call the different socio-economic groups who tend to be less well-off, respected and listened to than the more petty-bourgeois vocal elements here), so 'labour' or 'socialist' tends to attract my vote rather than 'liberal', 'Green' or 'independent'.
If independent candidates stand, they need to do so under labels and with detailed manifestos which help to identify their values and policies or run the risk of boring us even more than party politics used to do before Tory/ Liberal coalition cuts began to dominate our lives.
From Susan Press
Thursday, 23 December 2010
Just a few points:
1. It is not so there were no Labour councillors at the Jason Boom meeting and there were several LP members present, including several who have since expressed to me an interest in standing as Labour candidates.
2. Labour hopes to stand a full slate of candidates in Hebden Royd.
Had it not been for Labour councillors locally, we would not have had initiatives like the Environmental Warden, Project Manager etc all of whom have done fantastic jobs attracting extra funding and investment.
3.The Town hall needs Labour councillors to systematically fight consistent attempts by Lib Dems and others non-aligned to cut funding and community grants.
In the coming period, we have a chance to ensure the future of the Picture House, take the Calder Holmes park back into our ownership and protect as many services as we can in a period of cuts and more cuts.
4.I am not aware of eight councillors standing down.But even if some do I am being approached all the time be people willing to join Labour and do their best for the community.
It's not a time for fence-sitting. It's time for action. That doesn't mean party political spats - it means a Town Council committed to local services.
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