Lib Dems' candidate for Northampton North MP would back plans for 'urban park' in town

The Liberal Democrats have chosen their candidate to bid for the Northampton North seat at the next general election.

Friday, 1st March 2019, 4:03 pm
Updated Friday, 1st March 2019, 5:35 pm
Martin Sawyer has been named as the Liberal Democrats choice for the Northampton North seat in 2022.

Local businessman and campaigner Martin Sawyer was voted to represent the party at a meeting on February 27.

Mr Sawyer would be up against current Tory MP Michael Ellis, who has held the seat since 2010. His bid would follow the Lib Dems picking up 1,025 votes - or just 2.5 per cent of the total - in 2017.

But Mr Sawyer hopes to sway voters by focussing on Northampton's air pollution, bus services and what to do with the Greyfriars site.

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He told the Chronicle and Echo: "I don't see local Conservative politicians taking responsibility for anything in Northampton except the unitary bid and the museum project.

"I am a local man and I am involved in local community groups... I am pleased and humbled to be given the chance to stand up for people in my home town and to argue the case for a change of direction in our country.”

With regards to the empty Greyfriars site, Mr Sawyer has gone against the grain in his party after other Northampton Lib Dems pitched an idea to build another large bus station on the land and turn the North Gate terminal into a coach station.

He said: "Whenever anyone talks about Greyfriars they say they want to put another bus station there. I think there needs to be some more creative thinking.

"My vision for Greyfriars is an urban park with canopies for buses if needed. I've seen something similar in Budapest. The green space would help the town with its air quality problems.

"The Conservatives seem to think you can just build a retail park there but doing so would collapse the Grosvenor Centre. It's not going to happen."

Mr Sawyer - who is also the director of Brandon Surveys Ltd - also wants to create more electric car charging points in the town and improve bus services for communities.

The next UK General Election is scheduled for May 5, 2022.