Tory John celebrating his victory

Conservative John Stevenson after retaining his seat
Conservative John Stevenson after retaining his seat

Carlisle MP John Stevenson is one of only a few Conservatives to be celebrating.

The Tory was voted in for a third time in office on Thursday, albeit with a slightly reduced majority, and is now relishing the task of continuing his work for the city.

Mr Stevenson secured 21,472 votes to retain his Carlisle seat, though his majority reduced by 175 votes to 2,599.

Labour's Ruth Alcroft came second with 18,873 votes. Ironically, her share was exactly the same figure Mr Stevenson won with in 2015, when Labour's Lee Sherriff came second with 16,099 votes.

It was very much a two-horse race with both Ukip and the Liberal Democrats losing their deposit after failing to secure five per cent of the vote. Fiona Mills of Ukip secured 1,455 votes, while Liberal Democrat Peter Thornton got 1,256.

Speaking after the election, Mr Stevenson told the News & Star he was delighted with the result.

He said: "We've bucked the national trend for a third election in a row. I'm delighted with that and I feel very privileged and honoured to be re-elected by Carlisle, which I thoroughly enjoy representing."

When asked what his priorities were going forward, Mr Stevenson cited the economy and education.

He said: "One is economic, making sure we get support and making sure our local economy continues to flourish.

"I think there are issues particularly around education and I think our manifesto was moving things in the right direction with £4bn extra and no school seeing their budget reduced, but I think generally we've got to look at that side of things going forward.

"I will also continue to enter into dialogue with government ministers about that and our local schools."

When asked about the NHS, which was a contentious issue during the campaigning for the general election, Mr Stevenson said it was an "interesting one".

He said: "I think the direction of travel of the NHS in North Cumbria is in a better place. I think we've got a good chief executive, we've come out of special measures and it's about trying to make sure we organise our health economy locally in a much, much better way that achieves better outcomes. I think we now have an opportunity to do that.

"I think there's a move towards greater integration between the services and greater ability to try and make sure that the hospitals are talking to the children's services and talking to residential care etc.

"As long as we work hard as it, the health issue is in a better place than it has been although there's still a lot of work to be done."

Putting Carlisle on the map and supporting the Garden City, a new development to the south of Carlisle, are also high on Mr Stevenson's list. He also said he would continue holding his annual skills fair as he said it had been beneficial to the city.

"I will continue lobbying on infrastructure - the A595 and the A69. And more widely, I will continue dialogue with NuGen and the prospects of a nuclear plant at Moorside because that is extremely important for the Cumbrian economy," he added.

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mark   allinson , Carlisle Sunday, 11 June, 2017 at 3:16PM
What education is Stevenson talking about making them flourish thats a joke because the schools in Cumbria are getting the budgets cut or can't he remember that so my question is how can schools do better with a lower budget the truth is they can't and the children will suffer not to mention they are losing the free school meals aswel so without them that means job losses and as for talking to the residential care you can't wait till the dementia tax to start you will be wanting people put into care before its even necessary so the conservatives get the hands on people's homes so they can't leave anything for the families after they have gone and as for your skills fair ive never once been to it and never will even if you paid me to attend it the only stupid things the council have came up with lately is the Crossing at the castle what a waste of money nobody wanting it but they still build it I can't wait and see the backlash what will happen when the city gets grid locked and when the emergency services can't get thru to get to the accident or trying to get to the hospital when its a life or death situation
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