Borough election candidate hoping to bring Reform to local politics

The sole candidate standing for election to Wigan Council for Reform UK has spoken of the changes he would like to effect.

Monday, 3rd May 2021, 7:00 am

James Fish is standing in Tyldesley ward for the organisation previously known as the Brexit Party.

The 30-year-old said he chose to don Reform UK’s rosette as he is a Brexit supporter but admits that his vision for being a councillor is a lot closer to home and involves making a break with national politics and events in Westminster.

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Reform UK candidate for Tyldesley ward James Fish

Mr Fish said: “I was looking at what the council has done over the years with the spending and thinking a change in local politics needs to happen.

“Politics is always something I’ve wanted to go into and I was helping a candidate at the last general election.

“I think whatever is happening in national politics should stay in national politics. Local politics should be about the residents of that ward, rather than what is happening in Westminster. I just think we can get away from that.

“I’ve not set any targets and I’m not going into this thinking I need to win. I’m not going to be too despondent even if I come last.

“It’s about getting my name out there and doing what I think is right for local people.”

Mr Fish says the centrepiece of his manifesto is a campaign to get Tyldesley Library reopened.

He is also looking to tackle anti-social behaviour in the ward, increase investment on roads and infrastructure and challenge housing developers and large construction companies to shun green belt sites when there are brownfield sites which could be used.

He also wants housebuilders to have to provide more infrastructure such as school places and doctors’ surgeries.

While he is campaigning on a manifesto of local issues Mr Fish says standing for a national party has been helpful as he has had support from Reform UK’s regional structure and senior leaders.

He also says he has tried to stay away from a negative style of campaigning and wants to focus on his own ideas rather than spending a lot of time criticising other parties.

The candidates for Tyldesley ward in this year’s local elections are: Susan Atherton (Conservatives), Jack Davies (Liberal Democrats), James Fish (Reform UK), Julian Marsh (Leigh, Atherton and Tyldesley Together), Antonino Panebianco (Independent), Nazia Rehman (Labour).

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