Former councillor enters race to become Labour's candidate for West Yorkshire mayoralty
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Peter Judge, a lifelong member of the Labour Party, has announced his bid to become Labour and Co-operative Party candidate for the role, which will be elected next May as part of a devolution deal for the region.
Mr Judge, who served as a Labour and Co-operative councillor on Calderdale Council in the 1990s and worked in local government for 23 years of his career, said: “The former West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council (WYMCC) was spitefully abolished by the Thatcher Tory government in the 1980s because it dared to carry out socialist policies.
“WYMCC was fully democratically elected and had its own revenue raising powers. The present devolution deal gives West Yorkshire a few crumbs back, but is only the start of what we, in West Yorkshire need.
“We need adequate revenue raising powers to enable us to do what is needed. We need a proper democratic structure, ideally as part of a Yorkshire wide assembly or even parliament. It might seem ironic, but a priority of the directly elected West Yorkshire mayor should be the abolition of their own post and its replacement with genuine democracy. I would fight for this genuine democracy.”
He added: “In the meantime, we need to fix the bus service, by recreating municipal bus companies, owned and managed on a co-operative basis with both employees and passengers on the boards of these companies. And, of course, we need proper funding to protect rural, early morning, and evening services, as well as maintaining what should be excellent day time services.”
He said he would also like to see education brought under West Yorkshire control, and public transport put back into public ownership.
Other candidates who have so far declared an interest in running for Labour in the bid include Bradford council leader Susan Hinchclifee, Batley and Spen MP Tracy Brabin, and Huddersfield lawyer Hugh Goulbourne.