Dominic Carman – fighting for jobs for Barnsley

What has pleasantly surprised me in Barnsley is the number of voters who are genuinely open-minded about who they will support. They know that Barnsley needs new jobs and new investment. Barnsley needs an ambitious ambassador, someone who can sell what the town and its people have to offer: a low cost base, a skilled work force, and an excellent geographic location.

I have more than 10 years’ experience of managing international businesses and raising finance for new business ideas from banks in London and New York, creating jobs and investment. As Barnsley’s new MP, I will fight hard to sell Barnsley as a place for businesses to open offices and create jobs.

The biggest area of employment in central Barnsley is the market, providing jobs for about 1000 people. It is the heart and soul of the town. I fear, having spoken to market traders and customers, it is in danger of being ripped apart by an ill-conceived redevelopment. If it ends up as another clone of market centres up and down the country, this would result in:

  • a significant loss of jobs
  • higher costs leading to higher prices
  • the destruction of its character

The market has a long heritage, granted by Royal Charter in 1263 by Henry III, making it one of the oldest surviving markets in the country.

Its character cannot, should not, and will not be destroyed by a thoughtless Labour council.

In just 72 hours, the Liberal Democrat campaigning team organised a petition containing 2700 signatures from shoppers in Barnsley town centre. We have presented this to the council, but the campaign for the market and for Barnsley continues.

But our campaign will only succeed if enough Liberal Democrats come to support us over the next few days.

If you want to help, please email [email protected] or [email protected]

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This entry was posted in Parliamentary by-elections.
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12 Comments

  • Depressed Ex 28th Feb '11 - 6:40pm

    What has pleasantly surprised me in Barnsley is the number of voters who are genuinely open-minded about who they will support.

    Are you sure they’re not just being polite?

  • Cllr Nick Cotter 28th Feb '11 - 6:58pm

    Dominic,

    Very well done for flying the Lib Dem Flag in Barnsley !

    “Depressed Ex” – do you think you might get over your disappointment one day ? cup half-full etc ?!!

    Cllr. Nick Cotter.

    P.s. I have actually got something to be depressed about – defending a ONE vote majority in my district council seat in May – last time (2007) – Cotter – 600, Tory – 599, and Labour are also standing here this time !!

  • The Lib Dems will be in a fight with the Tories and BNP for second place IMO. I think the Tories will take 2nd, with it being too close to call for 3rd. I base this on the assumption that turnout is going to be very low – this benefits the BNP and because the people of Barnsley C is not the sort of place which will be too keen on the cuts – thus working against Lib Dems/Tories, and because there will be no tactical voting – everyone knows Labour will win – and because there will be many people angry with Eric Ilsey and may therefore vote for BNP as a protest to all three major parties. That being said UKIP may dilute some of hte BNP vote thus making it too close to call.

    One thing that I would like to mention is that the Lib Dems better learn from what has gone on over the weekend across the Irish Sea. The Junior coalition partner, the Greens were wiped out – losing all 6 of their seats and getting just 1.8% of the vote. This is largely because they were seen to propping up Fianna Fail – a party which their leader said they would not join in coalition before the 2007 election, and because they were seen as rolling over to Fianna Fail on major policy issues – for example the 2008 budget which did not include a carbon tax levy which the Greens had campaigned on (though it was introduced in 2010). But the Irish election serves as a reminder of the need to be seen as distinct to your coalition partners, and the importance of showing publicly policy disagreements, rather than making it seem as if you’re all one big happy single party.

  • Depressed Ex 28th Feb '11 - 7:45pm

    A poll by Survation has the Lib Dems in fourth place on 6%, but behind UKIP rather than the BNP.
    http://www.politics.co.uk/news/elections/poll-suggests-bad-news-for-by-election-lib-dems-$21387481.htm

    Probably to be taken with a pinch of salt given this pollster’s poor performance in OE&S.

  • Surely the only real question is will you beat the BNP to thrird place?

  • Paul Kennedy 28th Feb '11 - 9:19pm

    The Mail on Sunday’s agenda is to talk up the Tories (and when it suits them UKIP and even Labour) and talk down the Lib Dems – and somehow its pollsters always manage to oblige.

    The difference between the Lib Dems and the Irish Greens is that the Lib Dems always said they would work with the largest party.

    And we didn’t rule out increasing VAT. We simply said that whereas Labour and the Tories were both secretly planning to increase VAT, our plans (mansion tax, capital gains tax, green taxes, restricting pensions relief, and what we warned would be ‘savage’ cuts) would make a VAT increase unnecessary and would even allow us to increase personal allowances, introduce the pupil premium, and start phasing out tuition fees.

    But I agree we should make these policy differences plain and acknowledge that in some respects we have had to compromise with the Tories just as they have had to compromise on things like Trident and human rights.

  • You know its going to be bad for the Lib Dems when Mike Smithson won’t talk about it, preferring to concentrate on David Miliband and what next for William Hague.

  • I was driving into Barnsley the other day and saw a prime example of just how much UKIP is putting into this. On one of the major routes into town, just off the M1 they’ve taken out a full billboard with a 12 foot mugshot of their candidate. It’s been there for over a week which can’t have been cheap. It’s clear they think they can do well here, squeezing the BNP and pushing one of the coalition parties into third place. I think they stand a good chance of achieving that.

  • Paul Kennedy,

    “The difference between the Lib Dems and the Irish Greens is that the Lib Dems always said they would work with the largest party.”

    Really? My memory might be hazy, but I cannot recall this being held out as the party’s position before the general election campaign.

    What happens in Barnsley probably matters very little. Labour is expected to win, and win convincingly. It is the kind of seat that Labour wins even under Brown or Michael Foot. The Liberal Democrat vote is likely to be derisory, because the party (a) has little presence in the town and (b) is propping up a right-wing Tory government. If the Spring Conference votes to support Lansley’s stealth privatisation of the NHS, then the impression will be given that it is not just Clegg who is a second-rate sell-out, but the party itself. And that would deservedly cut the vote share in Barnsley from 6% to 0%.

  • Robson Brown 1st Mar '11 - 6:08pm

    I wouldn’t bother talking up the BNP’s chances, even if they are usually alright in this sort of by-election. Their vote will be down and they certainly won’t be in the top three.

    Apart from a Labour hold with a reduced majority, not much else you can call about the positioning: depends mostly on how much resources have been put in. Chris Wiggin got 17.3% with barely any campaigning so I would not want to suggest a massive drop in support with an actual ground campaign going on.

  • Depressed Ex 3rd Mar '11 - 8:57am

    Paul Kennedy,

    “The difference between the Lib Dems and the Irish Greens is that the Lib Dems always said they would work with the largest party.”

    Really? My memory might be hazy, but I cannot recall this being held out as the party’s position before the general election campaign.

    It’s not your memory that’s hazy.

    What Clegg said was that the party with the “strongest mandate” (whatever that meant) would have the right to try to form a government. Not that the Lib Dems would feel bound to support that party, and still less that they would enter a formal coalition with it.

  • You starting to smell the coffee yet?

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