On Air Now

Non Stop Beyond

Midnight - 6:00am

Now Playing

Jack Johnson

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing

GENERAL ELECTION: Morecambe and Lunesdale candidates lay out their visions for the future

Morecambe and Lunesdale candidates (from top right clockwise) David Morris, Lizzi Collinge, Peter Jackson, Barry Parsons and Gina Dowding with Beyond Radio's Greg Lambert

The Morecambe and Lunesdale general election candidates laid out their visions for the future of the area during a debate at the Beyond Radio studio.

Lizzi Collinge (Labour Party), Gina Dowding (Green Party), Peter Jackson (LIberal Democrats), David Morris (Conservative Party) and Barry Parsons (Reform UK) will vie for votes in the newly-reshaped Morecambe and Lunesdale constituency in the election on July 4.

Following last year's boundary changes, the new constituency includes Arnside and Milnthorpe, Burton and Crooklands, Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale, as well as Bare, Bolton and Slyne, Carnforth and Millhead, Halton-with-Aughton, Harbour, Heysham North, Central and South, Kellet, Lower Lune Valley, Overton, Poulton, Silverdale, Torrisholme, Upper Lune Valley, Warton and Westgate.

The Morecambe and Lunesdale Parliamentary seat is currently held by the Conservatives, with David Morris as MP since 2010.

Here is a summary of what each candidate had to say during the debate at the Beyond Radio studio, during their opening and closing remarks.

LISTEN: Morecambe & Lunesdale 'Beyond the Ballot' debate - Beyond Radio

We asked them to explain why voters should choose them to be MP.

LIZZI COLLINGE, Labour Party

"This election for me is a simple choice, do you want a hard working local MP alongside a government that has stable fully-funded plans or do you want five more years of chaos?

"(I will be) someone who is focussed on our towns and villages, not the Westminster bubble.

"Health is my passion, I believe good health and good care when you need it is the foundation of a good life.

"We need to get the NHS back on its feet by cutting waiting times and a renewed focus on preventing ill-health.

"In Morecambe we need to deliver the Eden Project in a way that most benefits our whole area.

"In rural areas I'm committed to improving bus services through our Better Buses Plan.

"If you want change, you have to vote for it.

"I believe in co-operative politics. In some areas of the new Morecambe and Lunesdale, they've had brilliant MPs who co-operate in Tim Farron and Cat Smith.

"Under the current voting system, which personally I support changing, your next MP will be me or it will be David Morris. Your next government will be Labour or it will be Conservative. That in reality is your choice.

"Polling in Morecambe and Lunesdale puts me and David neck-and-neck. Every vote will matter and so I am asking people to give me their support."

 

GINA DOWDING, Green Party

"The Green Party are offering the change that is needed to make us into a fairer and greener country.

"What is absolutely clear is that the next Government is going to be Keir Starmer's Labour.

"We need green MPs to hold the new government to account and push them to be bolder and really invest in the services we need.

"People are feeling the pinch quite severely from the cost of living crisis and feeling very vulnerable about our future.

"It's only the Green Party that's actually spelling out how we need to raise tax from the wealthiest who can afford to contribute more to invest in those services that are so desperately needed.

"It's a shocking state of affairs when dental and GP appointments are like gold dust, when people are struggling to find an affordable home.

"We understand that the climate, nature, political, social and economic crisis are all linked together. By investing in a greener economy we can solve so many problems.

"I think everyone knows that the Greens have the solutions to (the climate and nature crisis). Investing in retro-fit for housing means warmer homes and lower carbon and better health for everybody. 

"The Labour Party is not going far enough in its policies or in its spending plans to tackle the problems at cause.

"I have 25 years experience as a local councillor. People know they can trust me. I listen. People know if they vote Green they will get a good service, good representation and we will be tackling the problems that are causing Broken Britain."

 

PETER JACKSON, Liberal Democrats

"The Liberal Democrats have a strong focus on health but particularly also on social care. 

"We are proposing free personal care for people at home when they need it.

"My personal focus is very much driven by the experience of working alongside Tim Farron who has been the MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale for many years.

"In the north of this new constituency we have approximately 10,000 voters who have had the pleasure of having Tim as their MP. They've had an MP who is always present in their communities, who always responds to their correspondence, who always deals with issues that are put before him to the best of his ability. That is the kind of MP that I would seek to be.

"Gina is quite right, we are going to have a Labour government. The main force of non-Labour MPs in this next Parliament who can advise, help, support Labour, will be the Liberal Democrats. The Conservatives will simply oppose them. Liberal Democrats will try to improve Labour's policy ideas.

"This electoral system is utterly utterly bizarre. Liberal Democrats will introduce proportional representation in electing our MPs.

"Morecambe is extremely important in this constituency the rest of the constituency is mainly rural. Farming is in a significant crisis just now.

"I am personally very committed to listening to our farming community and trying to get them a system that works for them.

"That's just part of the community engagement that I offer as your MP. I will be the MP that comes to your community events. I will be the Tim Farron-style of MP and I'm not ashamed to say that. Tim is one of the very best constituency MPs you can have. You will get me full-time, flat-out, serving you."

 

DAVID MORRIS, Conservative Party

"I've seen great change come to Morecambe and I've presided over a lot of that great change. Be that from the (Heysham to M6) link road, all the way to the Eden Project which took me possibly 10 years of my life in Parliament to obtain that funding.

"We've got new sea wall defences, I got the funding for that, I've been lobbying for a new hospital, in Lancaster, that's £1.2bn that's been confirmed for 2033. 

"I want to get a cycle path between Sedbergh and Kirkby Lonsdale. 

"I bring prosperity to areas. I've promised that and I've done that. You're starting to see properties increase in price as investors come in because of the Eden Project coming along.

"I can honestly say at this moment in time that the Morecambe area is in a better place than I found it.

"Energy security is first and foremost. The nuclear power industry has been given a boost by the government wanting to build new nuclear.

"We can have green energy. Oil and gas has to be phased out but there's a way of doing that. Energy and the nuclear power industry is our biggest employer.

"We're going into a bigger seat with eclectic problems and challenges right across the constituency from near enough the bottom of Tebay to near enough touching Dolphinholme. It's a huge area we're looking at.

"If you vote for me on July 4 you will get more investment into an area. I've proved I can do that. I have delivered copious amounts of money here.

"We are seeing the Winter Gardens done up, we are starting to see businesses open up and confidence in our business community again.

"My vision is to make sure that the future comes along with Morecambe and Lunesdale, and we don't get left behind.

"On July 4th, you want prosperity, if you want drive, you vote for David Morris."

 

BARRY PARSONS, Reform UK

"I don't trust the status quo at Westminster and that's why I left the Conservatives a couple of years ago.

"I need to focus on the causes of issues rather than the symptoms. 

"I have quite a number of young people talking to me about how difficult they are finding life. 

"What I'd like to see is a lot more inter-generational activity. Different partnerships need to work more closely together.

"We have a farming industry that we need to focus on. The constituency has changed.

"The election for me, when I talk about causes, has a real focus on immigration. 

"We need to have a look at that because we need to have a drastic overhaul and I think Reform is the only party that's really prepared to talk about this at length and get stuck in and make some strong and powerful decisions.

"The required change will not come through the quagmire of Conservative and Labour governments. Both parties are stuck in the past.

"The Labour Party's word they have focussed on for months now, in regard to the Conservatives, is 'chaos'. I remember the chaos from the Labour Party which is why the Conservative Party came into power. People like (Lizzi Collinge) are following Starmer like sheep.

"If you think taxing people, VAT, private schools and things like this are the solution then you're very very wrong.

"Our MPs should be role models, they shouldn't be screaming and shouting at each other in front of the world.

"My party will tell you the truth and sometimes the truth is not easy to swallow.

"I'm hoping the 4th of July will be our Independence Day."

 

*WE will be hosting a debate with the Lancaster and Wyre candidates to broadcast on Beyond Radio next Friday, June 28.

If you have any questions you would like us to put to the candidates, email them to newsdesk@beyondradio.co.uk by 9am on Wednesday, June 26 or message us via our social media.

 

Read more: GENERAL ELECTION: David Morris and Gina Dowding clash over housing in Morecambe & Lunesdale - Beyond Radio

GENERAL ELECTION: All five Morecambe candidates vow to honour Eden Project funding - Beyond Radio

More from Local News

Local Business Partners

Recently Played Songs