HUSTINGS: Eight candidates battle it out for Doncaster North

Candidates fighting to be elected in the parliamentary seat of Doncaster North got to showcase themselves to the electorate.

Tuesday, 10th December 2019, 5:21 pm

Eight of the nine people standing to become MP were grilled by members of the public at St Mary's Church Hall in Spotbrough on Sunday.

Here are the candidates' closing statements.

Katrina Sale - Conservative

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(Doncaster North candidates from top left to bottom right) Wendy Bailey (Independent), Katrina Sale (Conservative), Ed Miliband (Labour), Stevie Manion (Yorkshire Party), Frank Calladine (English Democrats), Joe Otten (Lib Dem), Neil Wood (Independent) and Andy Stewart (Brexit Party)
(Doncaster North candidates from top left to bottom right) Wendy Bailey (Independent), Katrina Sale (Conservative), Ed Miliband (Labour), Stevie Manion (Yorkshire Party), Frank Calladine (English Democrats), Joe Otten (Lib Dem), Neil Wood (Independent) and Andy Stewart (Brexit Party)

“I recognise this is the first time a lot of people in this room and beyond have ever thought about voting for the Conservative Party but this isn’t an election like other elections.

“The lines here are different, this is a two party system and I am part of the opposition party to be the current MP.

“Whether it’s your views on Brexit, whether it’s your views on his (Ed Miliband’s record) I am your most credible opponent.

“The other thing I’m standing on is that I’m honest, I’m fresh, passionate and optimistic and I would love to bring that to Doncaster North and I would like to bring a change we genuinely do need to places like Mexborough, Bentley, Scawthorpe and everywhere.

“It’s not about being local it’s about being the right person for the job and If I was lucky enough to be selected I promise I’d work tirelessly to earn your trust for the next five years.”

Andy Stewart - Brexit Party

“Katrina says it’s not about being local - she doesn’t know this is a Tory area (Spotbrough) and that’s how local she is. She’s a Londoner who has been parachuted in like Ed (Miliband) was many years ago.

“Now that’s not right it should be someone from your local area who represents you because they know about the issues regarding flooding, they know about the issues of the Don Bridge and how long it takes and the fact that Arksey’s cut off by train line and then by the flooding every single year.

“They know about the issues in Mexborough with the drugs gangs and they know about the issues in Askern getting transport getting a train line for Askern where it stops so I do know these issues.

“I do realise what’s happening in Doncaster because I’m here all the time I’m employed in Doncaster, my business is in Doncaster, my family is here because I care about you people.

“If I’m not elected, I won’t be going anywhere you’ll see me everyday. If I’m elected you’ll say, ‘what are you doing Andy?’.

“Some of these people if they’re not elected. You’ll never see them again because their care does not stretch as far as Doncaster it stretches as far as Parliament.

“They are from Westminster, they want a place in Westminster, their career is politics. My career is business, people and I’ve done 20 years of voluntary service in Doncaster.

“I am Doncaster, I’m just you sat here just changed round.”

Wendy Bailey - Independent

“Please don’t be put off that I’m independent. I work for the people who voted me in.

“I can’t be influenced by any political party - vote this way vote that. It will be what’s right for the people who voted me in.

“All my policies are personal to me like my granddaughter who was threatened with a knife - 11-year-old.

“Me falling in the High Street, six weeks ago couldn’t get up because I’d hurt myself laying there for an hour and a half waiting for an ambulance - that affects us all.

“Not being able to get an appointment with the NHS. That affects us all.

“Poverty - it’s not just the poverty with foodbanks and jobs - there’s children going to school with no food, no breakfast and these are from working families as well as people who are on benefits so these have all got to be addressed.

“All policies are personal and affect everybody. I was accosted by 21 teenagers in Mexborough and we had to call the police. Luckily, it was a happy ending and now some of them are my best friends because they apologised, they knew they really upset me.

“The police can combat this but it’s the funding we need - the policies are personal from things I’ve experienced.”

Ed Miliband - Labour

“One thing I want people to think about when they vote in this election is can Doncaster take another five years like the last nine years?

“Because it’s not mysterious why things are as they are. In the last nine years Doncaster has lost more than half of its government grant that’s why Home Helps have gone, the youth services have been cut.

“You know, we used to have 111 youth workers in Doncaster in 2010, now we have just two full-time youth workers left now in Doncaster, no wonder we’ve got problems in relation to our young people.

“The libraries - the library volunteers are brilliant but they are now volunteer run and do you think austerity is over? Austerity is not over because under this government, the council is planning £17 million worth of cuts over the next three years.

“That is the reality, that is the defining question of this election. Do we want another five years like that? No we do not. We can start investing again in education, in the NHS, a £10 living wage - we can change things for people in this area.

“And do you want an MP who has got a strong voice and can stand up for people in this area and that’s what I’ll do.

“Do you know what I’ve been doing for the last four weeks? I’ve been in a battle with Number 10 Downing Street about whether the uninsured in the floods are going to get compensated. I was having a furious row with the Secretary of State for the Environment just before these hustings.

“So I’m fighting for this community, I’m fighting for the people affected by the floods, I’m fighting for the people affected by HS2, I’m fighting for the people at foodbanks and I hope you’ll vote for me next Thursday so I’ll keep fighting for you.”

Stevie Manion - Yorkshire Party

“On Thursday I do go out and hope you vote, however you vote, just vote. That is exactly what we need - more democracy and people need to stand up and listen.

“I want to end on the fact that Yorkshire needs an assembly. We need to spend that money on how we see fit and we need that money to spent whether it’s healthcare, transport or education.

“On actual infrastructure, we need it to benefit the region. Not on HS2, or rolling stock. Actual things that benefit us.

“Professor Philip McCann from the University of Sheffield, has actually released information that shows the regional inequality in the UK is greater than any other wealthy nation our size other than Slovakia and Ireland.

“Yorkshire lags behind every other area of the UK - why? Because our MPs don’t care. They’ve got the safe seat, they’re getting that money every year and they turn up to Bentley Pavillion buy a few pints for people every now and then.

“Ed posted a video on Facebook a couple of days ago that politics lets you down, most of the time and you have to huff for change and you have to go with hope.

“I’ll take you up on Ed’s words, I don’t think it’s acceptable to be let down most of the time and I want that change. Follow Ed’s advice.

“Don’t vote Labour, vote the Yorkshire Party.”

Neil Wood - Independent

“I’m an independent from Doncaster and I won’t the people of Doncaster to have a voice, not a southern voice.

“You’ve got to be from Doncaster we understand what our problems are and we know what we need.

“We had a referendum that said we wanted out of Europe - it’s not been heard so it must be the Doncaster voice they can’t hear but I hear it and I know that we want to get out of Europe.

“David Cameron got a 36.9 per cent vote in 2015 with 12 seat majority in Parliament. He was 14 per cent short of 50 per cent and he was running the country.

“We voted more than 50 per cent of the total vote and we’re being told we don’t understand or don’t know what we were voting for.

“I knew what I wanted out of Brexit, I wanted to take back control into Doncaster and into our own area.

“No disrespect to Ed he’s like Sven Goran-Eriksson - manager of the England team but if we’re playing Sweden, he’d be for Sweden.

“I’d be in charge of the England team, I’d be in charge of Doncaster and I’ll listen to Doncaster and that’s why I’m standing.”

“I’m going to go into Parliament as the second, if you like, second man with honest intentions, the first man was Guy Fawkes.”

Frank Calladine - English Democrats

“I’m from Doncaster, originally from Mexborough and it doesn’t matter what party you vote for, you’ll still get the same. If it’s Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, all the same.

“They always take your vote for granted. People round here don’t want HS2, I don’t know if they want an English Parliament because we haven’t had a referendum yet. Hopefully they do like Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland have.

“The real question is, if we vote to have an English Parliament, would Ed (Labour), would Joe (Lib Dem) or any of the other parties, actually carry it out?

“After the EU referendum, who knows what they would do. They probably would go against us as they always do.”

Joe Otten (Lib Dem)

“It’s a shame we didn’t talk about some of the other issues like the climate emergency, we’ve got strong policies on that, if we don’t deal with that then what does the rest of it matter?

“Our offer on childcare, we have a fully costed manifesto unlike the other parties and the IFS were very clear on this was the Lib Dem policies are costed and the other two main parties don’t.

“On childcare, we’re offering 35 hours a week from nine months old for any child with working parents that’s £14bn - that’s a lot but we’re not throwing £50bn around like some parties.

“This is absolutely vital, it will make a huge difference to so many working parents.

“Our priorities are young people, health and social care and the climate emergency.

“These are the important issues, if you want them to get sorted, vote Liberal Democrat.”