STAFFORDSHIRE: NULBC by-election Conservative candidate
Derek Huckfield, provided by Conservative party, with permission for use by all LDRS partners
One of just two candidates in the Knutton by-election, for a seat on Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council, Derek Huckfield is representing the Conservative party.
Derek, who is married with two children, has over 25 years of experience as a local councillor.
He has been a councillor on Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council previously, and is currently a councillor for Keele, Silverdale and Knutton on Staffordshire County Council.
He said people have lost a lot of local services – including leisure centre, doctors surgery, chemist and bowling green – in recent years, and he’d like to see these reinstated.
He described incoming investment for the area, pledged by his party in central government, as raising it from the ashes.
He said: “It’s the most deprived area in the whole of Staffordshire, and I think it’s a disgrace how Labour have just let it go like they have.”
Huckfield added: “I shall be asking Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council to have a consultation for the residents, for what the residents want in Knutton.
“We need to push forward with the proposals as soon as we can.”
He said there’s £3.7 million available to spend in the area, and he wanted to see it spent on local priorities as soon as possible.
Perhaps an unusual CV for a Conservative party candidate, Mr Huckfield was formerly a union convener, and has also stood on the national executive.
He said he has strong negotiating skills, and has acquired a lot of investment in projects as a result.
Mr Huckfield was the leader of the UKIP group on the borough council, but left the party in 2015.
He told the LDRS he is an experienced councillor, adding that this has given him an insight into the workings of local authorities which will he will use to the benefit of residents.
“I’ve got a lot to offer to people in the area. A lot of people know me, and a lot of people know what I’m like, and a lot of people know the good I’ve done for the area.”
He said there were a lot of problems that had built up in Knutton, which he blamed Labour for allowing to happen.
He said he hoped he could build on the momentum of the recent swelling the Conservative ranks on Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council.
Derek said he’d be firm in his convictions when it came to representing the area at the borough council.
“I’m the sort of person who doesn’t move – if I make a stand, I make a stand.
“If I want something, I’ve got to have it, because that’s the sort of person I am.
“I used to be a negotiator, and I still am. I haven’t changed at all.”
Derek Huckfield (Conservative) is standing against Steph Talbot (Labour) on Thursday 25th November.
Words: Richard Price, Local Democracy Reporter
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