Why I Love Huddersfield, sponsored by Wild PR, is a regular feature where we ask a well-known Huddersfield personality what the town means to them.
Here we chat to HARPREET UPPAL, who could become Huddersfield’s next MP. Harpreet, who was born and raised in Fartown, grew up in Huddersfield and later became a Kirklees councillor. In July she was selected as Labour’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in place of Barry Sheerman who steps down as MP at the next General Election.
1. Tell us something we don’t know about you.
I’m a fan of rugby league. I can’t say I understand every rule but I love watching the sport. The Rugby League World Cup is currently on, so I’m watching lots of games and looking forward to getting to some in person. One of my favourite matches so far has been Wales v Cook Islands! I also try and get down to watch the Giants when I can. If you haven’t been to a game yet do check them out next season!
2. What does Huddersfield mean to you?
It’s home for me. The place where I was born, went to school and live. The people of our town really make this place and I wouldn’t be where I am without the people who supported me along the way. They tell you how it is and keep you grounded; I am forever grateful for that.
3. How would you describe Huddersfield to a stranger?
A northern town with a proud history that always punches above its weight. We’ve had a Prime Minister, Dr Who and a Star Trek captain from our town. Rugby League was established here and we have been a centre of textiles excellence. Every town has setbacks and challenges and this is a difficult time for a lot of people, but we are a community with a tremendous sense of pride in where we are from and a history of supporting each other.
4. We’ll take you out for a meal in Huddersfield. Where would you like to go and why?
We have some fantastic local places to eat but if I had to pick one I would have to say Med One. The food is amazing and Rojin and Khalil are fantastic hosts.
5. The Huddersfield Blueprint is going to change the face of the town centre over the next five to 10 years. What one thing would you like to see in the town centre?
I believe there are some amazing opportunities with the Huddersfield Blueprint and I was able to see the plans progress as a former chair of the Kirklees Council Economy and Neighbourhood Scrutiny Panel. I look forward to seeing the developments. I want to see a busy, vibrant town centre that the people of Huddersfield are proud of. It should be a place they want to visit and where all people can enjoy it day and night. I would like to see more local and independent organisations putting their stamp on our town centre and being well supported by local agencies. Culture and events will be important too and a way of bringing people together. I hope we can build on what we have and I will do everything I can to support it.
6. What venue, nightclub or attraction from Huddersfield’s past would you like to see return?
Although I never got to visit it in person, Venn Street has a special place in much of our local community. My mum and dad’s wedding reception was there, and it was a special music venue.
7. We all love Jodie Whittaker, of course, but who’s your favourite Doctor Who?
Team Jodie always!
8. How did you spend your time in lockdown and has the Covid-19 pandemic changed you?
I spent time a lot of time working from home and at times I really struggled not being able to see friends and the wider family. It did give me time to think about the things that are really important and not to sweat the small stuff. I also did a lot more walking and I found it really helped me to relax. As a councillor at the time, I got to see the great work of our local agencies, organisations and community groups. People really stepped up to look out for each other and it showed the power we can all have to make change in our local communities. As Margaret Mead once said: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
9. We’re packing you off to a desert island for a month. What one item would you take with you and why?
I know I should say a book but if there’s wi-fi it would have to be my tablet so I could keep up to date with everything and keep in touch with my family!
1. Dixon’s Milk Ices or Marstons Chicken Shop?
I am a vegetarian and I have a huge sweet tooth so I would have to say Dixon’s but my family love Marstons! Both are iconic businesses in Huddersfield.
2. Greenhead Park or Beaumont Park?
They are both beautiful but my childhood memories are full of running around Greenhead Park.
3. Castle Hill or Emley Moor TV mast?
Castle Hill for me! The views are stunning.
4. Strictly Come Dancing or I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here?
Whilst I binge on my fair share of reality shows these two are not my favourite but if I had to pick one it would be Strictly!