Huddersfield like every other town and city has problems that will arise should we leave, centring around Council Tax increases and council budget cuts. These coupled with a potential recession, predicted by many leading economists should we leave the EU, could be huge. However, Local councillors have plans to remedy these concerns.
Huddersfield University is within the ward of Newsome which is currently represented by Andrew Cooper of the Green Party. They have selected him to run for the Huddersfield seat, believing his 20 years of service and standing in the party give them a good chance of winning. His main policies focus on Climate Change and Kirklees Council’s initiatives to improve the Environment. On his running being confirmed he took to his blog to talk about his plan going forward, ‘We need a fresh start for our town that provides a voice that is independent of the old parties that have failed us all for far too long.’ He is also keen to stress his association to Huddersfield, ‘It’s a town I love and it would be a huge honour to represent Huddersfield in parliament, to be the voice that is dealing with peoples everyday problems but also looking at ways to address climate change.’
Labour’s candidate is Barry Sheerman who currently holds the seat in parliament and has done since 1979. Sheerman is respected but controversial, with his outbursts in Parliament alongside some of his comments about voting age and the Article 50 vote leading some to question him. Despite this he is expected to retain his seat. Mr Sheerman’s policy have a heavy focus on youth and he is an avid campaigner for Mental health, pledging to secure help for those that need it as soon as they do. He also like Mr Cooper has an interest in the environment and the need for changes in attitude both locally and nationally. He is a harsh critic of Boris Johnson and the Conservative party in general, citing failed promises such as building 200,000 starter homes as the reason for his dis-trust.
The Conservative candidate is Huddersfield Giants owner Ken Davy who was recently appointed to run for the Huddersfield seat, with the Tories feeling his standing and work within the town stands him in good stead. Mr Davy has run for the Conservatives before, contesting the Colne Valley seat in both 1970 and 1974. He is Pro-Brexit and has openly been critical of the Brexit Party saying, ‘This election is too important to flirt with any option but a conservative government.’ His policies include improving and sustaining the health service and long-term care, getting Brexit over the line, fulfilling the wishes of the town who voted to leave the EU in 2016 as well as climate change.
The Brexit Party candidate Stuart Hale shares Mr Davy’s opinion that Brexit needs to be secured. He said in a debate on Monday that a second referendum would be a betrayal of the people who voted to leave. ‘If we don’t leave, who knows what the consequences will be. Can we call ourselves a real democracy? Absolutely not.’ His policies also include climate change and social care but as the name suggests his main focus is Brexit and getting the right deal for the people of Huddersfield. He campaigns that Boris’ deal isn’t a great deal Britain needs to align with party leader Nigel Farage.
The Liberal Democrat candidate, James Wilkinson is certainly in the remain camp. On Monday he said ‘The UK has a great trade history, has a great future, but it is a relatively small country when we’ve got China, we’ve got the United States, we’ve got the rest of the European Union. We risk being squashed between these big trading blocks in a globalised economy.’ He like the other four candidates is also campaigning for Climate Change and social care.