Here we introduce each candidate for the Lancaster and Fleetwood and Morecambe and Lunesdale constituencies who are standing for election on May 7.
Lancaster and Fleetwood
Matt Atkins – UKIP
Lives in Over Kellet, born in Dundee.
Education: LRGS 2002-2006, University of Oxford BA Law 2006-9, Lancaster University LLM 2010-11, Phd 2013-Present
Work: Phd student in Law at Lancaster University, Seminar tutor teaching Contact and Tort to undergraduates, Part time legal and compliance officer at North West Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authority, Barrister (non-practising)
Hobbies and Interests: Football (play for Grad FC 2nd team at the uni and support Newcastle United due to family connections with that area), music (play guitar and cello and I enjoy popular and classical music), wildlife, horticulture, photography.
“With national debt standing at £1.4tn, and £40bn in annual interest payments, we’re looking at a need to cut some of the non-essential aspects of the state.
“We believe that controlled migration is good for society, but large scale open door policy stretches our services and stretches our social cohesion.”
Chris Coates - Green
Lives in Halton, born in Leicester
In long term relationship with partner of 35 years, has one grown up son
Education: Left school at 18
Work: Trained carpenter and construction industry project manager
Hobbies and interests: A keen birdwatcher since I was 14. I like all sorts of live music with a leaning towards acoustic folky stuff these days- but was a Who fan when I was young.
“The big issues for me are the austerity cuts in general, support for the NHS, and support for the fire brigade locally.
“The other big issue that’s going to play out nationally is the education reforms.
“It’s going to be an interesting election for the Green Party, and for the country.”
Harold Elletson – Northern Party
Conservative MP for Blackpool North between 1992 and 1997.
Joined the Liberal Democrats in 2002. In 2014 as chairman of the Campaign for the North, he launched an all-party pressure group to re-create the ancient kingdom of Northumbria as a federal state in a new United Kingdom.
The Campaign seeks ‘devo-max’ power from Westminster to bring the traditional counties of Northumberland, Durham, Yorkshire, Lancashire, Westmorland and Cumberland into a democratic state with powers equal to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland or London, retaining membership of the European Union. The proposed Northumbria would cover the territory that was ruled a thousand years ago by the Norseman Erik Bloodaxe, the last ‘king of the North’, killed in battle at Stainmore, in the Pennines in 954.
Robin Long – Liberal Democrat
Lives in Lancaster, born in Boston, Lincolshire.
Married with a 22-month-old child.
Education: Degree in Physics, PhD in Particle Physics - both from Lancaster University
Work: Research Associate (Particle Physics Group) at Lancaster University
Hobbies and interests: Interests are Science and Technology. Hobbies are working on my allotment, walking, cycling and visiting historic/nature sites.
“Policies are often based on beliefs and ideological nonsense rather than on reason, are often not thought through or fully investigated before implementation. I would like to see more MPs who are not career politicians, but who come from other vocations, such as science, to diversify the thinking in the House and to grow a culture of sound and reasoned policy-making.”
Eric Ollerenshaw – Conservative
Lives in Lancaster, born in Lancashire.
Education: Hyde County Grammar School, Degree from London School of Economics
Work: Former history teacher, former elected member of the London Assembly and head of the Cities and Diversity section of the Conservative Party at Conservative Campaign Headquarters.
“Everyone has had to cope with the recession, but we’ve come through it well, and now we have major investment in the M6 Link and Lancaster University. We’re in a unique position in Lancaster in terms of the idea of a northern powerhouse, HS2 will be positive for the area, and I believe that we’re beginning to make headway here, and I don’t want to lose that headway. The big promise I made was that London and the government had to take notice of us, and I think that’s happening.”
Cat Smith –Labour
Born in Barrow-in-Furness and moved to Lancaster as a teenager.
Engaged to partner
Education: State school educated and Lancaster University graduate.
Works for a national social work organisation
Hobbies and interests: cycling and reading
“The number one local issue is the NHS and in particular our health trust.
“Labour is planning big investment into the NHS.
“Since the crash, the rich have got richer and the poor have got poorer. We’re looking at expanding free childcare, increasing the national minimum wage, and getting a better deal for working families. It’s about the whole package.”
Morecambe and Lunesdale
Phil Chandler – Green
IT specialist at Lancaster University
Lives in Bare, born in Leyton, London
Married with two daughters aged 14, 11
“We believe that the well-being of everyone and the whole planet matters, not just the well-being of the rich and powerful. The Green Party would ensure that the legal minimum wage is a living wage and would outlaw abusive contracts.
“We would like to see a complete change in the welfare system and, in the long run, would like to see a basic income for all.”
Michael Dawson – Northern Party
Born and lives in Liverpool
Hobbies and interests are fitness, cinema, his Dachshund and languages.
Nephew of former Lancaster MP, Hilton Dawson
Former Executive Committee member for the Labour Campaign for Human Rights.
The Northern Party describes itself as “a new party for northern people” and wants devolution for the North.
“The establishment is going to get a nasty shock.
“This is a northern rebellion against a system that has failed the north. Our manifesto is full of great new ideas for building a new, united, prosperous and successful north.
Amina Lone – Labour
Single parent of four children
City councillor in Manchester
“The biggest issue that comes up for us on the doorstep are the hospitals.
“There are massive issues locally with a £25m funding gap and big issues with the cumulative effect of cuts across the board, which are still causing big problems in our society.
“Labour would combat zero hours contracts, cut the deficit down by raising the top rate of tax to 50 per cent, and look at sanctions to find out whether they are productive or not.”
David Morris – Conservative
Born in Leigh, lives in Caton near Lancaster
Divorced father of two children
“Here in Morecambe And Lunesdale, there was very little investment before I became MP, and since then we’ve attracted about £1bn in new investment.
“The new road which I fought for will ensure more money in the local economy.
“The problems inside the health trust are being sorted out, and the trust is now in a good position to move forward positively.
“I think the people of Morecambe and Lunesdale will realise I’ve got a lot done over the last five years.”
Steven Ogden – UK Independence Party
Morecambe town councillor
Owns Oggy’s Cycles shop in the West End
UKIP’s manifesto says they will free Britain from EU control, control immigration properly, spend an extra £3bn on the NHS, restore our armed forces, scrap income tax on minimum wage, protect our green spaces, put British citizens first, make St George’s Day a Bank Holiday, introduce direct democracy, stop interfering in foreign wars and scrap the Bedroom Tax.
Matthew Severn – Liberal Democrats
Grew up in Bolton-le-Sands
Works in insurance.
Lives in Kendal with his wife where he is a South Lakeland District Councillor.
“My top three priorities for Morecambe and Lunesdale are jobs, transport and the NHS.
“The Lib Dems believe in engaging positively with Europe and it is by keeping this connection that we will get the European investment that we need to build the new power station at Heysham and create hundreds of fantastic jobs for local people.
“We need better buses and improved rail links.”