Residents have grilled the borough’s parliamentary hopefuls at a hustings event.
Labour, Conservative and Green Party prospective parliamentary candidates for Hyndburn traded blows over policing, the plight of the constituency’s town centres, foodbanks and zero hours contracts at Haslingden Library. The event was chaired by Accrington Observer reporter Dan O’Donoghue.
Each candidate gave an opening pitch to a crammed library hall of more than two dozen people and were then taken to task by members of the audience.
In one exchange Labour candidate Graham Jones said that he would like to see Police and Crime Commissioner’s scrapped.
He said: “Police cuts of around £100million in Lancashire have had a major impact. I want to see more police on the beat and that’s why Police and Crime Commissioner’s should be scrapped. I also support a two per cent rise in the police precept.”
Conservative Kevin Horkin said: “Despite what you hear about cuts, crime has gone down a fifth under this government, it is safer to walk the streets than it ever was under 13 years of Labour.” Green candidate Kerry Gormley: “There has been a spike in crime on Broadway so it is completely sensible to put a police station there.”
The candidates also addressed issues of national concern, Mr Horkin said: “When Ed Miliband said zero hours contracts were exploitative he is quite right, but there is a place for them.
"When we look at the rise of foodbanks we have to factor in that society has changed, in the past the family took care of people in need, foodbanks are having to do it now.
"But isn’t it a wonderful thing when the community comes together and fills that void. I want to see them eradicated, and that can only be done with a strong economy.”
Mr Jones said: “Vote Labour and we will abolish zero hour contracts. On foodbanks I find it a disgrace that in this constituency in 2010 we had one and now we have six.”
Mrs Gormley added: “Foodbanks are disgraceful, it’s terrible that people have to live on them.” Liberal Democrat candidate Alison Firth and UK Independence Party candidate Janet Brown could not attend the hustings due to prior commitments.