Meet the 2019 election candidates for Lancaster and Fleetwood

Ballot boxes are carried into the hall at the Richard Dunn Centre, Bradford,  for counting in the 2015 General Election.  7 May 2015.  Picture Bruce Rollinson
Ballot boxes are carried into the hall at the Richard Dunn Centre, Bradford, for counting in the 2015 General Election. 7 May 2015. Picture Bruce Rollinson

Election candidates for Lancaster and Fleetwood will be seeking your vote next Thursday.

The country will vote in a general election for the third time in four years, on December 12.

The candidates for Lancaster & Fleetwood are Caroline St Joan Jackson (Green Party), Peter James Jackson (Liberal Democrats), Leanne Michelle Murray (Brexit Party), Cat Smith (Labour Party) and Gabrielle Louise Thistlethwaite (Conservative Party).

We gave each of them 300 words to tell you more about their policies and the election platform they are standing on.

GREEN PARTY CANDIDATE CAROLINE JACKSON

Age: 65

Location: Lancaster

Occupation: Lancaster city councillor for Bulk ward/Cabinet member for Housing

Standing as an MP candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood is an honour and an adventure.

Lancashire has been my home for over thirty five years.

I feel adopted by Lancaster, my children are proud Lancastrians and I want a fair future for everyone here.

My background is teaching; education my passion. I taught in five Lancashire schools, including Ripley, Skerton and was headteacher at Hornby. Fighting its closure was my first taste of standing out for what is just. I am still a weekly volunteer reader at Castle View because our children’s success is our future.

I fully support the Lancaster Climate Emergency declaration: we have to act to reduce emissions and create a resilient economy that supports our basic needs for food, energy and sustainable jobs. Ten years ago, as a practical person I bought a field with a friend and we set up Claver Hill to teach people to grow food.

More recently I have been part of the successful anti-fracking campaign at Preston New Road and joined in Extinction Rebellion.

I stand with our young climate protestors in saying we need system change.

Whatever happens, whether it’s financial austerity or global warming, ordinary people are more vulnerable. I believe we have to involve and care about everyone.

That’s why I am part of the Poverty Truth Commission. And as Cabinet member for Housing I support council officers in creative efforts to get rough sleepers housed and a big push to build new low carbon affordable housing for more people who struggle to have a warm, decent home.

This election should be about the climate emergency and facing it together, square on, as communities. Not an argument about leaving Europe.

That’s why I am a Green Party councillor and MP candidate. In the end politics is nothing unless it’s about doing.

LIBERAL DEMOCRAT CANDIDATE PETER JACKSON

Age: 68

Location: Quernmore

Occupation: Small business owner

Liberal Democrats are united behind a clear view about Brexit. A majority Liberal Democrat government will use the mandate from the people to revoke article 50 and end Brexit on day one.

Imagine that – no more Brexit news, ever! In any other situation we support a second referendum.

For three years the two old parties have failed us. Liberal Democrats say vote for change, for reform of our broken electoral system, for returning power and funding to local government, for a responsible approach to improving services.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies describes Labour and Conservative Manifestos as “not credible” and the Liberal Democrat Manifesto as credible.

We offer common sense government, both business friendly and committed to public services.

I strongly support urgently addressing the climate emergency, something we can best do as a leading nation within the EU. Liberal Democrats will make all new build homes carbon neutral, fund insulation for four million existing homes, double renewable power generation, ban new petrol and diesel cars from 2030, and plant 60 million trees every year. We will make the UK carbon neutral by 2045. Supporting and building the green economy is central to our vision.

The Lib Dem manifesto is the best for the poorest 10% according to the Resolution Foundation.

Poverty and inequality have grown. Changing our relationship with Europe can’t reduce them.

A Liberal Democrat government will increase funding for the NHS, education and policing, spending the extra revenue we get from staying in the EU.

If elected I will be energetic in dealing with your problems, and active in seeking positive developments for Lancaster and Fleetwood.

Can we fix Broken Britain? YES WE CAN. Vote Liberal Democrat.

BREXIT PARTY CANDIDATE LEANNE MURRAY

Age: 49

Location: Unknown

Occupation: Unknown

My work has given me a great insight into the healthcare problems facing our country and I worked closely with the police and local councils to improve crime and disorder in licensed premises.

I was on the Blackpool Mayors Charity Committee for two terms and helped raise a considerable amount for the Blue Skies appeal to buy an anaesthetic machine for Blackpool Victoria Scanner Appeal and a recuperation building.

I am standing as a candidate in Lancaster and Fleetwood as I feel betrayed by Westminster following our vote to leave the European Union.

The two party system is failing and the people of Lancaster and Fleetwood are no longer represented and deserve better than they are getting at present.

LABOUR CANDIDATE CAT SMITH

Age: 34

Location: Lancaster

Occupation: MP

I’m seeking re-election as your MP, proud to stand on my record. I’ve never shied away from raising issues that matter to us in Parliament. From the serious concerns about fracking and flooding, to making the case for investment in our area, promoting our universities or speaking up for our NHS.

I love our area. I live here and am delighted to be raising my family here. My son was born in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary, so it’s personal for me that I champion our local NHS. I use our local public services just like you – I haven’t been parachuted into our community, this is my home too.

My deepest frustration is that for all of the time I’ve stood up for our community, it’s been under a Conservative Government. A government who have failed on all measures; NHS waiting lists are longer, crime is up, school funding is down, all the while the climate emergency is an inconvenience they ignore.

The Conservatives have been in government every day since the referendum. They’ve had three years to deliver Brexit, and they’ve failed. They squandered months on two leadership elections and now a second general election.

Labour will put Brexit back to the people: a public vote to either remain in the EU or approve a concrete deal that can be delivered immediately. I’ll campaign to remain.

Then we can get on with transforming our country, take on the vested interests holding people back and ensure that no community is left behind.

Boris Johnson thought he was being smart holding this election in dark and cold December. I’ve been campaigning across our constituency with a message of hope and change. Even if the Lune freezes over, Labour is going out to offer real change for the many, not the few.

CONSERVATIVE PARTY CANDIDATE GABRIELLE LOUISE THISTLETHWAITE

Age: 54

Location: Askham-in-Furness

Occupation: Leadership Support Officer

There is no doubt that Brexit will be the defining aspect of this general election. Out and about across the constituency, I am hearing again and again the clear message that we need to get Brexit done. There is real and understandable anger and frustration among voters who are dismayed by what has gone on in Parliament recently – especially the dithering and delay of Labour and the anti-democratic “stop Brexit” stance of the Lib Dems.

As a staunch leave supporter for many years, I’m backing Boris Johnson all the way to get Brexit over the line, so we can all move on and work towards the things that really matter.

Things like our beloved NHS with, locally, a fantastic £34m boost to refurbish Royal Lancaster Infirmary, a place very close to my heart.

Things like law and order. As a magistrate, I know how fundamentally important it is for our residents to feel safe in their homes and on our streets.

Things like ensuring our young people are given the best education and training to equip them for the future, be that through our simply wonderful university (having studied and taught at Lancaster University, I admit to a proud bias!) or through re-energised skills training and apprenticeships.

Things like our protecting our environment through both conservation and technology, promoting a sustainable homes-building programme, protecting our precious green belt land – and protecting the flood-prone parts of this unique, diverse constituency.

And things like improving our transport and infrastructure, supporting our rural communities and agricultural sector, and proudly celebrating our rich Lancastrian heritage.

So let’s honour the result of the referendum, get Brexit done and look ahead to an exciting new chapter for this country – and for this constituency.