Ryedale goes to the polls on May 5, and we invited all the candidates to submit a few words on why they deserve our vote. Here, in no particular order, is the second instalment.

Keith Knaggs, Conservative, Ryedale
Keith Knaggs is a married man who has lived in Ryedale for 30 years. He is totally committed to giving local people a strong, personal and largely non-political service. Now seeking re-election for a sixth term he has a huge store of knowledge of the ward, the council (which he has led for the past four years) and how to use his business experience to get things done.

He has particular interests in supporting local business – he is a member of the new North Yorkshire Local Economic Partnership – and in helping disabled people. He became profoundly deaf in middle age and understands through personal experience the barriers that disabled people face. He is an active campaigner for improvements to the A64.

Keith said: “I will always stand up for you against over-powerful authority and the vested interests who try to throw their weight about. I have been successful in keeping our villages as villages and protecting the Green Belt, but we need to do more to protect jobs, services and our local environment.

“I want to hear about local projects which I can help develop and believe that working with local people is the way forward.”

James Fraser, Conservative, Derwent Ward
I live with my wife Rachel, and our two dogs, in Settrington. Both Rachel and I are from Yorkshire. I grew up near Kirkbymoorside and my family has long been associated with farming in Yorkshire.

I run my own small business, and work as a freelance photographer doing a mixture of social, commercial and landscape photography. I am currently working on a book capturing the scenic magnificence of Yorkshire. I know how hard running a business in the countryside can be.

Before this I worked in the insurance industry for 15 years and I have an MBA from Cranfield School of Management.

My interests lie in the countryside and include country sports, gardening and walking the dogs.

Caroline Goodrick and I will campaign to save Malton Community Hospital. We support the development of a thriving farmers’ market and agricultural centre in Malton. We will campaign to save Norton Library. We will press for inexpensive homes for local people and for an effective broadband service throughout Derwent.

We want to communicate more actively with the Derwent parish councils and we would like to hear your views about priority issues in Derwent.

Fred Downes, Labour, Pickering West
My wife Valerie and I have been married for 45 years (she is a saint). We have two sons and four grandchildren aged nine-19.

The Pickering branch of the Thirsk & Malton Labour Party is newly formed giving you, the voters, a chance to vote for a party that wants a fair deal for all.

I am the secretary of the community and policing group for the Pickering area. This is a forum for members of the public to voice their views on local police issues.

I also work for the community payback department of the North Yorkshire Probation Trust, working with all ages but mostly young people aged18-24.

As well as being a candidate for Ryedale District Council, I am standing for Pickering Town Council.

One of the key issues facing the residents of Pickering is, I believe, flooding. The works committee has done a brilliant job so far but more needs to be done. As a grandfather working with young people, I understand the need for affordable housing and jobs for the young. We have some talented youngsters in Pickering and need to keep them here as they are our future.

Other key issues are: local bus service cuts, the threat to our libraries, ward closures at Malton Hospital and the continuing saga of the Lidl site.

Thank you for taking the time to read the above. Don’t forget your vote is important.

Stephen Preston, Liberal Democrat, Malton
I was born locally and have lived here all my life. I have been a Malton town councillor since 2003 and represented Malton ward on Ryedale District Council from 2003-2007. An engineer by trade, I work full-time at a local theme park. If you want someone to speak up for you, the resident, then look no further – I’m your man. I don’t use fancy jargon, I speak my mind, I do not try to baffle people with facts and figures and I certainly will not be a ‘silent councillor’.

In my last period in office many residents came to me with issues and concerns that mattered to them. If elected, then your problems are my problems. While others talk, I just get on with the job.

Seats have been won and lost on a handful of votes and who you choose to represent your views makes a huge difference. If you want a Malton resident to represent Malton people, I would certainly appreciate your support. Please feel free to phone me on 01653 695788 or visit my website at www.stephenpreston.org

Nick King, Conservative, Pickering East
I was brought up in North Yorkshire. After leaving school at 16, I went to agricultural college. I worked my way up from milking cows to managing a farm mainly concerned with forestry and conservation. So I am greatly interested in woodland and wildlife and used to long hours and hard work.

Three years ago my wife Rowena and I bought a bungalow and I set up my own business supplying gardening and domestic services to the public. I work with my hands and the work puts me in contact with many and very different people.

If elected I will provide a personal and non-political service to the people of Pickering East. I will listen not lecture and will not force ideology down your throat. I will encourage the provision of new business and employment opportunities and more varied shopping. I will do all I can to protect and enhance the natural beauty of our surrounding countryside. I will try to ensure that development in Pickering is properly controlled, managed and meets the needs of our community. To do this I will engage with planners and developers not just shout at them. I will work with the police and the town council to tackle anti-social behaviour.

I can be phoned on 430114.

Dinah Keal, Liberal Democrat, Norton West
I am delighted to ask for your support in standing for re-election to the town and district councils.

Over the last eight years I have always done my best to represent the people of Norton on the both councils and will continue to do so if elected.

Brambling Fields: I back the work on the long overdue junction with the A64, which will take heavy traffic out of town and ease congestion and pollution.

Local services: it is crucial that we retain local services at the heart of our community. That’s why I have fought hard to retain Malton Hospital. Norton and Malton need a local hospital and it is not acceptable to ask people to travel to Scarborough or York for health care that should be delivered locally.

Next Steps Mental Health Resource Centre: As chair I will fight to retain this crucial centre offering activities, a social enterprise cafe and support for people with mental health problems Libraries are vital to young and old alike and I am committed to making sure that Norton is provided with state of the art facilities as well as brilliant books.

I hope you will again give me the opportunity to work for you.

Karl Reveley, Labour, Norton West
I’m Karl Reveley, 44, living and working in the ward I’m standing for. I have lived in Ryedale all my life, raised in Pickering and attended Lady Lumley’s School. I worked for 16 years at Flamingo Land and 14 years as a local taxi driver. I’ve always been involved with the community. I’m secretary of a local social club and chairman of Malton and Norton pool league which I’m actively involved in.

I have stood as a Labour Party candidate because I believe there’s a place for us in Ryedale. We are the voice for local residents, the alternative to the Con/LibDem coalition making deeper cuts and making the cost of living painful.

Locally I want to see better roads, more community officers on the streets, keep the hospital open and keep local shopkeepers and businesses trading instead of a influx of supermarkets.

Please, on May 5, vote Labour.

Lindsay Burr, Liberal Democrat, Malton
I have been privileged to be a district councillor for Malton for 16 years. I live locally and run businesses in the town so am constantly in touch with local people's views. I am passionate about the well-being of Malton and its residents.

I am delighted to see that finally work will start on Brambling Fields Junction. I started the campaign many years ago and as chair of the junctions action group I travelled to Westminster to lobby the Minister for Transport.

My aim was to take heavy traffic out of Malton which will ease congestion and pollution for shoppers and residents in the town.

I am also delighted to have played a major part in the new sports centre built at Malton School. This facility is fantastic for all the community.

I successfully campaigned to save rare trees in Malton and voted against the sale of Wentworth Street car park. If re-elected I will fight to keep Malton Hospital open and fight to make sure our library services are protected. I will continue to work with local people and businesses. Recently I successfully campaigned with some residents in Malton to overturn the planning decision of back-land development.

I hope you would consider me worthy of re-election as we still have a lot of work to do.

Howard Croft, Independent, Malton
I grew up in the East Riding of Yorkshire, my career was in educational publishing in the UK, Africa and America.

I am an independent custody visitor for North Yorkshire Police Authority, a Friend of Malton School, and an active member of St Mary’ Priory Church in Old Malton, where I live.

I am standing in this election because I think it is important in local affairs to have voices independent of national political parties.

I would like to see a more transparent and evidence-based approach to planning decisions, particularly under delegated powers. I am opposed to the sale of Wentworth Street car park and the introduction of a major supermarket in the town, the evidence for which is unconvincing.

Howard Keal, Liberal Democrat, Norton East
Over the past decade I have fought to put your interests first. Now I need your vote to allow me to keep battling on your behalf.

I’ve been making your voice heard ever since winning our campaign for the defences that continue to protect Norton from flooding.

Key issues I have worked hard to put at the top of the council’s agenda include:

* Affordable housing: more homes built to provide decent housing for local families and young people.

* Traffic congestion: a new link to Norton at Brambling Fields on the way to take lorries out of the town and Malton.

* Sports centre: success in the 30-year battle for a public access sports centre to be provided.

* More recycling: kerbside collections of plastics and cardboard now on the way.

All of the improvements have been made while achieving a zero per cent rise this year in the council tax.

Big battles include protecting Malton Hospital, keeping services here that can and should be delivered locally, not losing them to Scarborough and York.

I hope that on May 5 you will give me your support and your vote to keep your concerns top of the agenda.

Geoff Randall, Labour, Pickering East
I live in the ward with my wife and one of our four grown-up children. Eileen and I have been married for 39 years and we have four grandchildren.

What I seek is a fair society with facilities and opportunities that allow everyone to fulfill their potential.

My background is in IT development, training and management and I currently work as a project manager in York. As a trained facilitator, I have developed listening and negotiating skills, which I could bring to good use on local issues and for local people. It would be unthinkable if socially beneficial facilities are unnecessarily taken away or left so underfunded that they are unviable.

Local libraries, Sure Start centres, hospital facilities and rural bus services are just some of these facilities.

I would like the opportunity to represent the ward to work for a fairer future.

Caroline Goodrick, Conservative, Derwent
I came to live in Sand Hutton more than 25 years ago when I married my husband John, whose family has lived in Ryedale for almost 40 years. I’ve worked in recruitment for more than 15 years running a professional agency, and I’m also involved in our own family equestrian business. I fully understand what it takes to run a business in town and country.

I’m heavily involved with village life; through my plethora of hobbies I’ve been able to raise funds to support our village hall, school, church and various charities.

We will ensure that the voice of the local people is heard so we can secure the best possible funding for the villages of Derwent to preserve the rural way of life.

James Fraser and I will campaign to save Malton Community Hospital. We support the development of a thriving farmers’ market and Agricultural Centre in Malton. We will campaign to save Norton Library. We will press for inexpensive homes for local people and for an effective broadband service throughout Derwent.

We want to communicate more actively with the Derwent parish councils and we would like to hear your views about priority issues in Derwent.

You can contact me on 01904 468338 and by email: carolinegoodrick@hotmail.com

Paul Andrews, Independent, Malton
Paul Andrews has represented Malton Ward for eight years, seven as an independent resident.

Paul is a Malton town councillor, a Habton parish councillor, a member of the Rye Drainage Board, vice-chair of the Milton Rooms committee and a parish representative on the county Ryedale Area Committee.

Paul, 63, is married with two sons and is a retired solicitor. He writes a "Ryeview" column for the Gazette and has recently published a novel. A former governor of Malton School, he led the campaign for the sports centre there from 1997 -2003. His car park fees campaign resulted in a 14-month reduced-fees pilot scheme at Wentworth Street car park.

He has supported local business, not only on controversial political issues, but also in promoting the town, assisting with last year's Roman and Literacy festivals.

Paul successfully campaigned for the engagement of an independent hydrological engineer to on flood prevention Paul said: “Malton/Norton is being treated by Ryedale District Council like a honeypot which can be plundered. We don't need yet another big supermarket on Wentworth Street Car Park; Malton doesn't want more than 1,000 new houses (from January 2009), and there is no need for a new industrial estate at Eden Road.”

Ena Dent, Conservative, Cropton
Living all my married life – 42 years – in this unique part of Yorkshire, I am acutely aware of the issues of village life in our sparsely populated district.

It is critical that rural areas feature in any regional plan to improve or upgrade services. Equally when services are under threat it is vital that someone speaks up for the person who lives in the countryside.

The retention of local services including pubs, shops, post offices, libraries, hospitals and transport are therefore paramount to me. Rural broadband is also vital, especially in country areas where the need to do business is as critical if not more so than city and urban boroughs If you vote for me on May 5 I will:

* listen to your concerns.

* be a sensible local voice for the Cropton ward.

* work with Parish, District and Regional Councils to improve the Cropton ward.

* I will not hector and lecture other people.

* Provide the best results I can for Cropton ward constituents.

Heather Milner, Labour, Derwent Ward
I am a working mother who has lived in Langton for almost eight years.

I am standing as a Labour candidate in the district election because I believe it is high-time our community had a change of representation from the Conservative Party (and their LibDem allies) who for too long have taken your votes for granted.

I am concerned proposed cuts will have a disproportionate impact on village communities, especially on our more vulnerable neighbours.

Labour councillors would be our community’s first line of defence against the damage being done by central government’s heavy-handed cuts.

Hugh Spencer, Liberal Democrat, Norton West
Having been a Ryedale councillor for only one year, following last year’s by-election, I am asking for your support to enable me to continue my efforts on your behalf as a district and town councillor.

I have lived in Norton with my wife Ann for more than 40 years and am a retired Malton School teacher. During all that time I’ve been involved in dealing with local issues, particularly the environment.

I have served on the town council for seven years, backing the upgrading of Commercial Street and a new children’s play area in King George’s Playing Field, as well as the increased availability of allotments.

I’ve been fighting dog fouling and succeeded in gaining the introduction of on-the-spot fines for the culprits – an irresponsible minority who allow their pets to create a health hazard.

I strongly support recycling and the introduction of kerbside collection of plastics and cardboard, which is to start soon. I am also anxious to see a solution to chronic traffic congestion clogging our streets, more affordable homes and jobs for our young people.

I hope you will again vote for me and allow me to go on working on your behalf.

Vivienne Knaggs, Conservative, Pickering East
Vivienne is married and has lived in Ryedale almost all her life. A former county and district councillor, she intends to work hard to promote Pickering’s interests in partnership with local people.

Her wide personal experience of business, farming, and as a Head Teacher or Governor of various North Yorkshire schools including Pickering Infants School has equipped her to understand many different people’s needs and hopes. She enjoys helping individuals and the community and has been heavily involved in supporting the elderly, children and disabled people. As past president of Ryedale Mencap and a member of groups and charities connected with the Health Service she will fight to keep our local hospital.

Vivienne has been a member of the Market Towns Initiative group and the Small Business Association and will support new shopping and business ventures in Pickering which can bring more jobs and prosperity. She wants more, inexpensive, homes for local people as part of limited and carefully-controlled development.

Very much an independent, common sense person, she said: “I will be available to listen to everyone. I will tell you the truth and never burden you with petty party politics.”

Martin C Beaumont, Conservative, Malton
Originally from Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, Martin has lived in North Yorkshire with his wife and three children for the last 14 years, the last seven of these in the Malton area.

As a young man he spent two years in voluntary church service in Quebec, Canada, seeing enough snow to last him a lifetime.

Trained as a professional librarian at the University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Martin worked for the British Library at Boston Spa for 10 years before being made redundant as part of ‘restructuring’.

He currently works at York College.