Calderdale Liberal Democrat group leader braves the shave for Macmillan campaign

Liberal Democrat Group Leader Coun James Baker
Liberal Democrat Group Leader Coun James Baker

It’s a busy time for Calderdale’s politicians with the local elections just having gone and the EU poll now imminent, but they do have other things on their mind.

Liberal Democrat Group Leader Coun James Baker retained his Warley ward seat in the Calderdale Council elections and is on the list for his party in the EU elections, but has also changed his familiar look to raise money for charity.

READ MORE: Calderdale Council election fallout: Lib Dems 'back as a political force'
Coun Baker has been well known for his hirsute appearance – ponytail, moustache and beard – but to raise money for a cancer-fighting charity he has taken part in the Macmillan Cancer Support Brave The Shave campaign.

He has shaved off all his hairwhile keeping the beard and ‘tache, so far raising more than £800.

Coun Baker said since 2015 thousands of brave shavers have raised over £16.8M to help fund cancer support nurses.

It is a cause which means a lot to him as he explains: “I’m a cancer survivor myself, having had a melanoma in my early 20s.

“I wanted to try and raise funds and awareness for Macmillian Cancer Support. They do excellent work helping to support people when they need it the most.

“I’ve donated the hair to a charity so it hasn’t gone to waste.”

Anyone wishing to support Coun Baker can do so by going online to https://bravetheshave.macmillan.org.uk/shavers/james-baker1 where they can donate.

Coun Baker’s new look and the cause he is raising money for did not go un-noticed at Calderdale Council’s annual meeting and Mayor-making ceremony at Halifax Town Hall this week.

When the new Mayor of Calderdale, Coun Dot Foster (Lab, Sowerby Bridge), launched her own Mayoral charities for Calderdale Music Trust and the Sowerby Bridge-based Happy Days, which helps homeless people, she asked councillors to suggest fundraising ideas but added: “I’m not sure, James, about shaving my head yet!”