WHO will get your vote in the local elections on May 3? Here the candidates for Stalybridge North (including Carrbrook, Heyrod and Ridgehill) explain why you should vote for them, in their own words.
Laura Dias de Almeida – Green Party
I have lived in the Stalybridge North ward for 14 years and find it a very pleasant place to live. I work at the university and am also studying to be a teacher of yoga in Dukinfield.
I am a keen cyclist and think more should be done to make our roads safer and public transport more user-friendly. The level of air pollution is high across Tameside and more attention should be given to reducing these levels so that everybody, young and old, can enjoy a better quality of life.
One way of reducing pollution is by planting trees and maintaining those we have. The council seems more intent on felling trees rather than looking after them.
Levels of recycling are not high enough and there is an ongoing problem with fly tipping and general littering. The Green Party believes this problem should be addressed by encouraging people to be proud of their neighbourhoods and by making it easier to dispose of large items. Community action will improve the environment for all.
The news that the River Tame has the highest recorded levels of plastic pollution in the world should make us all worry and realise something must be done very quickly.
Vote Green on May 3 for a cleaner, safer environment for all residents.
Sam Gosling – Labour Party
We all want a better world for our children. Wider job opportunities, stronger communities and decent healthcare. I have two boys aged eight and four and it is because I want the best future for them that I’ve decided to stand. I want to be able to shape the future of Stalybridge and show them that if there are things we are frustrated about, you don’t have to complain from the sidelines. You can stand up, be counted and lead the change you want to see.
Whether it’s cleaner streets, better schools, nicer parks, safer stations or more efficient recycling services, I have had enough of sounding off on social media or emailing somebody else to push for change. I want to be the person that makes change happen and shapes our community for the better. Tory cuts have hit our town hard and, although resources are limited,
I want to make sure Stalybridge and its residents are heard.
I care about Stalybridge because it has shaped me. My days at West Hill School gave me confidence and resilience to overcome barriers and better myself. That is why when I turned thirty, I decided to gain a degree in politics from Manchester Metropolitan University. Putting myself through university whilst parenting and working hasn’t been easy, but I have proven that if I want to make something happen, I will.
As your councillor, I will get things done. I am not interested in grandstanding; I am a doer and a grafter, I am proud to live in Stalybridge. If you put your trust in me on May 3, I will give my all to you, to our town, and work hard for all of our children’s futures.
Lee Stafford – Stalybridge Town
I have three grown-up children and came to the town 15 years ago. My wife and I have run Kitchen Door Specialist in Stalybridge for 10 years.
The people of Stalybridge are so welcoming and I instantly fell in love with the place and made it my home.
I want to see more local involvement in the planning process, allowing us a say in shaping our future. Tree-felling and construction projects often cause outcry on social media and it is often due to the lack of communication. In this day of social media and internet access I don’t believe it is acceptable to simply place an add in the local newspaper and a couple of notices on lamp posts. I want to see TMBC utilise their social media accounts to notify us of upcoming planning issues that affect us.
This year I have worked with TMBC officers to help me with litter picks. With charges of over £90 at the recycling centre I was struggling to get rid of the collected rubbish. I believe many people want the area where they live to be litter free and are willing to help clear it. I want to see the help that was given to me widely publicised so that other groups can take advantage.
The main roads extend out from Stalybridge Town Centre like the spokes of a bicycle wheel. The various communities at the end of these spokes such as Heyrod, Arlies, Carrbrook and Mottram Rise can feel a little isolated. They all have one thing in common though and that is our town centre.
I want to see the regeneration of Stalybridge bring these communities together centrally and believe the plans should include facilities to do that.
I want your vote so that I can stand on the inside and be your voice, your link and your solution. Together we can make a difference.
David Tilbrook – Conservative Party
I am a 37-year-old father of two and have lived in Tameside all my life and in the ward with my wife for the last 17 years. I work for an organisation that provides leadership development for people in children’s services.
I officially joined the Conservative Party 12 months ago, having seen the condition of Tameside under a Labour run council all my life.
We have experienced tax rises and massive service cuts, yet not seen any improvement in the standard of living or investment in Stalybridge. Tameside’s children services have failed its inspection for two years running and the adult care is inadequate. With Labour hoarding £210m in the bank, tax rises are unacceptable.
The Labour council have been cutting services well beyond the government’s requirements while building up their own reserves. This money now needs to be released and invested into our communities to make them a better place to live for you and your family. If elected, I will lobby and fight for this to happen.
I believe that building better communities for you and your family will not only benefit you now, but also future generations.
Our greenbelt is a vital part of our community, yet Labour continue to sell off and look to build on our green spaces. I will fight to keep our greenbelt green and not give in to developers. I want areas that people can go to appreciate the natural beauty we have in Stalybridge.
Hugo Wils – Communist League
I work at Tulip’s factory in Dukinfield and am a member of the Community trade union. After the Grenfell tower disaster I joined protests to the Government’s response. Last year I went on a young trade unionists’ delegation to Cuba, joining thousands of workers on May Day defending their revolution.
Millions of working people’s lives are being devastated by the consequences of capitalism’s deepening economic, social and political crisis — including the UK’s participation in ongoing military operations and wars around the world. Tameside is a part of this bigger picture.
Some workers are seeking to increase solidarity and overcome capitalist-fuelled competition and divisions by using our trade unions in order to advance beyond discontent and anger. Others are demanding equal rights for immigrant workers, combating racial discrimination and police frame ups, and more are demanding dignity and an end to the second-class treatment of women.
The Communist League campaigns – and promotes the Militant newspaper – with fellow workers on their doorsteps, in workplaces and elsewhere in the UK, raising that it is this resistance and openness to discuss a working-class course — not entrapment in capitalist politics dominated by the Labour and Conservative parties — that offers a way forward for working people.
The Communist League is building a working-class party out of these class battles that can lead a revolutionary struggle of millions to replace capitalist rule with workers power. From the men and women who made the Cuban revolution we learn that we are capable of doing this.