Labour slams Tory bid to stop further residential 20 mph schemes

20 webCalderdale Labour have slammed an attempt by Conservative leader Scott Benton to halt the roll out of residential 20 mph schemes in Calderdale.

Labour’s Public Health spokesperson, Faisal Shoukat, said:

“Cllr Benton’s call for a block on further 20 mph schemes is misinformed and would be a massive backward step for Calderdale.

“Introducing 20 mph limits in residential areas has been popular and effective. It is an important part of our ‘Love Our Streets’ campaign, which aims to make our streets safe and pleasant for all children and adults however they travel and wherever they live.”

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Say “No” to more selection

2016 Megan Square WebCalderdale Labour are calling on the Council to take a stand against the Government’s plans to extend selection.

Thursday’s full Council will be asked to back a motion opposing the plans, which will undermine the track record of progress and achievement of many of Calderdale’s existing comprehensive schools. Continue Reading

The cuts to councils have gone far enough – it’s time for a new approach

Cllr Tim Swift

Calderdale labour leader Tim Swift today sets out a strong case for the Conservative Government to rethink their policies of repeated cuts to local government spending, warning that they are putting at risk the local services that residents expect and depend upon.

Cllr Swift sets out his case in a letter to the Chancellor Philip Hammond and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid, calling for them to rethink the cuts to local government which had been planned by Mr Hammond’s predecessor George Osborne. Continue Reading

Flooding: Don’t backtrack on the national resilience review

Back in January, then Cabinet Minister Oliver Letwin was put in charge of the national resilience review.This was established to

assess how the country can be better protected from future flooding and increasingly extreme weather events

Since the change of Government, the future of this review seems to be doubt – yet adequate preparation for future flooding must remain an absolute priority.

Now Labour leader Cllr Tim Swift has joined with Leeds City Council leader Judith Blake in calling on the Prime Minister to provide assurances that the review will be completed, and action taken on the findings.

Tim says

“We know that serious flooding events are likely to continue to increase in severity. We need to learn the lessons from Storm Desmond and Storm Eva, investing not just in flood defences but in actions that will make homes, businesses, communities and the essential infrastructure we depend on stronger and more resilient. This review must not be allowed to fall victim of internal Government changes.”

A copy of the letter is below.


National Infrastructure Review – Letter to Prime Minister

Secretary of State urged to visit Calderdale over flood concerns

floodsCalderdale Labour leader Tim Swift is urging the new Secretary of State for Defra, Andrea Leadsom MP, to visit Calderdale as soon as possible.

Tim said:

“With all the changes in Government personnel, we now have a situation where none of the Ministers who visited Calderdale after the December floods are still in the same job.

“Obviously the promises they made at the time were made on behalf of the Government, and we have every reason to expect that they will be honoured – but we need to make sure. And it’s much more effective if Ministers come and see the area for themselves, so they understand the damage that was caused, the work that is already being done to recover, and the risks that remain unless we get the investment we need. Continue Reading

Protecting and nurturing our children

Labour councillor Megan Swift, Labour’s lead member for Children and Young People’s services, told full Council last night (20th July) of her delight at the progress that’s being made in improving children’s services in Calderdale. Her comments came after a DfE review in May praised the progress being made by the Council. This follows the… Continue Reading

Conservatives try to whitewash Government’s housing failure

Labour housing lead Cllr Dan Sutherland has slammed Calderdale Conservatives for attempting to whitewash their own Government’s failure to deliver on the housing needed to meet local people’s needs. Cllr Sutherland said, “Once again, the Conservative motion to council shows that they would rather play party politics than stand up for local people. They should… Continue Reading

Cabinet statement on hate crimes and cohesion

This is a statement made by Labour council leader Tim Swift on behalf of the Labour Cabinet last night:- In the aftermath of the referendum, there have been reports of an increase in hate crime across the country. As a cabinet, we believe that Calderdale council should condemn racism, xenophobia and hate crimes unequivocally. We… Continue Reading

Looking ahead after the referendum

Last week, the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. As a Labour group, we deeply regret that, but we will respect that decision and get on with our job. As the largest group on Calderdale Council, we are focussed on standing up for our community, and fighting to get the best possible deal we… Continue Reading

Let locals have say about flood work, says councillor

The Environment Agency must listen more to the locals when planning its flood defence work in Mytholmroyd, says Councillor Jane Scullion, the Labour councillor whose ward includes the village. Jane Scullion has welcomed the EA’s announcement last week of its action plan for Mytholmroyd. But she adds that the detailed programme for implementation work, due… Continue Reading

Labour tops the polls in Calderdale

Labour were the clear winners in last Thursday’s local elections in Calderdale and remain the largest party on the local council. Labour won 8 of the 17 seats up for election, against 6 for the Conservatives and 3 for the Liberal Democrats. And across the Borough, Labour polled almost 4,500 votes more than the Conservatives. Continue Reading

Halifax Post Office WILL be moving to W H Smith

…. and they have already given notice to end the lease on the existing Post Office building. We’ve been told officially today that the Post Office are proposing to move Halifax Crown Post Office to WH Smith on Market Street. This is what we feared and predicted when we first heard that our Post Office… Continue Reading

Statement on anti-semitism and extremism

This is a joint statement from Calderdale Labour leader Tim Swift and Halifax Labour MP Holly Lynch, with the support of Labour’s councillors and local election candidates. Last week, Calderdale Council approved a proposal tabled by the Labour group which states:- “This council believes that anti-Semitism, like Islamaphobia and racism, is incompatible with British values… Continue Reading

Negative Tory campaign slammed

With just four days to go until the local elections, Labour leader Tim Swift has slammed the “completely negative” Conservative campaign. “Across the Borough, I’ve been searching Conservative leaflets in vain to find any positive ideas for the future of our area”, he said. “But so far I’ve been looking in vain. “They are more… Continue Reading

Council backs Labour motion opposing forced academies

Calderdale Council has agreed a motion opposing forced academies – but astonishingly the Conservative group moved an unsuccessful amendment that backed the Government’s plans. Conservative councils throughout the country have been coming out in opposition to the plan to force all schools to become an academy – so it’s a sign of how out of… Continue Reading

Our Schools, Our Say! campaign launched

Calderdale Labour councillors are joining forces with Halifax MP Holly Lynch to launch a campaign against the Government’s plans to force every school to become an Academy. Sign our petition here Under the plans – announced by Conservative chancellor George Osborne in the budget – every school will have to become an academy by 2022,… Continue Reading

A critical election for Calderdale

The decision in May’s local election is critical for the future of our Borough, Labour leader Cllr Tim Swift said today. Formally marking the launch of Labour’s campaign, he said: “The local election on May 5th is about just one thing – who runs our local council for the next two years. “Our communities face… Continue Reading

How the floods hit our local businesses

A new report brokered by Upper Calder Valley Renaissance and Calderdale Council spells out the sheer scale of the impact and costs to businesses caused by the December floods. You can read more about the background to the report, and download a copy, from the UCVR website. But these are the main headline findings from the… Continue Reading

Jane Scullion for Luddendenfoot

Jane Scullion is Labour’s candidate for Luddendenfoot, replacing Cllr Simon Young who is standing down. Jane says:- “I grew up in Scotland but settled in the upper Calder valley with my family twenty-seven years ago. I began my working life in co-operatives and charities and then moved into local government, where I worked at a… Continue Reading

National insurance changes take £1.5 million from local services

Changes to national insurance rates – introduced under the Conservative – Liberal Democrat Coalition government but only coming into force in April – are going to cost Calderdale Council £1.5m each year, Labour leader Tim Swift has revealed today. The changes – highlighted in this recent Daily Telegraph article – will also mean a cut… Continue Reading

Forced academies – destructive school changes driven by ideology

Labour school’s spokesperson Cllr Megan Swift has slammed George Osborne’s proposals to force every school in England to become an academy, claiming that it’s a destructive policy that is driven by ideology. Cllr Swift also claimed that the Chancellor is using the announcement in his budget as part of a blatant power grab within the… Continue Reading

Will the budget deliver for Calderdale?

Tomorrow’s budget (16th March) provides the biggest opportunity so far for the Government to deliver on their promises to help Calderdale recover from the devastating Boxing Day floods. The scale of what we experienced last December demands a matching scale of response from Government. Continue Reading

Halifax Post Office – Government Department refuses to help

There’s been a disappointing response from BIS, the Department for Business Innovation and Skills, to the Council’s request that they support the case to retain Halifax Crown Post Office. The Department hides behind the ‘independence’ of the Post Office on operational matters, but then largely justifies the Post Office’s case for franchising. Continue Reading

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