By Dr James Lewthwaite
Labour’s “Election Special” for Wyke ward, advocating the candidacy of Andy Walsh, is a farrago of lies, evasions and omissions. The worst lies concern the Clean Air Zone (CAZ) and the associated Congestion Charge.
On the reverse of the leaflet, Andy Walsh or his ghostwriter claims to correct misinformation about the CAZ. In fact, his assertions are completely untrue. I’m indebted for all the points raised by Stephen Place, head of the campaign against the CAZ tax, standing as an independent in Shipley Ward (the Greens and Liberals are shamefully supporting Labour in this regard, contradicting their basic principles).
The Clean Air Zone
° There is no need for the CAZ; the worst level of pollution in Bradford has not exceeded one-fifth of the level required to trigger extreme measures.
° There is no truth in Walsh’s claim that the tax was forced on the Council by the government. Every Council was offered four choices in a spectrum from “No” to the proposed levels of changes. Leeds and Derby have rejected CAZ outright!
° This isn’t the only lie Labour are propagating. Inside the leaflet, there is a map depicting Labour’s “Achievements” in recent years in Wyke. Most are underwhelming, but one is a blatant lie. Labour councillors did not bring about the Low Moor station. All the heavy lifting was done by BRUG- the Bradford Rail Users Group led by James Vasey and including well known local campaigner Neil Craig. The Labour councillors have some cheek in claiming the credit!
° More striking still is what the councillors have not done. The major intersections on the Huddersfield and Cleckheaton roads are nightmares – just as bad as they were nearly 20 years ago when I started campaigning for roundabouts and traffic lights. Once again, Labour councillors have connived at the disruption of the 19th Century Wibsey by-pass by restricting access at either end of Netherlands Avenue. Hardly surprising since they are rabidly anti-car and are mainly domiciled elsewhere!
Wyke desperately needs roundabouts or, more likely, staggered traffic lights at the intersections:
Abbs Scott Lane/New Works.
New Works Road/Cleckheaton
Common Road/Cleckheaton (By the Cenotaph).
The most effective emissions control would be not to require lines of stalled cars to pump out exhaust fumes!
° The exemptions mentioned by Walsh are in practice inconvenient to obtain and require disclosure of information such as bank details, company accounts and your inland revenue unique tax code! Why do you think they require this sensitive information?
° Walsh (or his ghostwriter) states emphatically that you do not need an exemption for your car. Still Stephen Place has reasonable grounds for asserting that as soon as the Labour Council resume business after the 5th of May elections, the tax will be extended to private motorists probably on June 1st – how cynical!
° From the start, businesses such as haulage firms, taxi drivers, delivery drivers, in fact, every business requiring vehicles will be hit. On top of rising fuel prices, the charge will be enough to kill off many small businesses. The charges will, whenever possible, be passed on to the customer. So, from the start, it will hit all Bradfordians in the pocket.
°The Council did not strive to ameliorate the charges as Walsh alleges. Why would they – they are set to keep two-thirds of the revenue!
It is purely and simply a stealth tax which will hit the poorest hardest. So much for the party of the workers. Don’t be conned into giving them your vote on the 5th of May – You will regret it!
I urge you all to visit Stephen’s Facebook campaign against CAZ charges in Bradford (link below) and to sign the petition, which will be set up at the 3rd of May rally.
If you live in Wyke ward, Bradford, you have the opportunity to vote British Democrats on 5th of May! Read our leaflet below.
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