By Jael Lutandila
The Labour Party has revealed the shortlist of its candidates for the first West Yorkshire mayoral election in May next year.
The three chosen candidates are Tracy Brabin, Susan Hinchcliffe and Hugh Goulbourne.
One of the candidates, Hugh Goulbourne, who is a lawyer, local business leader and father of two daughters, has pledged to connect all of the communities in West Yorkshire, protect and create jobs, tackle climate change, grow the green economy and invest in health care.
He said: “We need a Mayor that is really going to make people believe again in our region of West Yorkshire.
“Yes, we have a lot of challenges, but equally I think that this region has a lot of opportunities.
“We probably spend too much of our own time thinking about how we all can scramble around getting money from Westminster rather than really working together and supporting one another. “
Helping the younger generation is also high on his list of priorities.
“I would like to bring investments but also open up opportunities for young people to learn such as internships, events and workshops.
“I mentioned that I live in Huddersfield, often when you are here, talking to younger people there is a sense that we are left out by Westminster and by other major cities.”
Goulbourne would also like to set up a future skills academy in West Yorkshire where businesses and colleges can work together by providing opportunities for younger people.
Supporting Goulborne’s future mayoral plans is James Beckles, a Labour activist and local councillor in London.
He said: “What makes Hugh stand out as well is that he not a politician but is committed to working with local MPs and councillors in order to get things done for the region.”
Holly Lynch, MP for Halifax and Shadow Immigration Minister, has instead shown her support for candidate Susan Hinchcliffe.
In a video, the MP for Halifax said: “She has been instrumental in working to secure some of that funding that we have needed to put flood defences in place, natural flood management, to protect our communities right across West Yorkshire.
“She has got that real vision about what we need to be environmentally, sustainable, and friendly and build secure communities for the future; and she has been an inspiration on that.”
Labour’s members can vote on these candidates until December 11.
The mayoral election will take place in May next year and whoever is elected will gain control over a host of budgets and powers previously held by central government.