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Five election candidates hoping for your vote

GLOSSOP HUSTINGS: Robert Largan, Joanna Collins (Debbie McGloin - hustings chair) Jon Pearce, Catherine Cullen and Peter Hirst

We take a look back at the five candidates who have been campaigning to become your High Peak MP.

The polls have closed and now the wait begins for the ballot papers to arrive here at The Octagon in Buxton, before a long night of counting can begin.

So while we wait here’s a look back at the five parliamentary candidates who have been campaigning for your vote since the general election was called six weeks ago.

Conservative Robert Largan is hoping to defend the seat he has held for the last five years. Standing for Labour is Jon Pearce, then there is Liberal Democrat Peter Hirst, Reform UK’s Catherine Cullen, and the Green Party’s Joanna Collins.

Robert Largan - Conservative

Conservative Mr Largan, who lives in Glossop, points to the improvements he has brought to the High Peak during his time as an MP.

This includes supporting better access to health care by campaigning to reinstate a breast cancer unit and helping to open two new mental health units while backing the construction of urgent care centres at Stepping Hill Hospital and Tameside Hospital.

He says he has also supported schools and families, helped upgrade railway lines, secured more police officers, and helped to bring in upgraded broadband and mobile phone coverage.

He has also stated that he has helped to deliver jobs and apprenticeships and says he wants to help high streets and business, wants to secure investment for roads and buses. He has been a big supporter of the Mottram Bypass being built (now known as the A57 Link Roads Project) and he has expressed support for ‘stopping the boats’ to address immigration concerns.

Jon Pearce - Labour

Labour’s Jon Pearce is Derbyshire born and bred and lives in Hope Valley with his young family.

He states: “Fourteen years of chaos and economic incompetence under the Conservatives have hit High Peak hard.

“We will tackle the cost-of-living crisis by creating GB Energy, a clean power company, that will permanently cut energy bills. Labour will rebuild our public services – with a local GP or dentist when you need one. We will recruit more teachers for our schools and take back control of our buses and trains.

“We are lucky to live in one of the most beautiful places in the country but our rivers are some of the worst polluted. I will hold the local water companies to account – banning their bonuses and making them criminally liable.

“I will be a hard-working MP, supporting local people with their campaigns like extending free bus travel for our young people and saving Gamesley Community Centre.”

He also backs the plan to build the bypass in Mottram.

Peter Hirst - Liberal Democrat

Liberal Democrat Peter Hirst says although he is not from the area, Lib Dem policies can address the issues facing the High Peak.

He states on his website: “It is a lovely constituency, full of interesting towns and of course the peaks. I have enjoyed climbing Kinder Scout since being at Manchester University in the seventies. I am married with one daughter and two grandsons.    

“I am medically qualified and understand the challenges of obtaining good quality medical care in a timely manner living in beautiful countryside.    

“The important issues in this election are the cost of living crisis, our economy since leaving the EU, education and the environment. Our youth deserve a better deal and our Party should once again become that of education, empowerment and community.   

“If you elect me, I will do my best to represent everyone in the constituency. Rural areas deserve more investment in infrastructure and better support for those struggling to make ends meet. Rural industries also need improved connectivity and access to finance when needed.  

“Now is also the time to alter our method of voting to a proportional system that enhances vote choice. Never again should people have to vote tactically or have someone elected on less than half the vote.” 

Joanna Collins - Green Party

The Green Party’s Joanna Collins states: “I believe we need strong policies on climate change, nature and social issues.

“I hope to see our moorlands restored and farmers supported so they can continue their work to protect our environment and slow climate change.

“I’d like to see far more low carbon social housing developed, with solar panels on roofs, and affordable, reliable public transport connecting our towns and villages, along with provision for walking and cycling.

“Green Party policies would make our area more equal, with rises in benefits and the minimum wage and an education system which means our schools can help every child reach their potential without pressure to succeed academically.

“Funding for GPs, dentists and social care will help everyone live healthier lives. I hope to see these policies put into practice to make High Peak a greener, fairer place for everyone.”

Catherine Cullen - Reform UK

Reform UK’s Catherine Cullen has stated on the Reform UK’s website: “I’m delighted to have been selected to represent High Peak for Reform UK. I was born to Irish parents in London, raised in Greater Manchester and have lived in New Mills in the High Peak for the last four years with my husband James. I am the proud mum of two daughters and have six grandchildren.  

“Before settling in New Mills, I spent a year in Glossop, and prior to that I have lived in Ireland, Devon and Spain. I trained as a chef under Manpower in Oldham and later as a classical singer. I am also a competent electrician. My interest in politics is long-standing and I have voted for both the Labour and Conservative parties at different general elections. 

“However, like many others, I have decided to back Reform UK because I truly believe we are the party that puts the country first. Forget the infighting and back-biting of the Westminster bubble – we want to be the voice of the electorate, and campaign on issues that matter to you, our valued voters. 

“If you vote for me, High Peak will have a voice in Westminster, and I will do my utmost to protect what we have and fight for what we need.” 

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