Meet the candidates standing for election on May 22.
On Thursday, May 22, elections will take place to decide seats on Harrogate Borough Council and for Yorkshire’s seats on the European Parliament.
The deadline for registering to vote has now passed.
A total of 19 seats on Harrogate Borough Council are being contested.
Further details on the elections can be found at: http://www.harrogate.gov.uk/elec/Pages/Elections-2014.aspx
The Harrogate Advertiser team will be on hand on results day, Thursday May 23 to bring you the news, first.
The team will operate a live blog and bring readers the first interviews with successful candidates online.
Candidates for Ripon Minster, Ripon Moorside and Ripon Spa will be published at www.ripongazette.co.uk
Headshots of individual candidates are available in our newspapers, editions May 8 and 15.
Andrew Philip Gray (Lab)
“Like you, I demand that the hospitals are well-funded. Like you, I want Skipton Road to flow. I want to see an end to religious selection in our schools and I want to see affordable childcare.
“For once, much-needed housing must be built in the south of the town, not in Bilton again.
“Dad, solicitor and employer I am on your side and I believe that the cosy LibDem-Tory consensus which has governed Harrogate for decades requires scrutiny.”
Paul Haslam (Con)
“Paul, 56, has lived in Bilton since 2007, runs his own (coaching) business and is married with grown up children and grandchildren.
“He is a keen conservationist and beekeeper, supporting local conservation groups.
“He is determined that the town develops as a first rate retail and tourist destination whilst providing superb facilities for the residents. Part of this must be the continued improvement of our transport links especially the railway.
“He has a record of successful campaigning, including being part of the Plastic Bag Free Harrogate group. His current work includes campaigning to improve safety for pedestrians, cyclists and horse riders at the entrance to the Nidderdale Greenway and keeping residents informed of all local news that will impact on them including planning applications and the Tour de France.
“He is focused on protecting and promoting the interests of the people of Bilton.”
Claire Hawkins (Green)
“I have lived in Harrogate for 19 years. 18 of those as a single mother raising my Conor, who is also; standing as a Green Party candidate in his own first time as a voter. I am a very proud mum. I have worked at Henshaws Arts and Crafts Centre for the blind as a workshop leader covering a variety off crafts.
“I have also worked alongside and supported some wonderful people with learning and physical disabilities in raising awareness and making sure that their views were heard.
“I have voted Green since I could vote myself, which happened to fall on my 18th birthday. I have never looked back since and I have, and always will, believe that ‘Fair is worth fighting for!’”
Robert Michael O’Neill (L D)
“Bob O’Neill has been a resident of Harrogate for 43 years - thoroughbred Yorkshireman. His family of 3 generations have all lived, worked and attended schools locally in the Bilton area.
“Bob a recent widower (2013) was married to Gwen for 45 years. Bob O’Neill was previously a Harrogate Borough Councillor between 1987-1995. Bob was Deputy Mayor in 1991-1992 and Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate in 1994-1995. After leaving the Council he became a manager through some of the most successful years at the Harrogate International Centre until retirement 2 years ago.
“Bob is committed to the Harrogate District and especially Bilton where he currently lives and will be a dedicated servant of the area.”
David Gilbert Simister (Ukip)
“I have lived in the heart of Bilton for the past four years and, 12 months ago, was elected to serve the Bilton & Nidd Gorge Division on North Yorkshire County Council.
“Over the past 12 months, I have led calls to cut councillors’ allowances, shelve plans for the Allerton Park incinerator, to bring the highways back under Borough Council control, and to scrap the current two-tier local government set up in favour of a single tier authority, which will save the tax payers millions of pounds.
“If elected to Harrogate Borough Council, I want to ensure services are improved whilst costs are reduced, and that includes putting the running of the loss-making International Centre into the hands of the private sector.”
Arif Ahmed (Ind)
“The three main parties have failed to tackle the problems of Harrogate. I aim to change all of that by:
“Stopping wastage of your taxpayers money on useless projects - such as £9million on new council offices.
“Improve child and adult education by providing the necessary courses free to low paid and unemployed.
“Provide help and assistance to people on benefits and welfare and the long-term unemployed. This can be done via cutting down (i.e. reducing) council tax bills for the poor and those on low incomes.
“All money raised via traffic offences and the court system to be put into the public purse and then help given to the people of Harrogate and district.
“Provide better bus services, green wastage bins, better education, better GP/hospital services and for the first time provide alternative and complimentary service to hospitals/GP surgeries.”
Robert Ashley Darlington (Lab)
“Robert is an assistant in a Harrogate solicitors and was born and raised in Harrogate.
“He will fight for an alternative to the Conservative and Liberal Democrat austerity which delayed growth. Harrogate has a higher than average council tax rate and Robert will push for a local budget that puts residents first.
“He will fight to protect local bus services and call for a fairer housing policy that sees housing developments shared across Harrogate with a greater focus on social housing and genuinely affordable housing for the 3000 people on the housing waiting list.”
John Michael Fox (Lib Dem)
“Councillor John Fox is active in the community as Chairman of the Fairfax Community Centre and the Granby Quality of Life Project, Chair of Harrogate Christmas Lights and the Harrogate Christmas Market Group.
“John is a hardworking supporter of the Voluntary Sector in the District and initiated the Harrogate & District Volunteer Oscars when he was Mayor of the Borough of Harrogate in 2008/9, 2014 is the seventh year of the Volunteering Awards.
“John is determined to protect essential Council services and supports building affordable homes for local people. He believes we need better paid employment in the Harrogate District and that the Council should be more supportive of the business community.
John spent most of his working life as a quantity surveyor and worked in the voluntary sector from 2009 to 2013.”
Steve Marshall (Con)
“Steve Marshall is 57 and runs a successful land surveying company. He has over 30 years’ experience in construction engineering and if elected would bring this knowledge to the council.
“Steve supports various local campaigns. He is passionate about stopping green field development adjacent to Kingsley Drive. He has concerns about the safety of Harrogate High School students walking to school with motorists regularly speeding on Kingsley Drive compromising safety.
“Recent campaigns include working with Cllr Richard Cooper to save the Wedderburn bus service and backing action to relieve congestion at Woodlands Corner.
“Living locally on Birstwith Road, Steve has strong links with the local community and if elected he will support all residents whatever their political views.”
Hugh Cecil Hamilton Whiteside (Ukip)
“Hugh Whiteside has lived in Harrogate for 35 years and he and his wife run an Internet publishing company employing local people.
“He believes that, outside the EU, the country would be able to negotiate completely new arrangements for trade and co-operation with the EU and be free to make its own trade and other agreements with the Commonwealth and the rest of the world.
“He is sceptical about the extent of the man-made contribution to global warming which has now been statistically insignificant for 17 years. He believes we should adapt to any future climate change rather than attempting to reduce carbon emissions singlehandedly. This means no subsidies for wind farms and cutting energy bills.
“In his opinion, UKIP’s common sense policies are the best for the residents of Granby Ward and the country.”
Justin James Peter Chan (L D)
“I have lived in Harrogate all my life and my family background is from the town. I work at a manufacturing company near Knaresborough as a quality technician.
“I have a BSc degree in Social Sciences (Politics/History) gained at Bradford University and I spent a semester on an Erasmus university exchange to Catania University in Sicily, Italy.
“I have been interested in politics since my teenage years and I regularly follow current affairs.
“My reasons for standing in the forthcoming HBC elections are to ensure that jobs are retained within the HBC District, to look at solutions to the growing traffic congestion, assess the quantity of affordable housing and to review the Local Development Plan. HBC should play a leading role within the Leeds City Region in relation to future economic prosperity.”
David D’Arcy Thompson (Ukip)
“I am standing as your UKIP candidate because all their policies ‘tick my boxes’.
“I also trust UKIP will deliver on these policies if given a chance.
“Having lived in the Harlow Moor Ward since 1955, I am aware of all its current affairs.
“I am married, with a large, grown-up family and three grandchildren, of whom I am very proud. My work is as an accountant with offices in Harrogate.
“I am Treasurer of RASH (Residents Against Spoiling Harrogate), which brought together the residents’ Associations of Harlow Moor, Duchy, Beckwithshaw and Queen Ethelburgars, to fight for a common sense housing policy for the area, which was not forthcoming after the public meetings. With the legacy we are giving to our grandchildren in mind, I have not given up on this issue.”
Don Mackenzie (Con)
“Having worked hard for the residents of Harlow Moor over the past eight years, Don hopes very much to continue those efforts after May 22.
“He has fought to secure improved bus services throughout the ward and a much-needed bus shelter, a fairer secondary schools admissions policy for local families, closer cooperation with the police to reduce anti-social behaviour, and strong links with all local residents’ associations.
“Totally committed to the service of his residents, Don will continue to support campaigns against unsustainable housing development in the countryside, and to maintain the integrity of the ward’s conservation areas.
“The electors and taxpayers of Harlow Moor can be certain that Don is ready to continue his work on their behalf, and to play a full part in ensuring that the borough council, after five years of council tax freezes, goes on providing excellent services at best value for their money.”
Kevin John McNerney (Lab)
“Harlow Moor has been in the pocket of the Tories forever. Look at the disastrous new housing they have allowed. The roads in Harlow Moor are shocking. The Pinewoods will be next.
“The Tories in Harrogate are the mafia of the mediocre and they are selling Harrogate by the pound – police station closure, Crescent Gardens Town Hall fiasco and poor housing.
“I have lived here for 14 years and brought my children up in an area I want to keep special. If you vote for me you will remove the complacency of the Councillors who have been in power.”
Helen Burke (Lab)
“The government has given North Yorkshire a greater role in providing public health services – at the same time as budgets are being cut.
“I believe that there will be insufficient resources to meet the demands for health and social care services. Our county has an above average elderly population but, under present funding formulas, NHS funding can be four times greater per capita in other counties. I do not believe we are four times healthier here.
I will fight to change the funding formulas to give our elderly residents the health care they need.”
Philip Burke (Ukip)
“A life long Tory, like countless others I have lost all faith in a party that seems to hold the electorate, their views and opinions in contempt.
“They simply don’t listen to the basic concerns that the majority of ordinary people have, while the other two (Libs and Labs) simply don’t have a clue about anything at all.
“So please, before it’s too late, help me to keep Harrogate the place it still is before, like so many other UK towns and cities, it simply morphs into another browbeaten brainwashed non-entity.”
Ben Johnson (Con)
“Ben has lived in Harrogate for over 20 years. He lives locally just off the Skipton Road and so experiences many of the issues local people face day-in day-out in our area.
“Ben is an experienced community activist having taken up many concerns for local residents including highways issues, street lighting and parking problems. He was a governor at Springwater School and has helped at the Harrogate Childline Junior Triathlon. He is also an accomplished businessman, working as an operations manager for an international company.
“Working alongside Coun Richard Cooper, some of Ben’s current work includes campaigning against road narrowing in the town centre which would force traffic on to residential streets, keeping our area tidy by getting graffiti removed quickly and doing community litter picks to preserve the special character of our area.”
Diane Lucy Stokes (Lib Dem)
“Diane Stokes moved to Harrogate from Leicester 39 years ago. Diane has 3 grown up sons and 2 grandchildren. Diane has worked as a nurse, in retail and in sales and financial services administration.
“Diane previously represented Granby ward on Harrogate Borough Council between 1992 and 2002 during which time she sat on Housing, Leisure Services, Standards and Planning Committees.
“Diane was a member of the Management Committee of Harrogate & District Women’s Aid. She is a keen member of Rotary, having travelled to India last year to take part in their National Immunisation Day to eradicate polio. “Diane Stokes is a member of the management committee of the local community centre.”
Paul Viney (Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition)
“I am a retired carpenter and trade union shop steward and have lived in Harrogate for 35 years. I worked for Harrogate Council for 14 years which has given me a unique insight into the problems within the council.
“I am standing as a socialist candidate for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition. All the main parties are united in supporting privatisation and cuts. However, I believe that councillors should set a budget which meets people’s needs and refuse to implement any cuts. The council should use reserves and borrowing to fund local services, while demanding the shortfall back from government.
“Rents in the private sector are rocketing and there is a lack of affordable homes. I am campaigning for rent controls and a programme of council house building.
“I support a living wage of £10 an hour and a ban on zero hour contracts for all council workers and contractors.”
Lorraine Maria Ferris (Lab)
“If elected, I would challenge the Tories and LibDems to focus their spending cuts to minimise suffering to those who can least afford it.”
Phil Headford (Con)
“Phil has lived in the Harrogate area for over 15 years with his wife and daughter; and for the last 4 years within Hookstone Ward.
“Following 31 years service in the Army he is able to run for public office and relishing the challenge. He is currently meeting as many of the residents in the ward as he can.T hroughout his Army service if something was important to one of his soldiers it was important to him and he will carry that ethos forward if elected.
“Worked with voluntary/sport groups (running, orienteering, guides, scouts, brownies, Hookstone Communal garden); he has voluntarily organised and run clubs and taught in local schools and colleges; served as a School Governor for a period of time. He personally planned and built the 3 orienteering courses in Valley Gardens/Pinewoods. Passionate about environmental issues, recycling, local services and anti-social behaviour he wants to stand up for you on the council.”
Pat Marsh (Lib Dem)
“I have served 24 years on Harrogate Borough Council and during that time I have been Chairman & Cabinet Member for Leisure overseeing many important projects such as the building of the Hydro and restoration of the Sun Pavilion.
“I have also been the Council representative on Regional bodies such as Sport England. Now I am the spokesperson for Culture, Vice President of the Sea Cadets and on the Board of Visit Harrogate.
“I have lived in Hookstone Ward for nearly 58 years, therefore I feel I am well qualified to understand what the issues are and have the knowledge and contacts to try and resolve those local issues. As a Member of Council I am very much against the proposed new Council Offices. Restoration of our Civic Building is the way forward it is not only a saving in build costs but also on revenue costs as well, an all round win win. If the Council has £9m to spend there are other projects which need our attention, such as extending recycling. On the doorstep the main issue has been Pot Holes and that is a NYCC responsibility but I never shy away from pressing NYCC to resolve those areas reported to me, with a great deal of success. I would like the Council to develop a Vision for our Town so we can ensure that Harrogate becomes the best place in the UK to live, work and play.”
Steven O’Neill (Ukip)
“Born in Harrogate I was educated at Starbeck Primary School, Harrogate Grammar School and then gained a Degree in Media Production & Design in London.
“A self-employed Graphic Designer, I am running as UKIP candidate for Hookstone to give voters the opportunity to support the only party that wants to leave the European Union. EU directives now affect even minor Council and County Council decisions.
“I believe the country should not be governed by remote, unelected bureaucrats in Brussels, at a cost of over £50 million a day and that decisions affecting our local communities should be made in our local communities.”
Sue Batt (Con)
“Sue is married to John, she moved to Knaresborough from Starbeck in 1975 and has a strong affinity with the town. She is a former school governor. Sue works within the caring community and she and John live locally on Bilsdale Grove.
“She and John have been married for 33 years and have three adult children who attended a local school. Sue is a strong local campaigner and will stand up for a Knaresborough she sees as a home for its residents, a centre of tourism and a town of culture. Her priorities include making sure our housing allocation is fair, supporting the release of more land for allotments and campaigning for more parking in our town.”
Carolina Bruce (Ukip)
“I live with my Husband Laurence in Knaresborough, a town we love very much.
“I am a clairvoyant and psychic who helps people with their problems and issues in life. I feel as a good listener, I would make a good local councillor.
“In my life I have seen changes, some good and some bad - I want to put my experience to good use.
“Knaresborough is a beautiful place to live and what we do now, marks out what our next generation in 20 or 30 years time will experience.
“I am passionate, powerful and strong - fly like a butterfly but sting like a bee!”
David Anthony Bulmer (Lab)
“This is the first time I have stood in a local election and I am looking forward to the experience. I have lived in Knaresborough for 12 years with my wife Catherine and work locally as a care manager. Both our children attended King James school and went on to university. Social justice, opportunity for all and building a strong community are core Labour values and reflect my beliefs. Tactical voting for the LibDems is a wasted vote. A vote for Labour is a positive act and gives a message.”
Christine Mary Willoughby (Lib Dem)
“I have been a councillor for the last eight years and hope to be re-elected this May.
“I am active and committed, working tirelessly for the town. I was pivotal in organising the celebrations of the 800 years of the Royal Maundy in 2010; I fundraised to improve a play area and was involved in a Town council group which purchased the new allotment field.
“I attended Manor Infants School, Castle Girls School in the Castle Yard and later King James’s Grammar School. I am married to Andrew, have two children and two grandchildren.
“I work at King James’s School as a technician. I have been a governor at a number of schools and am currently a governor at The Forest School. I am chair of Knaresborough in Bloom.
“I enjoy singing as a member of Knaresborough Choral Society as well as singing on the choir at Holy Trinity church.”
KNARESBOROUGH KING JAMES
Nick Bates (Green)
“I am standing in Knaresborough at 18 to show the public that the youth of the town are not apathetic or unwilling to be involved in public service.
“As the Green Party candidate I am concerned about the local problems of homelessness, public transport, and recycling. I will endeavour to engage the local authorities in these issues
“I endorse the Green Party stance upon progressive behaviour within economic policy, and the promotion of equal rights amongst the entire populous. I stand against the blatant xenophobia and denial of serious flaws within our multicultural policy which belittle and attack the most impoverished in our society.
“I would like to convince the public that not all the people on benefits are there through their own fault and encourage all local initiatives to help particularly the young to find training and employment.”
Laurence Bruce (Ukip)
“I have lived with my wife Carolina in Knaresborough for the past 13 years. I have been involved with promotion and marketing for most of my adult life.
“Well grounded, I take a strong and balanced approach to life. I am not your average political local councillor - I am not afraid of controversy and do not tow the line with political correctness.
“I will be the councillor that will bring change. If something needs doing - I do it! And if I do it - I always make an impact.”
David Ryland Goode (Lib Dem)
“David Goode has lived in Knaresborough for over 20 years. He and his wife have 3 children, all of whom attended local primary and secondary schools where he was a member of and chair of the PTA.
“David is a Governor at Aspin Park Primary School, a member of Knaresborough Chamber of Trade and Treasurer of Green Dragon Crafts Community Association which supports people with learning difficulties. David recently retired from a career in IT.
“David and his wife also ran a small business in Knaresborough for a number of years. David is campaigning for plans to be developed for a new Eco Village in order to reduce the continued over-development of Knaresborough. He is calling for proper plans to be drawn up to address the need for new and improved roads, schools, parking and public services to ensure Knaresborough can cope with the influx of new residents resulting from housing development.”
Diane Patricia Maguire (Lab)
“I have lived locally for 40 years, am married with grown-up children and work as a university lecturer in education. I moved to Knaresborough last year and, while everyone is very welcoming, I have seen at first hand the disparity between council services provided for Harrogate and those provided for Knaresborough.
“The town desperately needs Labour councillors to fight for people whose living standards are being squeezed and to hold the complacent Libdem/Tory councillors to account. Knaresborough has had a strong tradition of Labour councillors and can have again. If enough people vote Labour, they will get Labour.”
Mike Renton (Con)
“Mike lives locally in Knaresborough on Wetherby Road. He went to Aspin Park Primary and King James School where he was heavily involved in fundraising.
“Mike works for a public relations company in Harrogate and plays cricket at Knaresborough Forest. He organises an annual music festival that raises money for local charities including the Sadie Rose Clifford Appeal and the Young Farmers.
“Mike is standing for both Borough and Town Council because he wants to stand up for Knaresborough and make sure our town’s voice is heard.
“He is campaigning for our roads to be repaired and for action to relieve congestion on Bond End and the High Street. He supports the council tax freeze that the borough council has implemented this year. He is also working with local businesses to improve the high street.
“Mike is an experienced and successful campaigner who would be a strong voice for Knaresborough.”
KNARESBOROUGH SCRIVEN PARK
Tony Handley (Con)
“Tony and his wife Lori have lived on Bond End, in the heart of the Scriven Park Ward, for the last six years.
“It’s also where they have their livelihood: two holiday cottages. Tony believes it’s this combination and his active involvement in the Chamber of Trade, Renaissance Knaresborough and Knaresborough Town Council, that have provided him with a unique understanding of the issues facing the town.
“He has led the town’s award winning Christmas Lights, the Golden Jubilee celebrations, the Olympic torch drive through, and is currently joint chair of the very active Le Tour Knaresborough team, all wonderful events that reflect the true spirit of the community. He is also a victim to its frustrations like the heavy traffic on Bond End.
“I won’t make any fancy election promises. I will simply try to do the very best I can to get a better deal for everyone who lives in our very special town.
Anne Jones (Lib Dem)
“Since 2002 I have worked hard on behalf of residents, gaining a reputation for action and results. If elected I will continue to “bang the drum” for Knaresborough.
“I have a Knaresborough based business, employing local people, which is a member of the Chamber of Trade. My house at Bond End is located in an area of concern to me due to the air-quality ratings and standing traffic. Since being elected to NYCC in 2013 I have worked with colleagues, officers at both councils in an effort to find a solution to the problems. I speak out against inappropriate development, which could bring hundreds of extra vehicle movements through Bond End. I am calling for the phased introduction of low-carbon buses.
“A member of “Le Tour Knaresborough”. Chair to HENSHAWS Society fundraising committee. I serve on Knaresborough Community Centre committee and Chain Lane Board. A member of the Safer Neighbourhood group and a supporter of the British Legion.”
Chris Royston (Ukip)
“I came to live in the friendly town of Knaresborough during 1982. Before moving to Knaresborough, I served as an Independent Ratepayer Parish Councillor in Nottinghamshire and have been a UKIP member for more than 20 years. “I was a Parliamentary Candidate for the Referendum Party in 1997 and for UKIP Harrogate & Knaresborough in 2005.
“I was trained in the Royal Engineers as an electrical and mechanical draughtsman and saw active service in Yemen.
“On leaving the Army, I worked in technical sales before starting my own business in 1988 exporting our British made products to numerous countries both in and outside Europe.”
Jan Williams (Lab)
“I have lived in Knaresborough for 11 years and have taught in comprehensive schools and practised legal aid family law. I am appalled at how current national and local policies threaten our community.
“A world-wide recession has been used by a right-wing clique, kept in power by the Libdems, as an excuse to cut vital public services, selling off huge sections to multinationals, and starving local authorities of funds.
“If elected, I will vigorously fight for measures which promote fairness and cohesion and which protect the most vulnerable. A nine-million pound spend on new council offices is simply not a priority.”
John Radcliffe Ennis (Con)
“John has lived in central Harrogate for twenty years. His family grew up here, attending the town’s excellent state schools.
“He was elected councillor for Low Harrogate in 2010. Since then he has taken up a many issues on residents’ behalf - traffic, potholes and parking, waste and recycling, anti-social behaviour, protecting the interests of residents living close to the bars and clubs of the town centre, standing up to developers for local people’s interests.
“John says, “It has been a privilege to work for local people and obtain solutions to local problems. Harrogate is a great place to live, and I would like to have the opportunity to make it even better.”
“He is also a governor of the local hospital Trust, and regular volunteer for a local charity supporting older people to continue to live in their own home.”
Jeanette Ann Marshall (Lib Dem)
“I have lived in Harrogate for over 20 years. I am married and a mother.
“I am standing for the first time so I’m new to local government but have a great team behind me. I am active in the community, have been a qualified nurse and ran a small business. I have raised my children who attended local state schools and have been actively involved in both primary and secondary school PTAs.
“Both my children have a disability and have required significant help and support over many years giving me a huge breadth of experience including within the NHS and Social Services. I have organised events to raise money for various charities. My husband has his own business in Harrogate.
“Harrogate is a very special place to live and work. If elected I will work hard to help with issues that concern people living in Low Harrogate.”
Marlene Shreeve (Lab)
“I have lived in the Harrogate area for 11 years, after working as a teacher, youth worker and project manager in inner-city Leeds, where I saw the results of abject poverty on people’s lives.
“I certainly never expected to find a homelessness project here and - since last year- even a food bank. While ensuring Harrogate’s continuing prosperity as a magnet for visitors, I would fight to subsidise vital services for those who depend on them most. For example, affordable fares and regular bus services benefit the young, the elderly and working families juggling tight budgets. I fail to see how spending £9 million on new council offices can be justified.”
Ruth Marian Whiteside (Ukip)
“Ruth Whiteside has lived in Harrogate in North Yorkshire for 35 years and she and her husband run an Internet company employing local people. She believes that UKIP’s common sense policies are the best for North Yorkshire and the country.”
Neil Scott Bentley (Con)
“Neil lives on the Knox estate in the New Park ward with his wife Sharon and one of their twin sons. He is a member of the Knox Valley Residents’ Association.
“Living locally, Neil is already part of the local community and understands the issues facing local people and families in New Park. His children attended Coppice Valley Primary School and he has been regularly involved with helping the community and various charities.
“Working as a sales manager for a design, print and web company, Neil understands budgets and finance. He knows how to make ends meet in difficult times. He can get the best deal for our area and make Council resources go further.”
Andrew Philip Dennis (Ukip)
“After a successful career at sea with service around the world, I moved to Harrogate some 14 years ago to work within a local retailer.
“I then went to work for a fast food company and then decided to retrain and have completed a course in Countryside Management which has enabled me to gain experience when balancing decisions about the need for Housing development and the need to preserve the living environment.
“I have worked with tenants to resolve issues with their landlord within a housing association of some 4,500 houses across Leeds, Wakefield and Harrogate Borough. I feel that the costs of local government should be as low as possible, but still maintaining services at a high level for everyone within the council area.”
Conor Reece Hawkins (Green)
“I have lived in Harrogate since I was born and attended New Park Primary School and Harrogate Grammar School. I am well aware of the issues in New Park and hope to offer a fresh perspective to address them.
“I have always had an interest in politics and am now an active member of the Young Greens; and feel that standing as a candidate myself will encourage other young people to get involved in politics.
“After questioning my own political beliefs I came to the realisation that the Greens are a party for change, change that we so desperately need in Britain. The cuts imposed by central government are harmful and damaging to the quality of life to citizens up and down the country, I will do my best at local level to protect us from these cuts while supporting our local services.”
Nicholas James Knott (Lab)
“Harrogate’s development plan for housing in the district has been turned down by the inspector for providing only half the houses needed. It’s the cosy Conservative/LibDem Harrogate council that has created this situation. “For decades major housing building has taken place in the north of the town which has caused problems on the overloaded Skipton Road. New housing development needs to be in the south of the town and not the north were the infrastructure is at breaking point. The last few years has seen cutbacks in bus services: it is now time for council to take a more positive role in the planning of bus services.”
Matthew David Webber (Lib Dem)
“I am 42 years old and have lived in New Park for over 20 years. I work in IT providing customer support for dairy farmers. I have represented New Park since 2008 and serve on the councils’ performance, general purposes and planning referral committees.
“I have been active in the Council Chamber raising issues that affect the residents of New Park and the District including a campaign for the provision of Tetra-Pak recycling as part of the Councils recycling services.
“Outside the Council I am a volunteer walk leader for a number of local groups, serve on the YHA regional council and also enjoy walking, photography and travel.
“Harrogate is a very special place to live and work. If re-elected I will continue to work hard to help with issues that concern people living in New Park.”
Helen Gertrude Evison (Lab)
“If elected, I will support the local shops in seeking compensation from the developers for the time that the Leeds Road has been reduced to four- way traffic.
“In addition, if elected, I will ask for some 30mph road signs, reminding people that they are still in the 30 zone along Leeds Road, extending beyond the Parade of shops and the new M&S store. As your councilor I will fight for more affordable and social housing to be built.”
Andrew Graham Kempston-Parkes (Lib Dem)
“Andrew is a Managing Director of a local firm and is a well-respected, experienced member of The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), having worked as a Chartered Surveyor in the residential property industry for over 15 years, within the Yorkshire region. Andrew has been an enthusiastic member of Harrogate Borough Council previously and looks forward to representing the residents of Pannal ward after the elections.
“I thoroughly enjoyed being of service on Harrogate Borough Council and looking after the people in my ward. Case work is the most important service I will provide. I will always be there to help and assist the people of my ward.
Andrew lives with his Husband, Andy and two children and has been a resident of Harrogate for 22 years. Andrew says, “I think I am accepted as local now, I can not imagine living anywhere else”.
We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and making sure it stays like this is what is important.
My priorities will be ensuring our road are maintained, protecting Pannal from inappropriate development, that our fantastic schools are supported (my boys are 7 and 8 years old)
I will strive to do all I can to make Pannal and Harrogate a better place.”
John Edwin Fletcher Mann (Con)
“John already serves the area as a very active campaigner – since last summer he has knocked on over 80 per cent of doors in Pannal Ward, speaking to residents about local issues.
“He is working with North Yorkshire County Council to campaign against speeding traffic and get potholes repaired. He also works with Harrogate Borough Council on many ‘quality of life’ issues such as parking, street lighting, recycling, dog fouling, planning issues.
“Having taken early retirement, John previously worked in the headquarters of the NHS holding a variety of management positions. He and his family are currently in the process of buying a house in Pannal. John is active in the community as a governor of a local school, and is a keen cyclist, walker and chess player.
“John is an experienced and successful campaigner who would be a strong voice for Pannal Ward on Harrogate Borough Council.”
Ben Stockburn (Ukip)
“A former Harrogate Grammar School student, I have spent the past nine years working for a global manufacturing company based in the town in Technical Sales & Business Development after gaining qualifications in Mechanical Engineering.
“Over the past couple of years I have become increasingly passionate about local and national politics and believe the only way to stand up and make a change for the better is to encourage people to vote UKIP.
“If elected, I would argue for more cycle routes, improved ways of dealing with - and fighting - anti social behaviour, improvement of roads and better planning for road repairs. I would also like to see tax payers contributions being put back into their local community and strongly oppose any rise in parking charges.”
Richard Miles Wilson (Green)
“It is a national disgrace that in one of the wealthiest countries in the world we are seeing an explosion in the number of people relying on food banks to feed their families. This is a direct consequence of the coalition government’s policy of welfare cuts - such as the bedroom tax - which are making the poor pay the price of the financial meltdown which was caused by greedy and incompetent bankers.
“I believe that the Green Party is the only major political party that is serious about tackling inequality and creating a good society where jobs pay a living wage, everyone can afford somewhere to live and we can all rely on public services like the NHS – run for our benefit, not for profit.
“Locally, if elected, I will campaign for improvements in the dismal rail service between Leeds, Harrogate and York, upon which so many local people rely.
“I will also oppose any proposals for environmentally ruinous fracking projects in Harrogate district.
“Please vote Green in both European and District elections if you care about protecting the environment, improving public services and defending the poor and vulnerable against the effects of the government’s welfare reforms.”
Salvina Caterina Maria Bashforth (Ukip)
“Married in 1971 I have three adult daughters. My family relocated from Cheshire to Harrogate in 1983. I soon became involved in charity work here helping raise funds for St Georges House, a residential home for the disabled.
“Increasingly frustrated by the Tory party’s stance on EU issues, I see UKIP offering the UK electorate the only honest voice in the battle to escape the political interference and substantial costs of the EU, widely seen as an undemocratic bureaucracy.
“If elected as your representative I will work to serve the interests of the ward electorate embracing the common sense policies of UKIP. Proposals for further useless wind turbine installations will be strenuously resisted and I shall fight to ensure that local housing development can proceed only after thorough planning and costing of the required increases in infrastructure and public services are in place.”
Kevin Paul Frederick Bolt (Lab)
“I have been involved in housing and welfare rights work in Harrogate for the last 11 years, prior to this I spent 15 years working with adults and children with learning disabilities.
“There is a true lack of affordable housing in Harrogate and I would work to ensure that the right houses are built in the right places to build sustainable mixed communities.
“Transport is a major issue as bus services are curtailed by the lack of funding.
“I would work to ensure that people had the right services that enabled them to travel to where their employment chances are greater. Youth is our future and we must actively support their employment opportunities in a meaningful way.”
Rebecca Jane Ruth Burnett (Con)
“Rebecca is well-known in the Rossett community following her successful campaigns against over-development and bus cuts.
“Following Rebecca’s intervention bus services were expanded in the ward. Now that the Local Plan is set to be scrapped Rebecca is working with local people and her councillor colleague Jim Clark to ensure that Cardale Park is not included in any new development plan.
“Rebecca gets stuck in to community issues as a School Governor at Rossett Acre Primary, an active member of the Pinewoods Conservative Group and a regular volunteer at Rossett Nature Reserve.“Rebecca has worked on many local issues alongside Councillor Jim Clark and Andrew Jones MP who are both supporting Rebecca in this election.”
David Richard Siddans (Lib Dem)
“David Siddans has represented Rossett Ward on Harrogate Borough Council since November 2012. He and his wife, Margaret, live in the heart of the ward.
“Their daughter also lives in the ward and their grandchildren attend local schools. David is a chartered Civil Engineer with extensive experience in highways and transport with local authorities and private consultancies.
“He is a member of Harrogate Civic Society and a director of Essential Needs, the local community furniture re-use charity. He has continued his involvement with Harrogate and District Neighbourhood Watch which supports a variety of community safety initiatives.
“It is a great privilege representing the people of Rossett and I have enjoyed dealing with local residents’ concerns.
“When it comes to the big issues of housing and traffic affecting our ward, I have been able to use my professional experience in the support of local people.”
Paul Andrew Bramley (Ukip)
“I am the community pub landlord in the saltergate area. I have been in the hospitality Industry all my life.
“Born in Leeds I am both private and state educated which enabled me to go to University and gain a professional career in Hospitality Industry. Which has given me the opportunity to meet all different types of people and listen to their concerns about local issues. This has lead me to become involved in the local council elections, because of my values belief and vision for how I would deal with issues in the Saltergate area.
“Living in the Saltergate area myself I believe I am well placed to represent local people and issues.
“If elected I will strive to be a representative voice for the people of Saltergate area.”
Shaun Patrick Lowry (Green)
“Shaun has lived in Saltergate since 1999. He has 3 children and all were educated at Saltergate school. His wife works in the NHS and he is a solicitor and university lecturer in construction law. He has advised local authorities, housing associations, government funded bodies, national retailing organisations and commercial/residential developers on a range of projects, including a number of national and local significance.
Shaun said: “Only the Green Party is prioritising social and environmental justice. Cuts are a government choice not a necessity. They threaten vital community services which must be protected. Funding can be maintained by clamping down on tax avoidance and bankers’ bonuses . If elected as Borough councillor, I will stand up for local people, shops and services against the destructive cuts that threaten the community in Saltergate.”
Janet Isabella Morrow (Lab)
“I am a retired teacher, having worked at Harrogate High School for many years.
“As a resident in Jennyfields for over 20 years, I am aware of the massive development of housing in this area. The Tory and Lib/Dem councillors in Harrogate have made sure that the brunt of housing development has been in the north of the town instead of spreading it fairly across the District. We need more affordable houses and, if elected, I would press councillors for the south side of Harrogate to accept its share of building allocations.”
Allan Richard Reynolds (Lib Dem)
“I am a Yorkshireman and I have lived in the Harrogate District since 1996. I have been a resident in Saltergate since the year 2000 and love living and working in this superb area.
“I am a family man with three grown up children. My eldest daughter lives in Lancashire but I have forgiven her! My middle daughter lives in Wetherby and my son lives in the New Park Ward here in Harrogate.
“I am a qualified LTA tennis umpire and enjoy playing tennis at Harlow Tennis club. I am also a committee member.
“A big passion of mine is hill walking, and being a member and walk leader of the Harrogate Rambling Club I would try to ensure that all public footpaths in the district have free access for all residents to enjoy.
“I have had a successful 35 year career in the licensed trade as a business manager for a major national pub company and hope that I can utilise my business skills by helping and supporting the residents of Saltergate, if I am elected.”
Graham Kevin Swift (Con)
“Graham lives in north Harrogate and is a keen campaigner on local issues.
“Campaigning for Saltergate residents, Graham has joined conservative councillors in championing the need to improve roads and infrastructure, and is opposed to large housing developments taking place without adequate infrastructure in place.
“He has a keen interest in finance and economics and has enjoyed a successful career in private industry. With this, he is committed to ensuring that the council delivers good quality services whilst offering great value for money to its residents. Graham is prepared to commit considerable time to the role of councillor in the interests of Saltergate residents.”
Philip Anthony Broadbank (Lib Dem)
“Philip has lived in Starbeck for over 30 years and has been involved in many campaigns and issues affecting Starbeck over that time. The Liberal Democrat team in Starbeck keep in touch regularly and hold regular monthly surgeries. Philip said: “Good local services are in important part of a civilised society and I will fight to protect the most vunerable people from spending reductions.
“We need to make sure Starbeck Baths are kept open, parking improvements are needed in the area around the level crossing and bus service provision in the Forest Lane area needs to be considered again.
“The garden waste collection service needs to be extended to more homes in Starbeck. Starbeck has a strong community spirit and long may that continue! If councillors work with local residents and groups many things can be acheived - this has been proved over the years here in Starbeck.”
Gillian Rosemary Charters (Green)
“Gillian taught at King James’s School in Knaresborough for over 20 years and has lived locally for thirty three years.
“She now supports parents of children with special needs and is active in mental health charities locally. She has an adult son and daughter and is aware of the short term and unreliable nature of many jobs available to young people. Gillian says: “Planning in Starbeck needs to be sustainable and to ensure our attractive environment is nurtured for future generations. Local businesses and busy shops encourage a vibrant community which is appreciated by all.
“There are some excellent facilities around Starbeck for walking and cycling and these need to be extended and well maintained to encourage us to travel in healthy ways.
Community safety can be strengthened by everyone getting involved. Green policies have the needs of everyone at their heart.”
Phillip Gerard Dixon (Con)
“Phillip Dixon has lived in Starbeck for 27 years. His children attended local schools.
“He is an accountant and is treasurer of local charity Harrogate MIND.
“Phillip’s key priorities are ensuring we get good value for the taxes we pay, taking action on parking and traffic problems and promoting the High Street.”
Geoff Foxall (Lab)
“I will support planning applications on Starbeck High Street for retail premises that would provide a service to Starbeck residents: we need a greengrocers and a bakers rather than another takeaway.
“I will urge the construction of a new platform on the York side of the crossing to cut down waiting time for York-bound trains. After six years haggling, Harrogate’s development plan for housing in the district has been turned down by the inspector for providing only half the houses needed.
“I would expose the nimbyism of councillors who have created this situation. For generations, housing development has been resisted in the south of Harrogate and squeezed into Starbeck and the north of the town.”
Pat Foxall (Lab)
“Pat is a retired librarian. She has been a member of the Labour Party for over thirty years.
As well as politics, Pat is involved with her local ‘In Bloom’ group and the Harrogate Fair Trade shop. If elected, her main concerns would be to encourage more affordable housing and jobs to the area.”
John Hanson (Ukip)
“I have lived in Yorkshire all my life but in Harrogate for the last two years.
“I began my working career in the Bradford textile industry in the 1960’s, having been trained in Italy and London. I retired in 2008 having become managing director of a local retail business and successfully sold it to a Chinese industrial group. The business still runs today.
“With Sir James Goldsmith I helped found the Referendum Party and ran the organisation in the North of England. This stopped the Labour and Conservatives from making the Euro our currency and saved the £ sterling.
“If elected I want to make Harrogate a prosperous and exciting place in which to live and work.”
Clare Bernadette Skardon (Lib Dem)
“Resident in the area for over ten years, Clare has had experience campaigning for local issues in the Stray / Hookstone Ward for the past two years.
“Clare has been married to Peter for 25 years and they have two grown-up children, who both attended Harrogate Grammar. Katie, a graduate of Harrogate College who works locally and Liam who is attending University in Manchester, reading Economics.
“Clare also set up and ran her own business locally for five years.
“She has been an active member over her career years of the Chamber of Commerce and has been involved in a number of Women in Business Projects.
Currently Clare works on a part-time self-employed basis, helping elderly local residents. Clare said: “I am running for a local council role, because I care about the area and have the time and expertise to offer. I wish to represent local people by asking the right questions and keeping them well informed. The role is all about positive actions to achieve balance, fair-play and value for money on behalf of local Stray residents, retailers and neighbours.”
Cliff Trotter (Con)
“Cliff has been a councillor since 1992. He is passionate about local issues and has campaigned tirelessly over the past 22 years.
“He is a champion for local residents and a strong voice at the council.
“In his spare time Cliff is very involved in junior football, being the founder of the Harrogate Junior Football League. In addition he is the President of Pannal Ash Junior football club which not only involves his organisational skills but means that he manages, coaches, referees and occasionally runs the line.
“He is married to Jill Trotter, a Chartered Accountant, and they have four children and seven grandchildren, a dog and a cat.”
Harvey Cedric Alexander (Ukip)
“I am an Electronic Engineer and was educated at Leeds Central High School, Leeds College of Technology and Leeds Metropolitan University.
“I have been a member of my local parish council and both Nidderdale and Knarebrough Safer Neighbourhood Groups. I have campaigned against burglary and violent crime.
“I am an active member of the co-operative movement and have served as Chairman and Treasurer of the Leeds & Wakefield Cooperative Members Group, which has members in the Harrogate area.
“I would like Harrogate to have a science park, to bring high tech companies and jobs to the area, to provide well paid work for local people.
“If I am elected, I will campaign against inefficiency and wasted resources by the council and to reduce council taxes.”
Helen Louise Compton (Green)
“I am a wife of 16 years, mum to two lovely little boys aged 3 and 7 months, stepmum to a great 21 year old stepson and a self-employed medical herbalist.
“I have lived in Woodfield ward for nearly 7 years (and have lived in Harrogate all my life), and enjoy the close, friendly community I am part of. I am standing for the Green Party through a deep affection for our wonderful countryside and a desire to defend and improve the rights and resources most needed by our community.
“In particular I will fight for improvements to public transport to our area and reversal of cuts to our invaluable Surestart centre, a lifeline for many local families with small children.”
Mary Veronica Dilworth (Con)
“Mary has lived in Harrogate for 24 years. She has been a governor of the Harrogate and District NHS Foundation Trust and has been a governor at several schools in the district.
“She supports moves by local businesses, Andrew Jones MP and others to electrify the Leeds—Harrogate—York rail line and supports the Council Tax freeze the borough council has implemented this year—the fifth successive year of such a freeze of the Borough Council’s part of your rates.
“Her priorities include calling for repairs to our roads and pavements and protecting our green open spaces.”
Andrew Goss (Lib Dem)
“I have lived in Harrogate for most of my life. I have been employed in the horticultural industry since 1970 (retail, wholesale and landscape) and since 2000 have run a local landscape and gardening business.
“I have represented the Woodfield ward since 1999 and have dealt with many ward issues on behalf of local residents. I am currently a member of Harrogate Council’s Licensing Committeeand Planning Committee, the Nidd Gorge Advisory Partnership, the Richard Taylor Educational Foundation Trust and I am a Governor at Woodfield Primary School and Bilton Youth Club.
“If I am re-elected on May 22, I shall most certainly endeavour to continue to work throughout the year on behalf of the residents of Woodfield ward, representing their concerns on both Harrogate Borough and North Yorkshire County Councils.”
Brian Robert Summerson (Lab)
“Brian is a proud dad who works as a sales rep and as a swimming teacher. Before moving to Harrogate six years ago he was on the County Council from 1993-01, taking responsibility for the community and getting things done. “The disgraceful situation in Woodfield where the home insulation scheme has stopped with homes left exposed to the elements has happened because of cutback decisions made by the LibDems and Tories.
“Brian is fighting for the free insulation scheme work to be completed. The Lib Dem and Tory policies nationally and locally are responsible for the huge amount of people on the housing waiting list; the reduction in bus services; the Bedroom Tax; and the scandalous Royal Mail sell-off.”