Heywood & Middleton Constituency
Anthony Smith, the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Heywood and Middleton has vowed to be a voice for the people.
Speaking to Rochdale Online, Mr Smith said: “I will be a voice for the people and I will represent the people of Heywood and Middleton to the best of my ability. Heywood and Middleton is the part of the world that I care about the most.”
Mr Smith recently stood in the Heywood and Middleton by-election in October 2014 but lost out to Labour candidate Liz McInnes. Despite this, Mr Smith is confident that he can take the seat.
He said: “If I was Liz McInnes, then I would be worried. The political landscape is always changing and if someone says that they can predict the outcome of the election, then they are delusional.”
Mr Smith lives in Castleton with his family and was born and bred in the area. His friend of 30 years, former Councillor Andy Kelly is standing as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Rochdale.
“I am a local lad, I have always been a local lad and I am not going anywhere. I am from humble beginnings from a working class family. I went to school with Andy Kelly and have known him for 30 years. I know the area and I haven’t been parachuted in from somewhere else like some of the other candidates. I am here for those people who want to vote for someone who is local and for those who want to vote Liberal Democrat,” said Mr Smith.
If he were to win the seat, Mr Smith wants to work in areas surrounding education and the economy.
He said: “I have been a school governor for a number of years at St Gabriel’s school, which is just around the corner, and have seen how politics can affect a school. I think if our younger generation can get a strong education then that will feed into our economy.
“I would also want to see investment brought into Heywood and Middleton. Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council is Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton and sometimes I think Heywood and Middleton can often play second fiddle so I would like to see some investment come back.”
At the last local election, the Liberal Democrat support collapsed with Councillor Peter Rush being the only Liberal Democrat councillor to hold his seat.
Speaking about this, Mr Smith said: “I think it has been hard and I think with the whole issue of tuition fees, we suffered but I think now, people are starting to realise that we were pushed into that decision. When we are out campaigning, people are very supportive and that has certainly changed from a number of years ago.”
When asked if he is confident in winning the seat, Mr Smith responded with a strong “yes”.