Labour fighting 'positive' election campaign over 'good' track record running Wakefield Council

Labour have outlined the reasons why they should get your vote on May 2.
Labour have outlined the reasons why they should get your vote on May 2.

Wakefield's ruling Labour group has insisted the district's residents will "continue to be better off" under its leadership.

The party has made its pitch to voters ahead of the local elections on May 2, and has asked the electorate to consider its track record in delivering services.

Coun Box said that the campaign would be fought positively by Labour.

Coun Box said that the campaign would be fought positively by Labour.

Group leader Peter Box, who has been at the head of the council since 1998, said that the local authority had achieved many things despite the impact of public sector spending cutbacks on Wakefield.

He pointed to the building of The Hepworth Gallery and Trinity Walk as examples of regeneration on Labour's watch, and said that further evolution of the city centre was needed to adapt to the changing face of high streets.

Outlining why Labour should get your vote at this election, Coun Box said: "We’ve got a good track record of delivering good quality services. We have some of the lowest council tax rates in the country.

"We’ve done that despite being one of those northern councils that have been worst hit by austerity.

"The key from my perspective is to make sure we continue to provide those services, like keeping the streets clean and the roads in a good state of repair."

Coun Box said that improving the authority's children's services, which was rated inadequate by Ofsted last year had been a "huge challenge", but that it was now in a much better state.

"All the indications are that we are moving in the right direction," he said.

"But people forget that our neighbours in Leeds, who now have an excellent children's services, were in the same position as Wakefield not so long agao.

"Bradford and Kirklees are also now in that same position. It's not something that's unique to Wakefield."

Despite tensions between Labour and the Conservatives being raised again during the campaign, Coun Box insisted that his party would fight the election "positively".

He said: "If you look at all our campaign leaflets, we've put forward an offer to the people in Wakefield that's based on our manifesto.

"We've produced a positive manifesto, and if you look at all the personal statements made by each of our candidates I don't think there's anything negative in there at all."

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.

Number of candidates standing - 21

Jessica Carrington - Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton

Yvonne Crewe - Airedale and Ferry Fryston

Jo Hepworth - Altofts and Whitwood

Tony Wallis - Castleford Central and Glasshoughton

Maureen Cummings - Crofton, Ryhill and Walton

Graham Isherwood - Featherstone

Glyn Lloyd - Hemsworth

Melanie Jones - Horbury and South Ossett

Glenn Burton - Knottingley

David Dagger - Normanton

Duncan Smith - Ossett

Patricia Garbutt - Pontefract North

David Jones - Pontefract South

Steve Tulley - South Elmsall and South Kirkby -

Jack Hemingway - Stanley and Outwood

Stuart Heptinstall - Wakefield East

Margaret Isherwood - Wakefield North

Kevin Barker - Wakefield Rural

Pete Rosser - Wakefield South

Michael Graham - Wakefield West

Charlie Keith - Wrenthorpe and Outwood West

Local Democracy Reporting Service