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Thursday, 23 October 2014

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Ex-Harrington county councillor vows not to be beaten

Ousted Harrington division Labour county councillor Barbara Cannon claimed she was neither down nor out after failing to retain her seat in last week’s elections.

Coun Cannon, who remains deputy leader of Allerdale council, lost the county election for Harrington to former Labour colleague Marjorie Rae.

Coun Cannon’s defeat was seen as a shock by many.

Coun Rae, who previously represented Harrington, Clifton and Stainburn, stood as an Independent after the party chose to back Coun Cannon as candidate for the new division, created by a boundary change.

The new Harrington division takes in Salterbeck, which was previously part of Coun Cannon’s Moss Bay division.

Coun Rae said that not having a political party behind her would make no difference to her ability to serve her voters.

She said: “I have still got my Labour values. I don’t feel any different about working on my own.

“It’s the community who put me in and it’s the community that I work for.”

Coun Cannon said: “With the boundary changes I felt it was always going to be difficult.

“There’s no doubt that the defection of members didn’t help.”

She put her defeat down to the rise of UKIP and Coun Rae splitting the traditional Labour vote and taking some of the protest vote.

The election’s low turnout – 34.2 per cent in Allerdale – was also disappointing, said Coun Cannon.

She added: “I think people vote for who you stand for. If it’s a political party they are voting for that and the policies of that party or they’re voting in protest.”

Coun Cannon had 16 years on the county council – first in the old Harrington and Salterbeck division and then for Moss Bay, which included Salterbeck, Westfield and Frostoms.

She was on the council which introduced Cumbria’s first countywide anti-poverty strategy, helped to make the county’s stop-smoking service more proactive and worked with the South Workington Partnership to address poverty through measures such as promoting the credit union.

In Workington she helped develop the new town centre.

She said: “I’ve always reckoned that the town centre was the biggest use of my time I could have given to the people I represented in Moss Bay.

“A lot of them will have jobs in the town centre or will have had training through it.”

She helped launch plans for Workington to have a southern relief road, for which she has vowed to continue pressing.

She is looking to prepare Labour’s local campaign for the 2015 General Election, while considering whether to stand for Parliament again herself.

She said: “I’ve got a lot I can look back on with pride and I’ll be back at some point.”

Have your say

Well said Mrs Wiggin; like a lot more Cllr Cannon had become comfortable believing the result was a cert. Hopefully (and sooner the better) when the Allerdale BC election's take place she and her other Labour people will be replaced by UKIP/(truly) Independent people. Well done Majorie.

Posted by Zak on 15 May 2013 at 20:02

nothing to do with boundary changes...all down to the calibre of the candidates ..people vote for the person who has dedicated the time to help help their constituents...local elections are about commitment and local issues and Marjorie fought and won on these standards..

Posted by Mrs G Wiggin on 11 May 2013 at 13:27

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