Liberal Democrat candidate for York and North Yorkshire mayor publishes manifesto

The Liberal Democrat candidate for mayor of York and North Yorkshire has published a manifesto of pledges for if she is elected on May 2.

Felicity Cunliffe-Lister, who is also the Countess of Swinton, was nominated as the Liberal Democrat candidate for mayor in February.

A North Yorkshire councillor, Mrs Cunliffe-Lister has a legal background and helps run the Swinton estate in Ripon.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She has pledged to regenerate high streets, drive investment in the film and green energy sectors and boost affordable housing.

Felicity Cunliffe-ListerFelicity Cunliffe-Lister
Felicity Cunliffe-Lister

Other pledges include investing in flood management and compensating farmers for damage flooding causes.

“Having lived and raised a family in North Yorkshire and run a successful business there for 24 years, many of my policies are based on my experience and legal background,” she said.

“I have also taken specialist advice on some of the more thorny issues, to help establish what the most effective solutions are to the issues we face, that will also deliver the best value for money.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I know that there are some issues that impact the region as a whole, such as the skills shortage and lack of affordable housing, and others such as flooding, the demise of the High Street and rural isolation that require specific focus.

“My policy goals are to generate sustainable economic growth, create more affordable homes, and improve the health and wellbeing of all who live here.”

Mrs Cunliffe-Lister also wants to improve access to sport, provision for school meals and support to identify and address mental health issues, as well as implementing a daily toothbrushing scheme within primary schools.

She has also pledged to establish an apprenticeship fund to support more apprenticeships, enable levy transfer, assist mature adults to retrain, and drive more skills into the sectors with the highest shortages.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The full manifesto is published on the North Yorkshire Liberal Democrats’ website.

What is the election for?

The election on May 2 is for a mayor to run the newly-formed York and North Yorkshire combined authority.

A devolution deal secured £750m of funding over 30 years and the mayor - who will oversee it - will have new powers over housing, transport and skills, as well as being responsible for driving growth in the region.

Who else is standing?

Conservative Party: Keane Duncan, a former Daily Star journalist who currently serves as the transport executive on North Yorkshire Council.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

At just 29-years-old, he’d be the youngest metro mayor in the country if elected, and has said he’d be open to being the first Tory mayor to franchise bus services.

Labour Party: David Skaith, the owner of the men’s clothing store Winstons of York, was previously chair of York High Street Forum and secretary of Indie York.

He unsuccessfully ran to be a councillor for the City of York Council in May 2023 and now wants to create a ‘mayor’s high street fund’.

Liberal Democrats: Felicity Cunliffe-Lister - the Countess of Swinton - is a North Yorkshire councillor who owns Swinton Park.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

She recently announced a campaign pledge to tackle food poverty in the region.

Green Party: Kevin Foster is a former soldier who also worked in the civil service for 30 years before being elected as a North Yorkshire councillor.

Independent: Keith Tordoff was originally the candidate for The Yorkshire Party but was deselected when he promised free chickens for 2,000 homes.

He is a former police officer who investigated the Yorkshire serial killer Peter Sutcliffe.

Independent: Paul Haslam, a councillor in Harrogate, is an active opponent to the proposals of a relief road through the Nidd Gorge area.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.