A former soldier has joined the battle to become the next MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey.
Alan Avery, of Pickering, was chosen as the prospective parliamentary candidate for the Labour Party earlier this week ahead of the General Election in May next year.
The 66-year-old, who served with the army in Germany, the Falkland Islands and the UK, first became associated with Labour when he campaigned for the party in North Hull during the 1966 General Election.
Mr Avery said: “There is no doubt that for the majority of people in this constituency, it is the day to day problems of making ends meet, when prices and the cost of living keep on rising while wages are held down.
“The Tory policy of encouraging the rich with tax cuts, assuming the wealth will trickle down to the rest of us, has failed and we now have more families living in poverty than we have had, probably since the great depression of the 1930s.
“This can only be changed by making our society fairer, by ensuring that we achieve the minimum wage of £8 an hour and moving to the living wage for all.
“Our young people are leaving the area to look for work elsewhere. They cannot afford local housing. By working in cooperation with local businesses and the local councils we can encourage more companies to come to North Yorkshire with high quality jobs.”
He added: “I know the environment is a worry for many people and with fracking and the potash discovery on the North York Moors, this is a real problem on our doorstep.
“I want to encourage firms like this to come here but with strict environmental controls built into the planning process.
“There are so many other issues such as transport, the National Health Service and Immigration that I know people will want to talk about when I knock on their doors and I look forward to debating these issues with the other candidates and talking about them to the people of the Thirsk and Malton Constituency in the coming months.”
Mr Avery, who is married to Anne and has three sons and one grandson, retired to Pickering in 1986 where he set up his own business, Blackthorn Press, which publishes history and English Literature.
He has previously been chairman and vice chairman of the constituency and represented the Labour Party on Pickering Town Council. He has also stood for the party at district and county elections as well as being a school governor for two local schools.