Airedale and Ferry Fryston candidate calls for CCTV to tackle anti-social behaviour
A volunteer is placing anti-social behaviour at the heart of his election campaign to represent Airedale and Ferry Fryston.
Alex Kear believes petty crime and vandalism are blighting the area and is calling for investment in CCTV to help tackle the problem.
Mr Kear, 48, was a lifelong Labour voter and subsequently became a party member for around 18 months until last December, when he grew disillusioned about its response to the anti-social behaviour issues.
It was then he decided to stand as an independent candidate for the ward.
Having organised a petition signed by hundreds of people to get more cameras monitoring the streets, Mr Kear is now hoping for an electoral mandate to put his ideas in practice.
Mr Kear said: "The Labour attitude to what we were saying was just maddening.
"All you get from them is, "There's no money" and you don't get any answers beyond that.
"Our local neighbourhood policing team have said themselves that monitoring CCTV assistance is the way forward.
"If the police are saying that, then why isn't the local council stepping up to the plate to deliver that?
"It needs to be introduced for the community's own safety."
Mr Kear, who describes himself as "Airedale born and bred", was a warehouse worker, until he was forced to give work three years ago because of mental health problems.
Since then he's thrown himself into several community projects, including setting up a residents' association and co-ordinating a 'Men in Sheds' scheme, which is helping to tackle isolation and loneliness among blokes in the local area.
Mr Kear said giving young people more things to do and meeting their individual needs was vital to tackling anti-social behaviour.
And he says his approach to representing the ward would be to work collectively with local businesses and groups to make it a better place.
He added: "If you've got a group of 30 kids causing trouble it's very hard to identify who the ringleaders are.
"If you give them something to do then there's no audience for them to perform to anymore because they're occupied.
"Whether I win the seat or not I'm going to continue to work at all of these things. Being elected might give me more sway, but regardless of that I'm going to carry on."
This article is part of a series of profile pieces about the political parties and independent candidates standing in the local elections in Wakefield. Each profile will appear on our websites in the run-up to polling day.
List of candidates standing in Airedale and Ferry Fryston
Yvonne Crewe - Labour
Alex Kear - Independent candidate
Eamonn Mullins - Conservatives
Local Democracy Reporting Service