Harper Green by-election candidates announced
THE five candidates for the Harper Green council by-election have been announced ahead of the vote on Thursday, December 19.
The election was called following the death of Cllr Margaret Clare in October. She had represented the ward for more than 20 years.
Each of the major political parties are fielding a candidate — including the former Horwich town mayor, who is standing for UKIP.
Peter McGeehan, aged 65, has promised that, if he is elected, he would work with the Royal Bolton Hospital to solve parking issues and reduce waiting times and also work with local schools to promote road safety, especially along Bradford Road.
He has defended criticisms that he lives too far away from Harper Green to represent it effectively.
Mr McGeehan said: “With my background working in the taxi industry, I have an intimate knowledge of the whole of the borough — Harper Green is not a place that is alien to me.”
Wendy Connor, a grandmother of five, will stand for the Liberal Democrats at the election.
The 66-year-old former nurse has volunteered at local guide and scout groups for many years, and is also involved with St Simon’s Church.
She said: “We need to make the most of the town’s history and make it a nice place to live. If we have got good housing, people are in jobs and are happy in what they are doing, their mental health is immediately better.”
Science teacher Robert Tyler is standing for the Conservatives and lives in Caldeck Drive in the ward.
The father of two, who is a governor at St James’ High School, said that, if elected, he would make sure the area was properly represented in the council chamber. The 39-year-old said: “It’s really important that we get someone who will represent the area who will do something for it — Labour has done nothing for the area.
“Labour has been in Harper Green for many years and it is time for a change.”
Asha Ali Ismail will stand for Labour, having previously stood to be a councillor in Bradshaw in 2012. The 33-year-old lives in Gilnow Gardens.
She said: “If elected, my priorities would be to work closely with the residents and community groups to ensure that their needs are met and to deal with case work efficiently.
“Having attended a residents’ meeting I can see how hard the residents of Harper Green work to make their community a happier and safer place.”
The Green Party candidate is Kathryn Sykes, who lives in Parkfield Road, Great Lever. The 49-year-old grandmother of one works at the Royal Bolton Hospital.
She said she would make protecting hospital services and campaigning against the bedroom tax her priorities.
She said: “I’d protect the people in Harper Green from the possibility of there being no hospital there in five years.
“As a Green Party member, I’d also work towards a 20mph limit across Bolton and cutting down on waste with the council and hospital.”
The polling stations will be open between 7am and 10pm on December 19.
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