It’s Up the Poll! 2016: Tameside’s Local Elections

East of the M60‘s preview of this year’s Local Elections

Stalybridge
A view of Dukinfield, Ashton-under-Lyne and Manchester from Wild Bank. Image by Ian Roberts, 2006 (Creative Commons License, Some Rights Reserved: Attribution-Share Alike).
  • Labour and Conservative parties go for youthfulness;
  • Independents set to add spice to this year’s campaign;
  • Third time lucky for ex-Hyde player?

The last year has been a fairly tumultuous one for the borough, after the Tories clinched their first majority since 1992. There has been much talk of the Northern Powerhouse, with its rail plans temporarily stuck at Ardwick Junction last June. The next five years will see councils getting full control of its business rates, though with the local government grant being phased out.

In spite of George Osborne’s economic hyperbole and further devolution in Greater Manchester (the City Region’s NHS budget for instance), more local matters are likely to prick the consciousness of Tameside’s local populace. Instead of waiting times at Tameside Hospital, it is likely to be fly-tipping (which has dominated The Lil’ Ole Book of Face in the last year).

For the people of Stalybridge, Hyde, Mossley and Dukinfield, the biggest issue remains the dominance of Ashton. In Stalybridge, this issue has been profound with the development of its town centre (parking and insensitive development topping the gripes). For Dukinfield, the loss of its pool (though thankfully, not the actual building’s transition to a state-of-the-art gymnasium) could be the voters’ call to action at Concord Way.

Campaigns

Par for the course in the run-up to this local elections have been social media campaigns from opposing parties. The present council stands at 57 councillors, 52 of which are Labour, with the remaining five being Conservative councillors. Three of which are in the Stalybridge South ward, which is going to be a stern test for Labour candidate, Oliver Cross.

The Stalybridge South ward – Tameside’s biggest in geographical terms, has a mix of former council housing on Brushes Estate, and palatial detached houses on Mottram Road. It also takes in terraced housing in Mottram Rise and middle class private housing in Carrbrook. A very mixed ward, though one where some of its constituents may feel disenfranchised. This could be a close run between Ollie, and the popular Conservative incumbent, Doreen Dickinson.

With Labour standing in all nineteen wards, they threw everything into their campaign machine, especially with traditional offline campaigning methods. Tameside’s Conservative Party, in a subtle attack on the council’s bin collections and Bin Swap policy, elected to go litter picking. In Audenshaw (which until recently was a Liberal Democrat ward), 20 people took part in a clean-up operation around Audenshaw Road, the Trough, and the Ashton Canal. In a bid to boost the votes of the Dukinfield/Stalybridge independent candidate, the Tories wont be fielding a candidate there,

Consistent with their local manifesto policy for ethical investments in the Greater Manchester Pension Fund, the Tameside Green Party demonstrated outside Dukinfield Town Hall. The Greens, they will be fielding 15 candidates in 19 wards. In Ashton Hurst, Nigel Rolland will be taking up the cudgels against Leigh Drennan and Conservative Party candidate Liam Billington. With Mr. Rolland standing as parliamentary candidate in last year’s General Election (and in the Ashton St. Michaels ward), Charlotte Hughes stood at local level.

As well as Mossley’s four independent candidates, there is set to be more excitement in three other wards. This year could see Carl Simmons getting a break at the Denton South ward, which he has contested in the last decade. In 2015, he ran the Labour incumbent fairly close.

As always, the Dukinfield ward is an interesting one to watch. Challenging the 2000 Best Mayor of the United Kingdom Runner-Up and football referee, Brian Wild, will be independent candidate Dave Tate. His concern is the treatment of his own adopted town, Dukinfield. His manifesto supports the redevelopment of Active Dukinfield, complete with the retention of swimming facilities.

Neighbouring Dukinfield/Stalybridge sees Chris Caton-Greasley standing against Leanne Feeley (Labour), and UKIP candidate David Anderson. She favours a better deal for Stalybridge, decrying the town’s insensitive development and its poor deal, compared with its Lancastrian neighbour west of Cockbrook. Chris is well known in Stalybridge for The Music Corner shop and tuition centre, and the Stalybridge Town Cinema, a community cinema which holds court at Judge’s Bar.

Along with their Labour and Green peers, the independent candidates have spent many a night door knocking and canvassing. Whereas knowledge of UKIP’s nationwide campaign seems to be in the public domain (the small matter of our continued membership in the EU), the United Kingdom Independence Party‘s campaign for Tameside is more parochial. Their focus includes the introduction of free parking (a view shared by most of the borough’s Independent candidates), changes to bin collections (see also Tameside’s Conservatives), and potholes (ditto the previous). In other words, the small yet significant issues that are likely to annoy us.

Once again, the borough’s only Communist Party of Britain candidate will be standing in Audenshaw. Following their poor show in last year’s local elections, the Trade Unionists and Socialists against the Cuts Coalition wont be standing. Less than a year after the party forgot to register their details with the Electoral Commission, the British National Party will be fielding a candidate in the St. Peters ward. The Liberal Democrats, too, will only be fielding a single candidate: in Mossley.

Candidates contested, by party:

For this election, one-third of Tameside MBC’s councillors are up for election. In Mossley, two-thirds of its members in its Tameside MBC ward will be up for election, with voters able to choose three candidates. In addition, there will also be an election for the Mossley Town Council.

Details of the Mossley Town Council election will be dealt with in a separate posting under It’s Up the Poll! 2016.

  • Labour (including Labour Co-op): 20 (includes 2 in Mossley ward);
  • The Green Party of England and Wales: 15 (includes 2 in Mossley ward);
  • Conservative Party: 17 (includes 1 in Mossley ward);
  • British National Party: 1;
  • United Kingdom Independence Party: 11;
  • Independent candidates: 7 (includes 4 in Mossley ward);
  • Liberal Democrats: 1 (Mossley ward only);
  • Communist Party of Britain: 1.

*                               *                              *

Candidates by ward:

Please note that the asterisk denotes a sitting councillor. Each ward name is colour coded according to the sitting councillor’s party.

Ashton Hurst

Could Liam Billington do it after being the nearly man of Hurst Cross for some time? As always, this ward is one to watch. It has acted as a barometer to the borough’s voting habits, though the imposition of further cuts could make things difficult.

  • Liam Billington, Conservative Party;
  • Leigh Drennan*, Labour Party;
  • Nigel Rolland, Green Party.

Ashton St. Michael’s

  • Margaret Sidebottom*, Labour Party;
  • Christine Liley, Conservative Party.

Ashton Waterloo

Unlike last year, no UKIP candidate. Some of the UKIP vote could be split between the Greens and the Conservatives. Blue for Waterloo? Or could local popularity see Piddington retain her seat?

  • Sam Daniels, Conservative Party;
  • Andrew Threlfall, Green Party;
  • Catherine Piddington*, Labour Party.

Audenshaw

We see a change of Green Party candidate and the addition of a Conservative Party candidate. Could the Tory candidate undermine the UKIP vote (again with Maurice Jackson as their candidate)?

  • Teresa Smith*, Labour Party;
  • Maurice Jackson, United Kingdom Independence Party;
  • Joe Henthorn, Green Party;
  • Paul Ward, Communist Party of Britain, The;
  • David Johnson, Conservative Party.

Denton North East

No Green candidate this time, though Dennis Connor is standing again for UKIP.

  • Dennis Connor, United Kingdom Independence Party;
  • Denise Ward*, Labour Party;
  • Dawn Cobb, Conservative Party.

Denton South

I’ve said this before, but could this be Carl Simmons’ year? His persistence has paid off in previous years, with his vote gradually rising each election since 2010. Adrienne Shaw will also be trying again for UKIP.

  • George Newton*, Labour Party;
  • Carol White, Conservative Party;
  • Adrienne Shaw, United Kingdom Independence Party;
  • Carl Simmons, Independent candidate.

Denton West

No TUSC candidate like last year, but a UKIP one this time.

  • Carl Edwards, Conservative Party;
  • Gareth Hayes, Green Party;
  • Max Bennett, United Kingdom Independence Party;
  • Dawson Lane*, Labour Party.

Droylsden East

Always a ward to watch, particularly with Ted Salmon standing for UKIP. Last year, his party was up against Tameside MBC Leader, Kieran Quinn. With the addition of a Conservative Party candidate, there may be a slight dent in Salmon’s vote. In motion for the Green Party is Annie Train.

  • Scott Truter, Conservative Party;
  • Ted Salmon, United Kingdom Independence Party;
  • Annie Train, Green Party;
  • Jim Middleton*, Labour Party.

Droylsden West

  • Peter Harris, United Kingdom Independence Party;
  • Andrew Climance, Green Party;
  • Ged Cooney*, Labour Party;
  • Kate Harvey, Conservative Party.

Dukinfield

Solid Labour territory ever since (and long before) your commentator was a nipper, the Dukinfield ward could be pretty interesting. Adding to the mix is Independent candidate, Dave Tate. Once again, Julie Wood shall be standing for the Green Party, though could lose some of her votes to the Independent (who wants to see the return of Dukinfield’s swimming facilities to the Active Dukinfield Sports Village plans).

  • Ian Cooke, United Kingdom Independence Party;
  • David Woodward, Conservative Party;
  • Brian Wild*, Labour Party;
  • Dave Tate, Independent candidate;
  • Julie Wood, Green Party.

Dukinfield/Stalybridge

Could StalyDuk provide some luck for Independent candidate Chris Caton-Greasley? Already known in Stalybridge for her artistic and musical endeavours, she could benefit from the lack of a Conservative candidate in this ward. Could Disillusioned of Forester Drive provide the right notes? Will Leanne hold her ground? Another ward to watch.

  • David Anderson, United Kingdom Independence Party;
  • Chris Caton-Greasley, Independent candidate;
  • Leanne Feeley*, Labour Party.

Hyde Godley

Only three candidates this time, in what has always been a happy hunting ground for Labour.

  • Forhad Jani, Conservative Party;
  • Andrea Colbourne, United Kingdom Independence Party;
  • Joe Kitchen*, Labour Party.

Hyde Newton

Another chance for Phil Chadwick. Could this be third time lucky owing to the lack of a Conservative candidate? Or, would it be a stunning save by Peter Robinson?

  • Peter Robinson*, Labour and Co-operative Party;
  • Philip Chadwick, United Kingdom Independence Party;
  • Andrew Highton, Green Party.

Hyde Werneth

  • Raja Miah*, Labour Party;
  • Ruth Welsh, Conservative Party.

Longdendale

With Adam White’s departure from the scene, we could be seeing a new face in Tameside’s pub-starved semi-rural ward. Just to throw the proverbial Springer in the works, we have a UKIP candidate. At least 75% of the candidates are likely to be in favour of a Longdendale relief road of some description.

  • Irene Brierley, Green Party;
  • Chris Buglass, Labour Party;
  • David Tyler, Conservative Party;
  • Michael Booth, United Kingdom Independence Party.

Mossley

This year sees two-thirds of the ward up for election, owing to Eleanor Shember-Critchley retiring and a vacancy. As far as candidates are concerned, business as usual with Christine Clark standing for the Green Party, and Dean Aylett standing as an Independent candidate.

  • Dean Aylett, Independent candidate;
  • Lesley Bill, Independent candidate;
  • Claire Hardisty, Independent candidate;
  • Christine Lyness, Independent candidate;
  • Christine Clark, Green Party;
  • Stuart Bennett, Green Party;
  • Phil Rogers, Conservative Party;
  • Martin Kiely, Liberal Democrats;
  • Jack Homer, Labour Party;
  • Tafheen Sharif, Labour Party.

St. Peters

  • Trevor Clarke, Green Party;
  • Bill Kitchen, British National Party;
  • Laura Emma Martin, Conservative Party;
  • Warren Bray*, Labour Party.

Stalybridge North

  • Jean Smee, Green Party;
  • Jan Jackson*, Labour Party;
  • Colin White, Conservative Party.

Stalybridge South

Will Stalybridge South be sticking with Doreen, our will they give Ollie Cross a chance? There could be a photo-finish, if Oliver is popular with the people of Stalyhill as well as Brushes Estate.

  • Oliver Cross, Labour Party;
  • Doreen Dickinson*, Conservative Party;
  • Paul White, Green Party.

*                               *                              *

Next up on It’s Up The Poll! 2015

The all-important results, though not before we give you details of the Mossley Town Council election.

S.V., 04 May 2016.

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