As Cumbria prepares to go to the polls on December 12, we ask the candidates for their priorities on key areas and why people should vote for them. Today, we focus on Copeland...

Name: Trudy Harrison

Age: 43

Where you live: Bootle

Occupation: MP for Copeland

Political party: Conservative

Brexit: Getting Brexit done and ensuring that our departure from the EU works for Copeland. 17.4 million people voted to leave (62% of Copeland residents voted to leave) - I respect that and want us to leave with a deal swiftly that takes back control of our money, laws, borders and trade agreements.

Transport: I have fought for investment on our roads and railways through relentless lobbying and working with partners to deliver more frequent and reliable train services. Next steps on the Whitehaven Relief Road and A595 improvements are being progressed and I am focusing on improving our roads’ resilience against adverse weather.

Environment: Nuclear should be the clean energy of the future - our world class skills will lead the way in reaching our net zero emissions target to protect our environment. I have worked with industry leaders to help secure this and Moorside is now a priority area for the Rolls-Royce consortium reactors.

Health: Together we saved 24-hour consultant-led maternity services at West Cumberland Hospital through campaigning and lobbying Government. Now, an extra £33.9bn for the NHS from a Conservative Government will allow us to hire more doctors and nurses and cut waiting times. Building on our dedicated workforce we have is priority.

Education: As a Government apprenticeship ambassador I visited many businesses and saw the benefits. I want to further increase these opportunities and promote them at my skills fairs. We have already invested in four new schools across Copeland with a further £20m now for Whitehaven Academy and this investment will continue.

Broadband: I will continue to work with our communities to bring better digital connectivity for Copeland and ensure no one misses out on the Conservative Government’s pledge to bring a £1bn deal to solve poor mobile coverage to ensure high quality 4G coverage to 95% of the UK by 2025.

Farming: Meeting farmers across the area, the vast majority want to leave the EU. This would mean - for the first time in 40 years - we have the opportunity to legislate our own farming and agricultural policy. Using public money for UK farmers, rather than subsidising farms across the EU.

Why should people vote for you? I will get Brexit done. I am the strongest advocate for nuclear and have continued pushing for a plant on Moorside with Rolls-Royce now confirming commitment. I will build on investment secured for Whitehaven, Millom and Cleator Moor in other areas. I will continue to fight for you and Copeland.

Name: Jack Lenox

Age: 32

Where you live: Keswick

Occupation: Software engineer

Political party: Green Party

Brexit: Our priority is for a People’s Vote, and we will campaign to remain in, and transform, the European Union. Climate breakdown is not something we can tackle on our own and requires a deeply internationalist response. The EU is a vital body through which we can deal with this emergency.

Transport: As part of our green new deal, we want to revolutionise our transport system and end our reliance on fossil fuels, investing instead in alternatives that work better for climate and people. This means more reliable and affordable trains and electric buses, and better options for walking and cycling.

Environment: Our countryside is a precious resource, it is vital for our common health, prosperity and wellbeing. But it is under threat. We would create a new ecocide law to prevent crimes against the natural environment. We support the establishment of an environmental protection commission who would enforce this law.

Health: We are committed to rolling back the creeping privatisation of the NHS through repealing the Health and Social Care Act of 2012 that was introduced by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat coalition government. We want to see NHS spending increased by at least £6bn per year each year until 2030.

Education: We want education to be about nurturing potential and inspiring a love of learning, not a production line that shapes children to fill gaps in the workplace. Alongside easing pressures by increasing funding, we believe in scrapping Ofsted, Sats and league tables. We would also make higher education free.

Broadband: Fast, reliable broadband or mobile internet is vital for everyone. In rural areas we believe broadband provisioning should be delivered by local councils who understand local connection needs. The Green Party believes that broadband should be available to all rural areas at the same cost as in urban areas.

Farming: We want to refocus farming subsidies to help farmers transition to more sustainable, diverse and environmentally friendly forms of land use, including organic farming, agroforestry and mixed farming, and away from intensive livestock farming. We want to legislate to give farmers greater security of tenure so that they can invest in sustainable improvements to their land.

Why should people vote for you? Every vote for the Green Party in this election is a vote for a better and brighter future. It’s a vote to transform the UK and build something good together. It’s a vote for making sure that our best days are still to come. If not now, then when?

Name: Tony Lywood

Age: 63

Where you live: Keswick

Occupation: Retired businessman

Political party: Labour

Brexit: Johnson’s deal is a bad deal, stopping access to the Customs Union, failing to protect jobs, weakening environmental and food regulations. A deal can be agreed addressing these issues. This will be put back to the people along with the Remain option. The country needs to be brought back together again.

Transport: Copeland’s poor communications and isolation needs addressing. Billions are pledged to schemes like HS2, but we are forgotten. We need massive investment in our rail, buses and roads (especially the A595). Better, publicly accessible, local transport will be provided by Labour expanding bus services and bringing rail back under social ownership.

Environment: We face a climate and environmental emergency. Labour’s green new deal will deliver the substantial majority of our emission reductions by 2030. We are committed to new nuclear build and I will fight to secure Moorside and for our area to be the centre of excellence for wind, solar and tidal energy development.

Health: Years of Conservative under-funding has left our NHS with fewer beds and staff shortages. West Cumberland Hospital deserves to have a wider range of services; patients shouldn’t have to travel to Carlisle and beyond for treatment. Free social care for older people and mental health will be properly funded.

Education: The vast majority of schools have suffered cuts to their budgets under the Conservatives. Our children and teachers deserve better. We will restore proper funding, ensure a maximum class size in primary schools and introduce free nursery education for two to four-year-olds. In higher education, we will abolish tuition fees. We need better for or children.

Farming: A bad Brexit deal will hit many local farmers. There are three million sheep in Cumbria and the loss of access to the Customs Union, its markets (85% of lamb exports went to the EU in 2019) and common food standards will open up UK farming to unfair competition. Disruption will add uncertainty.

Broadband: Only 10% of premises are connected to full fibre broadband, it’s 97% in Japan.

Labour’s plans to deliver fast and free full fibre broadband will boost productivity, boost rural economies and reduce commuting trips and cut CO2 emissions. This is not a luxury, it is an essential utility.

Why should people vote for you? With Labour we will enhance the dignity and pride we have in our community that has been ravaged by nearly 10 years of Tory cuts. Our NHS, our schools, our police force and our industry all need proper funding. Like Moorside, this can only come from proper government investment.

Name: John Studholme

Age: 76

Where you live: Outside Kendal

Occupation: Retired surveyor

Political party: Liberal Democrat

Brexit: I am a solid Remainer. I believe there is no deal that we can negotiate with the EU which is better than the one we have at present as a full member. This is from the standpoint of peace and security, prosperity, influence and progress.

Transport: Locally an efficient transport system is absolutely vital. Improving the A595 is the obvious place to start. Upgrading the rolling stock on the coast line and increasing air services from Carlisle would be beneficial.

Environment: It is absolutely essential that we conquer the problem of global warming. We need to reduce our need for energy and reduce our carbon emissions through use of solar panels, wind turbines and nuclear. The issue of plastic waste has to be addressed. More tree planting is essential.

Health: Lack of staff, inadequate training resources, obsolete premises and equipment, imbalance of services between mental and physical health treatment all need to be addressed.

Education: Without first class education and training we have no future as a country. More resources are needed. Improvements have been made in apprenticeships in west Cumbria keep at it.

Broadband: Superfast broadband everywhere at an affordable cost is essential. I am fortunate to have obtained it in the countryside through a self help community scheme. Clever thinking is needed. A public monopoly is not the answer.

Farming: Farming and particularly Cumbrian hill farming is facing a crisis. Staying in the EU is part of the answer but if we don’t a massive revision with retraining will be necessary. More tree planting on the uplands is part of the answer, more vegetable and fruit planting on the lowlands possibly.

Why should people vote for you? I am local for many generations. I have experience and good training and education. I have lived and worked abroad and travelled extensively. I am not extreme politically. I am a good project manager used to solving problems and working with people. I have a capacity for hard work and a sense of humour.