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TheyWorkForYou interviews local Election Candidates

John Freeman
Democracy site TheyWorkForYou has posted a Question and Answer feature with local candidates for the Lancaster and Fleetwood constituency, challenging them on their views on various local matters such as the building of a third nuclear power station at Heysham and the proposed Heysham M6 link road.

By indicating your views, the Quiz reveals which candidate most reflects your own on both local and national issues, which may help guide your voting choice later this week.

Gina Dowding (Green), Clive Grunshaw (Labour), Stuart Langhorn (Liberal Democrats) and Fred McGlade (UKIP) have responded, but Debra Kent (British National Party), Eric Ollerenshaw (Conservative Party) and Keith Riley (Independent) have yet to do so.

On the building of Heysham 3, only Clive Grunshaw supports the building of a third station, arguing "Nuclear energy is a relatively clean fuel with low carbon emissions. It also provides much needed local employment.”

gina_dowding_greenparty.jpg"We support renewable energy technologies and nuclear is not renewable," counters Gina Dowding. "Uranium is a limited and fairly rare resource not found in Europe. It is therefore neither renewable or local. Heysham is [also] within five miles of a major housing conurbation."

Stuart Langhorn is the only supporter of the proposed M6 Link. "The reality is that the industry of this district lies on the Morecambe side of the Lune," he argues. "The route, whilst not perfect, is the only thing on offer to deal with this."

stuart_langhorn.jpgLanghorn also argues that those who have proposed a rail freight alternative have not answered where the districbution centre is, ignoring well documented Green and other proposals to revamp the existing Carnforth railyards.

“Lancaster's transport problems need a radical solution," feels Clive Grunshaw, who is neutral about the proposal. "This may help but I'm not entirely convinced that it will provide all the answers.”

Despite mixed views, all the candidates feel the County Council would do better to deal with Lancaster City Centre traffic congestion (new bridge to Luneside, park and ride, etc.) before building £140 million lorry link.

"“As part of an overall package to resolve Lancaster's transport issues the Park & Ride should be introduced as soon as possible," says Clive Grunshaw. Echoing the views of Morecambe and Lunesdale candidate Geraldine Smith, he also says a new bridge would also be beneficial.

This online feature echoes recent Q&As; published by both the Lancaster Guardian and the Morecambe Visitor with local candidates; the Chamber of Commerce also published a business-oriented Q&A; in its magazine, Business Matters, available from their offices on Fenton Street and the library.

View the Lancaster and Fleetwood Quiz on TheyWorkForYou

• No candidates have yet responded to a similar appeal for views for Morecambe and Lunesdale, but perhaps if enough people send emails to them, even at this stage, by following this link on the Democracy Club web site, they might yet respond. The Democracy Club is part of a group of non-partisan organisations who are trying to better communication with MPs and the electorate using the web.