Chris Whitwood

for Mayor of Doncaster


2017 Manifesto

Make it Great Again
I am standing for election because I believe Doncaster deserves better. Doncaster has been neglected for far too long. My five point plan will reverse this neglect.
As a trained primary school teacher, I am passionate about creating a better future for everyone in Doncaster.

We have huge potential but for too long have been failed by politicians. The Yorkshire Party believes in giving more decisions to local people. I share that vision and if elected will strive to give the people of Doncaster a greater voice. Together, we can build a fairer, stronger and more prosperous Yorkshire.

My five point plan for doncaster

Make it Great Again
Too many new jobs in Doncaster are low skilled and low paid. I will work to bring new high-quality jobs to Doncaster through measures such as targeted tax relief, offering support to local business and investment in world-class facilities.


As Mayor of Doncaster, I will:

Use targeted tax relief and favourable business rates to encourage businesses in underdeveloped areas.

Revitalise our high streets by encouraging the use of empty shop units as social spaces (e.g. skills workshops, youth clubs and repair cafes) taking inspiration from areas, such Brighton, Bristol and Chesterfield, where this is already being done successfully. For example, Edinburgh, there is one such workshop where electrical repair skills are taught alongside darning.

Increase footfall in town centres by introducing free parking in council owned car parks one day per week. This will encourage people to visit our town centres, supporting local businesses whilst also alleviating the issue of on street parking in residential areas.

Use funds raised by economic growth in Doncaster to create a 'Business Start-Up Fund' to offer advice and other support to local residents looking to set up new businesses in the area.

I've spoken to hundreds of residents who feel Doncaster's historic buildings are being allowed to crumble. I will introduce new planning guidelines and a programme of Compulsory Purchase Orders to ensure developers and DMBC protect our heritage.


As Mayor of Doncaster, I will:

Complete a thorough audit of buildings with historic value that are potentially at-risk.

Ensure that developers share responsibility for reviving our historic buildings so that taxpayers do not foot the bill for protecting our shared heritage.

Introduce new planning guidelines containing a presumption against the demolition of any building identified as having historic value.

Outline aggressive programme of Compulsory Purchase Orders (CPOs) to be used as a last resort to ensure unscrupulous developers no longer feel able to destroy Doncaster's heritage.

Our towns and villages have been neglected for too long. I will hold referendums to give residents the opportunity to establish town or parish councils, devolving real powers from Doncaster Council, and allow residents to take control of their own future.


As Mayor of Doncaster, I will:

Hold a referendums in all towns with populations over 10,000 to give residents the choice to establish a town or parish council, taking back control of local decisions from DMBC.

Work with local councillors, businesses, voluntary organisations and residents to decide which powers each new council will have. This will ensure that the new town and parish councils are effective decision making organisation with meaningful powers - not just a talking shop or another layer of local government.

Outline plans by which smaller communities can petition to have their own town and parish councils too.

Enable Doncaster Council can make better decisions by genuinely listening to the concerns and ideas of local residents and move away from the current culture of petty party politics.

Over the past 30 years, the number of social houses in Doncaster has been cut from 60 000 to 20 000. Increasing and improving access to social housing is central to the Yorkshire Party's serious commitment to tackling homelessness in Doncaster.


As Mayor of Doncaster, I will:

Initiate a thorough review of how Doncaster Council assigns and administers social housing to ensure that housing goes to the people who are most in need. This review will be used to inform best practice and improve access to existing council services.

In conjunction with my policy to revitalise our high streets, encourage lease holders to convert empty shop units into good-quality affordable housing.

Tackle homelessness in our town centres by working closely with voluntary groups to build a relationship of trust between people who are homeless and Doncaster Council services.

Ensure that support is visibly available to those who require it, whilst also taking a zero-tolerance approach to those who behave in an antisocial manner. Increasing the council's presence in some of our most neglected estates will encourage the most effective use of limited resources and reduce petty crime and antisocial behaviour.

Despite a population of over 100 000 people (larger than Wakefield) and a proud identity, Doncaster is often overlooked in favour of Sheffield. Applying for city status will be an opportunity to celebrate Doncaster's successes and highlight our potential.


As Mayor of Doncaster, I will:

Put a stop to the divisive negotiations that risk Doncaster being forced into a Sheffield City Region. We are not a suburb of Sheffield. Doncaster is a proud community with our own history and identity.

Campaign for a Yorkshire Parliament, with powers similar to the Welsh Assembly and Greater London Assemblies, to ensure Yorkshire's cities, towns and villages are fairly represented and no longer come second to London.

Celebrate Doncaster's successes by applying to make Doncaster a city. This will enable us to attract new businesses, celebrate our shared identity tell the world about Doncaster's enormous potential.

Make it Great Again