After much thought, I think I need to put the record straight, regarding Councillor Roger Taylor’s letter: ‘Your Say’ – Friday May 10th 2013, regarding my voting patterns, in full council.
First of all, I must remind Councillor Taylor, that I am what it says on the tin, and INDEPENDENT. I have no political dogma or manifesto, to hide behind. I also do not represent a ward where my seat is guaranteed, unlike Councillor Taylor, in Northowram and Shelf. If he came from under that rock, and stood in a proper ward where even if a donkey stood with a blue ribbon on, it would get elected to the council. I have always voted for the policies I feel will be most beneficial to the majority of the people; in the Brighouse ward first, and then the whole of Calderdale. The Conservative group over the past 12 months have put no policies forward, no budget at budget council or, amendments. And unlike Councillor Taylor, I do not get up and walk out of debates because I don’t like what has been said. If he and his group, had put forward any alternatives or amendments, to the budget I may have voted for them. But unlike Councillor Taylor, I never sit on my hands. I voted with the Labour group on the bedroom tax, because I really feel it is unfair to kick some genuine people when they are down and out. If you are unemployed, or sick, and on benefit and live in a home you may have spent years improving along with the gardens of the property, you shouldn’t then have to pay when your family leaves and you are left with just your memories. Why should anyone who chooses to live in a particular area, then have to move to an area they may not like or know? Move away from friends, and neighbours they may have known for years? I find it interesting that Councillor Taylor doesn’t object to millionaires, having more bedrooms then they need. As for his comments with regards to me supporting car parking charges, I only support the charge in car parks, and that is because they have to be maintained by the council, and it was his communities minister Eric Pickles MP, that said rate payers should subsidise car parking spaces. I will fight to keep on street parking in Brighouse, and anywhere else it is free at the moment to help our traders in the town centres other than Halifax. My independent status allows me to speak honestly and without bias on any issue that affects the whole community of Calderdale. I unlike Councillor Roger Taylor take this privilege very seriously. I DO NOT send inflammatory emails to civil rights groups. So I don’t need lecturing to by Councillor Taylor on morals, standards, or accountability.
Councillor Colin Stout
Leader Independent group