Local campaigner, businessman, and former councillor Andrew Kempston-Parkes has been unanimously selected to fight the Bilton & Nidd Gorge by-election.
Andrew Kempston-Parkes served as councillor for Bilton on Harrogate Borough Council, with a proud record of protecting and investing in green spaces, and working with residents to get results for the community.
Commenting, Andrew Kempston-Parkes said:
Geoff Webber was a fantastic local councillor; hard-working and committed to public service. He spent his life driven by fairness – fighting to lift people up and give them the best shot at life.
Geoff’s boots are very big ones to fill, but I will work my hardest to do just that. I will listen to community all year round and actively work to bring residents into the process.
Bilton & Nidd Gorge division is a very special community to me. As Bilton’s councillor, I worked hard to not only protect green space, but also to invest in it. I fought alongside residents to defend Bachelors Field from Conservative housing plans, and worked to get the investment to make it the beautiful place it is today.
Our green space is under threat from Harrogate’s Concrete Conservative Council which has thrown up houses left-right-and-centre, without the community. Meanwhile, these developments haven’t come with nearly enough infrastructure investment – turning Skipton Road into little more than a car park, as class sizes increase and doctors’ waiting times get longer.
I believe a brighter future is possible for Harrogate. I will work tirelessly with Councillors Matthew Webber, Trevor Chapman, the local Liberal Democrat team, and the whole community to see positive change.
Lord Phil Willis, former Member of Parliament for Harrogate & Knaresborough (1997-2010) said:
Geoff Webber’s hard work and sheer commitment helped save the Royal Hall and provide the Hydro Swimming Pool. In his final hours he was fighting to get nurses free parking at the local hospital and helping provide a more permanent base for the town’s homeless people.
I want to see a similar hard working and dedicated Councillor follow in Geoff’s footsteps and Andrew Kempton-Parkes fills that role ideally.
He will not be there to further his own ends but there to be residents’ voice as we all face the difficult task of recovering from the Covid pandemic.
This election is set to be a close race between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party.
At the last election in 2017, the second candidate for each party received:
- Liberal Democrats – 1,285
- Conservatives – 1,207
- Labour – 544
- UKIP – 378