“I thought it was time to stand up and be counted”: Bolton West Lib Deb candidate Donald McIntosh shares why he’s running for MP

Donald McIntosh, standing for the Liberal Democrats in Bolton West for the upcoming election, talked with Mancunian Matters about his campaign so far, what change he wants to make in the area and key issues happening nationally. 

McIntosh worked for companies that build power stations and for the last 15 years the candidate has run tech companies across the UK. 

It was during the COVID pandemic that McIntosh decided to enter politics.

He said: “I had a situation where my mother fell down, went to hospital and contracted COVID and then died rather suddenly. 

“Around that same time the Conservatives were partying in Downing Street, whilst I couldn’t visit my mother in hospital, and I thought it was time to stand up and be counted.”

McIntosh decided to run for the Liberal Democrats because of their policy on ‘vibrant economy’ and a ‘safety net for those who actually can’t help themselves’. 

Ultimately he decided to run in Bolton West with the Liberal Democrats to face a formidable opponent.

He said: “I wanted a constituency where I could go after a rabid Tory nut-job – which is exactly what I got with Chris Green.”

The businessman has been campaigning around Bolton West and claims to have been met with a lot of interest. He predicts himself to beat out the Conservatives and Reform confidently. 

Electoral Calculus currently predicts Labour to take the constituency, with Conservatives coming second, Reform third, the Liberal Democrats fourth and the Green Party fifth. 

McIntosh believes that development is a key issue in Bolton West. 

He said: “We have lovely areas like Victoria Road in Horwich which the local residents and councillors want to keep green and potentially make into football pitches.

“And it just got overturned by the central government and there’s 286 houses being built on the site.”

The Liberal Democrat candidate continued to raise the issue of power being taken out of local government’s hands when it came to decision making in the area. 

McIntosh said: “The property development is being built on land that absorbs rainwater, so when it rains the water will roll downhill and flood Chorley New Road, creating a whole different issue.

“That’s what happens when you get Michael Gove making a decision in the central government about an issue in politics.

“Whereas our party is much more attuned to pushing these decisions back into the hands of the local government where people actually know the area.”

McIntosh also believes another key issue in Bolton West is how healthcare systems are being run. 

He said: “You’ve got one big hospital in the area – and Royal Bolton Hospital is running at about 110 % capacity.

“You get all the stories of people spending seven hours in A&E and having their appointments pushed back another three months.

“We want to fund the NHS more, we understand there’s a cost to social care but we’re actually giving the hospital back 30% of its capacity.”

Levelling up was a key concern of McIntosh’s as well.

The Lib Dem candidate detailed how Bolton West was a constituency of mixed levels of affluence but had been left out of opportunities other towns had received.

He said: “The constituency is mixed in terms of wealth, you have a lot of affluent people around Lostock but then three food banks in the area as well.

“Johnson’s Fold (near Smithills), you don’t see that many people looking levelled up there. The people I feel most sorry for are actually the children. 

“George Osborne’s two-child benefit cap is leaving children impoverished, you could instantly take children out of desperate situations by removing that cap.”

McIntosh will stand against Conservative candidate Chris Green, who was also approached by MM for an interview; Labour candidate Phil Brickell, interviewed here; Reform candidate Dylan Evans; Green candidate Vicki Helen Attenborough; and English Democrats candidate Patrick Robert McGrath.

Polling stations will be open from 7am until 10pm on Thursday 4 July, with results expected the next day. 

To find your local polling station, enter your postcode at Where Do I Vote.

Featured image courtesy of Donald McIntosh

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