Updated: Thursday, 26 April 2007

The following candidates have sent their biogs to the Hebden Bridge Web, posted here in the order we received them - we would be pleased to receive others.

Dave Young - Lab, Birchcliffe ward
Christine Bampton-Smith - Lib Dem, Caldene ward
Michael Smith - Ind, Caldene ward
Susan Press - Lab, Fairfield ward
Michelle Foster - Lab, Birchcliffe ward
Stewart Brown - Lab, West End ward, and Calder ward (Calderdale)
Dave Perkins - Lab, Cragg Vale ward
John Beacroft-Mitchell - Lib Dem, Cragg Vale ward
Scott Trickett - Lib Dem, Cragg Vale ward
Peter Coles - Lib Dem, Birchcliffe ward
Mike Elder - Lib Dem, Birchcliffe ward
Mary Young - Lib Dem, Birchcliffe ward
Susan Crampton - Lib Dem, Fairfield ward
Lesley Jones - Lib Dem, Fairfield ward
David Taylor - Lib Dem, Fairfield ward
Nader Fekri - Lib Dem, West End ward
Howard Holmes - Lib Dem, West End ward
Jette Howard - Lib Dem, West End ward
Joanna Beacroft-Mitchell - Independent, Cragg Vale ward
John Rhodes - Lab, West End ward
Jill Liddington - Lab, White Lee ward
Janet Oosthuysen - Lab, Birchcliffe ward


Elected as your Labour Councillor in May 2003, Cllr Dave Young who lives in Unity Street, Hebden Bridge has two Children who attend Calder High School and works as a Senior Pensions Officer for West Yorkshire Pension Fund.

Cllr Dave Young is leader of the Labour Group, Chairperson of the Environmental Renaissance and Staffing Committee on Hebden Royd Town Council and is the only councillor who has a 100% attendance record over the last 4 years. Dave has a wealth of experience in local government having also been a District Councillor for 9 years, part of the time being Chairperson of the Council's Recreation & Leisure Committee.

In addition to being vice chair of Hebden Royd & Distict Labour Party, Dave is chairperson of the Trades Club Building Management Committee and a member of Calder Valley Constituency Labour Party.

Dave takes an active interest in the local community and if re-elected will as you Labour Councillor make a committment to fully represent you and ensure that the Town Council responds to local needs.

Over the last few years Dave & his fellow Labour Councillor have fought against unnecessary planning applications that would not be of a benefit to the town like the so called 'eco friendly' Windsor View & Rose Grove proposed developments. Dave wants an effective Town Council that serves the many and not the few.


Christine Bampton-Smith lives in Calder Grove and has been your local Caldene Ward Councillor for over twenty years. Christine is married to Michael, and has two grown up children – Adam and Rachael.

Christine says "Being part of this lovely community of Mytholmroyd has added greatly to our family life.

"On Hebden Royd Council I have served on the Environmental Renaissance Committee, whose aim is to improve our area by supporting and funding projects to enhance the area and by having a presence in Hebden Royd with our Environmental Warden.

"I also represent the Council on the South Pennines Committee which deals with issues affecting our Rural Areas and acts as a pressure group to government, through the national body.

"The Upper Calder Valley Rennaisance has delivered projects worth over £300,000 into Mytholmroyd, and the area also has a further £1.3 million in projects under consideration. I was elected as the Parish Councils representative on the Board of Directors.

"Protecting local services and ensuring objections to unsympathetic planning applications and serving the community are my key aims."

MICHAEL SMITH – Independent

Dr Michael Smith lives in Calder Grove, Mytholmroyd and has represented Caldene Avenue on Hebden Royd Town Council for the last four years. His working life has been spent in Higher Education and he has written a number of books on the nature of society.

His main concern on Hebden Royd Town Council has been to monitor the planning applications to try to ensure only appropriate plans are passed. Often, however, Calderdale ignores the Town Council, which shows that Council does not have a grass roots understanding of the area.

He also serves on the Old People’s Welfare Committee, and the Hebden Royd Staffing Committee.

Michael says ‘ It is an honour to serve the Caldene Ward and the wider community of Hebden Royd. Please vote for me on May 3rd for an Independent Voice’.


I was elected to Fairfield ward in 2003 and have been a Labour Party member for 30 years. Locally, Labour councillors have been a positive force for good on Hebden Royd. Since 2003, we have supported dozens of community groups including Hebden Junior Band, the Woodcraft Folk, the Alternative Technology Centre and intitiatives like the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival and Make Poverty History.

Our councillors helped shape the traffic review and pedestrianisation of Hebden Bridge, saved local bus services in my ward, and have contributed to employing an Environmental Community Warden to improve life in the town. With the help of Labour councillors Stewart Brown and Robin Dixon, we recently secured funding for Central Street.

I would be delighted to be re-elected for Fairfield. So I have to say a word or two about national issues. I know many voters in Hebden Royd are deeply concerned about the direction Labour has taken nationally. So am I. Since 2003, I have been an active anti-war campaigner and recently attended the anti-Trident demo in London. In recent months, I have been campaigning for John McDonnell MP, who is hoping to stand on a socialist ticket against Gordon Brown. John inspired many at his recent meeting in Hebden Bridge and I hope people like him will be able to help us change direction in the months and years ahead. On a personal note, I have lived in Fairfield for 10 years ,am Chair of the Calderdale Branch of the National Union of Journalists and love living here after spending much of my life as a Mancunian townie.


Michelle is married with a young son. She is a teacher and works as a volunteer for a substance misuse agency whilst also studying for a PhD. Michelle is a former Mayor of Hebden Royd with 12 years experience as a councillor on both Hebden Royd and Calderdale Councils.

If elected, Michelle will work towards improving local democracy. She says, "Much of the development in Hebden Royd has gone unchallenged and has not been in the interests of its people. I shall listen to the constituents and fight to make their voices heard, both in Hebden Royd and at Calderdale."


Stewart has a degree in Environmental Science and a Masters degree in Local Sustainable Development, with over 20 years work experience in local government planning and environmental health departments. He has been active in politics all his adult life, campaigning for peace and social justice at home and abroad.

Stewart has been on the town council for 10 years and was proud to be chosen Mayor last year. He has spearheaded many local campaigns, from saving the Picture House to saving local bus services. Stewart was the inaugural Chair of Calderdale’s Environmental Forum and launched Calderdale’s first recycling plan.

He is the town council’s representative on several outside bodies:-

  • Hebden Bridge Fair Trade Forum
  • Friends of Colden Clough Nature Reserve
  • Todmorden and Upper Valley Social Car Service
  • Ground Floor Project
  • Walkers are Welcome Advisory Board
  • West Yorkshire Rural Transport Partnership
  • Hebden Royd Partnership

Stewart says: "As the town council moves towards quality parish status with aspirations to take over the running of all the green spaces in Hebden Royd, develop allotments and become carbon neutral, it can’t afford to be a talking shop. This election is about local issues and councillors who are prepared to be pro-active, work hard and attend meetings without any expectation of financial reward. I believe Labour councillors best meet these criteria."


David Perkins works as a Mental Health professional in the NHS and is very active in his trade union UNISON. In both roles he is a campaigner for improved care for the elderly and those with long-term mental illness. He serves on the management committee of the Trades Club in Hebden Bridge and is committed to the building’s continuing development as both a multi-arts venue and a community resource for everyone in Hebden Royd.

David says: “Cragg Vale needs better services of all kinds, not least from the councillors elected to represent the area. We need councillors who are vigilant about planning issues and opposed to inappropriate development in Cragg Vale, especially in the Green Belt. As a non-car owner working in Leeds I’m also acutely aware of the need for better local bus services and train services - for example why can’t the Blackpool trains stop in Mytholmroyd to provide an extra hourly service? It's on local issues like this that the town council needs its voice to be heard more."


Since 2003 John Beacroft-Mitchell has been the leader of the largest group on Hebden Royd Town Council and a councillor for Cragg Vale ward.

Through his role on the allotments working party, John has led the debate for improving the provision of allotments for the whole of Hebden Royd.

“I am looking forward to taking the issue of allotments forward into the next session of the council,” says John.

Earlier this year, John presented a budget to the council which has increased the grants provision of the council from £25,000 to £45,000.

This has made Hebden Royd Town Council one of the largest grant making organisations in the Calder Valley, benefiting hundreds of local groups.

In June 2005, with the backing of the local community, John led Hebden Royd Town Council’s opposition to the plans for a large housing development on the land adjacent to Cragg Brook in Mytholmroyd.

“The Town Council has an important role to play in the planning process. Many inappropriate planning applications could have been waved through at Calderdale if it wasn’t for the council’s opposition,” says John.

John is very active locally with groups such as Roof Over Youth, Scout Road Community Group, Royd Regeneration and Mytholmroyd Station Partnership.

John lives and works in Mytholmroyd where he has a small publishing company and is married to Joanna. They have a one-year-old son, Ferdinand.

SCOTT TRICKETT - Liberal Democrat

Brought up in the Orkney Islands, Scott fully understands the importance of community in the area in which we live. This is particularly important in rural and semi-rural locations such as Cragg Vale and Mytholmroyd where people need a sense of belonging to their environment.

Scott made his home in Cragg Vale over a decade ago and throughout his time in the area Scott has continually campaigned about traffic/pedestrian safety in Cragg Vale and Mytholmroyd area. He has led a community petition, and letter writing campaigns from local residents, schools and businesses. Through his work he has built significant respect with Calderdale councillors and officials.

This community effort has been rewarded - Cragg Vale will at last be a 30 mph zone.

Scott says: “An awful lot of people within the community have campaigned for many years and this is a great step for Cragg Vale.”
His next goal is to push for further improved walkways, crossing provision and pavement access throughout the area.
“My simple goal is for a safe environment for our children to live and play in.”

Scott’s priorities are:

  • Improve safety for pedestrians and other road users for the ‘whole’ of Hebden Royd.
  • Seek enhancements in community spaces and children’s park areas in the Cragg Vale ward.
  • Promote and maintain the beauty of Cragg Vale and Mytholmroyd at every opportunity.
  • Promote community cohesion and growth at every opportunity

Scott lives in Cragg Vale together with his wife Amy and two children, Marcus and Emily. They are expecting their third child this coming August.

He is also an active member of the Parish Church Council in Cragg Vale and a founding member of the Cragg Vale Community Association.

PETER COLES - Liberal Democrat

Apart from being a local Calderdale Councillor, Peter is well-known internationally as one of the world's best producers of Audio-Visual Sequences. Peter has also served on our Town Council for nearly 20 years.

MIKE ELDER - Liberal Democrat

I am a careers consultant, and have lived in Hebden Bridge for nearly 16 years. I am passionate about the Valley, its people, environment, and history. Now with four grandchildren growing up here I am just as concerned about its future.

I have represented Birchcliffe Ward on the Town Council for four years, and am keenly aware of the need to include the diverse communities and interests within the town. If re-elected I shall continue to do my best for all residents of the town.

MARY YOUNG - Liberal Democrat

I am a pensioner, and have lived in Hebden Bridge for much of my life. I believe that services for the elderly should be greatly improved. I am concerned about threats to lifelines for the elderly e.g. the closure of post offices, and the removal of Calderdale services in our town. While it is relatively easy to get around Hebden Bridge, public transport for our more isolated communities is poor. I would like to see greater co-ordination of buses and trains as well as the extension of the Hebden Bridger bus service

SUSAN CRAMPTON - Liberal Democrat

I am 46 and have lived much of my life in Fairfield. I am married to John and have two teenage children attending Calder High. I am self-employed now, but used to work at Beverley Residential Home. I am secretary of Ovenden Girls Rugby League Club, and taking my daughter here there and everywhere for the rugby takes up most of my spare time.

I believe passionately that the views and voices of ordinary people in our town should get a broader hearing. If elected I promise to represent all those views.

LESLEY JONES - Liberal Democrat

I have lived in Hebden Bridge all my life, nearly all of it in Fairfield, and worked in Halifax since leaving school. I am a past Governor of Stubbings School and was Secretary of the Nursery Action Group. I have been a Deacon at Hope Baptist Church since 1999. I am very aware of the differing demands made on the town by the diversity of the people who live, work, and visit here.

Having two teenage daughters has made me think about the facilities needed for our young people. The challenge is to identify what young people want and need and to work to provide those facilities.

DAVID TAYLOR - Liberal Democrat

I am 44, married to Jeanette, have two daughters aged 6 and 2, and work as a librarian.

I am a governor at Central Street School and am involved heavily in trying to improve the quality of school meals and encourage a healthy school environment. I have a strong interest in delivering an effective and well-rounded education to all children no matter their background or talents.

My professional background includes work on Freedom of Information and I am committed to encouraging everyone to get the information they need to help them make better decisions to better their lives.

NADER FEKRI - Liberal Democrat

I have been a West End ward councillor on Hebden Royd Town Council for four years, and have represented Calder Ward on Calderdale council for the past three years. I am a governor at Riverside Junior School, and a magistrate. I am a History lecturer, and teach for the WEA in Hebden Bridge. I am married to Helen and have three young sons.

I believe that the town council is vital as the tier of local government closest to people and would encourage anyone to get involved. I am proud of the work we have done, and help we have given to individuals and groups within the community.

HOWARD HOLMES - Liberal Democrat

I am 46, married to Gina, with two children aged two and five. I have lived in the Upper Valley area for the majority of my years, and worked in Hebden Bridge before moving here over 20 years ago. I love the town, its diversity and sense of community as well as its location and surroundings.

I come from a design background and now provide marketing services, mostly for business to business. I believe that small businesses are the backbone of the town, and their number and variety contribute immensely to the town's richness.

JETTE HOWARD - Liberal Democrat

I have lived in Hebden Bridge for ages, and work as the cook at Crossley Mill Nursery (NAG). My partner, Kevin, runs the Hebden Bridge Car Share Scheme.

I have been a teacher and have worked with troubled youths. I realise that the town needs good facilities for young people, and am committed to see this change.

For me, living in Hebden Bridge means living in a small community where you do not have to remain a stranger. Being part of the town means thing like working and shopping locally, being involved with the Arts Festival, competing in the Dock Pudding Championship. We all have a duty to work together to make sure that the future is better for our children.


Joanna was first elected to represent Cragg Vale on Hebden Royd in 2003 as an Independent.  She has sat on the environmental renaissance committee and represents the council on the Mytholmroyd Community Association.

Married to John, with a one year old son, she lives in Mytholmroyd and works for the Community foundation for Calderdale.  She is also actively involved in St Michaels amateurs and the Scout Road Community Group and is a trustee of the Scout Road recreation ground.

“My main commitment if elected would be to improve and increase the support the council offers to the voluntary sector in our community.  When I became a councillor I was relatively new to the area and didn’t really know what to expect.  Over the last four years I’ve become so proud of our community and amazed at what we can achieve when we put our hearts into it.  As councillors we are in the privileged position of being able to offer grant support to many community initiatives, what I want to achieve is to apply some of my professional experience to targeting our funding to reach some of the groups that perhaps we have missed in the past.”


I have been prompted to stand by the public row over the town centre re-development.  “It seems ludicrous that the only way people can have a say is through the Hebden Bridge Times’ letter pages.  As far as I can see none of the people with influence have been elected by anyone”.  It seems ludicrous that we have reached the stage where people feel they have to set up a monitoring group to oversee new developments in the town.  I believe that the Town Council, although with few real powers, ought to play that role ; it ought to speak with a louder voice.  That should be common ground between all candidates.

I am married with two teenage boys.  I am a trade union official working for UNISON.  I stood as a Parent Governor at Riverside when the school went into special measures and was subsequently Chair of Governors when the school came out of special measures. 

I opposed the over-development of the Brown’s field site  We have to find ways of building affordable housing.  My concern is that my kids will never be able to afford to live in the town in which they grew up.”

Finally, Mick Lord, Hebden born and bred, has correctly pointed out that the Labour Party pledge to open up the Town Hall should have referred to the Council Offices; Hebden has never had a Town Hall.  And I am happy to repeat in public the personal guarantee given to Ross Popper; under Hebden Royd Labour, the Town Council will never declare war on anyone.


I have lived in Calderdale for 27 years. From 1982 I taught in adult education at Leeds University, where I am now a researcher.

Since 1991 I have lived at Foster Clough in White Lee ward with my husband. I was chair of governors at one of Calderdale’s largest primary schools, and am proud to have been a governor of Calder High School for eight years.

I contribute regularly to the local history societies in the upper Calder Valley, and am author of Rebel Girls on the Votes for Women campaign across Yorkshire.

Our area is rich in history, and I have actively campaigned against  inappropriate developments that threaten our local heritage.

I am an enthusiastic hill-walker, and am secretary of the newly-formed Mytholmroyd Walkers’ Action Group.

If elected, I would ensure that White Lee’s voice is heard effectively on the Town Council – including a fair distribution of resources to Mytholmroyd. I believe residents’ interests are best served by democratically-elected councillors accountable to local voters. I will work to improve local amenities and to protect the outstanding natural beauty of our environment.


My name is Janet Oosthuysen and I live on Unity Street in Hebden with my 3 children all of whom are at Calder High. I'm the school cook at Central Street Infants and also work at the Trades club.

I've been involved in many campaigns in the area-for example I organised the Make Poverty History demonstration in the square at the time of the G8 summit and have been one of the organisers of the anti BNP campaign in Halifax with the local group Calderdale Unity.
Labour have done many good things in office - I for one couldn't pay the bills without family credit, but I have been ardently against the war in Iraq from the very beginning.

I intend to work hard as a councillor for the people of the ward.

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