Pendle is the most marginal seat in Lancashire having been held by the Conservatives until 1992 and is currently held by Labour’s Gordon Prentice MP with a majority of 2,180. The seat was created in 1983, but is almost the same as the former seat of Nelson and Colne, a classic marginal constituency, with the addition of the small Yorkshire towns of Barnoldswick and Earby. Pendle has some unusual political characteristics with a Labour MP, Lib Dem run borough council, and a strong BNP presence. There have been no boundary changes and Andrew requires a 2.65% swing to take the seat. You can get in touch with him through his Facebook Group or website.
Monday 6th July
I have the day off work to focus on politics and I spend the morning at Whitefield Infant School and Nursery Unit where I’m a school governor. The school is based in the most deprived part of Pendle (Whitefield Ward) and will soon have to be rebuilt because increasing roll numbers are putting a huge strain on the current facilities.
I then head out for a few hours canvassing in the sun with Christian Wakeford, one of my CF volunteers. We head to a part of Nelson that is not currently represented by Conservative Councillors, focusing on areas where we are most likely to find people in on a mid week afternoon.
Whilst canvassing I meet a wheelchair user for whom the council have provided a disabled parking bay outside their home, but not a dropped kerb. I also met a woman who now cannot use her shower after the Housing Association - whilst making “improvements” to her home - installed a new shower so far up the wall that she can barely reach the controls. The sad fact is these types of issues come up all the time whilst I’m canvassing and sometimes a five hour canvassing session can generate a small mountain of casework.
I finish the day by attending the Colne Neigbourhood Action Group (NAG) where housing issues and anti-social behaviour are high on the agenda. I hear a group of women from part of the town make a heartfelt plea for the council, police and other agencies to do more to address the drug problems that are destroying their neighbourhood.