Saturday, December 2, 2023

Election: Belper Central Candidates

All wording is exactly as given by the parties. We have changed nothing.
With the exception of Neil Ploughman, who was suspended by the Labour party over alleged anti-semitism – here we have omited the Labour Party manifesto pledges and removed a Labour promise from his pledge, as Neil would not be a Labour councillor if he wins, regardless of whether he is cleared of the accusation or not, but would take his seat as an independent.

Candidates in this ward

Steve Kennedy

“After a full career in the Royal Air Force as a Commissioned Officer and aircrew, Steve settled with his family in Amber Valley. Steve joined the Green Party in October 2014 and quickly became involved in campaigning before the 2015 General Election. Steve says “I was attracted to the Green Party because of their stance on the environment and sustainable growth as well as their focus on social justice. The Green Party is a political force for the future and I am very happy to be part of it.”

The Green Party only produced literature for one candidate.  The following is from that literature, which was intended for Duffield.


Neil Ploughman (suspended from Labour Party – now standing as an independent)

“I was born in North Nottinghamshire in a small mining village in Sherwood Forest. After moving to Derbyshire, I trained as a social worker for children and families. I live with my family in Belper Central Ward and I adore our beautiful town. I have volunteered for many years, and, after qualifying as an employment law representative, I currently work as a Trade Union Official and Chairperson for Derbyshire UNISON. The people skills needed for both my work in Social Care and as Officer of the union are exactly the kind of skills that a councillor needs to negotiate the best possible outcomes for Belper.
I am standing for the Borough Council because I believe that there are some huge issues facing Belper, from crumbling heritage to a lack of provision for youth groups in the town. Our Green Belt, our World Heritage site and our environment are all under threat.
We need to do more to bring tourists and shoppers into the town.  I am dedicated to working with the County Council on the issues of speed, traffic calming and a general improvement to our pavements and roads. We also need to create a cycle-friendly Belper. I strongly support the use of the CCTV system in the centre of Belper to ensure a safer town centre for all.”


James Kerry

All Conservative pledges are the same.



Jeremy Benson

From the manifesto, as we were not sent candidate information.

“What do we stand for…


  • The future – one where we keep our beautiful scenery, our vibrant wildlife, an unpolluted atmosphere and a stable climate.
  • Young people need a decent education and the chance to use their talents. We want them to be just as free to study, live and work as other young Europeans.
  • Local power to influence decisions – free from the heavy hand of the state.
  • Efficient local services, using the best mixture of free enterprise and council workers to deliver what people need.
  • A transparent planning system to give local people more say on where and what type of new homes are built in Amber Valley.
  • Putting more resources into the Local Plan system.This means working closely with parish councils and residents to ensure locally identified needs are met. It means working proactively with developers to unlock brown field ‘land banks’ such as the ex Stevenson’s site at Bullbridge and with social housing and older people’s home providers to build appropriate housing.
  • Assisting the local health trust and social services in making decisions that plan ahead for social care needs in an ageing population.This means ensuring Derbyshire Community Health Services plan for a better-resourced and locally responsive range of services to replace the ageing Babington Community Hospital in Belper and ensuring new Primary Care Centre at Heanor is likewise adequately resourced.
  • Working with local people to help provide leisure facilities for the needs of all ages. This means unlocking the stalemate over future developments to improve Belper’s leisure centre, listening to teenagers about what they would like to see in Amber Valley and getting the resources to build new facilities, or support and improve existing ones like the voluntary-run Strutt Centre, Blue Box and Drop-Inn in Belper. It means working with others to create new cycle routes and provide community taxis for evening and Sundays for people without access to cars.  It means putting resources into support for local heritage organisations like Heage Windmill, the Midland Railway Trust and Belper North Mill.”


Clare Washbrook

Current Editor-in-Chief News and magazine editor since 1995 Post-grads: Literature; Theatre; Journalism, Ethics & Law Community Affiliations: Belper Goes Green, Belper's WW1 Poppies, Amber Valley Solidarity No political party memberships/affiliations.

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