Keane Duncan has today embarked on an epic 100-day campervan tour of North Yorkshire to demonstrate he will be a mayor for every corner of England’s largest county.
Surviving on Army-style ration packs and sleeping in the wilderness, the mayoral candidate is on a quest to personally visit 1,000 of the county’s communities by Polling Day on May 2.
Keane will travel in his trusty Peugeot Partner Tepee, nicknamed ‘Peggy’, to towns, villages and remote hamlets to demonstrate his commitment to representing people across all 8,300 km2 of North Yorkshire’s vast expanse.
Mr Duncan started his tour at the county’s western-most extremity, at the last house before the border with Lancashire, near Bentham this morning (Tuesday).
Speaking from the driveway of North Yorkshire’s ‘last resident’ at The Ridding, off the B6480, Keane said: “With just 100 days to go, I am touring the length and breadth of our county to make very clear I won’t be a Mayor fixed to a desk in York.
“I’m starting as I mean to go on by taking the effort to travel up moor, down dale and cross country to speak to you personally.
“I will be bringing my simple but important message directly to your door: You matter. Every single community in North Yorkshire matters. And I will be a mayor who represents people in all corners of England’s largest county.
“You will not be overlooked. You will not be forgotten.”
He added: “North Yorkshire is five times the size of Greater London - a giant area stretching almost coast to coast.
“From where I’m standing now, it’s just 15 miles to the Irish Sea at Morecambe Bay.
“The North Sea at Scarborough is 110 miles in the opposite direction. It is a journey so difficult that it’s actually just as quick to reach Glasgow from here.
“I chose this remote point to start my tour as it really highlights the sheer scale of the mayoral region.
“And why it is so important I am committed to representing everybody, everywhere in this amazing county I am proud to call home.”
Keane’s countywide tour is part of his pledge to “do politics differently” ahead of an unprecedented transfer of power from Westminster to Yorkshire in a deal worth £750m of investment.
The mayoral candidate is inviting the public to join him for a “cuppa at the camper” and to help shape his manifesto at a carefully-planned itinerary of stops over the next three months.
Keane visited Bentham Auction Mart on Tuesday morning before riding ‘Peggy’ into villages and hamlets across the Yorkshire Dales.
He will visit Ingleton later on Tuesday, before heading up to Settle, Giggleswick and surrounding villages on Wednesday.
The new mayoral region of York & North Yorkshire is an area more than five times the geographical area of Greater London.
It is broadly equivalent to the combined total areas of Bedfordshire, Berkshire, Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire and Oxfordshire.
The public are invited to help shape Keane’s manifesto by visiting keane4mayor.co.uk/manifesto.