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General Election Meet the Tameside candidates
Monday 5th June 2017 @ 14:39 by Adam Higgins
News Tameside

Voters will head to the polls on Thursday in what is being dubbed as the most important General Election in many years.

In Tameside, three new Members of Parliament will be elected in the constituencies of Ashton, Denton and Reddish, and Stalybridge and Hyde respectively.

We have been speaking to the 15 candidates vying for your votes across the borough to see what they stand for, what their priorities are and why you should back them.


Carly May Hicks (Liberal Democrats)

Carly lives in Greater Manchester but was born and raised in Cornwall, which at the time was one of England’s poorest counties. It suffered from high unemployment and low investment from Westminster.

This encouraged Carly to get involved in local politics after she left school. She was inspired by a hard working MP who put her area before their political ambitions and believes Ashton-under-Lyne deserves the same.

Carly was the first in her family to go to university where she had the opportunity to study abroad through the EU’s Erasmus programme. Carly went on to work in the European Parliament, working on environmental policy including legislation to help reduce car exhaust emissions. She is now training to be a solicitor at a firm in Manchester.

Unashamedly pro-European, Carly will fight to provide a strong opposition to the Tories’ plans for a hard Brexit and ensure a better deal for Ashton voters.

Andy Hunter-Rossall (Green)

Andy Hunter-Rossall is the Green Party candidate for Ashton-under-Lyne. Andy lives in the constituency, in Failsworth, and works as a maths teacher locally.

He says: “I’m proud to represent a party that stands up for public services – that will give our NHS and our schools the funding they need, and that will make sure they are run by the public, for the public.

“The Green Party would introduce an NHS Reinstatement Bill to parliament, reversing the trends of privatisation in the health service. We would also reverse the NHS funding gap, in part by scrapping Britain’s nuclear weapons.

“I’m proud to represent a party that stands up for the environment – that thinks about the next 50 years, not just the next five; that will protect our green spaces, and take real action on air pollution and climate change.

“We will create jobs by investing in renewable energy and warm, affordable homes for all, reducing our carbon footprint whilst boosting our economy. I’m proud to represent a party that will stand up for people – that will scrap work capability assessments for disabled people, putting decisions back in the hands of doctors; that will push for a minimum wage of £10 an hour by 2020, and that will immediately guarantee the rights of EU citizens living in the UK.

“Finally, I’m proud to represent a party that will give power to the people – that will give the British public the final say on the terms of Brexit; that will campaign for a proportional representation system so that everyone’s vote matters equally; and that will introduce a right to recall your MP if you’re not happy with them. If you agree with me, then stand with me and vote Green on June 8th.”

Maurice Jackson (UKIP)

To all voters, my name is Maurice Jackson, your UKIP candidate for Ashton. On polling day you will have the chance to make a difference. By voting UKIP you will ensure you have an MP who works on your behalf and puts your interests first.

Ashton needs to change from the old ways when the council taxpayer was ignored. This sorry state of affairs cannot continue, and we in UKIP intend to put things right. I am now retired but served as an electrician in Audenshaw before running a garage in the town.

I believe absolutely in leaving the EU and that the UK can definitely stand alone independently and in bringing back industry to our country. The tram system too should be expanded and old railways better utilised. By reducing foreign aid UKIP will help fund the NHS and schools, while we are totally committed to safeguarding the NHS.

I’m standing for my grandchildren and we need to make sure we have got a secure economy and secure schools for the future and for all of our children. If you elect me I will absolutely represent each and every man, woman and child. Any concerns that you have will be dealt with, and there will be no excuses from me.

Jack Rankin (Conservative)

Growing up in Ashton, I know what makes this area unique. I lived on Oaken Clough and went to Cannon Burrows Primary School, before moving to Newmarket Road, near Daisy Nook, and going to secondary school at West Hill in Stalybridge.

My parents grew up in Guide Bridge and Droylsden. They met at West End School, married young, and had my brother and I shortly afterwards. On alternate evenings they went to Tameside College to gain the qualifications needed to set up their own business. They worked hard to give our family the opportunities they didn’t have growing up.

I want to be your Member of Parliament in order to stand up for hard working people. It is important to me that we have a government that recognises and celebrates them as the cornerstone of our society. Labour has ignored this community for far too long.

This election is the most important in a generation. The prospect of Jeremy Corbyn in 10 Downing Street, leading a coalition of chaos, propped up other political parties, is terrifying. Jeremy Corbyn cannot be trusted to defend or lead this country. For many local people, this will be the first election where they have ever considered voting Conservative. If this is you, I’m asking for your support.

It is vital to deliver a Brexit that is in the interests of people in this constituency. I believe that only Theresa May has a plan to lead these negotiations and build a stronger Britain that works for everyone. In Parliament, my priority will always be the people of Ashton, Droylsden and Failsworth, and by working together, we can deliver real results for our community.

Angela Rayner (Labour)

Angela is not an Oxbridge-educated, former Special Adviser, professional politician. She did not have a privileged upbringing and never went to public school or university. She was brought up on a council estate and left her local comprehensive at 16 with no qualifications and a baby already on the way, after being told she would ‘never amount to anything’.

Angela has spoken about how Labour’s Sure Start centres gave her, and her friends, the support they needed to become better parents and to grow and develop as young adults. After a spell at the local FE College, Angela started working as a care worker for Stockport Council where she gained experience at the sharp end of public services.

Much of her time was spent providing one-to-one care to elderly people in their own homes, looking after their personal hygiene, preparing meals, listening and showing empathy. She was soon put forward by her women work-mates to speak for them as a union rep with UNISON. “I was mouthy,” she says, “and I would take no messing from management.”

She rose through the ranks of the trade union movement with her direct experience of low pay, long hours and zero hours contracts, to become the most senior elected official of UNISON in the North West of England.

In 2015, Angela Rayner became the first woman MP in the 180-year history of her Ashton-under-Lyne constituency. She was soon promoted to the shadow whip’s office by the new Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and then went on to hold the position of Shadow Pensions Minister, before becoming a member of the Shadow Cabinet as Shadow Secretary of State for Education. Away from Parliament and politics, Angela is married to Mark, who is also a UNISON official, and has three sons.


Catherine Louise Ankers (Liberal Democrats)

Catherine Ankers is standing for the Liberal Democrats in Denton & Reddish. Catherine lives in Greater Manchester and is a working mother of one, but having formerly lived in the Reddish area knows the area very well.

Catherine is dedicated to keeping the NHS properly funded and in order to do this, she would put 1p on income tax which would be ring-fenced for health and social care. She believes people should have a say in a second referendum once a deal is finalised for Brexit in two years time, and wants to see the country stay in the single market and customs union.

She is passionate about providing affordable and stable rented property for residents, while highlighting the Liberal Democrat rent to buy proposal as one way of assisting and making it easier for people to buy their own homes.

She would like to see public transport improved, including an orbital route for the tram network around Greater Manchester and would stand up for Denton and Reddish to bring more funds from London to help fund a better transport network.

Farmin Lord Dave (MRLP)

Farmin Lord Dave 1st of Haughton is the very first representative of The Monster Raving Loony Party to stand for election in the borough of Tameside – let alone Denton and Reddish.

The Monster Raving Loony Party has been established since 1983 – the same year the Denton and Reddish seat was itself created, and in its heyday won a number of council seats while also shaming some bigger parties into last place behind their own candidates.

Crazy policies from the party’s ‘manic-festo’ include pressing ahead with Brexit negotiations while demanding France return Brittany to the UK. On our roads the Loons want all yellow lines painted where you can park, instead of where you can’t, to save money.

The party has only recently released its manifesto, accusing other parties of constantly copying their policies. Former policies the party came up with decades ago include reducing the voting age to 16 and St George’s Day being a Bank Holiday.

Farmin Lord Dave says he got involved in politics because there’s too much finger pointing. His party instead wants everyone to wear woolly hats so they can pull the wool over our eyes.

He says his party has some big plans for Denton and Reddish though, including building an inter galactic space station on the former Oldham Batteries site before launching the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework itself into space. So if you want to make a protest vote – you know where to make your mark!

Andrew Gwynne (Labour)

For the last 12 years I have gone to work every single day for you. I have been a strong, experienced voice for Denton and Reddish, both in Parliament and locally.

Being the MP for Audenshaw, Denton, Dukinfield, Reddish and the Heatons has been more than just a job, it has been my life and I have given everything every single day to make sure that our home is the best possible place for us all to live and get on.

I grew up on Ashton Road, then later at Maple Avenue. I went to Russell Scott, Denton Central and Egerton Park schools, I got married at St Anne’s Church, and my children attended St Anne’s Primary then later Audenshaw and Fairfield High Schools. We all live in Denton and are proud to call it our home.

This General Election will be a hard fought election and every vote will count. If I am re-elected on 8th June I pledge that I will:
· Keep the triple-lock guarantee on pensions and secure the best outcome for the 1950s born WASPI women
· Defend our police front line and keep our streets safe from crime and anti-social behaviour
· Raise school standards for all children, and build a health and social care service that looks after everyone in Tameside and Stockport
· Fight for a Brexit deal that works for all of our communities, both in Britain and in Denton and Reddish
· Protect the Tame Valley and Reddish Vale from development, and oppose any greenbelt grabbing

My promise to you is that I will carry on fighting your corner and making sure you and your family have the best possible chance in life. With your support I will continue to stand up for Denton & Reddish, and you.

Gareth Hayes (Green)

I moved to Manchester back in 2001. I’d fallen in love with this area while visiting student friends and resolved to move here when I could. In 2006 I moved with my now wife to the Reddish area, and have stayed in the Denton and Reddish constituency ever since.

I know the area, I buy from local shops where possible, I have hired local facilities and tried to support where I can. This election is about the future, they always are. What kind of future we want for the generation that will follow us? What kind of world do we want to leave them?

I have tried to stand up for what I believe is the right path for a better future. I marched in Stop The War, supported rallies to Save Reddish Vale and am aware of the Danebank Green Spaces campaign amongst others issues that are significant to the constituents in this area.

One of the biggest things that will shape the future is how we approach Climate Change and the Environment. This planet supports all life, and fairly rapidly now we are destroying it.

Fracking is driving chemicals deep into the surface, with very little known about the long term effects this will have on the ground above. The government have removed cover for Green policies, and focussed once more on fossil fuels controlled by the big corporation.

These among other problems combine to damage the world, and without the environment being safe and clean and healthy humanity will not survive. More than this, we cannot allow the level of deception and self interest to continue in our government.

Self interest helps only the individual and only in the short term, this election must be about more than that. It must be an election for a better future.

Rozila Kana (Conservative)

The events of the last few days in Manchester affected all of us and the victims and families of all terrorist attacks will forever remain at the forefront of our minds. The people of Manchester have shown us that evil will not divide or break the spirit of our remarkable country and the extraordinary people who live here.

I would also like to reassure you about some of your very important concerns that you may want answering from me.

NHS: We value health services in Tameside and Stockport and know further investment is needed to provide adequate services. We will increase spending by £8 billion in the NHS over the next 5 years, and embark on an ambitious programme of capital investment in buildings and technology in this area. We will also deliver 10,000 more NHS staff in mental health services across the country.

Education: We will increase the overall schools budget by £4 billion by 2022 and no school in Denton and Reddish will have its budget cut as a result of the new funding formula. Free school lunches will remain for those who need them and this will now also include free breakfast.

Social care: We will introduce a cap on the amount people pay for social care. We will make sure nobody in Denton and Reddish has to sell their family home to pay for care. You will never have to go below £100,000 of your assets, and will always have something to pass on to your family. The poorest pensioners will continue to receive winter fuel payments and please note, there is no such thing as dementia tax.

Pensions: A decade ago, we introduced the Triple Lock. We need to continue to provide dignity to older people and fairness to working people. Our Double Lock will ensure pensions will rise in line with the earnings that pay for them, or in line with inflation – whichever is highest.

Security: We will increase defence spending to keep Britain safe. We have protected the counter-terrorism policing budget since 2010, and in 2015 we funded an additional 1,900 officers at MI5, MI6 and GCHQ.

Housing: We will help Tameside and Stockport council build more homes by giving them greater borrowing powers and support through the Homes and Communities Agency – and make it cheaper to buy brownfield land for homes. We will also give tenants right to buy powers.

Immigration: We will establish an immigration policy that allows us to reduce and control the number of people who come to Britain.

Taxes: We will keep taxes as low as possible and spend proceeds responsibly to maintain a healthy economy that can attract more jobs and investment opportunities in this area. Employment is up by 2.9 million since Labour were in power, – meaning over 1,000 jobs have been created on average every day. There will be no increase in VAT, and by 2020, corporation tax will be lowered to 17%. Personal tax allowance will be increased to £12500 – this was £6475 in 2010. I will also make the ethical choice of voting against lifting the fox hunting ban.

But remember, while we debate policies, everything that underpins looking after our elderly, our children, our families, our communities, our NHS, our education, our finances, our economy, our national security, depends on getting the right deal from the Brexit negotiations.

We have always proved to be a strong and cohesive society in extremely challenging circumstances. On 8th June, let us all put our country before our political loyalty. We will only have one chance at getting Brexit right to safeguard the future interests of our communities here and abroad. I am counting on your support.

Josh Seddon (UKIP)

I was born and raised in Denton and Reddish, where I now stand as the candidate dedicated to promoting positive community and economic growth.

I attended Priestnall Secondary School and later enrolled at Stockport College. Eager to become independent and to stand on my own two feet I started my working life at the age of 17. Since then I have been a valued member of many different companies.

I am currently employed by Stepping Hill Hospital as a RTT Validation Officer. Having worked for the NHS for the past eight years, I really understand the necessity and urgency for the adequate funding of our hospitals. I believe through training extra numbers of GPs, nurses and midwifes we can provide a sufficient workforce and improve the quality of care.

I have always been passionate about politics and have been an active member of UKIP, which is the only party representing my views. I was voted onto UKIP Stockport’s Branch Committee in 2015 and last year I became their Branch Secretary.

As a former Trade Unionist and Shop Steward for Unison, I have always been dedicated to stand up for and to protect the rights of my fellow employees. Disillusioned by the failures of multiple successive governments, I decided to stand for Parliament in this year’s election in order to fight for the interests of my local community.

My broad range of interests includes history, politics, science and computer technology. Being a nature lover the protection of our local greenbelt is very important to me. In my free time I like to pursue outdoor activities, I am also an avid bush craft and wild camping enthusiast. I currently live in Heaton Norris with my fiancé; we are expecting our first child in the end of July.


Paul Ankers (Liberal Democrats)

I am 40 years old and a father of three children. My older two are in the midst of their GCSE’s whilst my youngest is just two. I originally come from Chorlton in south Manchester and bar three years at University, have lived in Greater Manchester all my life.

I work as a Data Analyst in Manchester city centre. I fill my spare time with sport, reading and travel. I love to get involved in the community and it is a family joke that I can’t walk past a noticeboard, even abroad, to find out what is going on. Such civic mindedness led me to the Liberal Democrats.

I have been a member for just short of 20 years. I have been elected to Manchester City Council between 2007 and 2011 and I was part of the ruling administration of the Greater Manchester Fire Authority between 2008 and 2011. I was particularly proud of my work fighting to save green spaces and tackling road safety issues.

The key issues for Stalybridge & Hyde are far as I see are:
• Staying in Europe, mainly as the best way of protecting jobs versus the uncertainty of Brexit, but also because we have built a tolerant and friendly Europe where a war with Germany or Italy seems ridiculous.
• Fighting for our green space; nowhere is it more challenging than here, there is a housing crisis, the Mottram bypass but we have a unique beautiful landscape that must not be lost. We should build on brownfield first.
• Support our NHS properly with £6Bn more funds. The NHS is in crisis and Tameside General must never get as bad as it had recently, falling into special measures.
• Fighting to ensure our pensioners still get the ‘triple lock’ increases that ensure they see their retirement with dignity and not risible increases as low as 75p a week once.
• Fighting the unfair funding formula changes for schools that are costing nearly all our schools dear and leading to teacher job losses.

Tom Dowse (Conservative)

I am absolutely delighted to be selected as Theresa May’s Prospective Member of Parliament for this area. We have strong communities here in Stalybridge and Hyde, but I think we need a strong voice fighting for us down in Westminster.

As an experienced local Councillor for Marple, I have fought to protect our communities across Greater Manchester from Labour’s Spatial Framework, fought for investment and regeneration of our town centres and to deliver on crucial investment into key infrastructure projects.

I have worked for a local engineering firm which employs 45 local people. Small businesses are key to the UK’s economic recovery and that can be supported by investing in our skills and infrastructure. Since the Conservatives took office in 2010, there have been over 7,000 apprenticeships created in the Stalybridge & Hyde constituency alone.

I believe access to good schools in Tameside is absolutely vital for our area and that’s why I support the government’s proposed National Funding Formula which will see no cuts to school budgets and an overall increase of £1.6m for Tameside’s schools.

In 2016, I campaigned to leave the European Union. However people voted last year, we now need to bring our communities back together and I feel I am best placed to do this for the people of Stalybridge and Hyde – with a strong Prime Minister fighting for you.

I have a four point plan to make Mossley, Stalybridge, Dukinfield, Hyde and Longdendale even better places to live and work.

1. SAVE OUR GREENBELT: I back plans to save our much-loved Greenbelt from Labour’s Spatial Framework. We need to push for redevelopment of brownfield sites first as an opportunity to invest in our Town Centres.
2. BEST DEAL FROM EUROPE: Our local communities should be at the heart of getting the best deal from Europe. I believe Theresa May’s team have the plan and vision to ensure our interests are well protected.
3. TOWN CENTRE INVESTMENT: I will work with anyone and everyone to improve our town centres. I will be a strong advocate for drawing investment into our town centre and infrastructure.
4. DEMAND COUNCIL CONSULTATION: Labour’s Tameside Council are selling off plots of land in Stalybridge and Hyde, without consultation, to developers. I will support the hard working community champions who are battling to save our open green spaces.

I am proud to be part of Theresa May’s team. She said: “Tom Dowse will be a strong voice for this community, and together we will always stand up for you and your interests.”

Jonathan Reynolds (Labour)

I have been our MP, representing Mossley, Stalybridge, Hyde, Dukinfield and Longdendale, since 2010. Before that I worked in business as a trainee solicitor with Addleshaw Goddard LLP in Manchester, and was the local councillor for Longdendale.

My wife Claire and I were married in Mottram church where we are still part of the congregation. We now have four children and two dogs. My office is in Hyde Town Hall and my home is in Stalybridge. My children were born in local NHS hospitals and they attend state schools. We shop in our town centres and play in our local parks. The local services that I make decisions on are my local services too.

This election is about who you want to represent you in Parliament. It has been an honour to be our MP but I make sure I earn that support. I push relentlessly for improvements in local services, facilities and transport links. I secured investment for the Mottram bypass after years of others failing to. I put pressure on the failing head of Tameside Hospital to go, and care is now rapidly improving.

I helped get funding for two new primary schools so we have enough places for your children and grandchildren. I set up town teams of local traders and community leaders who work to regenerate our town centres. When the government delayed the electrification of the Stalybridge and Mossley railway line, I knocked heads together until it was sorted. When they tried to sell off our carriages to the South, I pushed them to reverse this decision, and give us more capacity, not less. I will always fight for our area.

Since being elected I have helped over 4000 residents with individual problems, and hold regular advice surgeries. I support a wide range of local charities, businesses, and community groups, like Emmaus Mossley, Home-Start Tameside, Hyde Community Action and Broadbottom Cricket Club.

In parliament I have led debates on fuel poverty, manufacturing, autism, the armed forces, and disabled toilet access. I have confronted the government on tax hikes for self-employed people, cuts to fire services, the WASPI pension changes, and threats to Sunday trading laws. I don’t wave through decisions which would hurt our area; I always challenge them.

A vote for me is a vote for an experienced, local voice, fighting for our area. I ask for your support on June 8th.

Julie Wood (Green)

Julie Wood is the Green Candidate standing in the Stalybridge and Hyde constituency. She is presently chair of Tameside Green Party, has lived in Mossley for 15 years and is a widow. She does some teaching of English as Another Language to adults studying Theology, her own first subject. She is also doing a voluntary social science project.

Julie particularly supports Green policies against austerity which is unnecessary and destructive for local people. We will strive for quality low carbon employment, bringing life back into our towns.

Greens are for a universal basic income, as part of a sustainable economy which would transform lives, Julie sometimes helps at the joint demonstration at Ashton Job Centre, which along with her own experience of benefits, means she is acutely aware of the human damage both Labour and Tory policies caused.

Greens would tackle security issues in a bottom up way, working more cooperatively with communities, not stigmatising groups, ending foreign wars and working on social issues which can lead to radicalisation.
Julie strongly supports Green policies to help young people. She benefited from a Cambridge education under the old grants system, and would certainly not have been able to do so under the current regime.

Greens want to bring back student grants and also provide warm quality homes, accessible to youngsters, whilst opposing building on Green Belt, and fracking.

Julie opposes hard Brexit supporting a vote on the final deal with Europe including the possibility of a return to the EU, giving us a real say.

Julie believes in renationalising the NHS, railways, elder care, schools and buses, returning money to public services rather than a few getting rich at the cost of our health. We will care for our communities and our planet home. Don’t Fear, Think Big, Vote Green.

Many of the candidates have taken part in interviews for Tameside Radio. You can listen again to the recent Election and Reporter shows to access these interviews by visiting the Tameside Radio website.

Our editorial team will be bringing you full coverage of the election results across Tameside and Glossop – as well as all of the national results – throughout the night on Thursday. Tune into Tameside Radio 103.6FM from 10pm.