As the Parliamentary candidates campaign in what has been dubbed one of the hardest-to-call General Elections of modern times, The Chronicle has given them an opportunity to persuade you of their objectives and to win your vote.
Graham Evans, Conservative
Sitting MP Graham Evans believes that the role isn’t just about what you do in Parliament – it’s about what you do in and for your constituency.
Born and bred in Cheshire, he says he is dedicated to making Weaver Vale the best place to live, work and raise a family.
Graham graduated from Manchester University Business School with a business degree and diploma in marketing management as a mature student and went on to have a 20-year career in manufacturing, working for companies such as BAE Systems and Hewlett Packard and eventually became a company director.
Over the past five years, he has successfully campaigned for the re-surfacing of the M56 to reduce noise pollution and has helped to secure the reinstatement of the Halton Curve.
He has held four jobs and apprenticeships fairs to match people up with potential employers and into work.
He will run the Virgin Money London Marathon for the fourth time this month in aid of local charities.
Chris Copeman, Green Party
Veterinary surgeon and low-energy housing designer Chris Copeman lives in Kingsley with his partner and daughter.
The 44-year-old says he is determined to fight for the Green Party’s guiding principle that we must use the planet’s resources sustainably and fairly.
Chris was chosen to fight the seat following a ballot of local Green Party members.
He has a track record of campaigning on environmental issues.
He helped to stop the Government’s ‘ill-considered’ proposal to sell off Delamere Forest and is opposing plans for incinerators in the constituency.
He believes that families should not be saddled with huge debts for a decent education or a roof over their heads.
Speaking about his selection, he said: “It is an honour to represent the Green Party and I am delighted that everyone in my constituency who shares our vision and values will have the opportunity to vote Green on May 7.”
Julia Tickridge, Labour
Julia Tickridge has represented Witton and Rudheath in Northwich on Cheshire West and Chester Council, after being elected as a Labour councillor in 2011.
The first person in her family to go on to higher education, she has degrees in German with Italian and languages for business in German and French with international marketing.
She has worked for ICI in Germany, and in further education and careers guidance.
She said: “My son was diagnosed with a life-limiting medical condition at birth and I spent over 20 years managing his treatment at home.
“Our world-class NHS has saved his life and we must fight to protect it.
“I’ve cared for my elderly parents coming up against an often brutal system and I want to be part of a Government that eases pressures on carers and families.
“I know that most people just want a happy healthy family life and I know I can take that authentic voice to Parliament.”
Mary Di Mauro, Liberal Democrats
A former research scientist, Mary Di Mauro moved into high school teaching when she started a family. She then made the transition to home tutor so she could dedicate more time to politics.
Her political career so far includes winning a seat on Manchester City Council for her home Ward of Northenden in May 2010, becoming deputy leader of the opposition in 2012 and standing as the Liberal Democrats candidate in the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election in February last year.
Mary, 50, volunteers for several Friends Groups and societies and is president of her local allotment and garden society.
As well as young people, education and life-long opportunity for all, green issues are close to her heart.
She said: “I am honoured that the membership of Weaver Vale selected me. I value our democracy.
“People died so that we could have the right to vote and I believe that everyone who wants to vote Liberal Democrat should have that opportunity.”
Joseph Whyte, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC)
Joseph Whyte joined the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) after becoming disillusioned with other parties.
“I felt what they were saying was very fair and I agreed with the re-nationalisation of essential services,” he said.
Having served in the Army, Joseph has worked for ICI and as a shop steward.
He decided to enter higher education in 1994, studying at Ruskin College in Oxford before completing a degree in organisational studies at Lancaster University.
A stint volunteering with people with learning difficulties inspired him to obtain a postgraduate certificate in education so he could teach further, adult and higher education.
Joseph believes mental health should be a greater Government priority, that social housing should be brought back into public control under local authorities and would like to see equal pay for women.
He would also like to see the minimum wage increased to £10 per hour.
Amos Wright, Ukip
Amos Wright says that if he is elected as the next MP for Weaver Vale, he will be ‘the employee and the voters will be my employers’.
Amos has lived in Rudheath for the past 12 years and sits on Rudheath Parish Council.
He said: “Being a parish councillor, I know just how little influence local people have on issues that are important and I believe local people know what is best for the local community and I want to see decision-making powers passed down to local councils.”
Amos wants to reduce ‘the burden’ on Weaver Vale constituents, such as hospital car parking charges and the proposed tolls on the Mersey Gateway and Silver Jubilee bridges.
Nationally, he believes the NHS should be ‘removed from the political football Subbuteo table’.
“Neither is it fair, nor right, for British taxpayers to be paying for the health care of casual visitors to this country,” he said. He thinks that Ukip can deliver a viable labour market by restricting the over-supply of low-skilled migrant labour.
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