Who do you want to be town’s new councillor?

Top from left: Philip Watt, Spencer Shackleton and Luke Taylor Bottom from left: Bruce Allen, Gita Gordon and Tina Rothery
Top from left: Philip Watt, Spencer Shackleton and Luke Taylor Bottom from left: Bruce Allen, Gita Gordon and Tina Rothery
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Runners and riders in by-election following death of former mayor

Voters in Blackpool’s Clifton ward go to the polls tomorrow to elect a new councillor following the death of former Mayor Coun Joan Greenhalgh in May.

The Clifton by-election is the seventh by-election in Blackpool since Labour took control of the town hall at the last full local elections in 2011.

Labour has won each of the by-elections held so far, retaining five seats and winning the Marton seat after it had previously been held by the Conservatives.

Mrs Greenhalgh had represented Clifton ward, which includes the Mereside housing estate, since 1992 as a Labour councillor.

She died on May 29, aged 82, in Blackpool Victoria Hospital after suffering a stroke,

She had battled against illness since suffering her first stroke in 2010, in order to serve as Mayor of Blackpool in 2011/12, and lived at the Tudor Lodge Nursing Home at the time of her death.

Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts

Philip Watt

“TUSC stands for a minimum wage of £10 per hour, for a mass programme of housebuilding and repairs, for national ownership of energy companies, railways and the Royal Mail.

“We believe banks, pharmaceutical companies, the building industry and transport should be run by ordinary people in the interests of ordinary people.

“This is the programme Labour should be adopting. Instead, it cuts millions of pounds from the needy and fails to challenge the privileged.

“TUSC would pay for its programme by taxing the mega-rich and the corporations who refuse to meet their obligations to the rest of us.

“As a shop steward for a large part of my life, I understand the problems of working families.

“As a father of two, I know how tough it is to cope in these difficult times.”


Spencer Shackleton

Mr Shackleton is married with two children and has served as an aircraft handler in the Royal Navy.

He said: “I believe councillors should be elected to express the views of residents not to serve a party political machine and party dogma.

“If elected, I will fight for what you want, your priorities and ask the questions the other parties do not want to hear.

“Blackpool councillors receive £5,998 per year in allowances. When do you hear from your councillors between elections on how they are representing you?

“I will use these allowances to keep you informed and consult you.

“The Christian Community Centre on Langdale Road is earmarked for demolition for housing.

“If elected I will fight to re-open the community centre.”


Luke Taylor

Mr Taylor, 25, spent much of his childhood living on Troutbeck Crescent, before attending Bispham High School and obtaining a Masters degree in engineering at university.

He now works as a project engineer.

He said: “I know Clifton Ward well and it would be a great honour for me to be elected as a Labour councillor to represent Clifton.

“I have the youth and enthusiasm to drive forward improvement in the ward, in spite of the savage cuts imposed on the council by the current Tory led government.

“If elected, I will use my influence within the ruling Labour group on the council to make sure the people of Clifton get the services and support they deserve.

“I consider myself to be an ordinary guy with an extraordinary determination to serve the community where I was raised and know so well.”


Bruce Allen

Mr Allen was born in the North East and started his working life in the shipyards.

He moved to Blackpool in the 1980s and became a hotelier. On retirement, he moved to Mereside and became involved with the Mereside Tenants and Residents Association. He has also worked with the Friends of Little Marton Windmill and has previously campaigned on issues in the area.

He said: “We need to control the speeding motorists and demand better traffic control, our streets are covered in weeds, and pot-holes are becoming a danger and a nuisance.

“We need to enhance community activities and find more for our young residents to do. Our local schools need strong support to ensure they provide a solid and productive start for our adults of the future, We need to fight to freeze council tax and also council rents.”

Liberal Democrats

Gita Gordon

Mrs Gordon is a mother of two daughters and has lived in Blackpool for 10 years.

She has a degree from UCLan (the University of Central Lancashire) in Welfare Studies.

She said: “Safeguarding adults and children was one of my chosen research modules.

“Hence I will work tirelessly for the welfare of the residents of the ward and Blackpool.

“I believe in fairness, equality and justice for people, especially supporting vulnerable individuals.

“In addition I believe in supporting people through a robust economy. Improving the surroundings where people live, making it a beautiful and pleasant place to be in is also a

sign of a stronger economy.

“I do firmly stand by our Liberal Democrat motto ‘Stronger Economy, Fairer Society.”

Green Party Stop Fracking Now

Tina Rothery

Ms Rothery is a member of the Residents Action on Fylde Fracking and has been a leading voice in the campaign to prevent drilling for shale gas going ahead.

Last month she spoke at the Talk Fracking event held at the Free Trade Hall, in Manchester.

She told the meeting: “What this (event) is doing is trying to reach out to the very many people in this country who do not understand what is coming and yet are expecting to have it done to them regardless.

“So this is about fracking. We need to get the country talking about it.”