Labour hope to hold key battleground

Today we focus on the constituency of Blackpool South
Today we focus on the constituency of Blackpool South
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Today our election special focuses on Blackpool South which is seen as a key battleground.

Labour’s Gordon Marsden has represented the constituency since 1997 but before that it was held by the Conservatives.

Last time round in 2015, Mr Marsden retained the seat with a majority of 2,585, with Conservative candidate Peter Anthony in second place with 10,963 votes.

Mr Anthony is standing once again for the Tories and the result here could be an indicator of how the national picture will look.

There are five candidates vying to win the seat.

The constituency covers a wide range of neighbourhoods from deprived communities to affluent enclaves.

For much of South Shore, tourism remains the key economic driver with hotels still dominating many of the streets branching off from the Promenade.

Further inland, recent investment has seen a surge of house-building on parts of Marton Moss, but there are still calls for more skilled jobs to be created in this part of the resort.

At last year’s EU referendum, Blackpool voted by 67.5 per cent to leave Europe.

Peter Anthony (Conservative)

Enticing and attracting more big businesses to relocate here has to be one of my top priorities.

Promoting the advantage of our excellent motorway link to the M6, along with our Enterprise zone, will go a long way in securing stable jobs for Blackpool which can run alongside our great tourism heritage.

Blackpool is home to more small businesses than any other town in Lancashire.

As an ex-local hotelier myself it is vital that we support and work together to ensure we are utilising all the help available in this field.

Tackling anti-social behaviour and also poor quality ‘houses of multiple occupancy’ will be very high on my agenda.

Bill Greene (Liberal Democrat)

With my wife Irene, we have a large extended family that live locally.

Since retiring from the IT company HP, I have become a local community centre treasurer, studied for a mathematics OU degree, and am involved with the governance of a local Blackpool school.

Politically I have been a local councillor and stood several times as a Parliamentary candidate.

I am passionate about the future of Blackpool and want my actions to benefit everyone in Blackpool South.

My priorities are opposing school cuts, standing up for the NHS and ensuring that your voice is heard when it matters.

Gordon Marsden (Labour)

People across Blackpool are sick and tired of the Tories’ austerity failures.

Many are worse off with poor wages, rising inflation, insecure jobs, overcrowded hospitals - things I ve challenged Theresa May about in Parliament.

Labour’s costed plans offer hope to Blackpool which has had £450m of funding cut by Tory ministers since 2010.

Reversing NHS cuts, a £10 minimum wage, grants for NHS trainees and 16-19-year-olds in college, real increases for schools - all crucial post-Brexit.

As are our 10,000 extra police and more border staff .

I’ve a proven record as your MP, helping bring transforming investment for the Winter Gardens, Tower and tramway and championing small businesses and opposing fracking.

Noel Matthews (UKIP)

Blackpool voted 67.5 per cent for Brexit and as a UKIP MP there is no doubt about my priorities on the matter.

As MP I will campaign for a 52-weeks a year tourism economy as we can no longer rely on being a school holidays and summer weekends destination.

I welcome fracking, and will not turn my back on the much needed jobs and investment fracking will bring.

I will campaign to scrap hospital car parking charges, a policy adopted in a town where the private car park at the hospital has been used to secure a council loan.

We also need protection for small businesses and greater flexibility for families working in tourism.

John Warnock (Green Party)

I am a master carpenter, and I live in Wyre with my wife Tracie, I serve my community with various volunteering projects.

Humans are facing the biggest crisis in there history.

We need to heal the planet from an unstable, unsustainable economy. We need to heal the rift between extreme poverty and the greed driven extreme wealth extractors who have raped our public services.

Out sourcing is what governments do when they have given up governing and given up on you.

It’s the final nail in democracy’s coffin.

Spiralling costs in the NHS, education and other public services are linked to out sourcing.