Morecambe Labour Party launched its campaign to win back the Harbour Ward city council seat over the weekend, after a by-election was called following the untimely death of Councillor John Barnes of the MBI Party in July.
They've chosen a pro-Bypass and pro-nuclear candidate to fight the seat: Morecambe-born Darren Clifford, who's well known for his community connections. A former soldier (serving in Northern Ireland, the Falkland Islands and Iraq) and an avid supporter of Morecambe Football Club (he was a member of the squad for the 2005/06 season), Darren now works as a lecturer in the nursing and social care sector.
Darren was born in Morecambe and is proud of his local heritage, campaigning in support of the Heysham M6 link, the minimum wage, employment rights and Morecambe's regeneration.
“All too often local politicians are only interested in talking about Morecambe’s past," Darren feels. "I'm interested in Morecambe’s future. We need to support regeneration, including Heysham 3 power station, the link road and the sensible development of the centre of Morecambe and the Promenade.
"Local people want to be able to live and work in a town moving forward, not looking back and that’s what I would argue for on the council," Darren, who is married to Heysham North Councillor Tina Clifford, continues. "he simple choice at this by-election is between living in the past and fighting for a future that makes Morecambe a place we can all be proud of.”
Darren's agent, former Harbour Ward Councillor David Whitaker, describes the election as an opportunity for local people to tell the “ConDem government” what they think of the massive programme of cuts and the hike in VAT that will effect those on modest incomes most.
“The Tsunami of cuts that are coming from this government need to be fought in every community," argues David. "The Tories and Lib Dems won’t fight the cuts; because they’re the ones carrying them out. The Morecambe Bay Indpendents and Independents can’t fight the cuts because they’re too busy fighting each other.
"Only Labour and Darren Clifford will fight the cuts and fight for Morecambe.”
• The by-election will take place on Thursday 7th October.