WITH a week to go until the country goes to the polls, the Gazette & Herald asked to six candidates standing for the Thirsk and Malton constituency why you should vote for them on July 4.

Lisa Banes - Labour Party

I'm Lisa, and I've put myself forward for election because the country is crying out for change. We have had 14 years of chaos and Labour is promising to restore stability and economic growth to our country.

Having worked in the charity sector for twenty years I have never known people's circumstances to be as desperate as they are now. Virtually everyone is impacted by rising bills, NHS waiting lists are impossibly long, local businesses are struggling and vital services like banks and dentists are becoming less and less common.

l've been involved in politics for many years, have served as a Councillor, and I know how to get things done and will fight for the needs of this constituency.

Outside of politics, I'm a mum to two lovely children and enjoy trips out with my family and dog.

The polls are showing Thirsk and Malton as being neck and neck between Labour and the Tories, so the choice is clear. Only Labour can defeat the Tories in our constituency. After 14 years of chaos, Labour is promising to bring Change to our country. Vote for me on 4th July and I will give you the representation this area deserves.

Luke Browlee - Yorkshire Party

Luke Brownlee cares deeply about democracy, community and empowering small businesses and individuals to thrive. He grew up in Thirsk, before attaining a degree in Economics, and teaching Economics in the South of England for three years. He is returning home to Thirsk to teach Maths at Thirsk School. The Yorkshire party is a centrist party, it's primary aim being the establishment of a Devolved Yorkshire Parliament. At present, the lion's share of taxation revenue, and all legislation power is in the hands of Westminster. On 2023, the public spending in London and Scotland was £14,500 per person, but in Yorkshire is was £11,900 per person - that's a shortfall of over £14 billion across Yorkshire - every year.

A Devolved Yorkshire Parliament would give power to politicians from Yorkshire to make decisions about legislation, taxation and spending in the region, based on local need. A vote for the Yorkshire Party will send a message to Westminster that you are no longer content with Yorkshire being forgotten by Westminster. A vote for Luke Brownlee will elect someone who cares about changing education to better prepare young people for adult life, supporting farmers against exploitation from supermarkets, and a movement towards Abundant Clean Energy.

Kevin Hollinrake - Conservative Party

Kevin Hollinrake was born and brought up near Easingwold. His dad was the local milkman and his mum a social worker. Kevin has always said he did not want to be a career politician and came to politics later in life, working in business for over thirty years and co-founding Hunters Estate Agents in 1992. In 2015, Kevin put his name forward to represent the area he is passionate about and was elected as the MP for Thirsk and Malton. His non-political background is invaluable in Parliament, giving him unique insight to relate to constituents and business in his constituency, in a way other candidates may not.

Since being elected, Kevin has been extremely active in Parliament, most notably co-chairing a cross-party group supporting those affected by economic crime. In 2022 he was appointed Minister for Small Business, Enterprise and Markets by the Prime Minister and carried on his extensive work tackling economic crime, most notably leading the Government’s work on justice for postmasters who were victims of the Horizon Scandal. Kevin represents a Yorkshire common sense attitude in Parliament and has a reputation for cross-party collaboration with politicians across the political divide. With Kevin, you’re getting a proven local champion, with a track record of action of putting North Yorkshire first.

Steve Mason - Liberal Democrat Party

Steve is a local, experienced North Yorkshire councillor and former Ryedale Cllr, who already is standing up to protect local services, schools, and champion the wellbeing of residents and communities.

Steve is a proven national environmental campaigner with a wealth of knowledge in renewable energy, Net-Zero, climate change mitigation, supporting nature and capturing the benefits of sustainable development. He got into politics when he led the national political coalition to ban fracking in the UK. Steve then led a coalition to take over the Ryedale fracking company to transform it into a renewable energy, geothermal heat provider for communities and farm projects, proving his commitment to protecting our environment, tackling climate change, and demonstrating his ability to drive significant change in an organisation.

Steve’s work now involves providing opportunities and advice to companies to increase their community and environmental value to help them grow and be more resilient in a changing world.

As someone invested in the community, Steve led the creation of the Ryedale Volunteer Network pandemic response, the Helping Hampers project and the ongoing Food Aid service which continues to feed residents today.

Living in the constituency with his family, Steve has a vision for a strong, fair, and prosperous future where children thrive, families settle, businesses grow, and our elderly can retire happily. and is the obvious LOCAL choice to represent you for change here.

Richard McLane - Green Party

Born on a family farm in Gilling East, Richard has lived in the heart of our constituency all his life. He is proud to be Thirsk & Malton’s only local and independent voice in the upcoming election. Richard’s upbringing taught him the value of hard work and so having established two successful businesses over 30 years, his ambition is now to use this experience to benefit the people who live here. He is overwhelmed by the lack of political representation our area has received and desperately wants to change this. Richard has a strong voice and is committed to listening and bringing the change this area needs.

He chose to stand for the Green Party because they are the only party to allow candidates to represent the real needs of their constituents. He is not whipped by national party policy and so will stand true to his word. His priorities are clearly aligned with bringing real change to local people, farmers and businesses including:

• Protecting Agriculture & Resilience of Family Farms

• Providing Support To Local Businesses

• Reducing The Cost of Living and Housing

• Creating Social Justice and A Fairer Society

• Realigning Education To Bring Better Results

• Preventing Privatisation of Valuable Public Services

Mark Robinson - Reform UK

A farmer from Thirsk who is standing as Reform UK’s candidate in Thirsk and Malton has promised a common sense approach if he is elected on July 4.

As with farm work, Mark Robinson says he will work to find practical solutions to practical problems.

The farmer rates Reform UK’s chances ‘very highly’ both nationally and in Thirsk and Malton, saying the feedback the party has been getting locally and nationally both on the ground and by email is ‘phenomenal.’

Mark continued: “I feel that we cannot allow the sacrifices and efforts made by successive generations over millennia to have been made for nothing, or for the present political classes, civil servants and the rest of the establishment to destroy our country, our spirit, our sense of nationhood, and our sense of national pride.

“I had to do something to arrest the decline and degradation of our nation.”

“We need to restore the moral compass that has guided our country for centuries and to give us all hope.

“People deserve a safe, peaceful country, at peace with itself and the world. A homeland fit for heroes.”

He argued: “We need, as Nigel Farage so correctly says, a political revolt: a people’s army to make the change we need in our wonderful country and to restore our nation - to have our country back.”