By KLTV Newsdesk
Peter Judge, a former Labour and Co-operative councillor for Calderdale, has announced his bid to become the Labour and Co-operative Party candidate for West Yorkshire Mayor.
Peter, a lifelong member of the labour party, served on Calderdale’s Council in the 1990s and worked in local government for 23 years of his career.
He currently resides in Brighouse and is formally seeking nomination to become the Labour candidate for West Yorkshire Mayor.
The elections for the new position of Mayor of West Yorkshire will be held May 2021.
Peter is among several who have put forward their candidacy for the Labour nomination, including Tracy Brabin, MP for Batley and Spen, and Hugh Goulbourne, a local Lawyer and Business Ambassador.
The final result for the labour representitave will be decided in December.
When asked what his priorities would be if elected as mayor, Peter 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.”
Public transport looks to be another important priority, as Peter touched upon the need to ‘fix’ the bus and train services in West Yorkshire, with power moving away from privatisation back to public ownership.
He said: “We need to fix the bus service by re-creating 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.”
Peter argued that public transport should be in public ownership, placing blame for ‘broken train services’ on ‘Conservative privatisation in the 1990s’.
He added: “Most European countries have publicly owned city and regional trains as well as their national companies. My priority would be to work with council leaders and elected mayors throughout the North to establish regional ownership of our regional train companies, such as the Northern Rail service.
“Again, this would be established on a co-operative basis, with rail employees and passengers having strong representation on the board of these companies”.
Peter also spoke about education in West Yorkshire as one of his key running points, by looking to bring education in the county under more local control.
He said: “Although not included in the present devolution deal, we need the powers to bring education under West Yorkshire control. I was educated in the days of the West Riding County Council, and, as a lad from a pit village, received a first-class education.
“The present education system is so piecemeal and its management is so opaque that it urgently needs bringing back under genuine democratic control.”
Further highlighting a desire to give local councils more power, Peter also noted that he would work to give councils back the powers to run council housing, as well as the funding to build new council houses.
If elected as mayor of West Yorkshire, Peter says he would work with the five district councils, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield to argue the case for council housing with central government.
Peter will be seeking the support of local constituency Labour parties, the Co-operative Party, and Trade Unions affiliated to the Labour Party, before a final decision on the labour representative is made.