Duncan Royle - Blackpool North & Cleveleys
Originally from Blackpool, and now living in the Fylde, Duncan is an environmental consultant, working to help organisations make better decisions and take better care of the natural environment. Duncan believes we are living at the most critical time in human history – we have only a few decades to learn to live in harmony with each other and the planet or face the consequences of failing to do so. He joined the Green Party in 2014 to be part of the solution to these complex problems.
- Climate Change
Duncan's stance on climate change is simple: if we don’t take care of the planet, we will lose the capacity to take care of the people. He welcomes the declaration of a climate emergency in Blackpool, but believes the current level of action is not enough to meet the challenges we currently face. Duncan has promised to ensure we have workable plans in place to achieve a zero-carbon future.
- Prosperity for Local People
Blackpool includes some of the most deprived areas in the country and we urgently need well paid meaningful work as part of the solution. As part of the Green Party, Duncan will push for a Green New Deal, creating new jobs that provide cheaper energy, warmer homes and better transport. As well as growing a thriving local economy, he is keen to ensure that work pays a living wage as a minimum.
- Health and Wellbeing
The NHS is under persistent pressure from funding cuts and creeping privatisation. Duncan will fight to properly fund the health service and to ensure it maintains its public service ethos. Policies for encouraging all-round physical and mental wellbeing are also vital, not only to improve the quality of life, but to reduce health service demand arising from ill-health.
Over the last three years the complexity and divisiveness of the Brexit issue has become all too apparent. Greens will give power back to people to decide the way forward with a People’s Vote.
Public faith in politics has never been so low. Parliament will never be genuinely representative of the people with the distortions of the existing first past the post system. Duncan believes a system of proportional representation is the only way to ensure that all segments of society are properly represented in democratic decision-making.
Becky Daniels - Blackpool South
Becky has lived in Blackpool for most of her life and has three children; one of whom attends high school in the local area, and two whom are home educated. She currently works part time as personal assistant but has been involved in the childcare sector for the last 15 years, culminating in a degree in Teaching and Learning Support. She became involved in environmental activism in 2014, a path that would eventually lead her to her place within Blackpool and the Fylde Green Party.
With one child in full-time education and two whom are home educated, Becky has a unique perspective into the benefits and the disadvantages of different types of schooling. She is an advocate of child-centred learning believes children and young people should have a platform to express their views on the curriculum. The current educational climate puts a lot of pressure on both teachers and students to perform to a critically high standard which often leaves students behind.
This blanket policy treats education as a one-size-fits-all system and neglects to give individuals the chance to approach the curriculum at their own pace. Unfortunately, students failed by the current system experience great stress and low self-esteem, something that can result in the development of mental health and wellbeing problems later on in life. To overcome these issues, Becky believes education should be monitored from a local level and things such as performance pays and league tables should be abolished in favour of a more holisitc approach. Education should be a time of exploration where knowledge and skills should be enhanced and community building should be at the heart of every school.
- Youth Provision
Becky believes it is vital that young people have access to spaces and opportunities outside of school and the home in order to develop personal and social skills. This can be achieved by attending youth clubs, non-curricular courses, and even by taking part in youth councils; something that will allow young people to develop a sense of community and give them a platform to speak on the issues that impact them the most.
- Health and Wellbeing
With the constant threat of privatisation, the fear that we will lose our National Health Service is something almost every Blackpool resident can relate to. The loss of the NHS would have a significant impact upon Blackpool residents and their day-to-day lives. Becky will fight for the NHS, working to avoid further funding cuts and to ensure that we have enough services available to support those within our communities.
- Local Community
Blackpool is currently one of the most deprived and poverty stricken areas in the country, something that is entirely unacceptable to Becky. She believes our community should be one that works for the benefit for all, not just the few. With the introduction of an appropriate living wage and a universal basic income this would be achievable at a local level.
- Climate Emergency
With the central government declaring a climate emergency earlier this year and many local councils, including Blackpool. following suit, this a great start in ensuring our environment is becoming a community focus. Although we have made this declaration Becky is adamant that there is still much work to be done within our community to ensure we are doing enough to protect the future of our planet. The Green Party prioritises investment in renewable energy and public transport as part of its Green New Deal something that will creating consistent, long-term employment opportunities nation-wide whilst ensuring a stable, cleaner, and greener future for us all.
Gina Dowding - Blackpool North & Cleveleys
Our Green Member of European Parliament since July 2019, Gina is no stranger to politics and has carried out several independent roles within the Green Party and on Lancaster County council over the years. Gina's political action and decision-making is underpinned by an approach of ‘politics is the art of the possible’. This requires a judgement on how to achieve incremental positive changes for the people and the causes she represents, and in particular, for those most vulnerable.
- Social Care
With an ageing population and all of us looking to the future for ourselves and loved ones, social care is of huge concern. The Conservative Party’s current manifesto has nothing specific on fixing social care, merely another pledge by Prime Minister Johnson to ‘solve the problem of social care and end the injustice that means people have to sell their home to pay for their old age’.
Not good enough, just more statements that will amount to nothing from the party that’s been in charge for nine years! The failings are obvious with inadequately planned and funded care leading to increased costs elsewhere and knock-on effects that fall to our NHS – already struggling under its own burden! Social Care needs to be elevated not just financially but in the way it is viewed in society – a vital and potentially wonderful service that should provide us with the peace of knowing we’ll have the care we need, when we need it most.
As a former NHS worker Gina is committed to ensuring that the NHS stays in public ownership. We need to end privatisation and reverse contracts with the private sector. Gina understands that it was the hard work of our parents and theirs that paid for the NHS and it must remain in public hands for us to pass to our children and theirs. Early in her career, Gina worked for the Blackpool Health Authority in the role of Women’s Health Promotion Officer and helped to set up a Women’s Refuge - this sort of work is not about about anyone’s profit - it’s about our humanity. The NHS should be given all it needs to do the job well – for all of us.
Gina maintains that it is despicable that - like healthcare - education is being privatised by the backdoor (Academies, outside service providers, Private Finance Initiatives etc) and we are seeing more and more schools suffer under Conservative Party cuts. They can write the figures any number of ways but we know that per-pupil, our children are missing out. Gina believes that a healthy, educated population eases the burden on society. Sacrifices are made when funding is short - so school trips, culture, arts and sports are pruned from timetables and we end up with stressed students and teachers hindered from doing their jobs to the best of their abilities and commitment. It can’t go on like this. We need to invest, not cut back and we need to open up a broad range of opportunities for young people with free, quality education throughout their academic lives.
As an MEP splitting her time between Brussels and her home here in the NW, Gina is fortunate to have a broad view of the way Brexit is playing out. There isn’t a lot that’s clear to all of us but one thing IS certain, whether you voted Leave or Remain – you’re likely to be very unsatisfied! We now have new information and the only truly democratic process is to allow the public to decide on the deal or whether to stay in Europe.
Gina recently took two separate groups from the North West over to spend time in the European Parliament – Young Climate Campaigners as well as Young Women in Leadership and both groups came away with a renewed perspective and respect for the role the EU plays. For her, too, the role of MEP has opened her eyes to the opportunities, benefits and drawbacks of being in the EU and - for now - Gina still finds it to be the better option.