Councillor selected to run for Parliament

Penwortham councillor Mary Robinson
Penwortham councillor Mary Robinson
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A Penwortham town and borough councillor has been selected to run for Parliament in Cheadle.

Councillor Mary Robinson, who was elected to the Howick and Priory ward in May 2007, has been selected as the Conservative Party’s Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Cheadle ahead of the 2015 General Election.

The appointment means she is now looking to step down from her responsibilities in South Ribble, a move which fellow Penwortham Councillors have said is “abandoning her voters”.

Councillor Robinson, who lives in Abbots Meadow, said: “It’s a great opportunity and challenge for me and I feel very privileged to have been selected for the Conservative Party.

“I’ve really enjoyed local politics and I’ve always been someone who believes that politics can be a force for good.

“I believe that ordinary people can do great things, and I would like to see more women like me, with families, entering politics.

“I’m a North West woman born and bred, and I feel that the people of Cheadle are very much like those of South Ribble, in that they are caring and interested in jobs, their family, and getting the economy working again.”

She added: “The job started immediately, but I don’t want to stand down as a councillor at a time when there are no local elections, and when it would cost money to run a by-election.

“The County Council has elections in May, so that would be the first instance I would consider my position.”

Coun Robinson has been chairman of the South Ribble Conservative Association and her community work has involved being a primary school governor, instigating Penwortham’s first Christmas Market, which is now in its third year, and re-establishing a police base in the community after the station’s closure.

She is the mother of four grown-up children, and set up and ran an accountancy practice with her husband, fellow Councillor Stephen Robinson, before going into business with her daughter.

Although she said any plans to move to Cheadle if she is elected were “for the future”, she did add that the idea was “not unreasonable”.

Kingsfold town and borough Councillor Keith Martin has hit out at her decision.

He Tweeted: “Cllr Mary Robinson is abandoning her voters to stand for MP South. #brokenpromise.”

Coun Robinson said: “I think it’s quite sad that he’s taken the political line, but he’s entitled to his opinion.

“The people of Penwortham know I have worked hard for them and South Ribble over the past six years.”

The Cheadle seat has been a Liberal Democrat stronghold for some time, and was won by Mark Hunter at the 2010 General Election with a majority of 3,272 over the Conservatives.

According to the Conservatives website, Mary Robinson’s campaign priorities for Cheadle will be:

•Improving the quality of public services

•Ensuring that the North West has a strong voice in Parliament and is given fair access to investment

•Supporting the local community