Jo is Labour’s choice for Kingswood
Published on: 30 Jan 2014
LABOUR’s new candidate to contest the Kingswood parliamentary seat at the general election in May 2015 has lost no time in getting out on the streets to listen to voters’ views.
Jo McCarron was selected last month to challenge sitting Conservative MP Chris Skidmore in the marginal constituency, which includes Staple Hill, Mangotsfield and Emersons Green.
The party’s original choice, Josie Channer, stood down in October after it emerged she owed more than £2,000 in parking fines and late payment fees in Barking and Dagenham, where she is a councillor.
This created an opening for Ms McCarron, who had narrowly missed out on selection for other seats in the South West.
“I nearly went for Kingswood first time round, so when this came up it felt it was a bit fated.”
Ms McCarron said she was delighted to have the chance to seek to represent the area where she grew up.
“I went to school in Hanham. My family and friends still live there. I know the territory and that will be an advantage. I think people like a local candidate,” she said.
Ms McCarron now lives on the outskirts of Bath with her husband and two sons and works as an artist.
She came into politics after many years as a community campaigner.
“I am not a career politician,” she said. “But I have always been someone people have ended up turning to for advice and help – and that is what an MP should be, someone who listens to people in the community.”
The biggest issue raised by people on the doorstep, she said, was the cost of living.
She attended the opening of the Juice foodbank in Cadbury Heath in December and hosted a visit to the area by the Shadow Energy Secretary Caroline Flint.
“I find it shocking that people are in a position where they have to rely on handouts for food,” said Ms McCarron.
“Many of them are in work but are struggling because of rising food and fuel prices and stagnating wages. I have seen people struggle and I feel passionately that I want to get out there and help.”
“Soaring energy bills are one of the main reasons people are finding it harder and harder to make ends meet. Labour’s price freeze would save money for over 36,000 households in Kingswood and I’m going to be working hard over the next 17 months to deliver that message.
People here deserve more than the deal they are getting at the moment.”