THE Denton West by-election was brought about by the resignation of sitting councillor Dawson Lane, who cited “personal family circumstances” for his decision.
The 79-year-old had been a councillor for 11 years, succeeding Andrew Gwynne when he became MP for Denton and Reddish.
Dawson had decided to retire and not seek re-election in May, but family issues forced him to stand down sooner.
Dawson was possibly also unique in holding all four ceremonial posts in the borough – mayor, deputy mayor, consort when wife Jackie was mayor and deputy consort to her.
When Dawson was elected in 2008 it was by the narrow margin of 13 votes. In the elections of 2012 and 2016, he recorded landslide victories.
The by-election will take place on Thursday, December 12 (the same day as the general election).
Anyone registered to vote in the ward will have the chance to choose their councillor, who will represent them on Tameside Council.
Anyone registered to vote will receive a polling card which confirms their constituency and polling station, or postal or proxy voting details.
Polling stations will be open on Thursday, December 12 from 7am until 10pm.
Find out more online at: www.tameside.gov.uk/elections
You can also contact the electoral services team at Tameside Council by calling 0161 342 3036 or write to: Electoral Services, Tameside One, Market Place, Ashton-under-Lyne, Tameside, OL6 6BH.
Candidates for the Denton West by-election
George Alex Jones, Labour Party
My name is George Alex Jones and I am delighted to be standing as the Labour Party candidate in this important by-election that will shape the future of our community.
My ultimate aim is to be a strong local voice for all residents and to bring about the change we all want to see.
As a resident living in the ward myself, who experiences all the same issues that you do, I believe I am best placed to be our community champion.
Currently, I’m studying Politics at the University of Salford which has taught me about what is at the heart of our political system and that is people. Everything we do should aim to transform our lives for the better.
Over the last few years I have been working with our Member of Parliament and ward councillors to learn more about the issues we face and how we can resolve them going forward.
I have a clear vision for the future, working for a cleaner, greener and safer community for all Denton West residents.
We can only bring about this vision by working together and utilising that community spirit that is so alive and well in our community.
Denton West is my home and I will do everything I can to ensure it’s the best place to grow up, get on and grow old.
I love our community and it would be an honour to serve it.
Thomas Dunne, Conservative Party
Earlier this year as I stood to be your local councillor, I heard your concerns about our town – from crime and anti-social behaviour, the state of our roads and worries about getting your children in decent schools. These issues were at the top of our plans for Tameside.
Nationally, the Conservatives have said they will invest £2 billion on repairing crumbling roads across the country; they will employ 20,000 more police officers, with 347 extra coming to Greater Manchester this year alone; and they will spend more money on every child in every school and help parents with childcare during school holidays.
Locally, we said we would push for £40 million to be spent over the next four years on road maintenance and for all potholes to be fixed within two working days.
We would cut the number of politicians at the town hall and use the savings to put more police on our streets to keep us safe.
We support the creation of a Free School in Tameside, and oppose Labour’s disastrous plans to scrap Ofsted and its inspections of educational quality.
We need someone in our community who cares for our town and who will put the interests of Denton and its people first; not someone who will just continue to put their party first.
There is a difference between national and local politics – so if you want to see change in Denton then vote for me, your local Conservative candidate, on December 12 – I will put your interests first.
Alice Mason-Power, Liberal Democrats
I’m Alice, I live in Tameside and I work across Greater Manchester in homelessness prevention.
I’m proud to call Tameside my adopted home and I’m glad to be bringing my two young sons up here.
As a Liberal Democrat, it’ll surprise no one that I’m a passionate pro-European and as here in Tameside we’ve had projects like our tram links funded by the EU, I believe we need a firm pro-EU voice on Tameside Council.
If elected, I’d also have a strong interest in improving our homelessness prevention services across our borough.
I want to be involved in improving our community and offering a new, liberal, voice on our council.
I’d also like to work with the other parties on our council to look at how we can reduce our emissions here in Tameside and address climate change on a local level.
I believe healthy democracy has many voices and that a Liberal voice on Tameside Council would be a great asset.
Jean Smee, Green Party
My name is Jean Smee and I am standing for the Green Party in Denton West.
I have lived in the Tameside area most of my life, have worked as a teacher here (my first job was at Two Trees School in Denton) and brought up my family here.
Tameside has its problems but the Green Party will bring a fresh and caring eye to solve residents’ concerns.
I believe the cabinet system of government currently in place here in Tameside means that some councillors do not put the interests of their ward first when making decisions, hence the disgraceful plan to sell off the Denton green spaces.
Although the council has said that the sale will not happen they must continue to be held to account and the decision must not be reversed behind closed doors.
The short-term plan to raise revenue by building probably unwanted houses on a valued local recreation space shows that the council did not consider the feelings of local people.
The Green Party believes strongly in localism and that local people must be properly consulted before decisions are made.
People enjoy living in Denton West because of the community facilities supported by residents – these must continue with support from caring councillors.