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South Holland and the Deepings candidates share their local priorities




The people who hope to become South Holland and The Deepings' next MP have been sharing what their local priorities will be.

Martin Blake (Green), Sir John Hayes (Con), Davina Kirby (Lib Dem), Mark Popple (Lab) and Rick Stringer will be vying for your votes when the area goes to the polls on Thursday, December 12.

Mr Blake says stopping the Spalding West Relief Road would be one of his priorities.

General Election 2019 (22300102)
General Election 2019 (22300102)

He said: "We're facing increased levels of traffic congestion but trying to solve it by building more roads, especially on green fields, is like tackling obesity by loosening your belt."

Improving public transport across the constituency is his second priority. He would like to see investment in the existing rail network, to including reopening of Donington station and rail links for Long Sutton, Holbeach and Market Deeping.

Mr Blake said: "Investing in a more effective bus network with clean modern buses would be an investment in reducing congestion and air pollution.

Martin Blake (16559978)
Martin Blake (16559978)

His third priority is preserving existing green spaces.

Mr Blake said: "Lets identify all the sites where we can help nature and help to tackle the climate emergency by planting thousands of trees."

Sir John says that continuing to campaign for good healthcare provision will be his first priority.

MP Sir John Hayes (20635813)
MP Sir John Hayes (20635813)

He said: "I fought to get the new Johnson Hospital and I think we could do more there. I would like to see the minor injury unit upgraded."

Making sure that the area's roads are fit for purpose are Sir John's second priority, which includes getting a good settlement on the relief road.

He said "Making sure that the road, if it is going to be built, is in the right location and doing its job."

Davina Kirby (21567826)
Davina Kirby (21567826)

Sir John says his third priority will be making sure that public services, including education, police and ambulance, suit the area's needs by calling for more funding.

He said: "The way funding is allocated and the way priorities are fixed is to focus on urban areas where rural places have particular needs."

Mrs Kirby says she would immediately seek the improvement of local transport with the duelling of the A16 and the A17; the Spalding relief road (financed by central government) and an improvement in local bus and train services.

Mark Popple is the Labour candidate (21378734)
Mark Popple is the Labour candidate (21378734)

She said: "Combat climate change and the consequences of drought and flooding upon the land. I will ensure that government agencies are fully funded and will campaign for radical change in water management

"Build social cohesion in the constituency. We will invest £500 million a year in youth services and tackling youth violence. Police crimes in

the constituency have increased by 42.4 per cent whilst it only rose 20.6 per cent nationally. The force has the second lowest morale in the county, I will do all I can to rectify this."

Mr Popple says fighting for just funding for rural transport infrastructure is his first priority.

He said: "We need more regular rail services, to more places, and more of our own stations to serve our smaller towns and improved roads to properly, and finally, connect our area."

Reversing bank branch closures is his second priority as he says 47 per cent of bank branches have closed in the area in four years.

Mr Popple said: "Labour's Post Bank policy will create 3,500 new branches nationwide, and I will fight to ensure that every community here that has suffered gets the banking services they need."

His third priority is bringing new green jobs to the area.

He said: "South Holland and the Deepings' very existence is at risk from the existential threat of climate change. Through Labours Green Industrial revolution plan we will reduce emissions by 90 per cent by 2030, and I will fight for new green jobs that that will bring to our area so we can play our part. "

The Spalding Guardian had approached all of the candidates to take part in this feature.

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