The declaration that Hebden Bridge is the UKs ‘second city’ - lying at the heart of the suburbs of Bradford, Leeds and Manchester - has come as something of a shock to most people living there, including myself.
However, underneath the hyperbole lies a serious point; that the Calder Valley lies in a sweet spot for ease of commute to the major employment centres.
But what the Calder Valley lacks - and what holds back prosperity and employment opportunities within it - is a modern, efficient transport system.
We are cursed on the Caldervale line which runs along the Calder Valley with the oldest, least efficient, slowest, and most dangerous trains in the UK; and with a Tory MP in Calder Valley who has not done anything to secure better transport links for his constituents. Nor has the Labour Party - despite running the council and having an MP in Halifax - effectively lobbied for improvements to our rail link.
Without faster, more frequent services for every station along the valley - and the rebuilding of the station at Elland - Calderdale will be unable to live up to its promise at the core of the powerhouse industrial cities of the north.
Calderdale needs a radical, forward looking rail strategy that only the Liberal Democrats will provide, in order to achieve stronger economic links and job opportunities that will enable everyone here to get on in life.
Alisdair Calder McGregor
Lib Dem Calder Valley PPC