Lib Dems target Wakefield voters feeling 'left behind' at local elections

The Lib Dems are fielding candidates in 14 seats in Wakefield.
The Lib Dems are fielding candidates in 14 seats in Wakefield.

The Liberal Democrats are targeting voters who feel "left behind" in their communities ahead of next week's local elections in the Wakefield district.

The party is hoping to cause an upset and secure its first seats on the council since 2011, and has 14 candidates standing across the area.

Lib Dem group spokesman Tom Gordon said his party could challenge Labour on "bread and butter" issues.

Lib Dem group spokesman Tom Gordon said his party could challenge Labour on "bread and butter" issues.

Their message is being concentrated on those who feel aggrieved by a loss of facilities and services, and as a result may be "fed up" with Labour running the authority.

Group spokesman Tom Gordon said he hoped the Lib Dems' one-time reputation as "the party of local government" would make its mark with the electorate.

He said: "Wakefield has been run by a Labour administration since the dawn of time, and they've become somewhat lazy as a result.

"Money has been spent on vanity projects, like the new leisure centre at Pontefract Park which won't be fit for purpose and which is already over budget.

"We want to provide that option for people who feel left behind, and who've seen their local library or their local leisure centre close.

"The Conservatives have shown that they're not capable of being an effective opposition, so we hope people will trust us to hold Labour to account."

Mr Gordon claimed that the city of Wakefield was taking an unfair slice of the cash available, at the expense of other parts of the district.

He also insisted that Labour had failed on "bread-and-butter" council issues, which suggested they were no longer capable of running the authority.

He said: "When you can't get things like potholes, bins and dog mess right, how can you be trusted to run a multi-million pound organisation responsible for looking after everyone in the district?

"Lib Dem candidates have been out canvassing and actually helping people get things like the pothole at the end of their street reported.

"The priorities of the Labour-run council aren't the priorities of the people. It's clear something's not working and it's time for an alternative, which we can provide."

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 - 14

Nick Gray - Ackworth, North Elmsall and Upton

Malcolm Pollack - Altofts and Whitwood

Adam Belcher - Crofton, Ryhill and Walton

Mark Goodair - Horbury and South Ossett

Thomas Gordon - Knottingley

Tony Sargeant - Ossett

Salli Martlew - Pontefract South

Michael Keeton - South Elmsall and South Kirkby

Joan MacQueen - Stanley and Outwood East

Natasha de Vere - Wakefield North

Catherine Budgen - Wakefield Rural

David Currie - Wakefield South

John Clayton - Wakefield West

Esther Amis-Hughes - Wrenthorpe and Outwood West

Local Democracy Reporting Service