CANDIDATES standing in the upcoming Cumberland Council election have shared their top priorities for the ward they hope to represent.

Voters will take to the polls on May 5 to elect Unitary councillors for the new authority.

Candidates standing for the Mirehouse ward in Copeland have highlighted the main issues they hope to tackle in the area.

Gemma Dinsdale, Independent

1. Flooding Issues across Mirehouse, Hensingham and Corkickle. Holding councils to account where drains need put in place and ensuring maintenance of regularly blocked drains. The main hotspots to my attention are the Cycle Track, particularly under the bridge near Nisa. Coach Road and Whinlatter Road. Please contact me if any other locations within the ward need attention.

2. Continuing to support the campaign against the Whitehaven Cemetery changes. The issue has caused a lot of distress to a lot of families. I believe the council needs to listen to the needs of the cemetery users and show them the compassion and respect they deserve.

3. I am strongly against the proposed Traveller Site locations at Sneckyeat and Greenbank and will do everything in my power to make the council consider plots in a more rural area, on safer and less challenging land. I believe our budget has been cut enough, without adding extra costs to fix land unfit for purpose such as these.

Oliver Dorgan, Conservative

I am proud to be standing for Mirehouse in this crucial set of elections.

The new Cumberland authority gives us west Cumbrians the opportunity to completely reshape how our services are provided - putting us residents first.

As a born and raised west Cumbrian I have many connections to Mirehouse and Whitehaven. I attended school here and know the area well.

I currently serve on a nearby Town Council and have done so for almost four years. I have sat on the Cleator Moor Town Deal Board which has been offered £22.5million of Government investment. I hope to bring my experience to the new authority.

My aims are: Be a tireless advocate for Mirehouse and take an active role in the community.

Make Mirehouse a safer place to live and grow by tackling litter and anti-social behaviour. Paying particular attention to the future of the Pow Beck care home site.

Establish a 'Pot Hole Watch' to highlight the state of our local infrastructure after years of neglect from the Labour/Lib Dem County Council.

Mike Hawkins, Labour

These elections are the most important local elections for over 40 years. How Cumbria will be governed will radically change after these elections, here in Copeland we will join with, Allerdale and Carlisle.

This will mean that instead of three district councils and one county council we will go down to one Cumberland council. All the big services that we all relay on like adult social care, children’s, services, fire and rescue and highways which are provided by the county council at present will all come under the new authority.

Less councils will mean less councillors, so it is vital that these are people with the knowledge of how these services work and the time and ability to attend council meeting so Mirehouse’s voice is heard.

I have the experience gained over 13 years as a Labour councillor and I promise if elected to fight the Tory privatisation and cuts agenda which would be a disaster for Mirehouse.

Tony Lowrey, Independent

Wammo Walmsley, Independent

May the good people of the Mirehouse ward on the new Cumberland Council go out and use their right to vote on May 5. Please vote for the person you feel is right for you and your families and if they get in, hold them to account.

There is a lot of extra work load in this seat but they will be getting a very generous allowance for it so make sure they represent for the full term and not just eight weeks prior to an election.

I'm not going to make any pledges I might not be able to keep so I would just like to take the opportunity to wish all candidates in all wards the very best of luck. Fair play to all for at least wanting to make a change.

It's down to the real people now. The people that matter - the ward residents. Vote me, don't vote me, but use your right and vote somebody. Let's get the polling stations crammed and be heard.

What ever happens I hope this new council becomes a success and all constituents feel they are getting the little representation they ask for at the very least.