Yorkshire Party Deputy Leader, Laura Walker has defended Wakefield after Liberal Democrat spokesperson and candidate Mark Goodair derided the city during a debate on The Big Yorkshire Phone In on BBC Leeds.
“I was shocked at his comments,” declared Laura, who is a charity worker and community activist standing for the Yorkshire Party in May’s local elections to represent the people of Altofts and Whitwood.
“To dismiss our city as looking like a dump when there are people who are working hard to improve the economy and the community is really a slap in the face to all of us.”
Laura Walker: local businesses need support not criticism
Picture: Robbie MacDonald
“There’s no point pretending we don’t have challenges to meet in the city centre – nobody wants to see our city decline, but I’d challenge the Liberal Democrats to suggest some positive steps to take. I found his comments offensive and not helpful.”
During the debate the Lib Dem representative, Mark Goodair, was chided by host Liz Green for using derogatory terms when he dismissed Wakefield as looking like a dump, “full of Poundshops and Polski shops”.
Laura condemned the Lib Dem assertion on the show, stating instead of criticising the city, it is important to “give people more support [to develop] small businesses – because a lot of them are small businesses, they’re not big chains, they’re micro-breweries or café bars”.
Concluding the debate, Laura emphasised the importance of accountability and trust,
“We need to talk about how people are feeling like the Council is maybe hiding things from them or maybe isn’t being as open and honest with them as they could be. We need to trust the public so they don’t think that we’re ‘snouts in the trough’, that we are actually doing our best for people in Wakefield.”
Listen to the debate on BBC Sounds: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07462rg
Laura is among a team of eight Yorkshire Party candidates standing for Wakefield wards in the local elections on Thursday May 2