General Election 2019: These are the five candidates looking for your vote in Blackpool North - here is what they are promising
Five candidates are vying for the seat which has been held for the Conservatives by Paul Maynard since 2010.
Mr Maynard held on with a majority of 2,023 at the last General Election in 2017 when turnout was 64.1 per cent. Labour needs a swing of 2.47 per cent to win the seat.
Sue Close (Lib Dem)
We are the party of remaining in the EU.
We have long argued for a second referendum to give people the final say on Brexit.
We are offering positive policies on climate change. We need to continue to invest in renewable energy and provide the infrastructure for electric car recharging points; we need to plant many more trees, invest in recycling, the list goes on.
Our centralised Government needs reform. Why is it that London and the South East has an excellent transport system while the rest of us struggle.
We need to devolve power and money to the regions and to local government so we can provide the same.
We must end austerity. It cannot be right that working families have to rely on food banks. After the financial crash of 2008 we agreed a lot of belt tightening was needed and expected it to last for four years. It has now been nine years and under the Tories it will never end.
We desperately need to increase both pay and working conditions for British employees. We would give employment rights to staff on zero hours contracts and increase the minimum wage.
Neil Holden (Independent)
I am 44 years old, was born and raised in Blackpool and I’m very proud to be able to say that.
I have been married to Paula for 19 years and we have three children. We currently live in the South Shore area of Blackpool, and I am employed as a HGV driver in and around the Blackpool area. I am a passionate Blackpool FC fan and current season ticket holder.
In 2016, like 66.91 per cent of voters in our constituency I voted LEAVE. I do not believe the Conservative and Labour parties will give us the Brexit we voted for.
As your Independent candidate I pledge to fight against the deal that is currently on offer and against a second referendum.
Blackpool has suffered more than most due to savage cuts.
The figure is in the region of £1bn cumulative cuts since 2010.
Our NHS, adult social care, investment in business, schools, police, basic council services that we all expect, cannot be delivered.
I believe I can be part of a brighter future for Blackpool.
Paul Maynard (Conservative)
Having represented Blackpool North and Cleveleys since 2010 I understand the unique challenges we face as well as the wonderful opportunities.
This area voted overwhelmingly to leave the EU and I’m as frustrated as anyone else that remainers in Parliament have stood in the way of that happening.
I voted leave and have supported Brexit at every twist and turn. I want to get the job done and move on, to invest in our NHS, our police and our young people.
I’ve lived here since 2007 and I know just how important it is to make a difference to people’s lives. That’s why I’ve worked hard to secure millions of pounds of investment, whether for the £255m upgrade of our rail line, a £150m dual carriageway to tackle congestion on the A585, two Opportunity Areas - creating new jobs and skills - or increased funding for our local schools and colleges.
Moving forward we need a clear vision for our local area, which is why I’ve played a key role in developing the Blackpool Prospectus, which will form the backbone of a bid for up to £25m of Government regeneration funding.
I know Blackpool North and Cleveleys needs a strong voice and an MP with a track record of success.
Duncan Royle (Green Party)
If we don’t take care of the planet, we will lose the capacity to take care of the people. It is that simple. I welcome the climate emergency in Blackpool, but the level of action is insufficient to meet the challenge. I will push for workable plans to achieve a zero-carbon future.
In Blackpool, we need well paid meaningful work. I will promote a Green New Deal, creating decent jobs that provide cheaper energy, warmer homes and better transport.
As well as a thriving local economy we also need to ensure that work pays a living wage.
The NHS is under persistent pressure from funding cuts and creeping privatisation. I will fight to properly fund the health service and to ensure it maintains its public service ethos.
Over the last three years the complexity and divisiveness of the Brexit issue has become all too apparent. Greens will give power back to people to decide the way forward with a People’s Vote.
Parliament will never be genuinely representative of the people with the distortions of the first past the post system. A system of proportional representation is the only way to ensure that everyone is properly represented in democratic decision-making.
Chris Webb (Labour)
Parliament has become stagnant these past few years.
We’ve had three Tory Prime Ministers unable to get Brexit done and we’re left with Boris Johnson who has voted for and against Brexit.
It’s time for a locally born MP to change the status quo, a true Sandgrown’un to fight for the town, not a parachuted career politician towing the party line.
Growing up here taught me how, with investment and support, local people can thrive and prosper. I have a plan to energise our area, building an economy that works for everyone, not just a privileged few.
A plan that will help to create new, full-time jobs locally so young people don’t have to move away to find opportunities.
I’ll make sure our schools are properly funded, vital services have the cash they need, and local authorities have the resources to fix our broken roads and pavements. Having enough police on our streets and fighting to protect our NHS will be at the heart of everything I do as your MP.
I will never vote to make our home worse off. It’s time for real change.