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Election leaflet uses personal insinuations

From Jonathan Timbers

Monday, 2 May 2016

I don't like politics that uses personal insinuations.

So I want to call out Janet Battye's latest leaflet that stated "Labour's candidate is… living… in Brighouse" and is therefore "out of touch". The leaflet goes on to explain that Brighouse is "on the other side of Calderdale". You don't say!

Actually, Labour's candidate grew up in Hebden Bridge, went to Calder High and used to be one of the bar staff at the Trades Club. Janet Battye doesn't live in the ward either.

Of course, that doesn't mean, in and of itself, that she would be a bad councillor for Calder Ward, if she were elected. It would be petty, stupid and an insult to the voters' intelligence to pretend that would be the case.

Honest debate and robust challenges are the lifeblood of democracy. This sort of low punching is not.

It would be great if Janet Battye found something more positive to say and left the personal stuff out of the local election.

From Tim B

Monday, 2 May 2016

I think living in the area is an important point. Janet has always been very quick to meet us to solve various issues locally. Also, she has a stake in the ward. I'm sure the Labour candidate is very nice, but Janet has a great track record.

From Andy M

Monday, 2 May 2016

I didn't know Calderdale had 'another side'… just the 2 surely?

From Eleanor Land

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Janet Battye has a great record of propping up the Tories locally, just like her party did nationally until recently.

Josh Fenton Glynn has a great record of opposing the Tories, as a local election candidate and as a candidate in last year's General Election. He also does not indulge in petty, personal mud slinging. These are the reasons why he will be getting my vote on Thursday.

From Jonathan Timbers

Monday, 2 May 2016

Well, Tim, if you were being picky, I suppose you could argue that Janet didn't grow up here, doesn't know what it is like being a young person here, didn't go to school here, and hasn't worked here. Josh does. (Correct me if I'm wrong but none of that is true of Janet, is it?)

But let's not go to that place. It's pointless.

I once got told by a Town Councillor that I didn't know what I was talking about because I wasn't born here.

It's not about who you are or whether you live in the ward boundary (and as neither one does, it's just as well). You're right: it's about how much you understand about the local area and what you want to do. You can have that discussion without low punching and being nasty or personal… or misleading.

Which is what the leaflet is doing.

Perhaps a list of the issues that Janet has solved locally would tell a stronger story, don't you think? There's always a better way of making your point, without lowering the tone or putting a dead cat on the table.

Perhaps you could help her with her next leaflet by pointing out something she's actually changed?

From Tim M

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Like I say, I'm sure Joshua is nice guy. However my central point stands - Janet knows the area, and has a great track record in solving the many small issues that make the difference - she doesn't simply do all her work at a desk in Halifax town hall. Being a good local councillor (and Jonathan should know - he's a great one) is different from being a good protester! You can oppose hospital and school changes all you like, but as a councillor you'll have to work to implement these anyway - so a grasp if what your constituents think seems pretty important.

More generally, I've yet to see any Labour Party election material to compare - which is leaving it a bit late!

From Jonathan Timbers

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Thank you Tim for your kind words which are warmly appreciated. I do my best.

Best wishes Jonathan

From Eleanor Land

Thursday, 5 May 2016

I would like to ask Tim a question, does Janet actually live in the Ward or not. If she doesn't, it would be rather odd to criticise another candidate for not living here.

This silly political point scoring is a real turn off for voters, I want to read about their policies not read literature which indulges in pettiness.

By the way I shall be voting for Josh because I believe he will be an excellent councillor. There is nothing wrong with protesting against something which will fundamentally affect the lives of the people living in Calderdale. Just because a councillor has been in post for years does not mean they are the only person capable of being our representative.

For the record I have only clapped eyes on Janet once, in the four years I have lived here, delivering a leaflet to my house two weeks ago.

From Tim M

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Maybe you'd think about standing for Calderdale next time Jonathan? You'd get my vote!

From Ian M

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Eleanor, Janet does indeed live locally above Todmorden. In fact, on Boxing Day and the following days she could be found helping local people, myself included, to try and piece our lives back together.
She also gave me a cheery "good morning" whilst filling her car with petrol in Todmorden very early this morning.

From Martin C

Friday, 6 May 2016

I've never had a reason to question whether Janet lives in Calder ward or not, however with the ward covering east and south of Todmorden, as well as Hebden Bridge, she does appear to live on a road that forms the boundary. Google "Calder Ward Calderdale" to see a boundary map.

Call me old fashioned if you wish, but I believe local councillors should be local. The Labour party has certainly lost my vote flying in a candidate from 12miles away.

From Mo O'Ryan

Friday, 6 May 2016

I don't know how many votes Janet Battye may have lost by including negative comments about other candidates in her election leaflet, but that was what finalised my decision not to vote for her.

It's a shame that certain areas of local politics appear to be following the national trend.

From James Baker

Friday, 6 May 2016

Good thing that Labour never attacked Janet personally with smears about her supporting things she doesn't and claiming she is opposed to flood funding... oh wait.

I think Josh has some big boots to step into following on from Janet. I wish him all the best though. People have made their choice and I hope Labour live up to all their promises now.

And as to Eleanor's comment about us propping up the Tories. Lets not forget we worked locally with Labour in a coalition for a number of years running the Council. It was actually Labour that ended this coalition.

Last year on the Council Labour actually voted with the Tories more often then we did.

We very much have our own ideas and our own views. These are democratically determined at our policy meetings. All our member are entitled to attend these and that's how we make our policy - democratically. All our members are local people trying to improve their communities.

From Eleanor Land

Friday, 6 May 2016

The local electorate, by a fairly large majority, have made their choice. They have wisely voted for change.

As for my comments about propping up the Tories James, I seem to remember you vociferously defending the Bedroom Tax on this site, one of the most divisive and stupid policies created by the Coalition. Thankfully, not long before the General Election you changed your mind and admitted it was a mistake. It's a shame so many people are still suffering from that poor decision making.

From Susan Press

Saturday, 7 May 2016

I want to congratulate Josh and I also want to say that when I stood against Janet Battye in 2012, she conducted the most disgraceful smear campaign against me with accusations not only wrong but deeply distressing. The geographic boundaries obsessed over by
Lib Dems strangely do not include their own. Janet never lived in Calder ward but hey even if she did. Glad to see people say so what? You put the Tories in power. You support bedroom tax. Frankly, you reap what you sow. And by the way, Josh will be a great councillor

From Steve Sweeney

Saturday, 7 May 2016

In the main the elections have been conducted without personal attacks but as usual the LibDems have sunk to this level. The issue of personally attacking candidates about where they live was made in a number of wards by LibDems in spite of the fact that their candidates didn't live in the wards they represent.

As for claiming that Cllr Battye didn't oppose flood funding, both Cllr Battye and Baker voted against allocation of funding for this at the 2015 budget and in 2016 refused to support the allocation preferring to abstain.

All of Cllr Battye's leaflets listed things that were happening in the Council implying that it was things she had done, I think people were no longer fooled by this and voted accordingly.

I would like to add that I do not include Karl Boggis in this criticism who as always fought an honourable fight and is an excellent Town Councillor.

Josh will make an excellent addition to the Upper Valley Labour team along with newly elected Cllr Jane Scullion.

From Graham Barker

Saturday, 7 May 2016

I can't defend anybody's election literature as all mine gets only a quick glance on its way to the recycling bag. I can though defend Janet Battye, who I have come to regard as a friend. She has always been cheerful, approachable, empathic, direct, no 'side' to her at all, energetic and conscientious. I'm sure Josh will be good but Janet will be a loss. It's a shame we can't have both of them.

It's worth adding that over the years I've twice raised concerns with councillors about specific matters. In both cases LibDem councillors responded immediately and positively. That's how I first came into contact with Janet. From Labour councillors I got nothing. You judge as you find.

From Tim M

Sunday, 8 May 2016

I'd just like to add my thanks to Janet for being an excellent local councillor over the years. She's always responded to emails, unlike, I have to say, her Labour colleagues. Still, I'm sure Josh will be a fresh face, and this is always welcome. As far as national politics go, lets hope that for the Labour party this election acts as a wakeup call - maybe they can do some campaigning and opposition, rather than arguing amongst themselves!

From Paul Clarke

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Perhaps we should just focus on the positives of the last local election.

Once again Calder topped the table for voter turnout with over 50% of eligible voters making the effort. Some wards were as low as 29% so winning in Calder does take some effort.

The voters also decisively rejected candidates who go personal which hopefully means next time all the candidates will focus on the issues.

From James Baker

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Janet and I are not opposed to flood funding. We simply didn't support Labour budget that included that funding because it also included £1 million of cuts to children services. We have argued that flood funding should come from central government funding and general taxation, not local Councl tax.

We are also local residents, and people affected by flooding ourselves, how do you think it feels to read Labour lies that we are opposed to people getting help and support? To have our beliefs and views misrepresented like that?

On the topic of the bedroom tax Janet voted to oppose the bedroom this last time it was debated at full Council (as did I after our party policy on it changed after a democratic vote at our conference).

It is worth mentioning that Councillors have no power (and very little influence) over government policy. What Liberal Democrats on Calderdale Council have done is question why the Labour administration was so bad at ensuring people who needed it got their discretionary housing payments.

Perhaps Labour should spend more time focusing on improving people's lives by getting the systems right on the Council they run rather than indulging in this gesture politics of protest?

Josh lives in Brighouse, this is a fact. As Janet's agent I think it was reasonable to point out this truth to people. People have a right to know where the person who represents them lives. Anyway The Labour party did the same thing during this election campaign in other wards. In Warley Ward a Labour leaflet complained of "The Liberal Democrat Candidate from Ryburn". You don't see us complaining about this, it's fair game in a political election if it's true.

I designed Janet's leaflets and the vast, vast majority of the content on them was about her positive record, her environmental credentials, her plans to improve local services with more community hubs.

Smear Janet all you like by making her out as some kind of Tory stooge who opposes flood funding and supports the bedroom tax. Most people who have had met her will know this is nonsense. She is a very hardworking person who took the time to help people who came to her, and she gave a lot to her community. She will continue to work hard as a Todmorden Town Councillor.

I wish Josh all the best as a Councillor. Labour are running the Council and have all the Councillors in the Upper Valley. The buck stops with you now. Time will tell if you live up to the promises.