General election 2017: Which candidate will get your vote in the Calder Valley?

View of Hebden Bridge

View of Hebden Bridge

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Have your say

With the general election just around the corner, we are putting the spotlight on the people fighting to win your votes on June 8.

Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and the Green Party have all fielded candidates for the Calder Valley, and an Independent candidate is also standing.

Commercial Street, Brighouse.

Commercial Street, Brighouse.

In 2015, incumbent Conservative MP Craig Whittaker held on to the seat with 23,354 votes - 4,427 more than Labour’s Josh Fenton-Glynn.

Both are fighting the constituency again and here they, and the other candidates standing, outline their vision.

CONSTITUENCY PROFILE

Population: Around 103,000.

The Calder Valley has been held by the Conservatives since 2010, when Craig Whittaker won the seat ahead of Labour’s Steph Booth

Liberal Democrats: Janet Battye

Liberal Democrats want this country to be open, tolerant and united. As Tim Farron, our leader, says it is optimistic, good-humoured and confident, and our young people are bright, creative and want a world that is clean and green.

They want jobs, good health and the chance to choose who they love and how they live, with the security of a roof over their heads.

I’m also concerned that older people have decent pensions and can depend on a good health and social care system that will support their needs as they become more infirm.

And people troubled by mental health problems, as a large number of us are, can get help when they need it.

Here in Calder Valley, where I’ve been a councillor since 2002, I’ve had a good track record of representing people’s views and actively participating in shaping services, such as Calderdale Council’s commissions on health services and the floods.

Three important issues in this general election here in Calder Valley are putting more funding into the NHS through 1p on income tax, fighting cuts in funding for schools, and making sure that we understand and have a real say on the final Brexit deal which threatens to seriously damage the economics of our country.

I want to be the Member of Parliament for the Calder Valley so that I can not only represent the interests of local people and this wonderful place we live in, but also be part of an effective opposition which holds the government to account and makes it work for us.

Labour: Josh Fenton-Glynn

I’m proud to be from Calder Valley, with our diverse mix of towns and villages and thriving businesses. But in the past seven years, we have been badly served by our MP. As your MP in Calder Valley, my priorities would be protecting our area from flooding, securing much needed investment in schools and supporting our local businesses to flourish. Living in Calder Valley is fantastic, but it also has its challenges. We have seen homes and businesses ravaged by floods more than once in recent years, and that is why I was so angry to hear that Craig Whittaker voted against a motion calling for increased investment in flood defences on January 6, 2016 - just days after the Boxing Day floods.

As a councillor, I’m a member of the committee overseeing improvements to flood defences since 2015, and have worked with local groups such as Slow the Flow Calderdale as well as big companies like Yorkshire Water to do that - everyone has a role to play in better flood prevention.

We have strong schools with high standards, but many of their buildings need updating. Todmorden and Calder High in particular are literally falling apart and despite promises made by Craig Whittaker in 2015, he’s barely mentioned the issue in Parliament. Small businesses are the life blood of our local economy. Labour will introduce a lower rate of business tax for those with profits under £300,000 to support small businesses to grow and I will champion local employers and enterprise.

I will be a stronger voice for Calder Valley and our communities.

Independent - Rob Holden

As many will know I’m a keen advocate for improving flood defences throughout the constituency. One of my key policies is to ensure that flood alleviation schemes don’t dwindle over time, instead planning for the future to prevent the devastation of winter 2015 being repeated. In coming years we will require an additional £50m of flood alleviation funding. It’s going to need a strong representative to challenge the Government to achieve this. Born and brought up in Todmorden, and having spent a large proportion of my working life in the area, I understand the specific issues relevant to the Calder Valley. Far from being unable to effect change as an Independent, I don’t have to follow any political party line, so I will be free to vote as my constituents wish on individual bills. I am also focusing on education throughout the Calder Valley, not only the poor state of the school buildings, but also to ensure that all pupils are able to achieve their potential with adequate provision of materials and expertise.

I will campaign to protect A&E service provision in the Calder Valley, to increase the availability of community based minor injury clinics throughout the Calder Valley, and ensure that the vulnerable and elderly are adequately provided for.

After seven years of stagnation in the Calder Valley, I aim to bring a new energy to the area, one which engages and acts on people’s wishes instead of a pursuit of party political and self-interest.

I pledge to be open, transparent and listen to the concerns of my constituents by using regular surgeries and an online platform that will enable people to have their say on important matters.

Vote for me on June 8 for someone who is hard working, experienced and committed to the Calder Valley all year round, not just at election time.

UKIP - Paul Rogan

I would like to thank those who have decided to support UKIP. You will be voting as a person who loves our country and wishes to see it remain independent and free. Someone who wants more controls over our borders so that migrants are not allowed to clog up our NHS and social services. Someone who does not believe in, or trust, any of the other parties on the ballot paper to deliver the clean Brexit we voted for last year.

Someone who believes in supporting and encouraging the gifted in society to achieve the utmost.

A person who supports local entrepreneurs and local business, especially those which support local communities.

A person who believes that the successful, the strongest and most gifted in our society should help shoulder the burden to support those less fortunate, the elderly and the sick.

Someone who wants the NHS free at the point of delivery for our all UK citizens, and who agrees to commit funds made available from a reduced foreign aid budget and from EU charges (when we finally get free from them) to frontline NHS and social care services.

Someone who believes in supporting our Armed Forces, ensuring our defence and the continuation of our independent nuclear deterrent.

Someone who supports our monarch, respects the Royal Family and who would like closer ties with other Commonwealth realms.

UKIP is more than a party; it is people like us.

The Green Party - Kieran Turner

Many people feel disconnected from politics. In 2015, people who chose not to vote outnumbered those who voted for our MP. This shows us all that the power to change things is in our hands. It’s time to vote for what we really want and believe, and escape the politics of fear, including tactical voting. Our railways desperately need upgrading – to improve air quality through reducing pressure on roads, and to support employment and local businesses.

We will renationalise railways and key infrastructure. We shouldn’t suffer inadequate services while corporate shareholders profit from public money.

We need a sustainable economy that serves a fair society – not a society that serves economic activity.

Greens strongly support animal rights and would ban driven grouse shooting, thereby ending destructive land management practices that increase flood risks.

Nuclear weapons serve no useful defence purpose. Some people fear unilateral disarmament but our present government is ignoring UN talks on multilateral disarmament. We would engage with those talks and scrap Trident, freeing £3.6billion annually for services like the NHS.

To restore democracy by bringing about fair elections, Greens support an immediate move to proportional representation. Talk of sovereignty and control is meaningless when most of the public is not represented at all in Westminster.

The EU needs reform, but I love its part in maintaining peace and collaboration – the only way to solve global problems. The public should have the final say on a Brexit deal, including the choice to abandon the whole nationalistic project.

Conservative: Craig Whittaker

This election is primarily about who you want to lead our country in the national interest.

Theresa May has shown that she is a strong and stable leader and, whilst I’m sure everyone will agree that Jeremy Corbyn is a decent enough man, what he has shown is that he is not a leader. He has shown that he can’t even gain the respect of his own MPs in Parliament.

Even in the Calder Valley, he has been omitted from every one of Labour’s literature, showing that even locally they have no faith in him as a leader.

We need a leader who will stand up for Britain and the interests of Britain, not someone who will dither with the tough decisions.

Since his hugely un-costed manifesto of some £58 billion per year – that’s not including the hundreds of billions of pounds he has vowed to borrow which will take us back in history to renationalise the industries - Corbyn has shown that he can’t answer the really tough questions on his own policies.

The UK will go through some tough times over the next few years, not least with the Brexit negotiations.

How on earth can we have someone like Corbyn negotiating on our behalf when he doesn’t even have the support and endorsement of his own local politicians, let alone his own MPs?

There is only one choice in this general election and that is Theresa May.

I am proud to say that I am Theresa May’s candidate in the Calder Valley.

*Candidates have been listed alphabetically