A FORMER Calderdale councillor is throwing his hat into the ring to try and win his party’s nomination for next year’s first West Yorkshire Mayoral elections.

Peter Judge, a lifelong member of the Labour Party, has announced his bid to become Labour and Co-operative Party candidate aiming to become West Yorkshire’s first elected mayor next May.

He served as a Labour and Co-operative councillor on Calderdale Council in the 1990s and worked in local government for 23 years of his career.

Bradford Council Leader Susan Hinchcliffe and Batley and Spen MP Tracey Brabin have also announced their intentions to run as Labour candidate for West Yorkshire Mayor.

Bradford Council leader Susan Hinchcliffe to stand for West Yorkshire Mayor

Mr Judge, who used to represent Rastrick ward on the council, said he felt the devolution deal only gave West Yorkshire back “crumbs” compared to the former West Yorkshire Metropolitan County Council which was abolished in the 1980s, but was a start.

“We need adequate revenue raising powers to enable us to do what is needed.

“We need a proper democratic structure, ideally as part of a Yorkshire wide assembly or even parliament.

“It might seem ironic, but a priority of the directly elected West Yorkshire mayor should be the abolition of their own post and its replacement with genuine democracy – I would fight for this genuine democracy,” said Mr Judge.

He said he wanted to see municipal bus companies recreated and owned and managed on a co-operative basis which would protect rural, early morning and evening services as well as maintaining what should be excellent daytime services.

Rail services should also be brought back into public ownership and education brought under the West Yorkshire Authority’s control, said Mr Judge.

He also wanted to see each local council to be given powers to run housing services again, including funding to build council houses.

If elected as mayor of West Yorkshire, Mr Judge said he would work with the five district councils, Bradford, Calderdale, Kirklees, Leeds and Wakefield to argue the case for council housing with central government.

Labour opened its nominations on October 8 and Mr Judge said he would now be seeking the support of Labour, Co-operative and Trade Union affiliated members.