Local election candidates: Tadcaster

Conservative candidate for Tadcaster Chris Metcalfe. (S)
Conservative candidate for Tadcaster Chris Metcalfe. (S)

Chris Metcalfe, Conservative Party

Chris Metcalfe is retired but is a full time councillor at district and county level. He is also a member of the fire authority and a school governor for Tadcaster East Community Primary School. If re-elected, this will be his fifth term on Selby District Council.

Conservative candidate for Tadcaster Richard Sweeting.

Conservative candidate for Tadcaster Richard Sweeting.

He said: “The reason I want to stand is Tadcaster itself. I am very passionate about it and want to see it bloom to be the market town it once was.

“I’m chair of the Tadcaster Tough Stuff Board. My remit is to bring about improvements and change where we can, to lift the profile and people’s confidence in the town. I have been working on this now for three years and we have spent that time doing a tremendous amount of work, but it is only in this last 12 months that we are starting to deliver tangible differences.

“One example is the refurbishment of the district council building which we have brought into use with three apartments and a retail unit and there is unused land on St Joseph’s Street where we are now going to build three houses, so we are starting to see some real delivery.

“One of the biggest things I am looking at is an ideal space for a skate park for young people and that really is a big issue. That has been a tough thing because it is either too far away from houses or too close, but we think we have identified a site and that is one of the reasons I want to carry on.

Conservative candidate for Tadcaster Don Mackay. (S)

Conservative candidate for Tadcaster Don Mackay. (S)

“We have got a lot of work to do as a council and those plans are costed in the vast majority of cases and what we are asking of people is just give us a chance now to deliver on the objectives we have outlined because we believe we can make a real difference.

“If we thought the last four years were hard financially the next four will be hard for local government whoever wins the national election.

“So if we are going to make sure people get the services they want there has to be a better working relationship between the county council and the district council and in Selby district we have a strategy to work together where the two are looking at some of these areas where we can get things working.”

Richard Sweeting, Conservative Party

Labour candidate for Tadcaster Steve Cobb. (S)

Labour candidate for Tadcaster Steve Cobb. (S)

Richard Sweeting is activity coordinator at Highfield Care Home and lives in the centre of Tadcaster.

He said: “For the first time ever I am running for the whole of Tadcaster. They have now amalgamated it into one ward with three seats.

“I have been a town councillor for 24 years, since the age of 22, and I have been a district councillor for 16 years.

“I am very proud of Tadcaster, I am born and bred in the town, and I believe in Tadcaster getting its fair share of the money in the pot for Selby district.

“I put my heart in the people of Tadcaster and getting things done in our town. Tadcaster is very close to my heart.

“I believe there should be a younger voice in the district and I am honoured that I have been chair of the council and very honoured that I am at present vice chair of the district council.

“Tadcaster is special, it has wonderful support and a wonderful community and people support one another.

“I was brought up with older people and the knowledge of older people has given me the confidence to do my best for Tadcaster.

“I am standing because I want to put something back into the community and I am there to serve the people. I am a single person and I dedicate myself to helping people in the job that I do and also in the community.

“You are there to serve the people and that is what I like doing. Tadcaster is very much part of my life and I mean that, and it is about serving people. It would be a much better world if people did that.

“I am proud of getting financial support into the town. When I first stood Tadcaster used to be a little bit forgotten and they have put financial investment into the town now with the regeneration alongside the county council for the bus station and upgrading things.”

Don Mackay, Conservative Party

Don Mackay is a retired industrial cleaner and flooring contractor. He lives in Tadcaster and has been a councillor on Selby District Council for 28 years.

He said: “There are things to accomplish in the town. I would like to see more housing built and the empty housing that is owned by private landlords up and running.

“We have played about with it for too long and we have legislation where we can get this back, even by compulsory purchase order.

“We are getting complaints about people needing housing and it is not good enough. It would help the high street as well.

“The Conservatives consistently in Selby have improved things, it is as simple as that. In the last six months we have got a new car park and we are renovating council offices and buildings.

“It has taken some time but it is happening. 43 Kirkgate is now complete and we have got the riverside development.

“We have got the initial archaeological dig ongoing but there are improvements on there that will happen over the next 12 to 18 months which will help everybody, particularly people who will enjoy the kids’ play equipment and adult exercise equipment.

“There are a few things in hand coming to fruition. One of our worst things is the lack of new housing and we are desperately looking at alternative sites.

“An awful lot of people would still like to live in Tadcaster, or their children do, and it is very scarce.

“I know an awful lot of people in Tadcaster, I have a lot of respect for them and probably vice versa. It is just that the slow progress of things perhaps annoys them, but I am sure it is the way most councils work.

“These are the things people worry about locally, and other things like highways and infrastructure are looked after by North Yorkshire.

“There are hints that the youth club staff won’t be there, so it could be volunteers, and it does alarm me somewhat because we have quite a good youth system.

“The same with the libraries. These services are essential to keep people happy and kids off the streets.”

Steve Cobb, Labour Party

Steve Cobb is a retired teacher and has lived in Tadcaster for 26 years. He has been mayor for the past three years.

He said: “I love Tadcaster and I think it needs a strong voice down in Selby. We often feel the poor relation because we are so far north and there is no easy way to transport yourself between Tadcaster and Selby.

“If you ask people in Tadcaster there are some very beautiful buildings, but there is also some dereliction with properties boarded up, and I really strongly feel Selby should do more.

“There is national legislation available on empty properties and there is a shortage of affordable homes too and some of these units could have flats in them.

“People are very aware at the moment that parking has become very difficult and North Yorkshire slammed a one hour limit on street parking, which is far too short and people have been prosecuted when they have been at weddings and funerals.

“The car park Selby owns fills up at about 8.45am and is then too full for people who want to go shopping and we need footfall in the town, so I think we should have a three or four hour limit.

“There are also patches of brownfield we should build on. I completely oppose building on our green belt area.

“The other candidates are Conservatives and have been in Selby for years. I am a new, intelligent, and enthusiastic candidate and I want to stir things up in Selby a bit.

“I think Tadcaster could do with a new broom, so I am hoping left wing people vote for me. They would only have to use one of their three votes, and people who want to vote for the Conservatives, give me a chance.

“I care deeply about Tadcaster. I have overseen improvements to the cemetery, supported the footpath action group and attended events in the Town and further afield.

“I also supported the reopening of the Barnardo’s footpath. This was in line with Tadcaster Town Council’s policy, and the inspectors decision is due soon.

“Each elector has three votes for only four candidates. I am a very experienced councillor asking for your continued support.”