Election candidate promises fight to 'make things better' if voted to serve Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton

Mr Hardman says that the ward suffers from poor and unaffordable public transport.
Mr Hardman says that the ward suffers from poor and unaffordable public transport.

An independent candidate has promised to "fight to make things better" if elected as a councillor for Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton.

Retired sales engineer John Hardman, who's lived in Ackworth for 40 years, wants to draw attention to "poor and "unaffordable" bus services in the area, as well as potholed roads and a lack of facilities for young and old.

The local elections take place on May 2

The local elections take place on May 2

He's also concerned about roadside litter, traffic pollution in the area and what he calls "excessive" housing development.

Mr Hardman said: "I am standing as an independent as I believe this is the best way of drawing attention to the issues affecting Ackworth’s residents.

"These are not new problems. They have been with us for many years under successive councils.

"On my own, whether a district or parish councillor, I cannot promise to make that change happen. What I can do and what I promise is, that I’ll do my damnedest to fight to make things better and if I can’t make things better I will do everything possible to raise awareness of the problems."

Mr Hardman said that being independent meant he was not "shackled" by political dogma like mainstream parties, which he believes would enable him to speak freely about issues faced by people in the ward.

He also suggested that communication from sitting Labour members was one of the council's weaknesses, and has pledged to keep people updated on the issues he intends to raise.

Mr Hardman added: "I'm sure the elected councillors for this area have opinions about these issues, but they're seemingly unable to speak their mind and that's a shame.

"I speak my mind - I say things as they are.

"If elected I will use social media to keep residents updated. Nothing beats talking to people but social media will provide another forum for communicating with me and letting me know what needs doing."

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 Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton

Jessica Carrington - Labour

Phil Davies - Conservatives

Nick Gray - Liberal Democrats

John Hardman - Independent candidate

Gwen Marshall - Independent candidate

Martin Roberts - Yorkshire Party

Local Democracy Reporting Service