WE asked each Easington candidate to explain to The Northern Echo's readers why they deserve your vote. Here's what they had to say.

Grahame Morris, Labour Party

The Northern Echo:

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"It is an honour and a privilege to represent the area I was born and brought up in. I hope with the support of the people of Easington, I can continue the fight to protect to protect vital public services, campaign for investment, jobs and regeneration of East Durham, ensure our pensioners have security in retirement, and the next generation have the opportunities they deserve to succeed.

"Labour's national manifesto provides practical solutions to the challenges faced by people and communities in East Durham.

"Labour will ensure the NHS has the vital funding it needs, to provide comprehensive healthcare free at the point of use. Labour will ensure there are resources to remove the threat to frontline A&E services.

"Labour will join up health and social care, address the social funding shortfalls cause by government cuts and oppose the punitive Tory Death Tax for those needing social care.

"Tory education policy is in chaos, funding cuts threaten every school in my constituency. On average £320 per pupil is to be cut under Theresa May’s new funding formula, class sizes are increasing, and millions of pounds have been wasted on under-performing Free Schools.

"Education is key to our success. Labour's new National Education Service will provide access to free education for all, we will restore the adult skills budget to help those who need to re-skill when they are made redundant. The abolition of tuition fees and reintroduce the Educational Maintenance Allowance will encourage our young people to achieve their potential. Labour will cut class sizes and provide free school meals for all primary children helping working families.

"The North East has been overlooked for investment. Labour's new regional 'Bank of the North', will deliver capital funding for vital infrastructure and help small and medium sized businesses to grow. Labour will invest in a new generation of decent affordable housing to rent and buy, including half a million council houses. Labour will take control of essential public services in transport, energy and water, so they operate in the interest of people not profits.

"Labour works for you. We will deliver a better, fairer Britain where prosperity is shared and everyone is rewarded fairly for hard work. We will build a Britain for the many, not the few.

Tom Hancock, Liberal Democrats

The Northern Echo:

Tom Hancock is a postgraduate student at the University of Manchester. He was born in Shotley Bridge and grew up in Northumberland where he attended Prudhoe Community High School before going to study politics at the University of York.

He joined the Liberal Democrats through the Yes to Fairer Votes campaign and has worked for the party as a regional campaigner in the EU referendum. He stood as the party's candidate in Wansbeck in 2015.

Outside of politics Tom is a self-published musician and recording artist with several albums to his name.

He regularly performs across the North East to a wide range of audiences. He is also a keen supporter of Stoke City football club.

Easington continues to have significant challenges associated with its industrial past and poor socio-economic indicators.

Tom believes that the area's political domination by the Labour Party for many years has failed East Durham.

Brexit will only serve to increase the challenges facing the constituency as exporting manufacturers are set to face major trade obstacles if Britain leaves without a deal.

Tom will be seeking to highlight the Lib Dems policies of building 300,000 homes nationally a year, increasing investment by £6n in the NHS, £7bn in education and schools, and trebling of the Lib Dems' flagship Pupil Premium funding for under 5s in early years education.

This election is a unique opportunity for voters in Easington to ensure that the British people get the final say on the Brexit deal we negotiate with the EU.

Not everyone agrees with the Liberal Democrat position on Europe but everyone can welcome a chance to safe guard the prosperity of future generations with a second vote.

People are angry with good reason; our schools are underfunded, the NHS is at breaking point, and young people face unprecedented barriers to owning their own home to name just a few.

Only the Liberal Democrats have real solutions to these problems.

The conservative Brexit government have broken their promise to invest 350 million a week on the NHS and prioritise educational vanity projects over fixing our existing schools. Labour have offered a series of lavish spending promises based on unrealistic tax rises.

The Liberal Democrats will: introduce a 1p rise on income tax to provide the NHS with an extra 6 billion pounds a year; invest 7 billion in schools and colleges over the next parliament; and help people buy their first home with a new model of 'rent to own' homes.

Voters in Easington have been let down by Tory broken promises and Labour's failure to provide an opposition. Only a vote for the Liberal Democrats on June 8th will ensure an open, tolerant and united opposition to Theresa May's hard brexit government.

Allyn Roberts, Ukip

The Northern Echo:

"I am an outsider, yes. But look at what has happened to Easington over the last, 50 years? What has changed? Easington is still sitting post miners’ strike, waiting to start. Thirteen years of labour government, 'What did they do for you?'"

"Still waiting for the Tories.

"What DO we have and what COULD we do?

"Walkers crisps Peterlee, closing why? 'Crucial savings' At worst we could backfill the Japanese crisp shortage. At £10 a bag, we could easily justify just working the three-day week the Green Party want.

"Who would fight to get the decision reversed before the factory is left empty? I would.

"The textile industry in the area was a large employer until the last decade, now, still in decline and unable to grow again due to lack of suitable trained or skill staff.

"What? Why can we not employ some of the highly skilled retirees to train the younger generation? Run an apprenticeship through a local college? Who would promote this idea to get investment? I would.

"As an outsider I am very aware of accents. The North-East ‘Geordie’ accent is the third most popular accent for call centres. We have several call centres, why do we not have more?

"They are good solid jobs that attract go getters and are springboards into other more skilled management and sales roles. Who is knocking on the doors of corporates to show case our god given assets? I would.

"The fact is Easington needs a fresh start. The logic of UKIP is we are neither left nor right wing. Since General election 2015, both Labour and Conservatives have stolen from our Manifesto. There is plenty more to discuss as I do not have a Part line to adhere to, that path is for you to decide."

Martie Warin, Green Party

The Northern Echo:

"I am proud to be your Green Party candidate for Easington.

"All across England, Wales and Scotland, people are suffering from the effects of bad decisions made by Government and big businesses; decisions that cause unjustified misery and damage to both people and the environment. I want it to stop!

"From an early age, fairness and compassion have been important to me.

"As a six-year-old I asked where ‘meat’ came from, and was given the facts.

"I told my parents that I did not want to eat animals anymore, and with their help and understanding I became vegetarian.

"Given the opportunity to represent the Easington constituency, I would fight tooth and nail to put an end to this nonsensical idea that austerity is a necessity.

"The rich and the social elite grow wealthier at the expense of the planet and the downtrodden whilst insisting that this exploitation is sustainable, let’s show them that we aren't that easily hoodwinked!

"My background may not be conventional, but it is varied. I studied music for five years, which included music management, music technology and a lot of stage performance. I then worked in customer services for a number of years and I currently work for the NHS in the Research and Innovations department.

"Over the years I have campaigned on many social and environmental issues such as, fighting against the use of bee killing pesticides, the bedroom tax, ATOS assessments, Fracking, mental health awareness, animal rights issues, and TTIP to name a few.

"Fair is still worth fighting for and we can and will continue to do it for the common good."

Barney Campbell, Conservative Party

The Northern Echo:

Barney Campbell served in the British Army from 2006-2012, a spell that included a tour of Afghanistan.

He knows all about duty, teamwork and what it is like to be on the receiving end of decisions made in Westminster and how important it is that those decisions are made correctly.

He is delighted to be part of Theresa May's team for securing a prosperous trading future post-Brexit that will cement Britain's place on the global scene abroad and safeguard our citizens at home.

Having worked in Europe on various infrastructure projects, he believes in responsible economics and prudent management of public services such as a strong, well-funded and well- structured NHS and Police force.

He believes in a national economy that spreads wealth and growth prospects all around the country and that plans for the long term to cater for the needs of our children and grandchildren.

He has a particular interest in the well-being of former service personnel, and is the author of a novel that tried to explain the experience of our servicemen and women in Afghanistan to a wider audience.

He believes in encouraging growth and aspiration, but at the same time never forgetting those less fortunate in life and making sure they are looked after.

His family is from the North-East and his grandfather was an engineer who helped to design Blyth power station. He is committed to raising employment levels after some difficult recent years for the area.

Lying between Sunderland to the north and Hartlepool to the south, transport links to both centres of employment could be better.

By stimulating tourism to the area and exploiting attractions such as the seafront at Seaham and the magnificent County Durham coastline, we can work to draw valuable tourist revenue to the area and so help to improve transport links and employment prospects.

Susan McDonnell, North East Party

The Northern Echo:

Susan McDonnell is 52 and married with one grown up son.

She has lived in the Easington Constituency area for 46 years having moved here when she was 6. She has a strong affinity to Shotton and Easington Collieries, where she spent a lot of time at her Grandparents homes and allotment gardens when she was young. Her first Saturday job was at Mills Greengrocers in Easington Colliery.

After leaving school at 16, she undertook some admin roles at local firms in Peterlee and then in 1983 she joined BT as an operator. Her career with the telecoms giant spanned 21 years and following a number of successive promotions, she left her last role as the Regional Manager for The North East. Since then she has worked in a number of public and private sector roles in the region.

She started doing work in her local community after becoming the neighbourhood watch co-ordinator for the estate she still lives on and that was just over twenty years ago.

She will admit to have dabbled with the Labour Party for a short spell but left the party after it became clear to her that she was only welcome if she would keep her mouth shut and do as she was told.

She is one of the founding members of The North East Party and is well known for her political rants about equality and fairness – don’t get her started on council tax if you know what’s good for you.

She is Chair of the Easington Constituency branch of The North East Party which is where the majority of the members of the group are.

May 4, 2017, was local election day for the County Durham electorate; she was delighted to see her party take 20 of the 22 parish seats for the town council in Peterlee where she lives and says that she was ‘almost’ speechless when they also took three out of five county seats in the town too (missing out on the 4th by less than twenty votes). In a town that was previously known to be Labour through and through, they’ve done pretty well for a new party that was only set up three years ago.

The foundation stone on which the North East party was set up is to get a devolution deal for the North East. All it seeks is fairness – the same powers, the same resources as other parts of the same country and fair UK taxes based on ability to pay.

The North East Party’s commitment to devolution within the UK strengthens the commitment to citizenship of the UK.

Properly funded devolution to North East England would ensure that our region has similar opportunities as Scotland to subsidise Higher Education. In North East England, subjects where there is either a skills shortage or a high demand will receive a subsidy for up to 100% of tuition fees. The subsidy will decrease as the demand for the skill lowers. Subjects will be reviewed annually by an independent body who will decide on subsidies.

Graduates are finding it harder to secure employment in a tight jobs market where employers want experience. We seek to strengthen ties between Higher Education and Industry by offering a ‘Graduate Employment Subsidy’ where we can subsidise the wages of a graduate by 25% to encourage companies to take on more graduates. To be eligible the graduate must be in their first employment after university and the role must be related to their degree. With control of Education policy under democratic devolution we would upgrade Personal Social and Health Education (PSHE) within the National Curriculum including core subjects such as mental health, finance, life skills, support networks and democracy. With the introduction of a core democracy topic with PSHE we will reduce the voting age to 16.

We would also establish a North East Young Persons Advice Line developing the remit of this service to ensure that every 13-19 year old has access to an advisor for face to face meetings.

At the moment our communities suffer the highest taxation, inadequate public funding, highest unemployment and worst social deprivation in England. The North East Party wants North East communities to be the best in the world.

North-East people have made a magnificent contribution to UK Armed Forces over many generations. It is fundamental to our approach to the United Kingdom that we seek the recognition that our uniformed services have been denied for too long. We would re-instate immediate pensions to all members of armed forces and extend all benefits of serving personnel to staff of emergency services.

Every community in North East England can display magnificent commitment to the defence of this country in wartime. We will restore the DLI Museum and use this as an inspiration for the development of regimental and armed forces museums wherever they are relevant to North East communities Under democratic devolution we would have the power to integrate National Health Services with Social Care and ensure that local communities are well-positioned to insist upon world class services for all. Properly funded devolution will provide for a holistic service, provided 24/7, supporting our ageing population at home or in care.

We want a pension covenant for the people of the UK; an indelible guarantee, endorsed by the Head of State to the protection of pensions and to respecting the lifetime contributions and aspirations of working people whether in the public, private, voluntary or community sector.