‘Town council could be answer to problems’

CAMPAIGNERS believe Dewsbury’s problems can be tackled with help from its own town council.

The idea came from canvassing done during the election by Tory Dewsbury East candidate Mark Eastwood.

He said: “I lost count of how many people said to me they regretted the loss of the local council.”

Dewsbury merged with other areas, including Huddersfield and Spenborough, to form Kirklees in April 1974.

Since then, including twice recently, there have been proposals to carve them back up.

In 2012 and last year the Tories mooted a split – which led Labour to reveal their own devolution plans.

Amid claims that new district panels were ‘stitched up’, residents in Cleckheaton, Birstall and Thornhill considered forming their own town councils. This was after Kirklees said they would devolve powers to such bodies where they exist.

Dewsbury is the latest to look at this, with Mr Eastwood claiming Morley could be a model to follow.

Since the town council was founded there in 2000 the centre has thrived, which Mr Eastwood hopes to replicate.

He said: “When you look at the state of Dewsbury it’s clear to see that things are not working.”

Mirfield, which also has a thriving centre, has a town council which has led on planning issues.

Mr Eastwood said: “With the Kirklees Council Local Plan coming a town council would have a role to play on issues like Chidswell.”

It could also target help at specific areas, such as Chickenley, Savile Town or Dewsbury Moor.

He wants to form a working group to lead consultation and asked for people to get in touch irrespective of political allegiances.

Anyone interested can call Mr Eastwood on 07707 240014 or send an email to markeastwood4dewsbury@gmail.com.

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