Sunday, 6 May 2012

Kirklees Elections 2012 report

Optical illusion - Actually it's the Green Party that is on top here!
Lots to be said about the Kirklees Elections of 2012 but the headlines for the Green Party were winning our fifth seat on Kirklees and our second seat in the Kirkburton Ward by 23 votes as Robert Barraclough joined our ranks. Robert will be an excellent local councillor. He is a farmer, businessman, Parish Councillor and former Chairman of Kirkburton Parish Council who is refreshingly straightforward and considered in his approach to decisions. He'll be an asset to the Green Party but also to Kirklees Council as a whole. This just leaves Cllr Christine Smith as the remaining Conservative in the ward. We'll be gentle with her!

It was the wettest election I can remember. Thousands of leaflets were delivered in heavy rain. One morning 6 of us delivered the whole of Shelley in wet weather gear through a relentless downpour, Special campaign honours to those people.

We also had a more aggressive Labour Party Campaign in Newsome than usual that needed addressing and handling. It was a bit of a 'surprise attack'  and soon we were seeing Labour Councillors from all over Huddersfield canvassing in Newsome. We also had our Labour MP Barry Sheerman and a Coronation Street Actress pressing the flesh for Labour in Newsome. We closely followed the literature being produced by Labour and there was a lot of it, some personalised letters and several full colour glossy leaflets. I bumped into Cllr Mehboob Khan leafleting in Lockwood who insisted to me that Labour were not targeting Newsome but the evidence and information that had come my way seemed to indicate the opposite. I was getting calls from constituents from all over the Newsome Ward telling me what this or that Labour Councillor had said to them on the doorstep in pursuit of their votes.  Apparently I spent all my time running Kirkburton Parish Council and was neglecting the Newsome Ward which I didn't even live in! Actually I attend about 2 Parish Council meetings a month and there are plenty of other Kirkburton Parish Cllrs to do the important stuff without me interfering. As for not living in the ward I've never tried to make a secret of this and have put my home address prominently on several leaflets over the years. It was strange to get this sort of attack from the Labour and Conservative Candidates who also didn't live in the ward themselves but of course they didn't put this particular fact on their leaflets. There were 2 full colour leaflets that went out in the last couple of days as well as a full colour Polling Day reminder card. There's plenty more I could say on the Labour campaign but it can wait for another day. Interestingly the Tories put a bit more effort than usual into Newsome but the messaging was all about not voting Green rather than reasons to vote Conservative. It almost seemed like a two pronged attack from 2 Parties working together to unseat me. When Kirkburton Cllr Christine Smith was sighted canvassing in Newsome trying out her own particular brand of invective with the locals I knew the knives were out. The feeling and support on the doorstep towards the Green Party remained good throughout which was comforting.

The outcome of all this was an increase in the Green Party share of the vote from just over 51% to just under 53%. Anyway here's a clip from Star Trek 2 - The Wrath of Khan. Khan has just carried out a surprise attack on the USS Enterprise and believes he has the upper hand.


  1. Nice clip! Loving what he's doing with his hair these days...

    As for you spending all your time running Kirkburton Parish Council? I thought that 25 of us and two staff did that? But then if one is used to following a dictatorial model, I guess that a free-thinking democratic method of achieving things is rather difficult to understand. I think the results speak for themselves... well done Green Party! Sharon.

  2. I have to say, if they had spent more time running the council better in the first place, they would have more time at home.

    Nice work Andrew and Robert.....

  3. Well done on seeing off a two-pronged attack. It neither surprises me that you were a target for both sides, nor that your constituents returned you to office with a resounding vote of confidence. Keep up the great work!

  4. Well done to Robert,we both voted for him. It is so refreshing to meet someone who talks the talk and walks the walk.