LibDems' focus is on local issues

LOCAL issues will decide the outcome of next Thursday's council elections, Lib Dem leader Kath Pinnock said.

The party’s national role in government was blamed by some for the loss of six Kirklees Council seats last year.

Defeated Naz Hussain, standing as an independent in his old Dewsbury West ward this time, even quit the Lib Dems over it.

He blamed proposed NHS reforms and university tuition fees for his defeat, one of nearly 700 seats the party lost across England. 

But party chief Coun Pinnock, who is up for reelection in Cleckheaton, insists the national situation is not as big on the doorsteps now.

She said: “We’re facing a different set of elections from last year as national issues are not as prevalent.

“People are talking about local issues, from changes to children’s centres and libraries to the outsourcing of social care.”

Coun Pinnock said an issue in Cleckheaton is the planned move of social care staff from the town hall to Empire House in Dewsbury.

Cleckheaton’s chamber of trade have collected about 1,600 signatures for a Lib Dembacked petition opposing the idea.

Coun Pinnock said: “Labour’s policy is to move to staff into buildings the council owns to cut down on the amount paid in rent.

“But here they’re doing the opposite. Empire House is privatelyowned. And they’re not even going to replace the staff Cleckheaton could lose. 

“At least one office would be used for storage. A lot of shops in Cleckheaton would see their lunchtime trade fall as a result.”

On her reelection chances against Dan Howard (Lab) and David Pinder (Conservative) she added: “I’m never complacent.

“You can never take the electorate for granted. I’ll be campaigning for every vote until 10pm on Thursday.”

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