Brexit not Brussels is on Fylde coast MPs Christmas wish lists

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With the first December General Election since 1923 now behind us, the Fylde coast's freshly elected MPs are now looking forward to the festive season just like everyone else.

But what's on their Christmas wish lists to achieve during the coming term of office?

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visiting Thornton railway station after pledging to re-open the Fleetwood to Poulton line

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visiting Thornton railway station after pledging to re-open the Fleetwood to Poulton line

Scott Benton (Conservative, Blackpool South)

My first priority is getting Brexit done. Nearly 70 per cent of residents of Blackpool voted to leave the EU and it's absolutely vital we take advantage of the opportunities that can bring.

So I want to help deliver Brexit and support the government to do this.

I want to see investment in public services, in particular more money for local NHS services and to improve services at Blackpool Victoria Hospital.

Scott Benton will work towards bringing commercial passenger flights back to Blackpool Airport

Scott Benton will work towards bringing commercial passenger flights back to Blackpool Airport

We need to make sure our schools have the investment they need, and Blackpool schools are getting a record 5.91 per cent increase in funding from government.

I also want to see more police on the beat and Lancashire is already recruiting more officers who will cover Blackpool.

I want to make sure we make some progress towards re-opening Blackpool Airport for commercial passenger flights.

Both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor came up to Blackpool during the election campaign and they lent their support to the campaign.

Paul Maynard, pictured with Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry, has included improved transport links in his priorities

Paul Maynard, pictured with Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry, has included improved transport links in his priorities

So it's now an issue of working with the government, investors and the council to make progress because the people of Blackpool expect to see that happen so we need to deliver it.

Paul Maynard (Conservative, Blackpool North and Cleveleys)

First and foremost, the priority is to get Brexit done and unjam the wheels of Government, allowing us to move on to invest in real priorities, the issues which matter to local people.

I know how important it is to have a long-term vision for our town and look forward to meeting with the Blackpool Prospectus team to talk about how we can make progress and update the proposals which have been made to reflect the goals of the new government.

I’m also keen to press ahead with my plans to enhance our local public transport and extend the tram network in Blackpool.

The Prime Minister’s commitment of funding to kick-start feasibility work on the line between Poulton and Fleetwood gives us a good start, but I want to ensure the final scheme has wide-reaching benefits, connecting local communities and tackling congestion and air pollution on our roads.

With a commitment to recruit 20,000 new police officers nationally, we have an opportunity to better protect our communities and high streets.

I have heard over and again how important this is to people in Blackpool North and Cleveleys and I want to ensure the new officers are deployed where they really can make a difference, based in our towns and responding to local needs.

Mark Menzies (Conservative, Fylde)

The key thing for me is to get Brexit done, and get through the deadlock that has damaged Parliament for years.

We need a positive new relationship with our European neighbours and the rest of the world.

Top of my agenda in Fylde is to continue working with Lancashire County and Fylde Council to ensure the M55 link road is built.

We have invested a huge amount of time ensuring we got all of the public funding we needed for this vital road.

But that money is only there for a set period of time, and we must work to unlock the investment from the developer.

I’m also keen to see the much-needed expansion and improvement of our rail services.

Transport for the North has already acknowledged the need for services to at least double on the South Fylde railway line, and I will continue pressing for funding and working with partners to get a passing loop installed on the line.

We will further explore the possibility of trams also using the line.

The regeneration of town centres is a priority, and I have already supported two successful bids which will release millions of pounds for Kirkham.

We are also looking at St Annes and we need to bring in more investment to bring empty units back into use for retail and accommodation.

Cat Smith (Labour, Lancaster and Fleetwood)

Now is the perfect time to reflect on what we have achieved in the past year and make plans for what we would like to achieve in the coming year.

In 2019, I was honoured to be re-elected as Labour MP for Fleetwood and Lancaster, the third time I have been elected in less than five years.

Looking forward to 2020 in a Parliament with a large Conservative majority, I know I must work hard to scrutinise the government and stand up for my constituents.

I will be making the most of every opportunity to push ministers on the re-opening of the rail link to Fleetwood because I have always known without connectivity, we cannot achieve our full potential as a town. I have campaigned on this for almost five years.

I will continue to support constituents through advice surgeries.

You should judge a government and a society by how the most vulnerable are treated, and on this matter the government needs to step up and reverse policies which are increasing poverty and I thank Fleetwood’s civic society for running food banks and soup kitchens and pledge to work hard to see the demands on these charitable ventures reduced.

Ben Wallace (Conservative, Wyre and Blackpool North)

Mr Wallace did not respond to a request for his priorities, but ahead of the General Election he said despite having voted remain at the EU referendum he would honour the democratic vote.

He said he would continue to stand up for the aerospace industry in Lancashire and would campaign for more investment in the north, including in its schools and police.

Mr Wallace has also campaigned to keep libraries open across Lancashire and for the reinstatement of direct rail services between Blackpool and London.

Ben has campaigned for several years to have the Blackpool to London service re-instated and for the service to stop at Poulton.