LOCAL ELECTIONS 2019: What Chorley's political parties are campaigning for ahead of May 2
A total of 42 candidates are fighting your vote this week with a third of council seats in Chorley up for grabs this Thursday.
Candidates are standing in 15 seats across 15 wards in the May 2 local elections – equalling roughly one third of the current 47 councillors that represent your views at Chorley town hall.
The town hall is currently made up of 32 Labour councillors, 13 Conservatives, and two Independents.
A further 108 parish councillors will also be elected in 17 wards across the borough.
Notably the elections on May 2 are the final round of elections ahead of next year’s boundary review changes which will reduce the number of councillors to 42 from 47.
Here is what the political parties in Chorley have to say ahead of the May 2 vote:
The Labour Party, the current ruling party at Chorley Council, says it will “continue to invest” in the borough “to benefit residents in our villages and town”.
Party leader Alistair Bradley said: “Despite huge cuts by the Conservative government, Labour-controlled Chorley Council will continue to protect local services and continue to invest in major schemes to benefit residents in our villages and town.
“Due to our efficient management to date, we have made budget savings and increased income by £1.5m in 2019/20 onwards. This allows us to invest in frontline services and deliver schemes such as the Market Walk extension, Primrose Gardens housing with extra care and Strawberry Fields Digital Hub all due for completion in 2019.
“The schemes will help create more jobs, attract people to our town centre and support those in need of assisted living.
“In addition to this we continue to invest in our Youth Zone, support subsidised bus services and deliver a comprehensive events programme including the Flower Show and Chorley Live to attract visitors to Chorley.
“We recognise the importance of improving sporting and leisure provision and have committed £2.7m to fund a new sports facility at West Way playing fields to create modern sports facilities, in addition to investing an extra £1.7 in Astley Hall and Park to enhance the visitor experience and maximise commercial potential including creating a new entrance, shop, adventure golf experience and bringing Ackhurst Lodge back into use.
“Labour will continue to listen to our residents and invest in our local communities across the whole Borough.”
The Chorley Conservative Party, the official opposition party at the council, has stressed that “a strong opposition results in a better council” that will “challenge, scrutinise and propose alternatives”.
A spokesman said: “A strong opposition results in a better council. One that holds our high spend and tax council to account to protect people’s hard-earned money. We will not merely complain from the side-lines, but rather Chorley Conservatives will challenge, scrutinise and propose alternatives.
“We have a strong team of candidates – several of whom are completely new to politics – who will bring real experience and expertise from the outside world into the council chamber.
"They come from all backgrounds and professions but are united in a belief in service and in duty.
“We will make Chorley Council focus on the issues that matter to you. Issues such as over a thousand reported incidents of dog fouling but not one prosecution. We will continue to expose overspending and how the council has committed the people of Chorley to record levels of borrowing.
“At this election, the voters of Chorley won’t just be asked to decide the council. They’ll be asked to decide the opposition too. Please lend Chorley Conservatives your vote in May.”
The Green Party has said it will fight for Chorley Hospital’s A&E department as part of its Chorley commitments.
A party spokesman said: “The Green Party believes that money is a poor measure of quality of life and that economic policies should promote Wellbeing rather than GDP. The Green Party has no vested interests in maintaining the status quo that benefits only the mega-rich.
“We believe that everyone has a right to good food; good healthcare; good social care; good housing; fair tenancies; good education; and good public transport.
“We want to preserve our NHS and the facilities at Chorley Hospital, especially the A&E Department.
“We want to stop Climate Change from getting worse. This will involve small actions from many people. It does not involve preaching, shaming or a holier-than-thou attitude.
“Greens are real people who live normal lives while being aware of the consequences of the choices they make. The Green Party wants everyone to have the information they need to inform these choices.
“No matter what your politics, Green values are common to all. This election is all about having that Green voice heard.
“Listen to Greta Thunberg and the children of the world. Listen to Caroline Lucas.
“These are good people who only want to improve all our lives.
“Put a Green voice on your Council.”
The Liberal Democrats have said their councillors will demand “better than the complacency of the two big parties”.
A spokesman said: “The Liberal Democrats stand for change in Chorley.
“We demand better than the complacency of the two big parties.
“All of our candidates live locally in their wards and are deep rooted in their communities.
“Each Liberal Democrat councillor elected will campaign for local services, against waste and work tirelessly to represent local people.
Chorley UKIP says if elected, its councillors would look to increase the number of free parking spaces as well as work against antisocial behaviour in the borough.
A spokesman said: “UKIP Councillors will work hard to provide strong leadership and common sense in local government. They want to:
“ • Urgently review the spending priorities of the council to improve core services such as street cleaning instead of high cost vanity projects;
“ • Promote affordable housing on brownfield sites and strongly oppose inappropriate development where a majority of local residents oppose it;
“ • Increase the number of free parking spaces in towns and shopping areas to boost local trade;
“ • Reduce the overall costs of the council and increase productivity and accountability to local residents, including more partnership working with the private and voluntary sectors;
“ • Work with the police to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour with a more pro-active and ‘on-the-ground’ approach;
“ • Work to improve social care for the elderly and disabled members of the community;
“ • Reduce council tax bills year-on-year;
“ • Promote healthy and active lifestyles and improve the environment with more walking and cycling;
“ • Work with Lancashire CC to urgently improve the condition of the roads, footpaths and cycle ways and improve dangerous junctions;
“ • Promote more community events and organised activities for young people.
“UKIP Councillors believe in Brexit and want the UK to be a strong, independent and sovereign country and they want to deliver these benefits at a local and national level.”