With less than a month before the people of Harrogate and Knaresborough head to the polls, the race is on to get your vote.
All five parliamentary candidates for the Harrogate and Knaresborough constituency told crowds gathered at the Harrogate Advertiser hustings why you should vote for them.
More than 200 residents turned out to see the politicians quizzed by the public at the event at Cedar Court Hotel chaired by Advertiser Editor, Jean MacQuarrie.
She told the crowd: “I am delighted to see such a huge crowd tonight and a massive thanks to the Cedar Court Hotel. It’s a free for all there are no rules”
Helen Flynn, Lib Dem candidate introduced herself as a compassionate people focussed politician. She said: “I believe it’s people that make a difference in politics, its their conviction passion and drive that makes a difference. In five years time I hope to be standing before you to tell what I achieved over the last five years in Westminster.”
Standing for re-election, Conservative Andrew Jones spoke of his parliamentary work and in particular his role as Government’s apprenticeship ambassador.
He said: “I haven’t always wanted to be an MP, when I set off after University I went to work at B&Q if you had told me then I would be an MP I would have been very surprised.
“I have fought for extra resources for our areas. In Westminster I have been very focussed on three areas, health, apprenticeships and transport. I am the first MP that has ever lived in the area, I have championed local issues and I really want to make our area even better.”
Green Party Candidate Shan Oakes spoke of the bigger environmental picture as she introduced herself to the hustings.
She said: “What we are seeing now is the devastation of our planet to such an extent that we are definitely threatening our own species. This may sound bigger than Harrogate and indeed it is, but Green Party police is to make a difference locally, nationally and internationally. We have to question how we can change ourselves so we can change the world.”
David Simister, UKIP, sold himself as a Harrogate man ‘born and bred’.
He said: “The country is ripe for change and UKIP means change. It is not just a three party system there are five parties here tonight. I am passionate about Harrogate it is the place I have lived all my life. My children go to school here and I run a business here.
“Come May 7, think about voting for someone who believes in the area, who is one of you and who has been for nearly 50 years.”
Labour candidate, Jan Williams argued that the area couldn’t cope with another Conservative led government.
She said: “I am standing here because I really don’t think this town, this country or this area could cope with another five years of a Tory led government the recovery so far has been extremely fragile. The rich are getting richer. Lets hope we can get a Labour government to get this country back on its feet again.”
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