Labour acts quickly to select candidates for by-elections

James Leyshon.
James Leyshon.

Two Labour candidates have been selected to stand in a by-election after Scotforth West ward councillor Josh Bancroft and University ward councillor Paul Aitchison both announced their resignations from the council due to work commitments.

The by-election is likely to be on May 22, the same day as the European elections.

Colin Hartley.

Colin Hartley.

Colin Hartley will be the candidate for Scotforth West and James Leyshon the candidate for the University ward.

Colin was born in Morecambe, went to secondary school at Skerton and has lived in Moorlands, Marsh, Abraham Heights and Scotforth.

He is a retired public sector worker and is married to a Skerton girl, Elaine.

He has strong connections to the area. His family used to run a fish & chip shop in Queen Street, Morecambe, and his father-in-law, Ralph Southward, was a local railway guard and secretary of the Lancaster Railway Club.

Colin has been a supporter of the Labour movement for a number of years. In 1997 he helped Hilton Dawson’s successful campaign for the Lancaster parliamentary seat.

In 2011, along with Sheila and Josh, he was a candidate in the Lancaster City Council elections, only narrowly missing being elected.

In 2013 he was the Labour candidate for the county council elections in the Lancaster Central division (the area that includes Scotforth West).

James was born in south Liverpool and moved to the area to undertake a degree in history and politics at Lancaster University.

He joined the Labour Party at 16, and has worked in various roles in the party, including working in the Labour Group Office in Liverpool City Council and working for a member of the shadow cabinet in her constituency office.

James has also worked as a disability support worker and has held down a numerous jobs alongside his studies.

He passionately believes that the students of University Ward need a strong Labour voice to stand up for their interests and provide residents with the best possible representation on Lancaster City Council.