Elmet and Rothwell Green Party candidate interview

(L-R) Dave Brooks (Parliamentary Candidate, E & R), Sam Murray (Wetherby Candidate), Kieran White, Michael Wilde, Thom Kovrlija , Martin Pearce and Janet Heath (Harewood Candidate). (S)

(L-R) Dave Brooks (Parliamentary Candidate, E & R), Sam Murray (Wetherby Candidate), Kieran White, Michael Wilde, Thom Kovrlija , Martin Pearce and Janet Heath (Harewood Candidate). (S)

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The Green Party has announced its Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for Elmet and Rothwell.

The constituency, of which Wetherby and Harewood form a part, is currently held by Conservative MP and PPC Alec Shelbrooke.

When I’ve been speaking to people I have seen that this does matter because it gives people a chance to vote Green instead of any of the others.

Green Party PPC Dave Brooks

However Dave Brooks, 49, who joined the Green Party in August, is determined to present voters with an alternative to the major parties and believes the election, on May 7, provides him with the perfect opportunity.

Outlining his concerns he said: “We are in favour of public transport but not HS2 and we see it as a huge waste of money that could be spent on local transport links instead of a massive shiny thing that slams through the constituency.

“We are also concerned about education, and the environmental stuff is everywhere.

“What we have seen nationally is that Green policies are being adopted by the other parties and it feels to me certainly that what we are doing is actually exerting a much bigger influence than our actual numbers would say.”

Mr Brooks studied Geography at the University of Leeds and lives in Hebden Bridge.

After he graduated he worked as part of a workers cooperative dealing with LED lighting and he was self-employed running Hebden Bridge Hostel.

After attending Green Party regional meetings in Leeds it was proposed that candidates should stand in every constituency in Leeds, which appealed to him so he put himself forward and was offered Elmet and Rothwell as a seat.

“Realistically in the constituency I would like to retain a deposit, beat UKIP, and start whittling away at the Lib Dem vote because they have let everybody down joining with the Conservatives,” he said.

“We are looking at a solid foundation which we would be able to build on within the next government and more.”

Mr Brooks, who has also helped set up a local branch of the Green Party, said he had come up against public wariness but feels he has got through to people.

He said: “As far as I am seeing, the profile of Wetherby and Harewood is much older and to a point we are coming across some highly entrenched opinions.

“If I talk to someone for two or three minutes I get to a meeting of minds and people realise that what I am saying makes sense and is fair, but initially reaction is very guarded. It does seem that we are going to get a better reception in the Labour areas.

“When I’ve been speaking to people I have seen that this does matter because it gives people a chance to vote Green instead of any of the others.

“It is not about rules and regulations from on high, it is about empowering the locals to take control of their own environment and their own futures, and leading by example and getting stuck in is the most important thing.”

Pre-election candidate profiles were carried in the Wetherby News previously as Mr Brooks announced quite recently. For these interviews go to www.wetherbynews.co.uk