Greens Party unveils candidate in Harrogate by-election for county council seat
With just four weeks to go until the Bilton by-election, the Green Party has joined the political battle in Harrogate.
Selected unanimously by the Harrogate & District Green Party, Arnold Warneken Arnold is renowned for being elected as the first Green onto Harrogate Council in 1991.
He joins candidates from the Tories, Lib Dems, Labour and the Yorkshire Party.
The Conservatives have announced Harrogate borough councillor Matt Scott as their candidate.
Mr Scott said: "I am a lifelong Bilton resident and represent the Bilton Woodfield ward on Harrogate Council
"The important issue in this election is who can we trust to be the champion for our community. I hope local people will look at my record and decide that is me."
The Lib Dems have chosen Andrew Kempston-Parkes, former councillor for Bilton on Harrogate Borough Council, who said he would be fighting to protect Bilton's green spaces under threat from housing plans.
Meanwhile, Tyler Reeton will stand in his first election for the Labour Party.
The 19-year-old candidate said, who is co-founder of a local community group, said: “I want to be a fresh voice for Harrogate and, as a young person, I am passionate about making Bilton the best place to live now, and also for many years to come."
The Yorkshire Party’s John Hall will also stand in the by-election.
He previously stood as a candidate for the Thirsk and Malton constituency in 2019 and also for the Harrogate Starbeck seat on the borough council in 2018.
One Independent is standing, Harvey Alexander who lives in North Rigton, who also contested the seat for UKIP in 2018.
The Harrogate District Green Party's campaign comes with a pledge, they say, to "secure a fairer, greener future for all."
Their candidate Arnold Warneken, who went to school in Bilton and worked supporting Bilton Conservation Trust for a time, said: “Now is the time to help local people have the say in local matters they deserve.
"I want to amplify their voices for the good of the community and for a #GreenFuture.
"Local councils must have our climate in mind as we build the economy back after Covid."
Ahead of the county council elections, the Greens are looking to build on their record results from the last local elections in 2019 which saw the party more than double their number of councillors.
Mr Warneken said: "I have been engaged with Harrogate Borough Council, as a former district councillor and, most recently as part of the Harrogate District Climate Coalition, and have always been there for the people I was elected to represent.
"Greens make a change, and the proof is in my actions.
"At the start of the Covid pandemic, I organised the volunteers in the community delivering prescription medicines to patients from the local GP practice, transporting people to hospital for appointments and most recently taking people to their vaccinations appointments.
I am also a community champion working with the Neighbourhood Watch in Selby."
The by-election for the Harrogate Bilton and Nidd Gorge division on Thursday, May 6 follows the death of Lib Dem councillor Geoff Webber.
Harrogate & Knaresborough Liberal Democrats said they expected to make their choice of candidate today, Thursday.
The by-election will be held on May 6 by Harrogate Borough Council on behalf of the county council.
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