May 2008 elections
Candidates tell the Hebden Bridge Web
why you should vote for them

Calder Ward
Cllr Janet Battye: Liberal Democrat Party
Beverley Carter: Conservative Party
Janet Oosthuysen – Labour & Co-op Party

Luddenden Foot Ward
Christine Bampton-Smith: Liberal Democrat Party
James Fearon – Labour Party
Sarah Jennings: Conservative Party

We would welcome contributions from the other candidates - 500 words (max) plus (optional) photo

Calder Ward - Hebden Bridge area

Cllr Janet Battye: LibDem candidate

Janet BattyeI am standing for re-election as a ward Councillor for Calder ward which includes Hebden Bridge, as a Liberal Democrat. I was first elected to Calderdale Council in Dec 2002, and re-elected in the all-out elections of 2004 when I topped the poll for the ward. I have worked hard over these 5 years and hope that local people will want me to continue as one of their Councillors.

Particular issues that I’ve been working on in Hebden Bridge include:

  • Supporting groups of local residents to resist planning applications such as the eco-homes in Blackshawhead, proposal for flats at Crow Nest, development at the end of Stubbing Holme Rd;
  • Developing proposals to return the Council offices to community ownership and use;
  • Helping to get more allotments in Hebden Bridge;
  • Contributing as a member of the Traffic Review Working Group to the streetworks, now chairing a Working Group on the possibility of relocating the market into Lees Yard;
  • Helping to get Central St brought up to standard
  • Continuing negotiations to reduce charges for community and voluntary groups to use the Picture House.

And also helping many individual people with particular problems with the Council, from getting sandbags for flooding, sorting out Council tax problems to overhanging trees cut back.

I am an active member of Hebden Bridge Partnership and involved with pursuing several of their priority projects. I represent the Council on the Ground Floor project. I am a Governor of Colden Junior and Infant school.

I am putting out leaflets that describes our election manifesto which is based on themes of

  • Fair and Caring;
  • Local and Listening;
  • Green and Clean, and
  • Efficient and Value for Money.

These are all attributes that a Liberal Democrat-run Council would provide for people. Above all, we think that it’s important that the Council engages in real consultation with local people, and provides services as local to where people live as possible: the opposite of the move to centralize services into Halifax. We have also been frustrated that the Conservative-run Council does not get things done promptly, or properly.

Our manifesto can be seen on our website and I am always pleased to hear from people: I can be contacted by email at

Beverley Carter - Conservative Party

Beverley CarterBeverley is 36 years old and is a local Travel Agency Manager. She has lived in Calderdale all of her life.

Beverley is proud that Conservative led Calderdale Council has just announced the lowest ever increase in Council Tax of just 2.5%.

This is in stark contrast to the 14% hike levied by the Lib-dem/Labour controlled Hebden Royd Town Council in their Parish rate this year” says Beverley.

She also supports ‘green’ initiatives being introduced locally:

“I fully support the traders of Hebden Bridge who are encouraging eco-friendly shoppers by issuing re-usable shopping bags rather than plastic carriers.  I think we should all be making an effort to save our environment”

Beverley is pledging to represent Calder with a strong voice and is determined to make sure that her Ward will be properly represented in Halifax Town Hall.

Janet Oosthuysen – Labour & Co-op Party Candidate

Janet OosthuysenI have lived and worked in Hebden Bridge since moving here with my three children in 1998. I know the area very well.

In 2003, I was with many who marched to express our outrage at the immoral and illegal war in Iraq.  In 2005 I organised the Make Poverty History demonstration in the square at the time of the G8 summit.  I am also on the steering committee of the anti-racist, anti-fascist campaign with the local group Calderdale Unity.

This year I have been campaigning:

  • for a Fair Wage in a Fair Trade Town, which champions employers that pay at least the minimum adult wage, currently £5.52, to all employees regardless of age
  • for action to improve Air Quality along the valley, particularly through measures to encourage more people to walk and cycle in the town, and through improvements to public transport
  • against the seemingly endless succession of new housing developments in the town, typified by the Garden Street proposals, which all add to car parking and air quality problems

I’ve been working hard to express my politics through action.  The best way to effect change is through communities working together. Too often, “community politics” seems more an election slogan than a way for people to achieve positive change in their communities.  People say they are “representing views” without really getting to know what is important to peoples’ lives.  This is not my politics. If there is no action resolved at the end of a meeting - other than another meeting - we are wasting our time because even small actions can have big consequences. 

For instance, we carried out a survey and campaigned at the station and in town for more cycle lockers – and they are coming soon.  70 people said they would use lockers if they were available, and if only half of them do so, the results will be 35 less cars at the station.  A practical effect.  

My priorities if elected are the following:


  • working for an integrated public transport system, especially lost bus routes, and to improve road safety across the ward.
  • Opposing Post Office closures
  • a fair wage for all local people

In Calderdale

  • more affordable housing.  Communities are only sustainable if all people, including those on lower incomes such as myself, can afford to live there.
  • better facilities for our young people, not just to see them as nuisances or threats to our safety. We need to find positive outlets for their energy and creativity and give them secure places to be.


  • serious measures to tackle climate change and to invest more in renewable energy without the nuclear option.
  • more action on child poverty and narrowing the gap between rich and poor.
  • a truly ethical foreign policy.

One thing many people find very irritating about politicians is that whilst they say they listen, too often they fail to act. This is something I want to change.

Luddenden Foot ward - covering Mytholmroyd, Luddenden Foot, Midgley and surrounding areas.

Christine Bampton-Smith: LibDem candidate

Christine Bampton-SmithChristine Bampton-Smith has been selected by the Local Liberal Democrat Branch, for a third time, to represent the Luddendenfoot Ward at the election on May 1st 2008.

Christine said, "It is an honour to be chosen again to stand in Luddendenfoot.

"In 2004 I was elected to serve this ward for a second time with a clear majority for the Liberal Democrats. As a ward councillor I have helped many local residents with issues and problems ranging housing and litter to planning and flooding. I will continue to work hard both in the Town Hall and in the ward. I believe in getting things done for my ward members and try  to get the best outcome to a problem.

"One of my main concerns is Affordable Housing  - whilst chair of the Community Services Scrutiny Panel, I arranged a full seminar on the subject with many different contributors including an estate agent and a teenage homeless person. I have been urging the authority to increase the proportion of affordable housing within developments and also to deliver sustainability.
"I have lived in the ward for over thirty years and hope to be elected in May to continue to work for the community and campaign for change in Calderdale to make it a better place for everyone to live, work and enjoy.

"I am proud to be part of the Liberal  Democrat Team which works hard to try and help  people  with a wide range of concerns. Commitment to the Ward is my promise."

Christine is married and has two grown up children. She works part-time at Leeds College of Art and Design.

James Fearon – Labour Party

James FearonJames Fearon moved to Calder Valley in 2000 with his partner Melanie and their son Ennis.  A M.A. graduate from the Royal College of Art, James is now a full-time lecturer at Bolton University.

In 2007 he campaigned on behalf of local communities in Luddendenfoot Ward against the plague of ‘rat runs’ in Friendly, Midgley and Boulderclough.

James says “Luddendenfoot Ward has a striking valley location, flourishing industrial parks, walkers’ groups, plans for a state-of-the-art swimming pool in Mytholmroyd,  and  a zero-carbon Civic Centre at Luddendenfoot. Here’s our basis for developing a central identity a focal point for our community: better parking provision at the Mytholmroyd railway station and more 20 mph traffic zones are essential for the transport infrastructure for our community. It’s high time Luddendenfoot had a bigger wedge of the resources and initiatives that are out there. So let’s have a fair deal for our Luddendenfoot Ward. Let us ensure that our community gets the recognition and resources it deserves”

Chris Mc Cafferty, MP says, “James is a young enthusiastic family man who will work hard for Luddendenfoot revitalising and regenerating the ward with new innovative ideas”      

Sarah Jennings - Conservative Party

Sarah JenningsLocal girl Sarah Jennings has been selected as the Luddende Foot Conservative Candidate at the Calderdale Council elections on 1st May 2008

After studying for a degree in Law at Aberystwyth University, Sarah now works for Burnley law firm SFN Solicitors

In her leisure time, Sarah is an Assistant Scout Leader at the Explorer Scout Unit.

Sarah Jennings says: “I would like to increase political awareness among our younger generation and encourage them to take a more active interest in helping to improve out local community.”

Previously, on the Hebweb

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