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Ribble Valley general election candidates set out why they should earn your vote

Posted on - 2nd July, 2024 - 5:17pm | Author - | Posted in - Bamber Bridge, Greyfriars, Grimsargh, Longridge, Lostock Hall, Politics, Preston News, Ribble Valley News, South Ribble News, Walton-le-Dale, Wyre News
Candidates for Ribble Valley
Candidates for Ribble Valley

Boundary changes mean the Ribble Valley constituency has taken on a very different shape since the last general election.

Large parts of northern Preston have now become part of the redrawn seat, after the abolition of the Wyre and Preston North constituency, while Farington and Clitheroe, which were previously within Ribble Valley’s borders, have departed for parliamentary pastures new (see below for full list of changes).

The Local Democracy Reporting Service invited the six candidates contesting the revamped Ribble Valley seat to make their pitch to the people they hope to represent.

Read more: MP candidates clash over potential Lancashire-version of Andy Burnham

Dr Qasim Ajmi (Independent)

“I’m an orthopaedic and a spinal surgeon. I have been in the NHS for over 20 years,  looking after my patients – and jumping into the political arena to protect my patients, the NHS and my colleagues from political dysfunction.

“Educational debts are on the rise and good teachers are leaving the profession due to dissatisfaction and poor management. Protect the health and education systems to make Britain great again.

“I stand for autonomy, centralisation and the depoliticisation of these departments for a better future of this country.”

John Carroll (Reform UK)

Statement not yet received.

Maya Ellis (Labour)

“I believe Ribble Valley, just like our country, is ready for change and a fresh start, with a local MP, focussed on helping young people, families and all our varied communities to feel safe and supported and to live your best life.

“I have grown up in the constituency and now live here with my husband and two small children, so I know our communities inside out.

“My recent career has been working in local government, speaking regularly with civil servants in Westminster to ensure much-needed funding lands in this area, so I understand how our government works and how to make them work better for us locally.

“There is so much to fight for here. I will make sure people have both safe, affordable homes to live in, but also better roads, schools and more GP appointments to support those homes. I will ensure work pays and that your job is a place you go to, to thrive, not just survive. And I will improve our high streets and cultural offer to ensure this remains an attractive place to live. I will fight for you.

“I love our area, from my gym in Walton-le-Dale to family days across the Ribble Valley – and I will fight to ensure that all our residents from Fulwood to Mellor and from Bamber Bridge to West Bradford, all feel represented in a future Labour government.

 “I care deeply for the people here and I know we can do far better for this area with me as the present and determined Labour MP, Ribble Valley so desperately needs.”

Nigel Evans (Conservative)

“I have served the Ribble Valley for 32 years as your strong voice in Westminster.

“For more than three decades I have backed our farmers who provide the highest quality food.  They are the custodians of our countryside. This acts as a magnet to tourism and acts as an engine for growth, bringing new jobs.

“I will never support the building of homes on our greenbelt, which is Labour policy.

“I am not a new convert to strong defences or the nuclear deterrent. I have been a huge supporter of BAE Systems and the hundreds of local businesses which are here because of them.

“I campaigned hard as deputy speaker of the Commons to get the new cyber security force to the Ribble Valley – 3,500 new, highly-paid and skilled jobs will be based here with thousands more created on the back of them coming.

“I have agreed to re-open Waddow Hall in Ribble Valley for girl guides and youth groups which closed last year.

“I back the triple lock for pensioners and National Insurance cuts for hard-working families.

“Labour’s new taxes on independent schools will hammer Stonyurst and put a massive strain on local school places.

“Only out of growth will we create new jobs and the ability to provide excellent public services and with the new hospital coming to the south of Preston, this will be even better.

“With me, you get a servant of over three decades’ experience at Westminster, elected as deputy speaker by my colleagues and a proven local campaigner who has delivered – and I am happy to be judged on past achievements, not promises for the future.”

Caroline Montague (Green Party)

“The area of the Ribble Valley is very fortunate to have wonderful countryside and waterways. Residents want those green spaces to be protected.

“They also want to safeguard their wonderful waterways from continued sewage dumping from a private water company.

“As a Green MP, I will push for:

***a year-on-year reduction in waiting times for every resident in the Ribble Valley;

***investing in GPs and public health, which is key to prevention, early diagnosis and improving the life of every resident in Ribble Valley.

***introducing a carbon tax to drive fossil fuels out of our economy and raise money for the green transition.

“We are the only party that would introduce a wealth tax on the super rich of one percent. We estimate this will raise £50bn to £70bn over the course of the next Parliament, allowing us to invest £8.5bn per year into the NHS and improve our broken social care system.

John Potter (Liberal Democrats)

“Both my parents worked for the NHS. They, like the rest of us, have never known it so bad. The NHS needs help. The Lib Dems will give everyone the right to see their GP within seven days, or within 24 hours if they urgently need to.

“We will finally put mental health on the same footing as physical health. We will recruit, train and retain more doctors and nurses to fill the thousands of vacancies in the NHS and cut waiting times.

“Like millions of ordinary people across the UK, the chaos and incompetence of the Conservatives over the last five years has hurt me financially. Surging inflation and price hikes added £2,000 a year to my mortgage interest payments alone.

“The charity I’m a trustee of is on the frontline helping people from all walks of life. I see first-hand the pressures the cost-of-living crisis is having on families, the elderly and businesses. None of this was inevitable.

“The Conservatives chose reckless, incapable leaders, like Liz Truss, that brought our economy to the edge of disaster. While they carry on in denial, we suffer the consequences. Businesses close, families cut back and our public services suffer.

“Sewage in our rivers, an NHS on its knees, our roads falling apart and our economy flatlining – Ribble Valley and the UK deserves better.

“I’m an optimist and I believe to my core that in Britain, better days are always possible. But change rarely happens by accident. We have to vote for someone to fight for it.

“I want to be that person. As your MP, I will fight every week for you, your family and your community.

“On July 4th, vote for a change. Vote Liberal Democrat.”

Am I in Ribble Valley now?

The Preston City Council wards of Greyfriars, Sharoe Green, Preston Rural North and Preston Rural East have moved to within the new-look Ribble Valley constituency.

In the east of the constituency, the Chatburn, East Whalley, Read & Simonstone, Edisford and Low Moor, Littlemoor, Primrose, Sabben, Salthill, St. Mary’s, Whalley and Painter Wood, and Wiswell and Barrow wards have all been decanted into the new Pendle and Clitheroe seat.

“Meanwhile, on the western side, the Farington East and Farington West wards have moved into the South Ribble constituency.  However, the South Ribble Borough Council wards of Bamber Bridge East, Bamber Bridge West, Coupe Green and Gregson Lane, Lostock Hall, Samlesbury and Walton, Walton-le-Dale East and Walton-le-Dale West all remain in the Ribble Valley parliamentary patch.

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