Bradford Council Elections – our candidates’ environmental intentions

Climate Action Menston is keen to have the views of the candidates standing in the Wharfedale ward for election to Bradford MDC.  We contacted the four candidates and this is the question and the responses:

Here is what we asked: 

We would be pleased to publish on our website a piece of up to 200 words from you in answer to the question:

  What  would you hope to do around climate concerns locally?

On the website we will  list all the candidates and the question and  responses will be listed in alphabetical  order by surname.

These are the responses as of 18th April:

From Jamie Needle:

 For 16 years I have worked in renewable energy and represent the hydroelectric sector in discussions with national Government. I strongly believe we should make long term investments urgently in order to mitigate climate risk. This is economic good sense as well as an environmental imperative. Some problems don’t have easy answers but I would push for rapid deployment where the answers are clear: electrification of transport, where the Council should be leading the way; and making it easier for people to improve their insulation and energy efficiency to reduce bills and emissions at the same time. The Lib Dem manifesto for Bradford has plans to develop the post of an Energy Efficiency Officer to support residents who wish to do this. The post holder would purchase carbon reduction measures such as solar panels on a large scale. The scheme would include a £1 million budget for house-holders to borrow the costs and repay over time. We also propose to create a £1.5million green fund to be administered in conjunction with local Councillors to increase diversity in our green spaces and verges, support the development of Community Orchards and Community Growing projects, and seek to end chemical spraying of weeds.

Published and promoted by Richard Sansom on behalf of Jamie Needle (Liberal Democrat) both of Hawthorne House, Bingley Road, Menston, Ilkley, LS29 6AX.


From Chris Turner:

I’m currently co-chair/coordinator for Keighley and Ilkley Green Party. Not surprisingly, my focus for local politics is issues around the environment and climate action. In my Parish Councillor role (Burley in Wharfedale) I’ve been working on helping to get more involvement in issues such as – housing development and related building regs., tree planting, litter picking, active travel, growing food locally, providing information on insulation and renewable energy generation and more. I’m also a member of GALBA and oppose LBA expansion.

I’d hope to carry some of these ideas and initiatives over to Bradford Council, where I’d be keen to work (cross-party) on supporting grants and assistance for insulation and renewable power generation. I’d also aim to support the improvement of public transport, including electrification of rail and bus services. Improvement of cycling and walking infrastructure is also something I’d be keen to champion throughout the district.

I believe that the right way to approach the issues is via the use of academic and expert advice. My decisions will always be informed by evidence based research, where applicable.


From Chris Steele, added 22nd April:

Over 10 years ago we installed solar panels on our roof.  I chose not to fly and I’ve pledged not to do so for the next ten years.  I was a founder member of Climate Action Menston and Menston Area Nature Trust and life member of the RSPB – all what our Conservative MP dismisses as ‘virtue signalling’.  But his Government failed over the last 12 years to take the urgent actions needed for our planet: and cutting the “Green Crap” has added to your bills and the cost of living crisis. The UN says it’s now or never to stop catastrophic warming.  Bradford Council has implemented plans for the clean air zone, is planting thousands of trees, using recycled materials to resurface roads, introducing measures on the Moors to protect from flooding, working in partnership with other bodies and showing we can, as we must, work together.  Bradford will remain Labour-run so only a Labour councillor can influence these and drive other policies forward – a Lib-Dem or Green vote is wasteful protest at this crucial time.  I will be the strongest possible voice on the ruling Labour Group to drive more urgent action.  We cannot wait.  You should not wait.

Promoted by Niccola Swan on behalf of Christopher Steele both of Arc East Moor Lane Burley in Wharfedale ILKLEY LS29 7AF UK


From Councillor Gerry Barker, received on 1st May:

On a personal basis, for many years, my family and I have recognised the importance of reusing containers and packaging, as well as recycling unwanted and waste products.  Our house has both general and garden waste bins, as well as a bin for recycling food waste in our garden compost.

Several years ago, we installed double-glazing, as well as installing roof and wall insulation.  I am also investigating plans for installing solar panels and possibly a heat pump.

On a local basis, I have supported improvement of accessibility at our railway stations and expansion of parking facilities to encourage travel by rail.  I would also like to see the introduction of park and ride facilities to provide alternative means to travelling by car.  On the same basis, I also support ‘working from home’.

I support the campaign to ‘shop local’, such as the need for the Menston Co-op to re-open or a similar shopping franchise in its stead.

I have opposed inappropriate housing developments on green belt and greenfield land in our communities and I shall continue to do so.

Being on the local Planning Committee, I also support energy efficient housing, with solar panels and electric charging points.