Greens take on fight for MP’s city seat

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A Lancaster city councillor is stepping up to fight for the Lancaster and Fleetwood seat in the 2015 General Election.

North Lancashire Green Party has selected Scotforth West City Councillor Chris Coates as its prospective candidate, following the Green Party’s national conference in Birmingham.

The local selection meeting overwhelmingly endorsed Coun Coates to challenge for the parliamentary seat, currently controlled by the Conservative Party’s Eric Ollerenshaw, in next May’s election.

Coun Coates said: “I am delighted to be selected for what could be a real chance for us to make gains in the area, with latest polls currently putting us above the LibDems.

“Voters are increasingly fed up with the ‘business as usual’ policies of the other main parties and we can offer a real alternative.”

Coun Coates is a director of Lancaster Cohousing, which built the award winning eco-homes development at Halton Mills in Halton.

He is a carpenter and construction industry project manager who moved to the city from East Lancashire in 1998.

He was elected to the city council in 2003, and represented the Green Party for Lancashire County Council from 2005 until 2013.

Jon Barry, Lancaster City Council’s Green group leader, also endorsed Coun Coates’ selection.

He said: “The Green Party is going from strength to strength, both locally and across the country. Membership has surged by 28 per cent this year and we are winning support from previous Labour and Lib Dem supporters, as well as large numbers of younger voters.”

There are currently 10 Green councillors representing the Lancaster district for Lancaster City Council, and coun Gina Dowding is the only Green councillor for Lancashire County Council, representing Lancaster Central.

The next General Election will take place on May 7 2015, and Parliament will be dissolved on March 30.