Candidates set out their stalls ahead of south Cumbria by-elections

The two Conservative candidates vying for the support of voters in the Arnside and Milnthorpe, and Kent Estuary by-elections on 20 December have set out their stalls.

The pre-Christmas polls for the vacant seats on South Lakeland District Council and Cumbria County Council are being held following the sad death of councillor Ian Stewart in October.

Rachel Ashburner, who lives and works in Milnthorpe, is standing for the district council seat of Arnside and Milnthorpe and says if elected, supporting already hard-pressed motorists by stopping any plans to introduce on-street parking charges is a priority.

She said: “There has been a lot of anger on the doorsteps at the recent news that our council wants to try and squeeze yet more cash from drivers, and that on-street parking charges are once again being proposed four years after similar proposals were rejected. Getting the district council to put its weight behind the campaign to block these proposals will be at the top of my list if elected.”

Councillor Tom Harvey owns the Clocktower, the kitchen appliance store in Milnthorpe, and says as well as opposing the levy to park on local streets, he will prioritise the important local problems the area faces, such as pothole repairs and drain clearance if elected to represent the Kent Estuary seat on the county council.

He said: “Lots of residents have complained about the state of local drains. I've already been working to get the county council to put in place a regular programme to clear drains and gulleys and looking to reduce the risk of flooding will be one of my top priorities if elected.

“Another priority will be to secure a share of the £12 million the county council has received from the Government for road repairs, to fix potholes on Sandside, Park Road, Church Street and other local roads.”