Campaigner will fight for green areas

John Vickers
John Vickers
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A well-known environmental campaigner and activist has swapped political horses in his latest bid to protect the borough from development.

John Vickers will wear the red rosette of Labour in next year’s council elections as he bids to represent Hindley Green ward.

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Mr Vickers has previously run as an independent or stood for smaller left-wing parties.

However, he says since Jeremy Corbyn was elected leader Labour has embraced his long-held political beliefs.

Having previously campaigned extensively on preventing open land and green spaces being built on, he is basing his bid at the ballot box on opposing the South of Hindley infrastructure project.

He also says he has his finger on the pulse of ward issues thanks to more than a decade chairing the Hindley Green Residents’ Association.

Mr Vickers said: “I know what many of the issues affecting us are, whether it’s potholes and bins or overdevelopment. I have always strived to keep the green in Hindley Green.

“I am totally opposed to building 2,000 houses on the South Hindley site, just as I am opposed to building 1,800 houses on the North Leigh Park site.

“Hindley Green does not have the schools, the doctors’ surgeries, the road network or the public transport system to adequately support this massive expansion.

“Having lost much of its open green spaces to overdevelopment, Hindley Green no longer has the benefits of a rural area but all the disadvantages.

“I will campaign to reinstate the services that residents say they need, such as more bus routes, and to bring a new health centre and a multi-purpose community hub to Hindley Green.

“Since I last stood as an independent in 2014, the political climate has changed. The Labour Party has changed both nationally and locally. However, I will always be willing to work with all who have the best interests of Hindley Green at heart.”

Mr Vickers will try to win the seat of Labour representative Frank Carmichael, who is stepping down.

He promised to listen and consult with local residents and said he would hold street surgeries between now and the elections on ward issues.

No other candidates have been officially unveiled.