SPECIAL REPORT: Bury North candidates set out election promises

WITH just one week to go until Bury goes to the polls a tight contest is developing for the borough's two constituencies. This week the Bury Times spoke with each of the Bury North Parliamentary candidates to find out why they think they should get your vote. James Frith --- Labour Party

JAMES Frith is the former Bury North MP after first winning the seat in 2017. He is also a former Elton councillor and founder of an education social enterprise.

He asked that voters to keep their faith in him and says he has delivered on a number of his policy priorities, including saving Bury's walk-in centres, protecting the greenbelt and securing flood defences. If re-elected Mr Frith says he will work to get football back at Gigg Lane, adding that his priorities will include a plan for social care, involving integration of hospice work into NHS for continuing health care. He also pledges that Labour will invest in new NHS staff, nurses and doctors and create a specialist "National Care Service".

On education he wants "real terms" investment in schools and return to support services giving head teachers resources to commission support needed such as teaching assistants and special educational needs coordinators He is also seeking to tackle exclusion rates in Bury's schools and says Labour will create a "National Education Service" to give children the "best start to life and entitlement to lifelong learning". To tackle anti-social behaviour and crime Mr Frith says he wants to see a return to community policing which would put officers "back on the streets of Bury".

Town regeneration is also another of Mr Frith's priorities which he says would see improved highstreets and retail offers and would get broadband to everyone in the borough. To achieve this he wants to give the constituency's towns greater capacity to make decisions for themselves over regeneration projects and their investment needs and priorities. On the environment, Mr Frith said the "state of climate crisis cannot be understated", adding that to tackle the problem and reach carbon neutral target by 2030s he is seeking a green industrial revolution, promoting "economic as well as environmental renewal" through renewable energy, jobs and wealth creation.

And on Brexit Mr Frith is in favour of "final say referendum" and does not endorse Boris Johnson's deal which he believes should go "back to the people". He argued that Mr Johnson's deal divides UK, puts trade barriers between NI and rest of UK, and does not protect environment standards, workers rights or the NHS from Trump trade deal. "When the Tories talk about getting Brexit done it is a lie and a myth.

It is not done. It might go to the next round of this process but the exit will take ages but the entry to new markets will take even longer," he added. Instead he suggested a deal struck by the Labour party would be a "customs union Brexit".

James Daly --- Conservative Party JAMES Daly is a partner in a small business, a councillor for North Manor and leader of the Bury Conservative Group.

He says his knowledge and experience from living, working and representing the town make him the ideal candidate, adding: "I have a vision to transform our town for the better." If elected he pledged to encourage the council to look to their borrowing powers and play the "honest broker" to ensure the future of Bury FC --- claiming that this would "not cost council tax payers a penny". His other priorities include big investment in the NHS, policing and education services, with especial focus on supporting children with special educational needs, adding that he would aim to play a role in every Bury North school to ensure money for schools the NHS and policing is "actually used to deliver".

He said: "If I was elected MP and every school in Bury was not rated "Outstanding" by the time I left office I would be very disappointed." Mr Daly is opposed to the GMSF and he would instead push for a new plan utilising Government funding and "local partners" to build "affordable" homes. On Brexit Mr Daly supports Boris Johnson's deal and wants the UK to leave the EU by the end of January 2020.

He says he will then work to get a free trade deal, with open access to the EU and other countries, which gets more, better paid and higher skilled jobs in the borough. And on the environment he said: "Climate change is an issue that affects us all and we all need to work together to come up with solutions, support experts and reduce carbon emissions to ensure that we have a better world going forward." However he argued that certain sectors, such as taxis, should be exempt from the proposed regional clean air zone and called for better support for taxi drivers --- including a second MOT centre in the borough.

Gareth Lloyd-Johnson --- Liberal Democrats SPECIAL REPORT: Bury North candidates set out election promises GARETH Lloyd-Johnson is a campaigns officer for the Liberal Democrats, the secretary of Hollins Community Centre and was born and raised in Bury North.

He says his is the "only out-and-out Remain party" committed to revoking Article 50, which he claims is the best way to protect Bury from 'potential damage' resulting from Brexit. "I am absolutely unequivocal that stopping Brexit would be good for Bury North," he said. If the Liberal Democrats do not form the next Government, however, Mr Lloyd-Johnson says he will campaign for a "people's vote" with "proper legal standing" to resolve if and how we are going to leave the EU.

Any future deal brokered on leaving the EU should be as close to the current relationship, such as remaining in the single market and retaining freedom of movement, he added. As a lifelong Bury FC fan, Mr Lloyd-Johnson says he will work to ensure the town has a football club playing at Gigg Lane. His priorities for Bury North include protecting the constituency's independent businesses including an overhaul of business rates and raising the income tax threshold "to put money back in people's pockets"

Mr Lloyd-Johnson is opposed to GMSF and wants to protect green spaces while building eco-friendly and affordable homes and infrastructure, adding that greater action must be taken to tackle climate change, including a green economy of businesses and technologies. He also pledged to fight the "crisis in eduction" and declining standards in the borough's schools which he says desperately need proper resources. Mr Johnson said he would like to see a 10-year funding plan for the NHS and social care, with spending used "correctly", more control given to medical professionals, and mental health to be given parity with physical health.

Charlie Allen --- Green Party SPECIAL REPORT: Bury North candidates set out election promises CHARLIE Allen is a project manager at the University of Manchester, former community teacher of adult numeracy in Bury and a Bury North resident of 15 years.

She says that addressing climate issues must be the priority in Bury and across the country and claims The Green Party is the only party that will address the climate change "crisis" with a comprehensive environmental plan. To tackle this she is seeking to plant more trees in the borough and stop expansion of Manchester Airport and scrap the HS2 high speed rail link. Ms Allen described Bury's transport system as "shocking" and says she would work for a cheaper, more efficient and more integrated transport system for the borough and Greater Manchester which will help to tackle climate change and address air pollution levels.

Further she also aims to fix roads across the borough to improve the network but is also keen to get more cars off the roads. Other priorities for Ms Allen include addressing "slipping" education standards in Bury's schools and increased spending on police with "a lot more community policing" where people know their local officer and they are visible and seen as part of the community. Social care has been "woefully funded and it is time now that that is addressed," she argued and says she would seek more money for the NHS to ensure there are enough doctors and nurses on the frontline and in the social care sector to make the two work together.

On housing she pledged to confront the "desperate need" for affordable and social housing particularly for young people and families. To do this Ms Allen is in favour utilising brownfield sites and opposed to building "fancy houses" on greenbelt land "where the developers make a lot of money out of them". On Brexit she says she and her party want to remain in the EU and is in favour of a "people's vote" to put the issue back to the electorate because "things have changed and moved on so much".

Alan McCarthy --- Brexit Party SPECIAL REPORT: Bury North candidates set out election promises ALAN McCarthy is a Rochdale councillor of 20 years, representing West Heywood, and defected to the Brexit Party from Labour earlier this year.

He is also a forklift truck driver and former commercial inspection and construction diver and former computer engineer who has lived in Bury for 27 years. He says the people of Bury North should elect him as his is the "only party standing up for the democratic decision made in 2016", and pledges to "build a future together and change politics for good". He added: "As a parent and grandparent our job is to give our today for tomorrow's generation."

On Brexit he says he will pursue a "clean break" from the EU which would allow decisions to be made in the UK, the protection of British industry and investment in the NHS. This increased funding for the health service and social care is one of his top priorities, and he he further pledges to protect the NHS from privatisation and bring in house any private initiative which have failed, and prevent "health tourism". Education is another of Mr McCarthy's top priorities and he says he aims to stop the "unfair funding" of schools and increase cash required in several areas, including for pupils with special educational needs.

On housing he is opposed to building on the greenbelt which he wants to protect and instead favours building on brownfield sites. He is also proposing to cancel business rates in the town to foster town regeneration. And on the environment and tackling climate change, Mr McCarthy says his position is to: "Get out of the EU and set policies which we can decide that protect our UK and the world to save our planet for our children's future."

Previously, Mr McCarthy has said his other policies include House of Lords reform, the scrapping of the HS2 high speed rail link, halving the UK's foreign aid spending, cutting student loan interest, and reforming the BBC and scrapping the TV licence fee.

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