Meet your local election candidates for Mirfield
Brian Firth has spent all his life in this area and was educated at Wheelwright Grammar School. For many years he ran his own successful business.
He gave it up and now works in a more fulfilling occupation as an academic support worker for students with disabilities at Huddersfield University.
Running his own business gave him an insight into getting value for money and he is sure that this will be useful when elected to the council.
He is very familiar with committee work and would work with colleagues to ensure fairer council tax, fair start for all, investing in education of our children and also encouraging volunteer youth workers, calling on his experience as an assistant district commissioner for Scouts.
As a councillor he would lobby national government for fairness in politics and a more equitable share of monies to this area.
He supports the campaign, started by the Liberal Democrats, to retain as many services as possible at Dewsbury and District Hospital. He is committed to saving greenbelt areas and would enthusiastically support all moves to retain as many local council services as possible for the people of Mirfield.
“I have lived in Mirfield for 12 years and am the proud mum and step-mum of Lois, 21, Lauren, 19, Jemma, 13, and Megan, 7. I work locally in my family’s manufacturing business.
“I moved to Mirfield to give my daughters the best start in life. All my girls have attended or are attending Mirfield schools.
“I have never been party political but I have always been committed to working with the local community and making a positive contribution to the area in which I live. I have been involved with the running of local parent, toddler and play groups.
“More recently I chaired the community action group Retain Education at Castle Hall and, alongside many of you, we successfully fought the closure of Castle Hall School and unwanted expansion of The Mirfield Free Grammar.
“The sense of community spirit that I experienced during that campaign inspired me to carry on making a difference locally. The time and effort I dedicated to REACH will hopefully prove to you that I am willing and able to fight and work hard on local issues for local people.
“Mirfield needs a strong, effective, and independent-minded voice inside Huddersfield Town Hall and I believe I can be that voice in our community.”
Kath Taylor (defending)
“I have lived in Mirfield all my life and for the last 10 years have had the privilege of representing my home town of Mirfield as a Kirklees councillor.
“If I am re-elected I will continue to serve the best interests of Mirfield residents and to build on the good work that has been done over the last few years.
“I have been fortunate to meet and work with many of our various organisations within the town and although Mirfield is a small town, it has a big community spirit and many and varied facets to it.
“My casework has included planning issues, re-housing, KNH, care for older residents, anti-social behaviour issues, lack of bin collections, parking, school places, libraries, neighbour disputes, benefit claims, parks, council tax, play areas, traffic congestion. You name it and I’ve dealt with it.
“I believe that to be a good councillor and advocate you have to like people, be a good listener, be interested and compassionate, be determined and never to take ‘No’ for an answer! You also need to have a good sense of humour. I hope that Mirfield residents think I have all these qualities.”
“I grew up in the Calderdale area and after some time away moved back to Grange Moor three years ago with my husband and young family. I have always been involved with my local community and am currently a parish councillor in Kirkburton.
“I want Kirklees Council to ensure that local people enjoy good services and a decent environment. Our existing councillors have brought forward a number of initiatives, for example, on saving energy use in council buildings, reducing staff travel costs and, of course, the free element of the Warmzone. All these saved money without cutting services and benefited the environment. We have also opposed plans for massive expansion of housebuilding in the Kirklees LDF.
“I am concerned about the huge cuts to services, especially to vulnerable people, agreed by the three main parties – I was delighted that the Green councillors took a stand and voted against them. If elected, I will seek to further this work.
“Local services need to take local people’s needs fully into account. Councillors need to spend more time talking to the people they represent rather than each other.”