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Saturday, 30 May 2015

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Candidates answer questions on big issues

NATIONAL attention may be concentrating on who will become the next prime minister, but political candidates in Barrow are battling it out to represent local people on Barrow Borough Council.
Candidates in Hindpool and Hawcoat talked to reporter SAM WALKER


Name: Margaret Ann Thomson

Party: Labour

Age: 55

Address: Holcroft Hill

Occupation: Retired

Marital status: Married

Children/ grandchildren: One child, three grandchildren.

Interests: Politics, gardening, growing vegetables, cooking, looking after my grandchildren.

Three adjectives that best describe you?: Determined, committed to supporting people and having a social conscience.

Your hero(es)?: Emmeline Pankhurst, a 20th century suffragette, Martin Luther King and Barack Obama.

Achievements of which you are most proud?: Being a Labour councillor for 17 years and in that time fighting against the cynics to make sure recycling was high on the agenda.

What are the main issues in the ward?: The main issue for Hindpool will be to continue the process of improving the environment, to work towards preserving the role of the wardens, to work with other Labour councillors in developing and strengthening links with residents’ groups and partners.

What are the main challenges facing the Barrow borough?: To make sure funding to continue development work is safeguarded. Jobs for those without jobs, a future for our young people.

If selected I will become an active member of Labour’s council.

Name: Helen Robinson

Party: Socialist People’s Party

Age: 42

Address: Ramsden Dock Road, Barrow

Birthplace: Barrow

Occupation: Network champion for the Citizens’ Advice Bureau’s Cumbria Advice Network project and centre coordinator for Furness Multicultural Community Forum.

Marital status: Married

Children/ grandchildren: Two children

Interests: Photography, reading, walking, Scrabble, music. I also like to fight racism and discrimination of any kind. I am active within Unite Against Fascism and also helped to set up a support group for the local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community.

Three adjectives that best describe you?: Caring, dedicated and hard working.

Your hero(es)?: I don’t believe in heroes as such but musically I do admire John Lennon and SPP party leader Jim Hamezeian.

Achievement (s) of which you are most proud?: My two children have turned into two wonderful young men to be proud of.

Studying for my BA Hons and my PhD as a mature student were also personal achievements.

Favourite thing about the Barrow borough?: I believe that Barrow really is a great place to live and I think that the best thing about Barrow is the people.

In my experience Barrow has a great sense of community and people are enthusiastic and want to make their community environments attractive and safe for all.

Main issues in Hindpool?:

  • Potholes in roads
  • Uneven paving
  • Large amounts of dog fouling
  • High rate of bin theft, litter, and an extremely long wait for replacements to come out.

How will you seek to address those issues?: I will do my best to pass the issues to the relevant departments but will follow each job up to ensure that people’s concerns are taken up and dealt with in a way that is satisfactory to the person.

What are the main challenges facing the Barrow borough?: We have a challenge to attract more retail outlets and businesses to the area in order to fill more of the empty shops on Dalton Road.

I also feel that there is a need for councillors to engage more effectively and on a regular basis with the people they have been elected to represent.

How will you confront those challenges?: We need to offer incentives in order to attract businesses to Dalton Road, such as rate and rent reduction for new businesses.

In order to engage effectively with the people of Hindpool, we aim to hold surgeries in the area where people will be able to come and talk about any problems/issues that they might have.

It is important to engage with people all year round, and I would ensure that I am available for this.

Name: Mark Burley

Party: Conservative Party

Age: 39

Address: Middleton Avenue, Barrow

Birth place: Kendal

Occupation: Garage proprietor

Interests: Fishing, camping and spending time with my family

Three adjectives that described you: Reliable, honest, loyal

Heroes: Duncan Bannatyne (Dragons’ Den) and Mohammed Ali.

Achievements: My children, my business in which I have built up successfully over the past nine years.

Favourite thing about the Barrow borough?: The people.

Main Issues?:

  • A crossing on Holker Street
  • To award local firms local work
  • Crime reduction and youth facilities.

How will you seek to address these issues?: I will lobby for the crossing.

Encourage local business to tender for work and help in any way I can, keeping care within the community, work alongside police and local authorities to reduce crime.

What are the main challenges facing the Barrow borough?: Unemployment, crime, poverty.

How will you confront those challenges?: Work together in partnership with police, local authorities and the local people.


Name: Rebecca Jane Melling

Party: Labour

Age: 50

Address: Longway, Barrow

Birth place: Barrow

Occupation: Housewife

Marital status: Married

Children/ grandchildren: one daughter

Interests: Reading, music.

Three adjectives: Determination, patience and sense of humour.

My heroes: Those women that stand up for their rights and still do so today.

Achievements: Raising my family and being proud of their achievements.

Favourite thing about Barrow: Security and peace of life.

Main issues for Hawcoat?: Parking in this ward is a problem and I think a lack of being in contact with your elected councillor on a regular basis.

I want to set up and hold regular surgeries for the residents and be proactive in the ward.

Main challenges facing Barrow are?: Barrow needs jobs and apprenticeships for its young people, opportunities for the future and affordable housing etc.

These can be achieved by working together and having a progressive Labour council.

Name: Jack Richardson

Party: Conservative

Age: Over 65

Address: Keswick Avenue, Barrow

Birthplace: Horden, County Durham

Occupation: Retired

Marital status: Married

Children/Grandchildren: Four children, three grandchildren

Interests: Family, Barrow, football, politics, Rotary.

Three adjectives: Honest, committed, determined.

My heroes: Jackie Milburn, and the Duke of Wellington.

Achievements: Having been the mayor of Barrow, and having completed the London Marathon five times.

Favourite thing about Barrow?: The warmth and friendliness of its people.

Main issues for Hawcoat?: Parking and the condition of the roads and footpaths.

There is also a need to improve play facilities for young children.

I would hope to resolve the parking issue by getting the county and the hospital to co-operate on greater utilisation of the hospital car parks by their own staff.

On the condition of roads and footpaths, I would support the county in trying to get back over £50m which the government has taken from their highways grant over seven years.

I would try to direct more money to children’s play facilities.

Main Challenges facing Barrow are?:

  • To broaden the commercial and industrial base in the area.
  • The development of Barrow as an area of tourism and watersport activity.
  • The renewal of older housing areas to improve the overall condition of housing in the area.

What would I do?: I would continue to support the development of the Marina development and the Waterfront Business Park.

These projects will create new employment in a range of new small enterprises and also create a marina and watersport facility.

The regeneration on Piel Island will attract visitors to Barrow.

The Marina Village will provide new high standard housing needed in the area which, together with the council’s strategy for housing market renewal, will improve the standard of the total housing stock.

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