THERE is to be a straight fight between Conservatives and Liberal Democrats in the North Yorkshire County Council by-election in the Thornton-le-Dale and Wolds County Division next week.

The poll, caused by the resignation of Conservative County Coun Ron Haigh, is on Thursday, October 27.

The candidates are Mike Beckett, of Jubilee Road, Norton, a member of Malton Town Council who is standing for the Liberal Democrats, and Conservative Janet Elaine Sanderson, of Priestmans Lane, Thornton-le-Dale, who was elected to Ryedale District Council in last May’s elections.

Coun Haigh resigned from the county authority to move with his wife to the south of England to be nearer their family.

The candidates have submitted their election profiles.

Mike Beckett, Liberal Democrat candidate

I BELIEVE the economy of North Yorkshire and Ryedale is the most important issue for this election.

I promote projects that create local jobs, and campaign tirelessly to promote the regeneration of our local economy.

I oppose crude cuts to services as proposed by the Tories and want to focus on developing Ryedale's business community to create jobs. I say councillors should lead by example before cutting elsewhere and oppose any proposal to increase councillors’ allowances or expenses.

I campaign to protect rural transport services, give more power to local people on planning decisions affecting the community they live in, for example the gas plant proposed for Thornton-Le- Dale and the proposed Heslerton's windfarm. We should listen to the people who clearly don't want these developments in their proposed locations. Libraries should be supported to maintain access to services.

My experience as a local Citizens Advice Bureau manager helps me to know about the problems that you might face and how to get the best real life solution available for them. As a small businessman, I know the importance of supporting the self-employed and small businesses as these are the lifeblood of our communities and help us all to keep our roof over our heads and food on the table.

As a local councillor now serving in my third term, I have a record of working with others to get the best solutions and finding creative ways to provide the local community with a better deal.

Janet Sanderson, Conservative candidate

LIVING in Thornton-le-Dale and working in our Ryedale schools for the past 22 years gives me an understanding of the issues facing us here and now in this electoral division.

I’ve had a lifetime’s connection with Thornton-le-Dale, though I moved away briefly in the 1980s to find employment.

My husband, Martin, and I live in the home which belonged to my parents and from where he runs a small business. I work with young people as I believe they are fundamental to the building of Ryedale’s future society.

As a volunteer with CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England), I have supported the protection of both the Thornton-le-Dale and Wolds area. I believe it is possible to exploit our natural resources without destroying the landscape that we enjoy.

I would like to see communication improved, especially to our outlying farms and villages. Broadband has become an essential tool to encourage badly-needed employment.

Money is tight at the moment, so we have to make every bit work. I will strive to protect our vital services while keeping our council tax under tight control.

Recently I was elected to Ryedale District Council, so will be a familiar face to many residents. I had to hit the ground running, voicing the opinions from the villages of Marishes, Heslerton, Thornton-le- Dale Dale and Wilton at both Ryedale and county council committee meetings.

If you vote for me on October 27, it will enable me to place Thorntonle- Dale and the Wolds area strategically within the context of North Yorkshire, ensuring that we have strong representation.