DCSIMG

Parties to battle for poll position

Voters will soon go to the ballot box

Voters will soon go to the ballot box

Control of Chorley Council will be up for grabs when voters go to the polls on Thursday, May 22.

Labour currently has a majority of just one and there are 17 seats up for grabs.

Labour and the Conservatives have candidates in all wards, while the Liberal Democrats, UKIP and Greens also have a number of candidates, and three independent candidates are also looking for votes.

This is why the parties think you should vote for them:

Labour

Since taking control of Chorley Council in 2012, Labour has invested more than £4m in local services and economic regeneration, while at the same time freezing Chorley Council’s share of your council tax bill for the past two years.

In both years we have balanced the budget and despite deliberately misleading messages from the Tories, we will continue to balance the budget in the future.

In particular we have:

n Directly supported more than 70 business start-ups, and supported more than 100 existing businesses to help them expand and recruit staff.

n Invested in our town centre – for example re-opened Market Street, refurbished the former McDonald’s site and provided free car parking on Saturday afternoons.

n Invested £200,000 in local neighbourhoods and villages, such as improvements to footpaths, community facilities and clean up days.

n Committed £300,000 over three years to improve play and recreation areas in the borough.

n Opened credit union as a positive alternative to loan sharks and pay-day loan outfits.

n Helped tackle youth unemployment by taking on more apprentices directly, and working in partnership with Runshaw College to place over 50 apprentices with local firms.

n Encouraged volunteering through the use of Time Credits – 750 additional volunteers have been recruited contributing 10,500 hours of volunteering time.

n Provided free swimming for young people during school holidays.

n Introduced a hot meals-on- wheels service for the elderly.

In addition to this impressive record, the Labour administration took the bold decision to purchase Market Walk shopping centre.

The shopping centre is making a healthy profit for taxpayers of nearly £500,000 a year which has allowed us to take decision such as freezing our element of your council tax bill.

We want to continue with this programme to help our community and would urge you to vote Labour on May 22.

Conservatives

As the local elections draw near, it is right we all give some thought to what constitutes the best way forward for the people of Chorley borough and which political party is most likely to deliver it.

Currently, at national and local level, we are all feeling the effects of a period of austerity that has been forced on the coalition Government as a consequence of the dreadful financial position that the previous administration left behind.

We believe that here in Chorley the party in power should be supporting tax payers by minimising council tax contributions whilst providing the best level of services to residents.

Only the Conservatives in Chorley plan to do this.

At the last budget-setting council Chorley councillors were made aware of a potential budget deficit of in excess of £2m going forward.

Despite this, the ruling Labour group have planned to spend £1m of tax payers’ money on a range of projects that the people of Chorley could do without in these times of financial uncertainty.

In terms of the future of the borough, Chorley Conservatives believe that there should be a rebalancing of priorities to place more emphasis on the wider Chorley area. The current administration appears to place its focus on the town centre to the potential detriment of the surrounding villages and minor centres of population.

Certainly the appropriate effort should be made to develop and enhance the town centre offer; however, this should not be at the expense of the rural areas that are as much a part of Chorley borough as anywhere else.

In essence Chorley Conservatives believe in supporting local tax payers by efficient and minimised spending while promoting and supporting the whole of the borough, not merely the town centre.

UK Independence Party

The UK Independence party has 10 candidates standing in Chorley this year, our highest yet, which reflects on the growing membership both locally and nationally.

UKIP is often represented as a single issue party but this is far from the truth.

We have policies covering all the major areas of national and local governance, though it has to be recognised that many of the problems faced by the country stem from our membership of the European Union.

Areas such as housing, education, employment and the NHS are under massive pressure from the rapid expansion in population due to our inability to control our own borders and therefore immigration, especially from poorer eastern European countries.

UKIP does not oppose immigration, it opposes uncontrolled immigration, the only main parties that does.

We wish to have the views of the electorate taken into account and not for granted.

For example:

In planning, we believe all major developments, where there are serious objections, should be decided by binding local referendums.

Weekly bin collections should be reintroduced especially in areas where household space is at a premium, single bins if needed, putting a stop to the ever increasing numbers required under the current system.

We are also greatly concerned about Labour’s deep- seated inclination to spend other people’s money.

Always without asking as in their purchase of Market Walk, the development of the McDonald’s site and the White Hart leaving massive debts for future generations to pay.

I would like to apologise to our supporters in the seven wards where we will not be standing as I know how disappointed they will be.

But at least they can still vote for UKIP in the European election.

Green

The Green Party is the only political party that is offering real change and policies that will truly benefit the people of Britain.

Austerity has not fixed the economy as it was meant to, our hard earned public services such as the National Health Service are being ever further attacked and privatised and our education system is being ruthlessly tampered with to the detriment of the learners.

We are told the recession has ended and Britain is on the mend, yet this is not true for the thousands of people who are now reliant on food banks.

The Green Party condemns the current stance the Government has on the benefits system; the most vulnerable are being maliciously deprived of their entitled benefits while others are being forced on to demeaning mandatory work schemes.

We do not believe the European Union is the best that it could be, but having Britain exit would be a costly backward step. Only by being part of the EU can we make positive change that will give the UK the benefits it needs and this is what the Green Party has been fighting for in Europe.

We believe that the rail network and energy companies should be re-nationalised and our public services should be for the public’s benefit and not be sold off for private profit.

We believe that our energy problem cannot be solved by using more fossil fuels, including fracking, which is short sighted and destructive to the environment.

We believe everyone has the basic right to food and nobody should need to use food banks. We also believe that health and social care must be given more priority, so that we will have a National Health Service for future generations.

We believe that education system should not be a victim of ideology both in content and cost.

We believe in making the world a better place for the future. If you believe in what we believe in, vote for the Green Party on May 22.

Liberal Democrats

Chorley Liberal Democrats believe that the elections for Chorley Borough Council should be about local issues.

This year all the Liberal Democrat candidates in Chorley live in the wards that they are standing in.

As they live in the locality they know the concerns and issues affecting residents in their areas.

One of the main concerns for residents is crime. There has been a reduction in crime in recent years but we must not become complacent.

We must continue to support the provision of the PCSOs who have done much to help reduce crime in the area.

The use of local policing must be a priority to help prevent crime.

Housing development is another concern and we need to ensure that brownfield sites are used wherever possible for future developments.

The green areas within the borough are a vital leisure asset and provide much pleasure for many people.

We must do all we can to protect them so they are not lost for future generations.

Household waste is another major issue. Liberal Democrats believe in the reduce, reuse, recycle principle when it comes to dealing with waste.

More needs to be done to recycle waste that is currently going to landfill sites.

Much of it could be recycled but it needs the commitment of the council to ensure that it is recycled rather than going to landfill.

We also need to encourage people to generate less waste by cutting down on packaging and reusing items wherever possible.

While Chorley is currently a pleasant and relatively safe place to live and work we would ask you to vote for the Liberal Democrats in the local elections to help preserve it for future generations.

Ralph Snape, Independent, Chorley North West

I am standing again on May 22 as an independent.

I do not belong to any political party and can therefore vote in any way which is beneficial to our constituents by not being influenced by politics, which is what I have done for many years while serving on Chorley Council.

I was born in Chorley district, served in the RAF and was a local builder. I live in Collingwood Road with my wife Joyce, who joined me on the council in 1998 as independent in North West ward.

We were elected mayor and mayoress and I had the honour to receive an MBE from Prince Charles for services to local government and services to local organisations.

We have two sons with young families so we are aware at first hand the problems facing the young, as well as being in constant touch with senior citizens and those with special needs.

We are on call at all time and will do our best to solve any problems you have. Be assured of our complete dedication to help you solve them.

We are small in number but big on dedication and will work alongside you to help and support the people of North West ward who are important to us.

Mel Coombes, Independent, Chorley East

Chorley East Ward, a Labour safe seat for 40 years, has not developed nearly as much as other wards in the town.

Gated passages, dirty and shabby areas, do not make it a desirable place to live in.

The councillors being of one political party, have taken the electorate for granted as they can rely on the same traditional 1,200 voters to support them year by year.

They are bound by political dogma from which they dare not deviate and are not able to pursue policies which are in the best interests of the ward.

Furthermore, because they are unchallenged they remain complacent.

Unfortunately the remaining 2,500 who don’t vote, feel helpless and despondent.

This, however, does not need to be the case. By exercising their vote they could easily throw off this mantle of depression and convert the ward into a democratic one.

These should realise that: “ No vote means no representation” and therefore no justifiable right to complain.

If elected, I would be free to develop and promote policies that are in the best interests of the electorate, and working together we could make the ward one we could be justly proud and a model for others.

I implore the 2,500 voters to cast their vote in my favour, so changing the face of things.

The future which lies in your hands, would be bright.

East ward has considerable potential and a great future if, we could but work together.

I’m doing what I can to democratise the ward. Don’t be a fool and opt out.

The future lies in your hands and you have the power to change things.

Be brave, be bold and above all make history.

The candidates are:

ADLINGTON and ANDERTON: Hayden Clewlow (UKIP); Graham Dunn (Labour); Philip William Pilling (Liberal Democrat); Charlotte Woods (Conservative)

ASTLEY and BUCKSHAW: Matthew John Lynch (Labour); Jeffrey Flinders Mallinson (UKIP) Alan Platt (Conservative)

CHISNALL: Harold Heaton (Conservative): Alan Whittaker (Labour).

CHORLEY EAST: Anne Calderbank (The Green Party); Mel Coombes (Independent); Alan Cullens (Conservative); Hasina Khan (Labour); Christopher Stuart (UKIP).

CHORLEY NORTH EAST: Matt Hansford (Conservative); Alistair William Morwood (Labour).

CHORLEY NORTH WEST: Aaron Beaver (Labour); Peter Malpas (Conservative); Ralph Snape (Independent).

CHORLEY SOUTH EAST: Sarah Kiley (Conservative): David John McManus (UKIP); Bev Murray (Labour): David Porter (Liberal Democrat); Alistair James Straw (The Green Party).

CHORLEY SOUTH WEST: Dominic Jewell (Conservative); Roy Lees (Labour).

CLAYTON-LE-WOODS NORTH: Charlie Bromilow (Labour); Stephen John Fenn (Liberal Democrat); Mark Lee (The Green Party);

Raymond McGrady (UKIP); Chris Morris (Conservative).

CLAYTON-LE-WOODS WEST and CUERDEN: Paul Clark (Labour); Mick Muncaster (Conservative).

COPPULL: Kenneth William Ball (Independent); Tom Norris (Conservative); Mark Smith (UKIP); Richard Toon (Labour).

ECCLESTON and MAWDESLEY: Richard George Croll (UKIP)); Stan Ely (Labour); Keith Iddon (Conservative).

EUXTON NORTH: Mike Handley (Labour); Stuart Rickaby (UKIP); Robert Aron Wilding (Conservative).

EUXTON SOUTH: Mark Andrew Jarnell (Labour and Co-operative); Debra Platt (Conservative); David William Smithies (UKIP).

CLAYTON-LE-WOODS and WHITTLE-LE-WOODS: Eric Bell (Conservative); Glenda Charlesworth (Liberal Democrat); Dan Croft (Labour).

PENNINE: Gordon France (Labour); Marie Elizabeth Gray (Conservative); Tom Shorrock (UKIP).

WHEELTON and WITHNELL: Margaret Mary France (Labour); Alison Marie Hansford (Conservative).

 

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