Preston City Council local elections 2022: Here's why the different parties say you should vote for them

Preston residents head to the polls for this year’s local elections on 5th May, when 17 of the city council's 48 seats will be contested across the 16 wards in the district.

Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 6:19 pm
Updated Tuesday, 26th April 2022, 8:12 pm

However, postal votes have already been sent to those who requested them and can be returned anytime ahead of the day itself.

So to help inform you whenever you may be putting your cross in the box, the Lancashire Post asked the parties vying for your vote to set out their top six policy pledges - and set out their stall as to why you should back them.

We will also, once again, be staging a debate with the leaders of the main groups, which will be available on our website - lep.co.uk - later this week.

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The three parties contesting all of the seats up for grabs at the Preston City Council elections on 5th May, as represented by (from left to right): Labour group and current council leader Matthew Brown, Conservative opposition group leader Sue Whittam and Liberal Democrat group leader John Potter

But, in the meantime, if you want to make your decision before then - or even just start thinking about it - here are the parties’ priority pledges .

LABOUR PARTY (contesting all seats)

***Over £60m of public investment to regenerate the city centre, including a new cinema, bowling alley, restaurants and Youth Zone, creating hundreds of local jobs.***An economy working for all, with public contracts supporting local businesses and unionised jobs, a growing co-operative sector and Preston becoming a Real Living Wage city.***A resurgence of cultural activity to support performance, art and creativity including modernising and restoring the splendour of the Harris Museum and Art Gallery.***More affordable homes by requiring developers to provide them, freeing up public sector land and delivering new models of council owned and co-operative housing.***Action to tackle climate change through the strategic planting of thousands of new trees with partners, more renewable energy production and further investment in parks and open spaces encouraging biodiversity.***Affordable food in every community by supporting holiday markets, food pantries and hot meal providers and investigating a new school breakfasts initiative with free fruit.

Labour group and council leader Matthew Brown said: "Whilst we have a Conservative Prime Minister that lies and broke rules we all followed during the pandemic, Labour in Preston stands for a different set of values. Labour has 17 fantastic candidates hungry to transform our communities so more share in Preston's success. Our local election manifesto, 'Preston for the Many', is underpinned by six key pledges to tackle the cost of living and build community wealth. We are delighted to unveil a policy programme unequivocally on the side of working people specifically aimed at tackling the cost of living crisis."

CONSERVATIVE PARTY (contesting all seats)

***Make Preston an accessible city for all and support initiatives such as making our city dementia and autism-friendly.***Welcome the government’s investment from the Rough Sleepers Initiative fund to support brilliant organisations such as the Foxton Centre to extend their support in the community and help the most vulnerable in society.***Consult shoppers, businesses, landlords, community representatives and residents on issues such as consumption of alcohol and intoxicating substances on the street, soliciting for money in the street, peddling and aggressive begging – and work closely with the police and the Police and Crime Commissioner to tackle anti-social behaviour that affects all areas of our city.*** Enhance our parks and encourage their use to support local health and environmental initiatives.***We would wish to see trams as an integral part of a transport strategy for our City and improved bus services to our rural areas.*** Encourage new and independent businesses to locate to the Preston area and we will help them to secure funding and support.

Conservative group leader Sue Whiitam said: “We work hard in our local community to help our residents – we listen and we care. It has been adifficult two years for the majority of us and currently, although slowly coming out of the pandemic, we still have a lot of work to do. The cost of food and fuel is hitting people hard and even though it is out of our local control, we will do all we can to help residents get the help and support they need. Preston has always been a proud city and we want to make sure that we get the best for Preston and all its residents.”

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS (contesting all seats)

***The Liberal Democrats have led the way in the city on the green agenda – we successfully fought for a climate change officer to be permanently hired and are the only party to put forward yearly revenue funding to tackle the climate emergency in Preston.

***We support the ending of Preston City Council and Lancashire County Council and replacing them with a single unitary authority – and the expansion of parish councils to areas that want them.

***Councillors have a duty to use public money wisely – the Labour group in Preston is wasting money on pet projects such as setting up a new bank that won’t work.

***Preston is getting a raw deal by the local Conservatives – huge hikes in our council tax while our roads are rotting, residents are not getting the schools they were promised and anti-social behaviour is getting worse.

***Seize the opportunities of the new GCHQ to maximise the educational, vocational and employment development in the city and thewider Lancashire region.

***Get ready for the Guild in 2032 – the city council needs to re-establish the Guild Fund so the city can celebrate it properly and do the city proud.

Liberal Democrat group leader John Potter said: “Liberal Democrats don’t have safe seats or easy victories in elections - every win is born out of hard work and commitment to local communities. I’m proud of our campaigners, candidates and councillors putting in such huge efforts all year round. Following the disruption of Covid, our activists have knocked on the doors of thousands of residents, fought for the issues that matter to them and dealt with complex and personal pieces of casework. If you elect a Liberal Democrat, you get a hard working community champion, not just a politician.

GREEN PARTY (contesting Sharoe Green ward only)

***Invest in people and their homes by prioritising repair and renovation grants over new build.

***Invest in safe walking and cycling routes by improving crossings and junctions.

***Invest in local services to cut crime, including community policing, education and youth services.

***Create more green spaces within our city and protect those we already have.

***Reduce fly tipping by working with responsible local businesses to make compliance cheaper

The Green Party’s campaigns officers in Preston, Helen Disley, said: “The Green Party have common sense policies to tackle the cost of living

crisis and create new jobs in retrofitting homes and generating renewable energy. Policies focus on the wellbeing of people and planet, not increasing profits for the few. For a fairer, greener community, vote for the Green Party.”

CURRENT PRESTON CITY COUNCIL CONTROL

Labour - 28; Conservatives - 11; Liberal Democrats – 7; Labour Independent – 1; Vacant – 1

WHO YOU CAN VOTE FOR – AND HOW

One hopeful will be elected in 15 of the 16 three-member seats in the city, with two to be elected in the Brookfield ward, following the death of Cllr John Browne last month.

Polling stations will open at 7am on Thursday 5th May and close at 10pm.

The deadline to apply for a postal vote has now passed. Anybody with a postal vote must ensure that it arrives at the electoral registration office by polling day. If it gets too late to post your vote back, you can take it to your local polling station on the day of the election, up until

10pm.

If you want to vote by proxy, your application form must arrive at your local electoral registration office by 5pm today (26th

April). However, you can apply for an emergency proxy vote if you cannot vote in person, either for reasons of employment or disability, and you only became aware that you would be unable to vote in person after the proxy application deadline had passed.

Under those circumstances, you can apply for a proxy vote until 5pm on election day by filling in the relevant paper form, which must be signed by an appropriate person, such as your employer or a doctor. It must be returned to your local electoral registration office.

Here is a full list of the candidates who are standing in Preston this year:

ASHTON

Robert Boswell (LAB)

Jeremy Dable (LIB DEM)

Tracy Slater (CON)

BROOKFIELD

Mel Close (LAB)

Naoimh McMahon (LAB)

Sandra Finch (LIB DEM)

Cristina Mylroie (LIB DEM)

Mary Kudi (CON)

Bowen Perryman (CON)

CADLEY

Phoenix Adair (LIB DEM)

Takhsin Akhtar (LAB)

Paul Balshaw (CON)

CITY CENTRE

Lynne Brooks (LAB)

Christopher Finch (LIB DEM)

Andy Pratt (CON)

DEEPDALE

Zafar Coupland (LAB)

Jurgen Voges (LIB DEM)

Nilli Williamson (CON)

FISHWICK AND FRENCHWOOD

John Rutter (LIB DEM)

Ishaq Vaez (CON)

Valerie Wise (LAB)

GARRISON

Amber Afzal (LAB)

Lakwinder Singh (CON)

Mike Turner (LIB DEM)

GREYFRIARS

Sean Aldridge (CON)

Fiona Duke (LIB DEM)

Mark Routledge (LAB)

INGOL AND COTTAM

Neil Darby (LIB DEM)

Connor Dwyer (LAB)

Carolyn Gibson (CON)

LEA AND LARCHES

David Borrow (LAB & CO-OP)

Edward Craven (LIB DEM)

Scott Rainford (CON)

PLUNGINTON

Pav Akhtar (LAB)

Pamela Homer (CON)

Rebecca Potter (LIB DEM)

PRESTON RURAL EAST

Ahmed James (LAB)

Peter Lawrence (LIB DEM)

Stephen Whittam (CON)

PRESTON RURAL NORTH

Daniel Guise (LIB DEM)

Adam Sarwar (LAB)

Stephen Thompson (CON)

RIBBLETON

Luke Bosman (LIB DEM)

Jonty Campbell (CON)

Jonathan Saksena (LAB)

SHAROE GREEN

Helen Disley (GREEN)

Maxwell Green (CON)

George Kulbacki (LIB DEM)

Samir Vohra (LAB)

ST. MATTHEWS

Colin Homer (CON)

Joanne Joyner (LIB DEM)

Jade Morgan (LAB)