Politically Correct by Richard Rendell

Richard Rendell, chairman of the Blackpool North and Cleveleys Conservative Party.

Richard Rendell, chairman of the Blackpool North and Cleveleys Conservative Party.

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Commitment required to help run our town

As chairman of the local Conservative party here in Blackpool North and Cleveleys, it is a pleasure to work with councillors from Blackpool, Wyre and Lancashire.

This is something which gives me a unique position, due to being able to work with councillors from all three authorities here on the Fylde coast.

As a result I can see just how much better, in my opinion, Wyre is run than Blackpool.

Like many I was disappointed not to see the Conservatives make bigger inroads into taking back control of Blackpool Council at the last local elections, especially when we held one of the two Parliamentary seats so convincingly.

This last year has shown we simply need better leadership in our town.

At the moment, I believe it is all political positioning, but there is no common sense or long-term vision involved in the running of Blackpool

Part of my role is to manage the process of recruiting and selecting candidates to contest future council elections.

Just recently we have opened up our candidates list, initially for the Lancashire County Council elections which take place in May next year, but we are also seeking people to stand across Blackpool North and Cleveleys.

We believe in order to ensure our party reflects and represents Blackpool in the most complete way possible, we have to seek applications from all sections of society.

By selecting early from a talent pool made up of interested and committed people, we can be in a position to end the Labour rule at the town hall.

No experience is necessary as a full support and training programme is in place.

All that potential candidates need is a willingness to work in the community, and an understanding it can be hard work, as well as a genuine belief in the aims and objectives of the Conservative Party. Anyone who is interested should email me on Richard@paulmaynard.co.uk

Debate can kickstart change

I feel very honoured to call Paul Maynard a friend.

We’ve had a good working relationship for nearly 10 years now. I am also one of his three bosses, the other two being the people of Blackpool North and Cleveleys, and the Prime Minister.

Knowing Paul like I do, I know just what happens behind the scenes.

The work that goes unreported and the meetings that occur without fanfare.

That is why I was really pleased to learn Paul had secured a visit to Blackpool from a gentleman called Christian Guy last week.

Christian is the special adviser to the Prime Minister on life chances, and social policy, and the former director of the Centre for Social Justice.

During the course of the day Paul had arranged three round table meetings with stakeholders and decision makers from across the town.

These meetings, I understand, were passionate affairs where some of the real ingrained issues of Blackpool were discussed.

I’m not saying that, in themselves, these meetings will make change occur, but by bringing key players from Blackpool and from the heart of Government together, then perhaps the grain of change has been planted.

Infrastructure key to growth

It was Labour which stopped Wyre NoW card holders from using the trams, no one else made that decision.

Wyre Conservatives, led by Paul Maynard MP and councillors Patsy Ormrod and Andrea Kay, fought every step of the way to reverse this ban and every step of the way Labour point-blank refused to even consider it.

They tried to shift the blame, but even the Prime Minister said that Labour at County Hall were responsible.

In the end, due to a debate Paul held in Parliament on the issue, the Government pressured Lancashire while at the same time providing more funding, ensuring Lancashire had nowhere new to hide.

I know this is only one transport issue, and nothing is ever done in isolation, but it is important to set out the facts and the timeline.

With Government investment on rail electrification, the tram extension and the A585 by-pass, I’m hopeful the infrastructure will be in place to help Blackpool and Wyre grow.