Labour’s candidate for the Otley and Yeadon ward in this year’s local elections has called for an end to “Punch and Judy politics”.

Town Councillor Carl Morris (Lab, Manor) will be trying to replace sitting ward councillor Ryk Downes (Lib Dem, Otley & Yeadon) in the Leeds City Council vote in May.

Officially launching his candidacy this week, Coun Morris – a higher education lecturer – has set out his stall for Otley by listing what he sees as key areas for action over the next few years.

But he also says his first priority will be to avoid resorting to the ‘mud slinging’ that so frequently accompanies traditional party politics.

He said: “I’m sick of the scare tactics and chest beating that politics seems to be nowadays. We need debate to be much more honest and positive.

“That’s why I won’t be dragged down into the mud of negative campaigning. Instead, all I want to do is share my ideas and listen to people’s concerns, so that by election day they can hopefully decide whether or not I’ve earned their vote.”

Mr Morris says his campaign will focus on:

  • Improving Otley’s riverside – by developing a new vision that will include making use of the old lido site, giving the cafe facilities at Wharfemeadows Park a major upgrade, and getting hydroelectricity generated on the weir again
  • Creating a Living Wage Commission for the town, which would involve working with employers and businesses to raise the local standard of pay for all workers
  • The need for permanent expansion of Otley’s primary schools to ensure they can provide enough spaces for all local families.