Questions for HPBC election candidates - part 1

We asked local candidates in the upcoming High Peak Borough Council election:

1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?

3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?

We asked the questions on 21st April 2015. Read the answers we have received below.

 See second set of questions for HPBC candidates here

Dinting
Stephen Philip Bosett-Roberts (Green)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I moved to Glossop nearly 7 years ago and I live in the Howard Town ward. One of the major issues facing the area is of course the traffic and whilst I'm not naive enough to think I could immediately change the situation, I would be pushing for better public transport with incentives for using it and consider moving HGV congestion to the motorway network.

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I am self employed in a small family run business, have great support and so can be flexible with my hours.

3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
Yes.

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
No. I joined the Green Party 5 years or so ago. I had helped campaign for Labour many years ago.

Sylvia Hall (UKIP)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I have lived in Dinting ward for 45 years. It is difficult to say where I could make the most impact, if elected, because it would then be the electors' concerns that I would do my best to address.

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I am retired.

3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
I would be open with electors about how I voted in council meetings unless officially prevented. There may be such  instances - I'm not sure. Consequently I do not feel able to make such a pledge.

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
I have never been a member of any other political party.

Benjamin Hopkins (Labour)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I have lived just outside the ward (the boundary follows the wall across the street) for the last 22 years. I would like to tackle the litter problem which continues to face Glossop. I campaigned through telephone calls and emails to HPBC to have a bin installed on the corner of Fauvel Road and Lord Street which is now strategically positioned on the school route of pupils travelling to and from Glossopdale Community College. I have also picked litter as part of my voluntary role at Friends of Glossop Station (FoGS) and I would be keen  to engage others in tackling this problem as well as pressing the council further.
2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I am currently completing an MA in International Relations, however, my course is finished in September and if I was fortunate enough to be elected I would be able to travel back in the meantime.
3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
Absolutely, transparency is vital.
4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
No, I have been a proud Labour Party member since October 2009.


Jean Wharmby (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)


Gamesley
Peter Duncan Allen (Green)
(Awaiting reply)

Brian Evans (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

Anthony Edward McKeown (Labour)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I have lived within Gamesley for all but about the first 18 months of my life, and the important issue for me, is maintaining and enhancing where possible local services, tackling those issues that are important to local  residents and working on long term issues, like ensuring and enhancing the future of Melandra Castle, and getting a Gamesley station.

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I do not have a full time job as I have retired from paid work, but I do spend a bit of time volunteering. When I worked full time I managed to juggle my work and caring commitments, and I am committed to give the time needed to properly fulfil the role of Councillor. When I take something on I deliver 100% on it.

3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
Yes, in line with my answer to the Glossop Gazette in edition 6

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?"
I am also a member of the Co-operative Party in addition to the Labour Party.


Hadfield North
Marie Melita Foote (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

Ed Kelly (Labour)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I grew up on the Chapel Lane Estate in the Hadfield North Ward  and I went to St Andrews Primary School in Hadfield. My mother and sister still live there. In terms of a single issue,  I would try to improve the quality and number of education and leisure facilities available for children and young people in the area.
 
2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I work as a part time support worker in Hadfield , with vulnerable adults, which means I have plenty of time available to fulfill my responsibilities as a councillor.
 
3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
 Yes.
 
4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?"
No,  just the Labour Party.


Richard Francis Moore (UKIP)
(Awaiting reply)

Hadfield South (Two seats)
Trish Boyle (UKIP)
(Awaiting reply)

Pat Ellison-Reed (UKIP)
(Awaiting reply)

Ann Flavell (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

Steve Foote (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

Bob McKeown (Labour)
(Awaiting reply)

Melanie Denise O'Brien (Green)
(Awaiting reply)

Edward Siddall (Labour)
(Awaiting reply)


Hayfield
Peter Albert Easter (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

Dave Gates (Labour)
(Awaiting reply)

Karen Hunt (Green)
(Awaiting reply)

Martin Thomas Beynon Jones (Liberal Democrat)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I have lived in the Sett Valley over 32 years and in Hayfield Ward since 2011.
I want to enable and ensure that Hayfield continues to be a thriving and vibrant village and community by promoting it as its councillor on High Peak Borough Council.

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I do not have a full time job, so I will be able to cope with your responsibilities as a councillor.
 
3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
Yes, but it will be for the benefit of Hayfield.

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
No.


Howard Town (Two seats)
Godfrey Claff (Labour)
(Awaiting reply)

Damien Thomas Greenhalgh (Labour)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I am a local - born and raised in Glossop for my sins - and I represent the ward as a county councillor.

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I have the time and can commit to these extra responsibilities.

3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
Happy to.

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
No, I believe in the Labour Party's unique values of fairness and equality.


Paul Lomas (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

Robert O'Connor (Green)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I have lived in Howard Town ward of Glossop since 1989.  I would be looking to make the case for improvements in public transport provision wherever possible, within the remit of HPBC.

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I do not currently have a full time job, and if elected would have the required time to discharge in the role of councillor.

3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
I pledge to the electorate, if voted in, to tell the public how and why I have voted in council meetings.

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
I have previously been a member of the Labour Party.  I joined the Green Party because they are a truly democratic party (all members have equal voting rights on determining the Green Party's Manifesto for Change, in the form of openly accessible twice annual National Conferences).  Also, the Green Party is the political party most in tune with my personal views on the need for social justice, in addition to taking action on, and recognising that there are ecological limits to current patterns of economical growth models used by economists and politicians pursuing a 'neo-liberal' agenda.  I believe that the Green Party is for the people and the planet and is not in the pocket of big business.


Old Glossop (Two seats)
Moira Cunningham (Labour)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I lived in Old Glossop when I first moved to the area, but when my family situation changed I had to find a house in another part of town. I hesitate to choose a single issue on which I could make an impact. I think the most important thing is to listen to what local residents are saying and to do my best to speak up and fairly represent their views - that to me is what representing people is about.
 
2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I do not have a full time job as I have retired from paid work, but I do spend a bit of time volunteering. When I worked full time I managed to juggle my work and caring commitments, and I am committed to give the time needed to properly fulfil the role of Councillor. When I take something on I deliver 100% on it.
 
3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
 Yes, absolutely - I believe in openness and honesty.

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
I have only ever been a member of the Labour Party. I left for a time as many others did when the last Labour Government took us to war with Iraq. Having rejoined, I am happy to say it feels once again like my natural political home.


Jamie Douglas (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

Paul Francis Hardy (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

Neil Johnstone (independent)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I have lived on Shirebrook Park in the Old Glossop ward for 20 years. The single most important issue I and indeed all Independent candidates can have an impact on is to reduce the impact of "Party Politics" on local issues, I believe it is the job of local councillors to represent the views of their electorate and vote on issues in a way that is most beneficial to the people who have elected you. I do not believe this is possible if you are compelled to block vote according to the will of the party you represent.

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I do not have a full time job, I work part time. I will have plenty of time available to be able to represent the electorate of Old Glossop to the high standard they deserve.

3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
I am more than happy to tell the voters not only of Old Glossop but all of the Borough how I voted on every issue as I will always endeavour to vote in their best interests.

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
I have never been a member of a political party

Margo McKenna (Green)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I am now in my fourth year as resident in the borough of Old Glossop. I find it difficult to single out one issue I could make most impact on if I were elected but after upholding the Green Party's ethos of social and environmental justice which would fundamentally direct all my input into the decision making process, I am very keen on the issue of local transport - especially such things as the co-ordination of buses and trains.  Even if we do get the new road which so many people are very keen to get, we would want to make sure that traffic does not massively increase just because there is a new road.  So if people do elect to take the train to Manchester - and we have a good train service for this - it would be great to be sure of not having an inordinately long wait for a bus from station to home.

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I am not in full-time paid employment at this time and so am able to organise my own time.

3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
And yes if elected I would most certainly pledge to tell the electorate how I voted in council meetings.

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
I have never been a member of any political parties other than the Green Party.

Garry Lawrence Parvin (Labour)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
Dawn and I have lived in Old Glossop since 2003.  We had a year in Whitfield and moved back as we missed the place so much! The following are key actions myself and Moira wish to achieve in Old Glossop. These actions are made in the context of expected on-going austerity in High Peak Borough Councils finance. First and foremost we put the people of Old Glossop First.  Being part of the Labour Party and its clear principles supports this.   
Manor, Pyegrove and Shirebrook Parks:  We will support the work of local groups involved in our parks.  We will look at ensuring that these parks benefit from recent developments in Old Glossop.
Bus Stop for Shirebrook Park: We will work with the residents association to get funding to enable a new bus stop is built on Shirebrook Drive.
Supporting Community Action:  We will continue the strong tradition of community action in Old Glossop of community festivals. 
Building local democracy in Old Glossop: It is clear that the village of Old Glossop would benefit of having further powers devolved to it.  Myself and Moira will work with interested parties to see how this can be done.  I will be looking at how Oldham has developed its cooperative council model.

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I do have a full time job working in the NHS in Manchester.  I have relied on the patience and support of my employer. I have also needed the  support of my wife and children.  
 
3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
I am happy to tell people how I do vote now, happy to continue this.

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?"
I am a member of the Cooperative Party. The Cooperative Party works in partnership with the Labour Party.


Michael Graham Perry (UKIP)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I have resided in Old Glossop for some 12 years. The force that I am able to offer is for my experience to! In relation to a single  point under dispute is the proposed  building houses on Greenbelt land.


2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
My position in relation to employment,is that after an operation to my spine, my employment ended. But I enjoy the time it has given me to assist others and engage in local issues. My contribution is therefore 100%  , given time for the family.


3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
In relation to a pledge to share my voting @ Council meetings ,I am comfortable about this. The reason s are:    Meetings are minuted, my decisions  are made for the people of Old Glossop & as we have No  party whip,freedom for the community concerns will be actioned.


4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
I have not been a member of any political party, but am pleased that I have had a mentor an ex Councillor    Mr Ivan Bell to whom I thank for his time and support.

Christopher John Webster (independent)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I have lived in the Old Glossop Ward for 61 years now. There is no one specific issue that an Independent Councillor can impact on, but rather they can impact on every issue being moved by Council. They can do this because they have the freedom of speech and are not tied to party politics. The division of politically led Councillors trying to deliver the Local Plan was a fine example of the problems caused by whips. 43 Councillors should have delivered the Local Plan last year therefore protecting vulnerable areas of the High Peak from Developers and the Planning Inspectorate.

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I do not have a full time job. I am registered disabled after suffering life changing injuries in an industrial accident.

3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
I have never tried to hide the way I vote in either full council meetings or committee meetings. I see no reason why any councillor would try to hide how they voted. The residents guide me on my voting habits. I am accountable to them.

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
I have been a fully paid up member of the United Road Transport Union. I left because they were block voting for issues I did not agree with. I was briefly a member of the Conservative Party but left because I would not agree to being whipped at meetings. I was a founder member of the Glossopdale Independent Party. This party was formed by local residents who cared about Glossop. The party was disbanded after 6 years due to lack of funding and some senior members passing away. I carried on as an Independent. I trust this information will be helpful to your readers, but as always, I continue to operate an open house policy for residents of my Ward.

Padfield
Peter James Kay (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

Nick Longos (Labour)
(Awaiting reply)


Simmondley (Two seats)
Masha Bennett (Green)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
 I have lived in Simmondley ward since 2001 (with a short stint in Padfield in 2011-2012). As a Green Councillor I would oppose further cuts to jobs and services and campaign for an increase in resources so that the council can meet the needs of local people and contribute to the regeneration of local community.

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I work 2 days per week as a psychotherapist in the NHS, and am self-employed the rest of the time. If elected, I would reduce the workload in my private practice in order to fulfill my responsibilities as a councillor.

3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
 Yes.

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
 I was a member of Liberal Democrats in the past. I left because I was deeply disappointed by their broken promises and compromises they made in coalition with the Conservatives.

Murray Booth (Liberal Democrat)
(Awaiting reply)

Graham Fox (Labour)
(Awaiting reply)

Ayshea Garbutt (Liberal Democrat)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I've lived in Simmondley for 7 years. Before that I lived in Luton but I'm originally from Warrington. We moved here not for work or studies but because we wanted our children to grow up in a better environment. I have not regretted it for a second. Glossop is a wonderful place. I would not say that there is one individual thing I would like to make a difference on as I think the people of the area have more than one issue that concerns them e.g. potential increase of traffic mayhem by building on Adderley fields, road safety especially around the shops on Pennine Road. I would hope that I would be able to represent local peoples views and keep them informed.
 
2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I have just started a new job. I work part time in a school so benefit from school holidays. I believe I could comfortably manage time as a councillor, working and being a mother of two.
 
3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
I would pledge to tell the electorate how I vote. I think transparency is very important. The electorate want to know that the people representing them are honest.
 
4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
I have never been a member of any other political party. I have voted for the Liberal Democrats since I was old enough to vote.

John Haken (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

Stella Margaret Hutchinson (Labour)
(Awaiting reply)

Julie Ann McCabe (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

David Phillips (UKIP)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
Since February 1978 i.e. 36 years. I don't think any individual councillor can guarantee to make an impact in isolation. My priority  concern is the 'Mottram Jam' attaching to housing development without associated infrastructure improvement.
  
2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I am retired. If I remained in full time work I would expect concessions from my  employer in accordance with law

3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
I would not hesitate to disclose how I voted on any issue, nor to explain my reasoning

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
I joined UKIP in 1993 - my only political affiliation. I am not a 'professional politician.  I simply wish to see full parliamentary sovereign powers restored to Westminster.


St John's
Chris Boyle (UKIP)
(Awaiting reply)

Rob McKeown (Labour)
(Awaiting reply)

George David Wharmby (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

Stephen David Worrall (Liberal Democrat)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I have lived in Saint Johns since November 2012 when my girlfriend and I first moved in together, prior to that I had been living in the neighbouring ward of Simmondley. In terms of my ward the issue I think I could make most impact on would be in dealing with inconsiderate pavement parking which has been causing plenty of problems, for parents with pushchairs in particular. They have had to walk in the road, sometimes on a 40 mph stretch, for long distances and this to me is unacceptable.
 
2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
Yes I am a full time PhD researcher at the University of Manchester. I know I could cope with the responsibilities of being councillor as A) I am already balancing a variety of other voluntary commitments with my research and B) the flexible nature of research means I can fit work around other commitments.
 
3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
Yes. I have been asked this question on a number of occasions and my answer has always been the same, transparency and accountability are of the upmost importance.
 
4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
No.


Tintwistle
Pat Jenner (Labour)
(Awaiting reply)

David Mark Novakovic (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

John Simon Reed (UKIP)
(Awaiting reply)


Whitfield
Ian Michael Baker (Conservative)
(Awaiting reply)

Chris Cuff (Green)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I have lived in Whitfield for five years. If elected I would prioritise small businesses and the local economy, so that more jobs that pay the living wage can be created locally. Large, remote businesses currently have an unfair advantage over local businesses, and we need to redress that balance in order to build a thriving and sustainable local community.

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
Yes, I work full time but I have enough free time outside my job to fully commit to being a councillor.

3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
Yes, it is essential that the electorate knows how their councillor has voted. 

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
I have previously been both a Lib Dem and Labour party member. I grew disillusioned with both and joined the Green Party three years ago. I believe we are the only party standing up for the 99% of people and the planet, as opposed to the other parties who serve the super-rich 1% and ignore our climate crisis.  

Murgan William Kerr (UKIP)
(Awaiting reply)

Graham Oakley (Labour)
1. How long have you lived in your ward and what single issue could you make most impact on if you were elected?
I have lived in Whitfield Ward for 19 years. The main issue for Whitfield is to see it that it gets its fair share of resources - I will fight to ensure that Whitfield is not neglected.

2. Do you have a full time job and if so how could you cope with your responsibilities as a councillor?
I am now retired.

3. Would you pledge to tell the electorate how you vote in councils meetings?
I am happy for residents to know how I vote.

4. Have you ever been a member of any political parties other than the one you are representing now? If you have swapped/left a party can you tell us why?
When I moved to Glossop I joined the Social Democratic Party as it was forming. I suppose this was mainly because Shirley Williams, one of the founders, had been my Labour MP in Stevenage. I quickly realised my political home was the Labour Party. I became a member in the mid-eighties. I haven't always been happy with policies - the invasion of Iraq springs to mind - but I'm convinced Labour's vision for our country is the right one.

 See second set of questions for HPBC candidates here

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