Labour has confirmed its candidate team in Southport for the local elections on May 3rd. The deadline for nominations passed yesterday afternoon and Labour will contest each of the seats up for election in the town’s seven wards.
The party has had a resurgence of support in Southport in recent years, nearly quadrupling its vote in general elections since 2015.
Last year it displaced the Liberal Democrats as the main opposition to the Conservatives in the town, coming second for the first time since 1966 and with it’s best ever vote here.
(From left, Labour’s ward candidates are:
Janet Harrison -Meols. Sahar Dehghani-Berenji – Dukes. Janis Blackburne – Kew. Danny Burns -Birkdale. Mhairi Doyle MBE – Norwood. Frank Hanley – Ainsdale. Steve Jowett -Cambridge.)
The local elections on May 3rd are its first big test since and Labour hopes to make local political history again by gaining its first elected Sefton councillors in the town.
Liz Savage, Labour’s Parliamentary Candidate for Southport, welcomed the news saying that the candidates are committed to the local community and to fighting for funding for Southport and the local authority:
“Local services have been severely affected by the brutal cuts brought in by the Liberal Democrats and Tories. The libraries closed, the children’s services being reorganised, the local amenities that have suffered; potholed roads, all that and more is all down to those cuts.”
“Then there’s the problems at our hospital and the huge losses in police officers, PCSO’s and support staff and the rise in crime in the region too. Ask yourself a simple question, does Southport feel a better or safer town in the last eight years as a result of all those cuts?”
“The Lib-Dems and Tories try and blame Sefton for Southport’s problems but it’s misdirection and little more than a back-alley scam. Sefton did not make those cuts, it just suffers under the burden of them.”
“To add insult to injury, the bill for those drastically reduced services and police is increasingly being pushed to you, the council tax payer, as central government offloads its responsibilities. So you are paying more for far less.”
“It’s a bigger and more unfair picture than even that though as there have been tax breaks for the wealthy while those austerity cuts have occurred and while local families struggle in increasing numbers. So the rest of us pay more for less as the rich and corporations pay less though having more. Does that seem fair?”
Labour claims that their opponents, despite making the cuts, are also the first to complain about the consequences of them in an attempt to make political capital. Liz Savage explains:
“Crime; anti-social behaviour; tough decisions over services; decline; they like to make noises about such problems but stay resolutely silent about their role in them. Locally they also prefer to constantly squabble with Sefton instead of working with it for the good of our town. They offer no vision for Southport, only division for Southport.”
“We want to see councillors who want to build bridges with our neighbours, not burn them and who know that we have to work with Sefton and the Liverpool City Region as the engine to get Southport moving again, not stall it with constant pointless bickering about problems that they themselves have caused.”
“They hope that by creating a “them and us” attitude locally that people will fall for their tricks and fail to see who has really blighted our town.”
The Labour politician also pointed to a string of recent successes, which she says proves Labour can get things done locally that the other parties with their less constructive approach simply cannot:
“Our recent assistance to the Kew Park campaigners helped secure a £30,000 guarantee from Sefton Council to save the park, despite bitter opposition by the local Liberal-Democrats. We’ve also helped manage to ensure the return of 30-minute parking to help local businesses along with Southport BID, something the other parties were simply unable to achieve.”
“Our candidates and members have been busy with community action projects such as cleaning beaches, weeds from thoroughfares and helping residents clear their clutter in Norwood. We can do more and will do more if we get councillors elected.”
“Our two current councillors actually crossed over from the Liberal Democrats in large part because they were so tired of the negativity and lack of a constructive approach that the Lib-Dems increasingly displayed.”
“Our candidates will fight for their community and for more funding for our town and local authority.”