While I’ve stood as Labour and Co-operative in May elections previously I was keen to make a statement during this by-election that I stand by a for key campaigns of the Co-op Party and its community focus.

I am standing as a local candidate wanting to simply support my friends and neighbours in Helmshore.

But being co-operative emphasises my focus on building community spirit and cohesion and also my interest in green energy.

Now more than ever of course, the Co-operative Party’s goal to move towards community renewable energy is critical not just for the environmental reasons but provide energy security and lower bills as we see families and residents here in Rossendale being squeezed by rising energy bills.

Growing up in the 70s and 80s, we saw some of our communities decimated and we need to keep rebuilding communities and coming together to face the challenges now and in the future.

The Co-operative Party has given me great support through the local branch and members, the online seminars and the candidate development programme, but also being able to include some of the top Co-op campaigns from their 12 ideas for local government which are relevant to residents in Helmshore and Rossendale has been a huge help. Ideas around community renewables, assets of community value and food justice, all things we need to keep working on here in Rossendale.

I look forward to, if elected, continuing to promote my position as being Labour and Co-operative and taking up the ideas and resources they provide me.