Heywood and Middleton by-election: Candidates outline top priorities
The people of Heywood and Middleton will go to the polls on Thursday to elect the late Labour MP Jim Dobbin's successor for the Greater Manchester constituency.
In advance of the by-election, BBC Radio Manchester's political reporter Kevin Fitzpatrick asked all five candidates (listed below in alphabetical order) to list their top five priorities.
Bickley, John - UK Independence Party
- Introduce a points-based immigration system like Australia
- Ensure the NHS remains free at the point of delivery
- British people should be first in line for healthcare, housing and school places
- Scrap the 'bedroom tax' and cut foreign aid and EU funding
- Reopen Rochdale Accident and Emergency department and Heywood police station
Gartside, Iain - Conservative Party
- Regenerate the town centres and fight for money to do that
- Better use resources to repair pot holes and thereby improve our roads
- Fight any expansion of Scout Moor wind farm and oppose the building of houses on Middleton's 'green lung'
- Listen to concerns about immigration
- Get more police officers on the streets
Jackson, Abi - Green Party of England and Wales
- Welfare reform that doesn't punish low-paid working families, and end the 'bedroom tax'
- Investment in growth industries and create more apprenticeships
- End fracking and subsidies for fossil fuels while developing renewable energy
- Justice for the victims of historic sexual abuse
- Improved rail services for people in Heywood and Middleton
McInnes, Liz - Labour Party
- An end to the 'Tory rundown' of the NHS
- More GPs and nurses for local hospitals
- Decent jobs and apprenticeships for local youngsters
- Help with the cost-of-living crisis with a freeze on energy bills
- Firm and fair immigration controls and an end to undercutting local wage rates
Smith, Anthony - Liberal Democrats
- Build a strong economy locally
- Create a safer community and reopen Heywood Police station
- Build on the Liberal Democrats' pupil premium and free school meal schemes
- Create better opportunities for young people and expand apprenticeships
- Ensure a strong local voice for Heywood and Middleton residents