For someone who never set out to be a parliamentarian, Amina Lone is a success story.
Amina is Labour’s prospective parlimamentary candidate for Morecambe and Lunesdale and one of three Labour councillors for Hulme ward on Manchester City Council.
Reporter Michelle Blade spoke to Amina Lone about Morecambe, the M6 link and the core values of her campaign.
Speaking to Amina Lone it’s clear that family and helping the community are at the heart of her campaign.
Amina, 41, is a single parent with three sons and one daughter, aged 22, 21, 16 and 14.
Originally from Birmingham, she has over twenty years experience working in the voluntary and community sector in Birmingham, London and Manchester.
She is the assistant executive member for Adult Health and Wellbeing and serves on the
executive Standing Consultative Panel and Personnel.
She is also director of the Social Action and Research Foundation.
The depth and breadth of this work has enabled Amina to work across sectors as well as working at local, regional and national levels.
Amina said: “I was living in London and volunteering with the Labour party.
“I became a councillor in November 2010 in a by-election when a Labour councillor stood down. I fell into formal politics.
“I never set out to be a parliamentarian.
“I’ve always wanted to make the world a better place and fight for what I believe in and that is what I still stand by.
“The Labour Party still has values of equality and opportunity and people that work to make the world a better place whether it’s in the West End of Morecambe, or Silverdale or Manchester.
“I’m no different to any other working family person who cares about their area.
“The only difference is I have an elected responsibility and a public mandate.”
Amina spends half the week in Manchester and half the week in Morecambe and is enamoured with the town.
She said: “Morecambe is a beautiful place. That bay is spectacular and should be plastered over everything.
“It’s a little diamond to be polished and gleamed.
“I feel a sense of affinity with Morecambe, I fell in love with the bay, the valleys, the villages. The people are decent, good English people.
“Coming from major cities you get caught up with city life and forget to see England in all its beauty.
“You forget the places like Morecambe and Lunesdale are more prevalent than the main cities.
“The Midland is a fantastic investment in the town.
“Morecambe is a slightly quaint old seaside town that should not be forgotten.
“It has a few spots and problems with anti-social behaviour but these problems seem to be concentrated in one or two areas.
“We want to raise the standard of living and raise the expectations of local people.
“We want to encourage local businesses, vintage shops, ice cream parlours, fish and chip shops as they all have a job to do.
“I fully believe we need to raise living standards and turn survival mode into aspiration mode.
“We have a moral responsibility to raise living standards, for example the living wage that works for small businesses and large businesses and enables a family that works 40 hours a week to feed, clothe and house their family and pay their energy bills.
“That social policy message can make a massive difference in 2015.
“Labour should fight tooth and nail so that Morecambe and Lunesdale can benefit from these policies.
“As for marketing the area, Lancaster and Morecambe have to decide what they offer individually and collectively.
“Lancaster has the castle, the old buildings and the shopping.
“Morecambe has The Midland, the views over the bay and so on.
“They are two distinct personalities but together this is the place to come.
“In its heyday Morecambe was gem of the north west coast and a quality day out.
“It needs to recapture that. We can’t go back in time but we can recapture some of that.
“The Midland is beautiful, a stunning art deco building. It is occupied 80% of the time.
“We need to build on that success.”
Part of building on that success is the M6 link, which was the subject of a judicial review by a judge who gave it the go ahead.
Opponents of the M6 link have lodged an appeal against the recent decision to go ahead with the road.
Amina said: “The M6 link was not delivered by David Morris but by the activists, the council and the people.
“It will open up the port and make sure certain skilled jobs go to local people.
“It’s a win win situation for all.
“It was a collective campaign by the local community, business people and activists who came together and fought for this. We need to give credit to them.
“I’m so glad that the judge took the time to deliver a clear message that this has to go ahead.
“There has been a local, regional, national and judicial review and it is has gone to the highest level.
“The amount of money wasted on it by a minority opposing it is dreadful.
“We need to get on with it, get local kids jobs, get local people to get those construction jobs and get Lancaster and Morecambe College to look at the skills gap, get those kids on apprenticeships which eventually lead to skilled jobs.”
People are at the centre of Labour’s campaign and Labour want to rebuild the county.
Amina said: “Lancashire is the county that was broken hearted, not broken spirited. A Labour government is going to rebuild this county. We are going to fix our broken hearts.
“We invest in our people, our jobs and services and protect our people, some of whom may be the next generation of inventors and engineers, environmental campaigners and decoders.
“We will be lifting our spirits, not breaking them.
“People living in poverty is happening now.
“British people deserve better than this and it’s our responsibility to fight for them at every corner.
“We champion our people wherever they may live.
“We are in this together and fight for our people.
“I am an elected representative who understands the brief and takes it seriously.
“If I fail between now and 2015 the people will reflect that in voting in the general election.”