Two more take on elec­tion chal­lenge

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

THE Lib­eral Democrats and Green Party have se­lected their can­di­dates to run in the forth­com­ing gen­eral elec­tion for the Mac­cles­field seat.

Lib Dem stal­wart Richard Flow­ers, 46, works as a char­tered ac­coun­tant but has been an ac­tive sup­porter and cam­paigner since the 1990s.

The Green Party has se­lected James Booth, a bar­ris­ter who spe­cialises in rep­re­sent­ing vic­tims of in­dus­trial dis­ease.

The pair will go up against David Rut­ley (Con­ser­va­tive) and Neil Puttick (Labour) at the elec­tion on June 8.

De­spite post­ing 6,037 votes in the gen­eral elec­tion in 2015, UKIP has de­cided not to field a can­di­date. Charles Davies, chair­man of the Mac­cles­field branch, said re­cent lo­cal elec­tion losses had in­flu­enced the de­ci­sion.

He said: “We would like to as­sure all our mem­bers and sup­port­ers that the Mac­cles­field Branch of UKIP is not leav­ing the scene but, will re­main part of the Mac­cles­field Con­stituency po­lit­i­cal world by keep­ing our pow­der dry and by main­tain­ing a watch­ing brief on the progress that the Govern­ment is mak­ing in their ne­go­ti­a­tions.”

Other prospec­tive can­di­dates have un­til 4pm on Thurs­day, May 11 to reg­is­ter their nom­i­na­tion with Cheshire East Coun­cil.

Richard Flow­ers, who lives in Chea­dle, said: “Mac­cles­field needs a strong voice to speak up for peo­ple here against an out of touch Con­ser­va­tive govern­ment that’s tak­ing them for granted. That’s why my top pri­or­i­ties are: in­vest in ed­u­ca­tion – de­fend our schools from dam­ag­ing Tory cuts; proper fund­ing for our NHS – it shouldn’t lurch from cri­sis to cri­sis; above all, cham­pion our econ­omy by chal­leng­ing the Tories’ slide into an ex­treme, dam­ag­ing, chaotic Brexit – no-one voted to rip up the Sin­gle Mar­ket.

“This is the fight of our life. We can be an out­ward­look­ing Great Bri­tain that wel­comes new ideas, trade and peo­ple or a Tory lit­tle Eng­land that pulls out of the sin­gle mar­ket, pulls up the draw­bridge and pulls down the cur­tain on our place in the world.”

James Booth, 34, who lives in Alder­ley Edge and is a trustee of St Michael’s Church, said he is pas­sion­ate about the en­vi­ron­ment and animal wel­fare, in­clu- siv­ity and so­cial jus­tice.

He said: “In the Mac­cles­field and Poyn­ton ar­eas we are threat­ened by the de­vel­op­ment of the green belt and the loss of valu­able habi­tats of many species, some of which are pro­tected or even endangered. I be­lieve that we should speak out against the greedy de­vel­op­ers and the town plan­ners if they can­not or will not ac­cept that there is a prob­lem.

“Although for many peo­ple Mac­cles­field is a great place to live or work, there are some ar­eas where peo­ple are liv­ing in real poverty and have be­come dis­con­nected.

“It is ab­so­lutely es­sen­tial that we work to im­prove the lives and as­pi­ra­tions of these un­der­val­ued peo­ple. We need to share in the ben­e­fits of our great town.”

Green Party can­di­date James Booth and Richard Flow­ers (right) with Lib Dem leader Tim Far­ron

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