THE political parties of Wyre Forest have set out their goals ahead of the District Council elections on Thursday, May 2.

All 33 seats are up for grabs this year, with the Conservatives sending 27 candidates to the poll, Labour sending 21, and the Liberal Democrats 14. The Independent Community and Health Concern has 14 candidates, UKIP has 10, the Green Party has 11, and there are five independents.

The Conservatives want to regenerate the Lion Fields, keep council tax under control, invest in local properties, and protect the green belt. Marcus Hart, leader of the District Council, said: “It is our desire to continue to provide services that the community wants and to continue to make Wyre Forest a safe, clean, and better place to live, work and do business in.”

Wyre Forest Labour want more affordable social housing, better public transport in a cleaner greener environment, ensuring that the local economy works for all, and improving the economy.

Stephen Brown, Wyre Forest Labour press officer, said: “We have a brilliant team of candidates determined to make it work and renew Wyre Forest for the benefit of the many, not the few.”

The Liberal Democrats are committed to reducing pollution, creating a fair and open Wyre Forest, as well as supporting the homeless. Fran Oborski said: “We believe that homelessness is a shameful injustice that must be defeated. We must build more social and affordable housing.”

The Green Party want a frequent and cheap bus service, energy efficient social housing, and to tackle pollution. Vicky Caulfield, Green Party candidate, said: “With the pace of climate change accelerating and the extinction of animals and plants the council need to act quickly to protect the environment.”

Health Concern want to improve emergency services at Kidderminster Hospital, and increase patient numbers, and tackle other transport and the environment issues. President Dr Richard Taylor said: “It’s a huge opportunity to fill the gap, with local people working for local services.”

UKIP want increased funding for local mental health services and schools, as well as regenerating Kidderminster town centre. Bill Hopkins, from Wyre Forest UKIP, said: “I feel optimistic about the election for UKIP. People are so tired of the current top down approach in elections. We need to break the shackles.”

Independent councillors John Aston, Helen Dyke, and Peter Dyke aim to prioritise the issues of residents, and keep the area clean. Helen Dyke said: “We are all proactive in wanting Wyre Forest to move with the times.”

Independent candidate Mary Rayner wants to support volunteer groups within Broadwaters and ensure people and businesses are heard. She said: “I have always been there for the people of Broadwaters and I feel very passionately about the area.”

Fellow independent Calne Edginton-White wants to protect the Bewdley landscape, put in place permanent flood barriers and ‘keep the town open for business’. She said: “It’s all about improving the quality of life.”