Oldham West and Royton candidates' pitches
Date published: 27 November 2019
The Polling Station
Voters in Oldham West and Royton are preparing to go to the polls in the first winter election in nearly a century.
The constituency, which also covers Chadderton, is a Labour stronghold that had been represented for 45 years by veteran MP Michael Meacher until his death in 2015.
The resulting by-election was won by Oldham council leader Jim McMahon, fighting off UKIP for the seat.
But in this leave-voting area Brexit is likely to be a hot topic on the doorstep.
Now each candidate has set out their stall for why voters should back them at the ballot box come December 12.
Debbie Cole, Proud of Oldham & Saddleworth
Oldham through and through, I come from a police force family.
My community roles have included caring for the elderly and disabled to even managing a bingo hall.
I have always campaigned on behalf of my community including fighting Oldham council to protect green space in Bardsley where took them all the way to judicial review until the money ran out.
I have never backed down from fighting on behalf of those who are unable to fight for themselves and am at the forefront of the campaign calling for an independent investigation into historical cases of child abuse.
After recently facing down a room full of politicians refusing to answer questions, I decided enough was enough and it was time to take a stand.
I am a disabled grandmother who has beaten cancer three times. Not at all a career politician, I call it how I see it.
Kirsty Finlayson, Conservative Party
People in Oldham, Chadderton and Royton have put up with Labour for far too long.
It’s time to get Brexit done so we can focus on the people’s priorities of better schools, NHS investment and more police.
Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour candidate has voted consistently to stop Brexit; now Labour wants a second referendum!
It’s Parliament versus the people – and I’m on your side.
A vote for the Brexit Party or UKIP here will simply help keep your Labour MP in Parliament.
One of my local priorities will be saving green belt land. It’s Labour who has bulldozed over residents’ concerns for far too long.
Visit my website or social media to find out more about my background and beliefs – and please get in touch.
Only Labour or the Conservatives can win here. Your vote matters more than ever. Please use it to back me, back Boris, and back Britain.
Helen Formby, Brexit Party
Oldham is one of the most deprived areas in the UK. Many people have given up and no longer trust politicians.
The Brexit Party want to change our political and postal voting systems, and help these neglected northern regions, and give people and businesses the break that they deserve.
Oldham has one of the lowest life expectancy rates in the UK.
The Brexit party wants people to have 24 access to a GP and to also increase the number of doctors and nurses by setting up more of our own training programmes.
We are on the side of hard-working local people serving their communities. Two thirds of businesses do not make a profit over £10,000.
Small and start-up businesses should be given a £10,000 tax free allowance to boost entrepreneurism.
We will stop business rates for business outside London. This will help the failing high streets and help fill the empty shops in Oldham.
Garth Harkness, Liberal Democrats
I am an autism specialist teacher who runs a resource provision and a local councillor.
I see first-hand the huge impact on supporting the most vulnerable in schools.
The cuts need to be reversed and further investment is needed to support those from disadvantaged backgrounds in schools.
Liberal Democrats would reverse the cuts in education and spend £10 billion a year more, recruit 20,000 new teachers and invest in special education needs and disabilities in schools.
There will not be the £350 million a week extra for our NHS proposed by Brexit parties.
Instead we stand to see shortages of drugs and shortages of staff in hospitals, cuts to education and local government.
Places like Oldham suffer.
By abolishing Brexit we can invest in our public services and tackle the climate emergency.
We can invest billions more over the next five years to improve NHS and mental health services and we can make sure everyone gets the best start in life.
Dan Jerrome, Green Party
I’m delighted to have been selected for Oldham West and Royton. Greens all over the country are leading the fight to put the climate crisis first.
I was elected as a councillor in Trafford in 2018. We were the first council in GM to declare a climate emergency.
We need change nationally and I will be fighting for a green new deal. We can start by scrapping HS2 and investing in our trains, buses, walking and cycling.
I’ve passed policy that bans the badger cull, that will see more trees and wildflower areas, stop the use of weed killers on parks and limit house building on green spaces.
These are things I will work for in Oldham West and Royton.
A Green vote will deliver a minimum wage of £12 with no age limit, deliver warm insulated homes for all and make bus travel free.
We’re making our society work for everyone.
Jim McMahon, Labour and Co-operative Party
Serving as your MP has been a huge privilege for me, but sitting across from the Tories as they complete a lost decade of austerity has been difficult, when I know the human cost on my constituents.
The decade we have endured has demonstrated that our public services are not safe in Tory hands, I have always and will always strive for greater investment in our NHS, police and fire services, transport and in education.
If re-elected I will ensure Chadderton, Oldham and Royton have a voice on the national stage, ensure that we get our fair share and continue to campaign for the issues that matter to local people, like supporting WASPI women mistreated by the Tories, fighting for those affected by the contaminated blood scandal and for the over-75s to keep their free TV licenses and for Universal Credit to be scrapped.
We need a Labour government to rebuild Britain, invest in our public services and stitch back together the fabric of our public realm.
Anthony Prince, UK Independence Party
I am a local working class lad, born and bred in Oldham.
I’ve been actively campaigning for Brexit for the last five years, longer than any other Brexiteer standing against me.
UKIP are the only political party that is committed to a clean break from the EU.
If elected I will help deliver the Brexit you voted for.
I will make sure that every ward in Oldham has a youth centre. This will reduce antisocial behaviour and give our children a much needed safe place to play in the evenings.
I will enter discussions with banks to try and bring back local banks in areas that are most affected by the loss of banks across the borough.
I’d want to abolish inheritance tax, scrap the TV licence and abolish bedroom tax.
I’d also look to end the ATOS-style work capability assessments.
Cancer has affected a few people in my life including myself. If elected I will donate 20pc of my salary to Maggie’s Oldham.
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