General Election 2017: Gordon Birtwistle - Liberal Democrats

Gordon Birtwistle
Gordon Birtwistle

Burnley and Padiham needs a local champion who will stand up for this area. If elected, my priority is the people of Burnley and Padiham and being an accessible MP. I am the only candidate with a track record of action.

It is abundantly clear that after the General Election, we must get on and deliver Brexit and I would work to ensure that this happens successfully and the deal is good for Burnley and Padiham; our local economy, businesses and jobs.

Being the MP between 2010 and 2015 was my greatest privilege and I am proud of my record of delivery. A personal highlight was securing the funding for the new Urgent Care Centre which allowed us to upgrade services and serve more of the needs of our town. If elected I would once again start the fight to bring back the local hospital services that were lost, in the past two years, under the Labour MP’s watch. We need services that fit around people’s lives, not ones that force them to fit their lives around the care they need.

I am firm in my commitment to ensuring we have more jobs and apprenticeship opportunities for our young people – it is how I started out all those years ago in my own career. There must be sufficient money for our local schools and to pay our town’s teachers. We must reverse the cuts to college budgets and give teachers more freedom to apply their expertise by tackling unnecessary teacher workload.

Public sector workers such as our nurses, teachers, fire and police officers are Burnley and Padiham’s unsung heroes and they deserve a pay rise, so I will campaign to lift the cap on public sector pay and increase wages in line with inflation.

I also vow to protect pensioners - as people deserve dignity and to be looked after in old age, not be taxed on their illnesses as the Conservatives propose. I would campaign to keep the pension triple lock and to ensure that people are not paying for their social care through their own homes.

Over the years, we have seen great changes in our town and I worked hard when I was the MP to bring growth and investment after many years– some successes were the new industrial parks at Burnley Bridge and the former Michelin Site, the redevelopment of the Weavers Triangle and the building of a new station at Burnley Manchester Road.

I successfully campaigned for the rebuilding of the Todmorden Curve stretch of railway which since 2015 has enabled direct trains from Burnley to Manchester for the first time in over forty years and has brought massive benefits to our borough. If re-elected, I will work with you as residents and local businesses to identify the next area for improvement or regeneration.

My no-nonsense straight talking approach is needed at Westminster more than ever to ensure Burnley and Padiham can make a success of Brexit locally and continue to grow.

I am a politician who serves the people and not the party.

I do hope you consider voting for me on June 8th and together we can make Burnley even better.