This week Blackpool South heads to the polls for the second time in as many months, this time along with the rest of the country. Chris Webb, who spent 24 days in office before the election was called, appeals to Blackpool Social Club readers to lend him your vote of Thursday.

It was an absolute honour and a privilege to be elected as your MP for Blackpool South just a few short weeks ago. My home town showed the country that we have had enough of Tory chaos and I called on the Prime Minister to hold a general election and give the rest of the country that same chance and elect a Labour Government.

I didn’t expect him to take me up on it quite so soon – but change for Blackpool South can’t come soon enough. This week we are heading to the polls for the second time in as many months.I’ve been back on the doorstep, speaking with residents about the issues that matter most to you and asking you, once again, to give me your vote.

As a Blackpool local I know what matters to the people of Blackpool South. Since the pandemic, we have seen record numbers of visitors rightly returning to our town which has so much to offer. But while tourism recovery is central to the town’s future, it is now time to focus on the recovery of our communities beyond the prom too.

I have dedicated my life to making Blackpool better. I have led an award-winning mental health charity in South Shore, I volunteer and fundraise for Blackpool food bank and I have supported local women and families fleeing domestic violence.

When every one of the then 12 wards in Blackpool South voted for me in May, you gave me a sweeping mandate to continue this work on a bigger scale and advocate for you in Parliament.

I was in office just 24 days before Parliament was dissolved for the general election but I hit the ground running – dealing with more than 400 constituents’ cases, meeting with businesses, workers, charities and community groups across the town, advocating for you in Parliament by raising 4 questions, holding 2 street surgeries, 1 advice surgery on Waterloo Road, 1 public Q&A and much more besides.

But the work has only just begun.

After years of austerity and now with the cost of living crisis, all too often the town I am proud to call home is recognised for being at the sharp end of statistics.

Our constituency is growing in size and from this general election will now include Layton, Claremont, Warbreck, Park and a small part of Greenlands. With me elected as your MP, we can also grow in strength.
After years of austerity and now with the cost of living crisis, all too often the town I am proud to call home is recognised for being at the sharp end of statistics in poverty, crime, mental health, life expectancy and more.

For 14 years we have lived under a dark cloud of Tory austerity measures, deep council funding cuts, the decimation of our beloved NHS and the dismantling of our communities.

Only a Labour MP with the backing of a Labour government will bring economic stability so families in Blackpool South, where a third of children live in poverty, won’t have to choose between heating and eating.

Cuts to NHS waiting times will mean that people in Blackpool, where people are twice as likely to die from heart disease by age 75 than people in wealthy areas, will be able to see a doctor when they need to.
Hundreds more police on the streets will mean that in Blackpool, where weapons offences have increased by more than 400% since 2015, safety will be restored to our communities.

These painful statistics only tell half of our story. Anyone from Blackpool will tell you to look behind the headlines, and beyond the bright lights of the promenade to find the real story of our town.

Chris Webb at Blackpool Pride last month. Photos by Elizabeth Gomm

It’s one that is alive with grassroots creativity, culture, a thriving LGBTQ+ community and a wealth of fascinating lives that could only have been lived in Blackpool.

It’s one of community, resilience and of people who may have very little but are always willing to help someone who has less.

It’s time to turn the page on 14 years of misery.

A vote for me this week is a vote for change.

I will work tirelessly for you to bring about the change we need, to restore pride and purpose in Blackpool and prove that the right politics has the power to change lives.

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