Local Election 2010

Wera   Hobhouse

Wera Hobhouse

Liberal Democrat Party
Norden Ward

I was re-elected as Liberal Democrat councillor for Norden in 2006. Because as councillors, we have fixed four year terms, I am up again for election this May. The two other ward councillors Ann Metcalfe and Jim Gartside are only up for election in 2011 and 2012 because there were elected in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

It is worth repeating this, because I come across many residents, who are still confused about the issue. Unless there is an ‘all- out- election’ only a third of councillors are up for election at any point.

I hugely enjoy being a local councillor. There are a few low points but most of my time I spend with local people who are genuinely involved and committed to making Norden a thriving, safe and caring community.

One of my proudest achievements is to successfully campaign for the sale of the Old Norden Library to a community trust. Working together with the trustees over the last three years has been truly inspiring. Soon a much needed GP surgery will open on the first floor of the Old Library, while the ground floor will provide rooms for community activities particularly for the young and older people in Norden. The landmark clock has been working again since last July, and the whole building is being refurbished as we speak. This has been a fantastic success and would have been impossibly without the extremely hard work and commitment of local people who generously give a lot of their time and energy if they are motivated by a good cause.

This is one example of what I see to be my most important role. It is to empower people to become engaged in our communities. Everything I achieve is a team effort and I only take a course of action and work towards improvements, when I can be sure that it is supported by a majority of people.

We will soon have new pedestrian traffic lights in Norden village. We have a new play area behind the Bridge End bus terminus and the Caldershaw Road has been traffic calmed. These are all big projects, which took time to find a consensus and the necessary funding for.

That people can now recycle their paper and cardboard by having an optional bins rather than the blue bags is a direct result of my recycling questionnaire two years ago.
And Norden has become a lot cleaner since we managed to get our own dedicated street cleaner two years ago.

There are also the smaller but never the less very important issues I have been involved with. Norden ward lies within the most attractive parts of our borough, surrounded by stunning moor lands and beautiful valleys. To protect these areas from unsuitable private development and preserving our local heritage has been a big battle.

And the 445 bus route, which was axed by the bus operators last November is up and running again as a reduced service with the subsidy from the GMPTE. An important success that would have been impossible without people power!

There are always new issues, more improvements to be wished for and unfinished business. We still haven’t properly resolved the parking problems in Norden Village. We need to continue to support local business in Norden and look for extra help to make sure they survive through what is still a fragile recovery. Norden is still dogged by antisocial behaviour, underage drinking and vandalism. Our very successful partnership with the local police needs continued support. I am looking to get a consensus for some residential areas to implement 20mph zones. And I would love to see even more people getting involved in our community.

I am up for it! If you support me in the election I will support you in whatever way I can as your councillor!

Local Election 2010