Ribble Valley general election candidates to clash in five-way Ribchester hustings

Posted on - 20th June, 2024 - 1:38pm | Author - | Posted in - Bamber Bridge, Broughton, Fulwood, Longridge, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Walton-le-Dale
The Ribble Valley has seen major boundary changes for this election. Pic credit: Blog Preston.

Candidates battling it out to be the next MP of the Ribble Valley are set to go head-to-head on June 25 at St Wilfrid’s Church, Ribchester.

Starting at 7.30pm on Tuesday, the general election hustings will be chaired by the Bishop of Blackburn, Rev Philip North, and currently has five of the six candidates set to attend.

Some believe the Ribble Valley seat could be a microcosm for wider Conservative Party fortunes in the election, with many watching to see whether Nigel Evans, who has represented the constituency for the past 32 years for the Tories, will hold onto his seat.

Read more: New constituency boundaries and candidates in Preston, Chorley and South Ribble for the 2024 general election

He has five challengers for the Ribble Valley, with political newcomer Maya Ellis representing Labour; John Potter up for the Liberal Democrats; Caroline Montague for the Greens; Qasim Ajmi standing as an independent; and John Carroll standing for Reform.

An added element of interest is the fact that the new Ribble Valley electoral boundary sees Clitheroe omitted from the seat. With that now sitting in the new constituency of Pendle and Clitheroe, the Ribble Valley seat will retain large swathes of Fulwood, Broughton, Bamber Bridge, Walton-le-Dale, plus parts of Whalley, which some commentators think could change the voting patterns for the traditionally Conservative borough.

For Mr Evans, who has been a vocal campaigner for the Ribble Valley during his long tenure as its MP, he is campaigning on local issues and promising to protect the borough’s green belt land from Labour plans to build 1.5 million new homes across the country in their first five years, if elected.

For Ms Ellis, who was brought up and still lives in the Ribble Valley, issues such as affordable housing, youth services and availability of childcare are all major themes in her manifesto.

Read more: In South Ribble? We’re holding a hustings to hear from candidates

For Mr Potter, his work as a local councillor is something he places great focus on, along with the needs of local people, while Mr Carroll and Ms Montague mirror the wider manifestos of their respective parties.

Mr Ajmi claims his role as an independent will allow him to ‘rise above party shackles to devise new strategies’.

To judge for yourself, head to the hustings event at St Wilfrid’s Church, Church Street, Ribchester, on June 25 at 7.30pm.

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