Amber Valley voters go to the polls tomorrow in the first major test of electoral opinion in the area since the General Election.
They will be voting on May 5 to elect councillors in 15 of Amber Valley Borough Council’s 23 wards.
Ahead of polling day, we invited the parties putting candidates forward for election to submit statements of intent:
Last year the Conservatives regained control of Amber Valley Borough Council.
During the last 12 months we have kept all the promises that we made during the 2015 campaign. This included a reduction in council tax which was paid for by reducing councillors’ allowances. The electorate can therefore trust us to keep the promises we are making this year. These are to:
• Expand garden waste collections to anyone who wants the service;
• Continue to reduce the allowances that are paid to councillors;
• Promote local jobs to make sure that our town centres continue to thrive;
• Maintain and improve local services by saving money in the way the council works;
• Work with local communities to keep our streets clean.
We were let down by local developers over our core strategy and are therefore having to start again. We will ensure that any development is sustainable and will encourage the use of brownfield land.
Labour will remove the danger of uncontrolled and unwanted housing by achieving a new core strategy. This will only allow sustainable development that protects Belper’s green belt and unique character.
We strongly support the Belper Neighbourhood Plan, which can help us defend against unsuitable housing development.
We are the only party who pledge to meet the funding gap to build the new River Garden Tea Rooms. We will use proceeds of selling the land off Field Lane; on which Conservatives wasted £1.6 million.
We will improve the provision and condition of public toilets to make sure facilities are both available and up to a proper standard.
We will tackle anti-social behaviour - blocking pavements, dog waste, graffiti, rubbish and all the things which spoil our local environment.
We will improve facilities for the elderly and isolated, disabled, young and local groups with the help of more community grants and partnerships.
Liberal Democrat borough councillors would prioritise improvements to the recycling scheme, greater transparency in the planning system and the bringing back of derelict and unused housing to full-time occupation.
The latter would use community payback labour, in dialogue with the National Offender Management Service.
We would introduce a form of Proportional Representation for all local elections, and consult widely about how/when to bring it in. Lib Dems would keep the current by-thirds election cycle.
We would also work to improve leisure centre usage among all age groups and promote walking for the health of all.
UKIP continues to go from strength to strength – challenging the established order of both national and local politics in the UK.
Thanks to UKIP we will soon have a referendum on our membership of the un-democratic and costly EU and it is UKIP councillors all over the country punching well above their weight, challenging the petty squabbling and cronyism that blights our local politics and, bringing decision-making back to local communities.
UKIP councillors are community champions not subject to a party whip – we work for the people of Amber Valley not a party political agenda.
Priorities for Amber Valley include:
• Enhancing front-line services
• Low council tax
• Protecting our countryside and green spaces from over development.
• Homes for local people and veterans first.
• Money for local services, not the EU, foreign aid and foreign wars
The Green Party wants to create a truly democratic local government that governs for the common good.
We want to create a more equal society rather than one that is divided between poverty and great wealth.
In Amber Valley protecting our heritage and greenfield sites is vitally important and the Green Party would do so by speaking up against unnecessary development, fracking and other destructive activities.
Our first job if we were elected would be to see that the council adopts a sustainable local plan so that the environment in which we live is protected.
We would also campaign to ensure that new houses are built to the highest energy efficiency standards.
The Green Party will safeguard the maintenance of our green open spaces and local parks and will encourage everyone to reduce what we use, reuse it when we have finished with it and then recycle it.
Dave Fisher is standing as an independent candidate for Belper Central.
I became an independent member of Belper Town Council in 2014. Despite that, I persuaded the council to:
1) adopt a Neighbourhood Plan, giving residents a say in the way Belper is developed.
2) draft a letter to UNESCO asking our World Heritage Site be put on the endangered list. This prompted AVBC to completely remove Bullsmoor from the core strategy.
3) keep both of the town council’s car parks free 24/7.
My aims are:
• to have a new leisure centre in the centre of town similar to Water World in Mansfield complete with training pool. This will bring people into the town giving our shops long-term viability.
• an appropriate future use for Babington Hospital
• build the Tea Rooms in Belper River Gardens
• make borough council car parks free
• stop the erosion of the World Heritage Site, especially Bullsmoor.
The National Front will fight two Amber Valley seats. Timothy Knowles is up for election in Langley Mill and Aldercar, and Michael Sharpe is standing in Ripley and Marehay.
Michael said: “I pledge to put the views and the opinions by our own people first.
“Very often when candidates are elected, they forget about voters’ concerns and focus on their own interests.”
Full list of wards and candidates
Alfreton: Marlene Bennett (Lab), Henry Foulds (Lib Dem), Kat Moss (Con), Leo Swavett (Green), Pete Twiname (UKIP).
Belper Central: Dave Fisher (Ind), John Nelson (Con), Maurice Neville (Lab), Dave Wells (Green), John Young (UKIP).
Belper North: Ben Bellamy (Lab), Alan Cox (Con), Sue MacFarlane (Green), Richard Salmon (Lib Dem), Dennis Smith (UKIP).
Codnor and Waingroves: Jackie Blackett (Green), Linda Edwards-Milsom (Con), Christopher Emmas-Williams (Lab), Gaz Smith (UKIP), Fay Whitehead (Lib Dem).
Heage and Ambergate: Ian Gillat (UKIP), Paul Lobley (Lab), William Macfaralane (Green), Angela Ward (Con), Audrey Wootton (Lib Dem).
Heanor and Loscoe: Geoffrey Aldwinckle (UKIP), James Brooks (Green), Kieran Hill (Lab), James Morton (Lib Dem), Julie Whitmore (Con).
Heanor East: Mark Burrell (Con), Sheila Oakes (Lab), Philip Rose (UKIP), George White (Lib Dem), Julie Wozniczka (Green).
Heanor West: Teresa Curran (Lab), Chris Flude (UKIP), Steven Grainger (Con), Joel Hunt (Lib Dem), Mike Jones (Green).
Ironville and Riddings: Stuart Bent (UKIP), Jack Brown (Con), Steve Kennedy (Green), Ollie Smith (Lib Dem), Paul Wardle (Lab).
Kilburn, Denby and Holbrook: Charles Bull (Con), Kate Howard (Green), Roy Snape (UKIP), Christine Venables (Lab), Ron Welsby (Lib Dem).
Langley Mill and Aldercar: Brian Gration (Lab), Timothy Knowles (National Front), Christina Smith (Green), Ruth Thornton (Lib Dem), Tony Warren (UKIP), Rosie Webster (Con).
Ripley and Marehay: Matt Murray (Con), John Pass (UKIP), Michael Sharpe (National Front), Clym Stock-Williams (Lib Dem), Mick Wilson (Lab), Tony Youens (Green).
Ripley: Sean Carter (Con), Tony Holmes (Lab), Peter Jelf (Lib Dem), Paula Parkin (UKIP), Phil Taylor (Green).
Shipley Park, Horsley and Horsley Woodhouse: Matt McGuinness (Green), Ade Nathan (UKIP), Kate Smith (Lib Dem), Alexander Stevenson (Con), Antony Tester (Lab).
Somercotes: Colin Boyce (Con), Steve Elliott (Green), John McCabe (Lab), Paul Price (UKIP), Elsie Situnayake (Lib Dem).