NORTH Ayrshire and Arran's general election candidates are continuing to make their pitch to local voters ahead of polling day.

We've asked candidates for the local seat to set out their views on a range of issues before voters go to the polls on Thursday, July 4.

This week, we have the views on six candidates who responded on what their local priorities should they be elected.

Patricia Gibson (SNP)

Patricia Gibson, SNP candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran.Patricia Gibson, SNP candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran. (Image: Submitted)

Working in partnership with SNP-led North Ayrshire council and the SNP Government I strive to bring jobs and investment to the people and communities I represent.

Scottish Ministers and their agencies have attracted the highest level of inward investment across the nations and regions of the UK outside London and Southeast England for nine consecutive years now.  

This is bearing fruit locally, with XLCC’s £1.4 billion investment and creation of 900 direct jobs at Hunterston and £100 million at DSM’s Dalry plant, both backed by Scottish Government grants of £9 million and £12 million respectively.

Each year I co-organise an employment fayre, some years two, with local MSP Kenneth Gibson to bring employers to a forum where jobseekers, students, pupils and constituents seeking a career change can meet employers with vacancies, apprenticeships and training opportunities.

Similarly, with an annual funding fayre, to enable community organisations to meet with funders, apply for grants and bring in additional resources.

Assisting almost 4,000 individual constituents each year with their specific concerns is a major part of my work. All emails sent to me being read by me, not a member of staff, as is usually the case with MPs.

Delivering the Ayrshire Growth Deal, holding UK Ministers to their unfulfilled levelling up promises, pressing for Ardrossan Harbour’s redevelopment, backing Ayrshire’s WASPI women, meeting and assisting local businesses, pursuing new banking hubs, new housing and improved NHS services, resources, pay and conditions.   

Primarily, my focus is working for the people and communities of North Ayrshire and Arran.

Irene Campbell (Labour)

Irene Campbell, Labour candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran.Irene Campbell, Labour candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran. (Image: Submitted)

On July 4, there is a simple choice - a Labour government or a Tory government.

The policies of the Conservative government over the last 14 years have devastated many of our local communities.

I have lived in the constituency for most of my life and see the damage that has been done by the economic policy of austerity and the impact on our public services.

Food bank use has rocketed and many people here have been pushed into in-work poverty.

Economic growth has stalled, inequality has risen and household bills have spiralled out of control. To put it simply, this chaotic Tory administration has presided over 14 years of decline.

The last Labour government lifted 120,000 children out of poverty in Scotland.

The Labour manifesto offers policies that will improve the lives of local people.

The New Deal for Working People will boost wages after years of stagnation.

The minimum wage will be raised to finally reflect the spiralling cost of living.

Exploitative zero-hour contracts will be banned, giving everyone the right to have a contract which reflects the number of hours they regularly work.

As well as boosting wages, Labour will set up GB Energy, a publicly owned energy company headquartered here in Scotland with a strategy to both develop green energy and bring down bills.

Funded by closing non-dom tax loopholes and tackling tax avoidance, Labour will prioritise cutting NHS waiting times, ending the development of a two-tier system of health that has prevailed under the Conservatives and the SNP.

Todd Ferguson (Conservative)

Todd Ferguson, Conservative candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran.Todd Ferguson, Conservative candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran. (Image: William Thornton)

I have listened to local people and my priorities would be your priorities.

Our islands have been betrayed time and time again by a SNP Government who have failed to deliver the lifeline ferries they desperately need.

I will fight to ensure that our islands always have a reliable service they can rely on, and the local economy no longer suffers.

As a councillor I have seen first-hand the impact that SNP cuts have had on council budgets and the services we rely on.

I will urge the SNP to give North Ayrshire Council its fair share so we can protect crucial local services.

That includes properly funding our local health and social care providers to ensure they can keep on delivering wonderful levels of care to patients.

Our area has been overlooked for too long when it comes to investment, and I want to grow our local economy to create good jobs to attract people to make this area their home.

However, to do that we also must have the houses available to meet the demand locally which is why I will urge for cuts to the affordable housing budget to be reversed.

I want to stop so many families living in temporary accommodation or failing to have access to a home at all.

I also want to keep our communities safe from crime and back more officers being on the beat in our communities so they can tackle anti-social behaviour and rural crime.

A vote for me on July 4 is to focus on people’s real priorities, rather than a SNP MP who will only be focused on independence.

Michael Mann (Reform UK)

Michael Mann, Reform UK candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran.Michael Mann, Reform UK candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran. (Image: Submitted)

The issues that we hear daily in North Ayrshire and Arran are constantly rising food prices; healthcare waiting times; and unreliable ferry services.

Healthcare is a devolved issue, but nevertheless these are all symptoms of economic decline and poor historic policy choices.

There are two very obvious red flags for our economy: (1) increasing population at the same time as reducing food production; and (2) a growing public sector and a contracting private sector.

The established parties have chosen to fight this election based on the need for increased taxation.

The contracting (wealth-creating) private sector generates the taxes to pay the salaries, costs and the taxes of the growing (wealth-consuming) public sector.

Increasing taxes drives out the private sector and is exactly the opposite of the correct solution.

Reform proposes lifting the entry tax threshold from £12,750 to £20,000. This will take 1.7 million people out of tax altogether and increase the spending power of many more while encouraging people back into the labour force.

Net zero policies strangle food production, damage the environment and export our environment problems. Reform will support farmers and food producers to reverse this trend.

Patricia Gibson recently called for nationalisation of Ardrossan harbour as the solution to the unreliable ferry service. This is an outrageous deflection of blame for the catastrophic decisions that created an unreliable ferry service.

We can reverse destructive policy decisions and change the direction of travel. The SNP and the Tories have broken Britain. The SNP and Labour will bankrupt Britain. Vote for Reform on July 4 and help us to get our country back.

James McDaid (Socialist Labour)

James McDaid, Socialist Labour candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran.James McDaid, Socialist Labour candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran. (Image: Submitted)

The billionaires and politicians who meet annually in Davos revealed that the richest 10 per cent of the world’s population own 90 per cent of the world’s wealth – a situation that continues and worsens year by year.

This fact begins to explain the cause of austerity that is the source of so much inequality, poverty and misery here in North Ayrshire. For example recent figures showed one in three local children live a life in poverty.

Austerity can be consigned to the dustbin of history by using 90% of that wealth owned and controlled by just 10 per cent of the world’s population to finance the policies essential for an equitable society.

What would this mean for people locally?

It would spell the end of unemployment. It would see North Ayrshire’s youth have free education from nursery and primary school to a university degree.

It would provide Britain’s pensioners with an index-linked pension equal to the average wage.

It would spell the end zero hours contracts and allow workers to be paid a fair wage with holidays and sick pay entitlement.

It would provide a National Health Service available at the time of need, upon demand, and completely free.

It would result in the building or refurbishment of local authority and council housing each year until homelessness is eliminated.

Such policies would begin to bring back vitality to the towns of North Ayrshire and Arran.

If you believe, like me, that a better world is possible consider voting Socialist Labour Party on July 4.

Cara McKee (Green)

Cara McKee, Scottish Greens candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran.Cara McKee, Scottish Greens candidate for North Ayrshire and Arran. (Image: Submitted)

The clear message I've been getting on the doorsteps of North Ayrshire and Arran is that voters are sick and tired of politicians from the big three parties, and don’t feel they can trust them.

We can see our public services crumbling, and while other parties have been talking about climate change, they’re not doing enough about it. This matters, not just for us, but for our children and grandchildren.

Our public services are treasured institutions which should be run for the benefit of the people, not for profit.

The Scottish Greens would tax the wealth of those with assets of over £3.4m to help to pay for proper investment in public services, and would continue campaigning for Scottish independence so we could have much needed control over our own finances.

The Scottish Greens are serious about preventing climate breakdown, and recognise the opportunity to build a prosperous, fair, and green economy.

We have already encouraged young people onto buses with free bus passes for under 22s, and would build on this by continuing to renationalise public transport and scaling up public transport provision so that people aren’t forced to rely on cars.

We would also increase investment in the transition to renewable energy, creating tens of thousands of lasting high quality jobs and reducing household energy bills.

People are clear; at this election we need to vote like our future depends on it: Vote Scottish Greens.

READ MORE FROM LAST WEEKNorth Ayrshire general election candidates on 'environment'