Would-be MP gets in touch with her roots by holding surgery at hair salon

A PROSPECTIVE MP touched up her grass roots at a South Tyneside hairdressers as part of her political campaign.

Independent candidate Lisa Nightingale, who is hoping to become South Shields MP in next month’s general election, held a question and answer surgery at Jazz hairdressers in Frederick Street, Laygate, on Saturday.

CAMPAIGNING ... from left, Lisa Nightingale at Jazz hairdressers, with owner Sheena Carmichael and local resident Alison Colman.

CAMPAIGNING ... from left, Lisa Nightingale at Jazz hairdressers, with owner Sheena Carmichael and local resident Alison Colman.

The 34-year-old, who is new to the political scene, has spent her first week on her campaign trail visiting constituents at a number of places including Ocean Road Community Centre, Sight Service in Gordon Street, the People’s Cafe at Central Library in St Georg Square, and the Friends of Patrick Cain House at Laygate.

Miss Nightingale, who grew up in Biddick Hall, told the Gazette that the public’s response to her campaign has been very encouraging.

She said: “Unlike the other parties, I am the only candidate that’s independent - I’m not bound by a political party’s agenda.

“It’s been very interesting when I’ve been going out and meeting people.

They’ve been telling me their concerns, and instead of me reeling back statistics and national figures, I have been agreeing with them, that yes, things should be changed, and improvements need to be made.

Lisa Nightingale

“They’ve been telling me their concerns, and instead of me reeling back statistics and national figures, I have been agreeing with them, that yes, things should be changed, and improvements need to be made, so I think they’ve been quite surprised.”

Miss Nightingale, who is taking a break from working as a Gazette reporter to run for election, says one of the main concerns that voters have been raising with her is the future of the town.

She said: “People have been raising a lot of issues. For instance, they’re asking what’s happening to the regeneration projects.

“People, especially here in Frederick Street, are concerned that the process has been going on for years, yet things seem to have come to a standstill, and it’s having a knock-on effect for traders.

“Residents want to speak to actual people for answers, they don’t just want to keep getting letters - they want to know when the work is going to get started.

“That’s why I wanted to hold a surgery like this, so I could find out what people think an MP should be doing for South Shields.”

Sheena Carmichael, owner of Jazz, said: “I invited Lisa to come along to the salon because I think she will be able to make a change to the town.

“When she says she is going to do something, she does it. She is filled with tenacity and integrity.”

Miss Nightingale’s campaign is now getting an unusual helping hand.

Mrs Carmichael added: “A lot of my clients use mobility scooters and a number of them wanted Lisa’s campaign posters.

“I gave them out and they’ve attached them to their scooters, so as they drive around town they will be encouraging everyone to vote for Lisa.”

• Other South Shields candidates standing for election on May 7 include Norman Dennis (UKIP); Shirley Ford (Green Party); Gita Gordon (Liberal Democrats); Emma Lewell-Buck (Labour Party) and Robert Oliver, (The Conservative Party).

Twitter:@ shieldsgazvez