John Fenton-Glynn — Labour
I’m proud to be Labour’s candidate in Calder Valley, where I was born, brought up and where I now live. My pledges for this election are about making life better for our community and our country.
1. Defend our A&E and fight for the NHS: I launched my election campaign alongside Harry Leslie-Smith, a 92 year-old who was a child labourer in Halifax. He lost his sister to TB because they couldn’t afford treatment. He now campaigns because the NHS his generation built has never been under greater threat. Increased privatisation and fragmentation of the service have led to over-worked, stressed staff and increased waiting times for patients. Labour would stop the increasing privatisation and employ 36,000 more frontline staff.
I also make the personal pledge that whoever is in government I will fight to save our A&E.
2. Cap gas and electricity prices so they can only go down, and break up the energy companies. Bills go up but wages don’t. People are feeling it in their pocket. Labour will cap gas and electricity prices for 17 months and in that time break up the power companies to address rip-off bills for good.
3. Provide 25 hours free child care for all 3 & 4 year olds. Labour would provide free, high quality, child care for all 3 & 4 year olds and double the number of places currently available at Sure Start centres.
4. Guarantee an apprenticeship to every young person who gets basic grades and cut tuition fees to £6,000 a year. A skilled workforce is key to building a society in which the next generation can look to a better future than the current one.
I’m Calder Valley through and through. I can think of no greater honour than being our voice in Westminster.
Jenny Shepherd — Green Party
Biography: I am an ordinary person who is standing for election to public office for the first time. I’ve lived in Hebden Bridge for 22 years, mostly working outside Calder Valley in Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield and Bolton, as a university lecturer in screenwriting and film studies.
I’m standing for election as the Green Party candidate because I feel strongly that politics as usual is getting us nowhere. We need to hear voices that are drowned out or silenced in the current system. We need better policies that work for the 99% not the 1%, that protect and restore the natural environment that we’re casually destroying as if there’s no tomorrow, and that provide a safe place in society for everyone.
Manifesto: I aim to help create better politics. This means listening to people, whoever they are and whatever their views, with respect, and explaining Green policies clearly and positively. Where I don’t know something, I will ask for information and consider it carefully. If elected, I would represent everyone; where this means reconciling conflicting interests I would aim to identify common ground and be fair.
Key issues Calder Valley people are telling me about are education, the NHS, transport, flooding, fracking, peace and justice, the need to protect and restore the natural environment, human rights, ending austerity and tackling climate change. The guiding principle of all our policies is to work for the common good and to create a one planet economy that allows us all to live in sustainable prosperity.
I aim to discuss with as wide a range of Calder Valley people as possible, how our innovative policies in all these areas can translate into action for Calder Valley.
Restoring the NHS to a properly funded, universal, comprehensive health service that is free at the point of need and fully publicly owned and run is my immediate priority. The only way to do this is to include the 2015 NHS Reinstatement Bill in the Queens Speech, and make sure it is turned into law in the first year of the new Parliament. This will stop and reverse NHS marketisation and privatisation, that threatens to turn our NHS into an American-style private health insurance system.
With other members of the public in Calderdale and Huddersfield, I have campaigned tirelessly over the last two years to save Calderdale Royal Hospital and Huddersfield Royal Infirmary from cuts and closures and am not about to stop now.
Craig Whittaker — Conservative
Craig Whittaker is a former Calderdale councillor who was elected to Westminster in 2010.
As a Calder Valley resident for many years, it has been a tremendous honour to represent our area in Parliament since 2010. This is where I chose to live and raise my three children and I could not imagine living elsewhere.
As your MP, I have always sought to put the interest of the Calder Valley first and if re-elected I will continue to be the strong and independent voice that our area requires.
I have used my experience to champion and support all our different communities across the Calder Valley and will continue working with local people and community groups to secure a better future for you, your family and our local area.
I have a long-standing interest in education and in ensuring that all children have the very best opportunities in life. Some of my work in Parliament has been devoted to improving the life chances of disadvantaged children and those in care.
There is still more to do and I would be honoured to continue to serve as your MP.
Paul Rogan — UKIP
Biography: I have lived in Calderdale all my working life, since 1981 in Stainland. Now self-employed, I have always been involved in the carpet and carpet yarns industry, starting as a junior at Crossley Carpets at Dean Clough. I have served as a councillor for Rastrick putting residents interests first, often in conflict with the local authority.
Manifesto: Parents are best placed to care for their children; the same principle goes for the Government of Britain, it is best done by us.
That is why UKIP seeks to leave the EU and bring our laws and government back home. This not only enables us to decide upon our own laws but also allows us to be in control of our borders and our territorial waters in addition to saving vast sums of money which can be better spent looking after our sick, elderly and disabled.
Scrapping HS2 means we can use this money to improve the infrastructure and transport links which the North so badly needs. This type of investment will really help to make the North a ‘power house’ once again.
Having control over our borders means we can end immigration for the next five years for those seeking low wage jobs. This will help wages for own workers to rise which, when coupled with raising the tax allowance for those on the minimum wage, means a better standard of living for Britons.
UKIP believes we should become less dependent on imported and subsidised energy. Any income from ‘fracking’ will be invested in a fund to pay for care of the elderly.
UKIP is committed to spending a total of £12 billion more on the NHS in England. We believe in keeping the NHS free at the point of need for UK citizens. Visitors from other countries will be required to pay for any health treatments or medicines. This is our National Health Service, not an International Health Service.
We believe in Britain and her people. We will always work to protect our values, our countryside, our living standards and our health service. In short our way of life. It makes common sense.
Joe Stead — World Peace Through Song
Biography and manifesto:
Joe Stead, previously a staunch ‘Labour Man’, has been living in Calderdale since 1985. He considers war to be an unnecessary waste of life and recourse.
Obviously there are times, like 1939, when war is thrust upon you and you have to defend yourself. But both Suez and Iraq were totally unnecessary the latter being an abominable war crime manufactured by both Bush and Blair that has unleashed the understandable hatred of the west by many people of the Muslim faith. Joe has met and worked with both Paul Robeson, and Pete Seeger, and both these two great men influenced Joe from his teens to the present day. Seeger became a good friend. Joe has sung in concert in America twice with Pete and recorded him at The Royal Festival Hall in 1984 to raise funds for the British miners. He also helped Pete write his book “Where have all the flowers gone”.
He firmly believes that every person in the country should vote in the general election, but appreciates that not everybody wants to vote for political parties that take us into unnecessary wars, parties who only look after the rich, parties who breed racism, and the liberal crowd who don’t really know what they want. If you want to make your mark by voting, but are at a loss whom to put that cross next to. Well vote for Joe, World Peace through Song.
Joe has a manifesto which includes helping the dairy farmers, keeping an A+E at Calderdale General Hospital nationalising the railways with free transport on the railways until the next general election for everybody who voted in this election. He is against fracking. Income tax will provide the shortfall which will help the poor even more. Millions of pounds will be saved from not increasing the road structure, lives will be saved.