Wigan teenage political activist standing against council leader in local elections
Jordan Gaskell is hoping to pull off what would be a political earthquake of a result on May 6.
Jordan is the only candidate representing Ukip who is on the ballot papers for this year’s local elections in the borough.
And the 18-year-old has set himself a mighty task by choosing to contest the Ince ward seat currently held by none other than the borough’s political figurehead David Molyneux.
However, Jordan has stayed loyal to the purple rosette and believes his community work in Ince puts him in a strong place to offer a challenge to Labour’s high-profile incumbent.
Jordan, who lives in Hindley but works in Ince as a social media manager, said: “Local elections should be all about putting the community first, not politics or a councillor who only appears at election time.
“I’ve been helping the community for over a year. I was delivering food parcels in the first lockdown, I delivered food to the homeless.
“It’s time we got councillors who are willing to get out there and improve the community, not just when it’s time to defend their seat.”
Jordan says his manifesto is based around cleaning up the ward’s green spaces, fix potholes, finding a use which benefits local residents for the large site which was formerly the Morrisons supermarket and working to end an ongoing vandalism problem at the William Foster Playing Fields.
He also wants to encourage community groups to set up, saying other areas of the borough have done better at this than Ince and are now reaping the rewards.
He said: “Green spaces in Ince have been neglected for far too long. They are an absolute disgrace.
“I’ve already organised litter picks and met some lovely people, so I’m getting a team ready to clean up Ince.
“Potholes are a major issue, particularly in Lower and Higher Ince. It needs addressing.
“The loss of Morrisons has caused a lot of issues for people living in the area. Some can’t afford deliveries and have to walk all the way to and from Hindley to do their shopping. We need to encourage commercial interest in that site.
“The park at the Foster playing fields has been vandalised so many times, I want to do that up.
“We also need more community groups in Ince, particularly to support people in areas like Belle Green which struggle for wealth. Hindley and Hindley Green has lots of groups but Ince has nothing. If residents report things to the council they have to wait ages to get anything done.”
Jordan says recent electoral history suggests that if anyone can offer an alternative to voters in Ince it is his party.
He said: “Labour probably thinks this is a safe seat and I want to challenge that.
“When Ukip has stood we’ve always got second place in Ince. I believe we are the best option to Labour here.”
The candidates standing in Ince ward are: Allan Atherton (Conservatives), Jordan Gaskell (Ukip), David Molyneux (Labour).
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