When I was elected as the Member of Parliament for Lancaster and Fleetwood in 2015, it was one of the greatest honours of my life. It wasn’t necessarily something I thought would happen – bucking the trend by winning the seat against a national trend where my party lost seats – but it was something I fought hard for.
The next eight years were to be a whirlwind nationally with fighting and winning two further elections in the constituency, but coming home every week to an area that I love and a community I am part of kept me grounded through some of the most stressful times in Westminster.
Now I am asked to make a choice. Constituency boundary changes at the next general election mean that the Lancaster and Fleetwood seat which I have been so proud to represent will be split across three new constituencies. Fleetwood will join Blackpool North, and the Lune Valley will be part of the new Morecambe constituency. Two thirds of my current seat will make up the new Lancaster and Wyre constituency.
I’m absolutely delighted to announce that I will be standing to be the Member of Parliament for the new Lancaster and Wyre constituency at the next general election.
I am a Lancaster lass and my roots are here. I have lived in the city since I was a student at Lancaster University, my son was born at the Royal Lancaster Infirmary and goes to school here in Lancaster. I live, work and raise my family in the city, and I love being part of our community. Not a week goes by where I don’t enjoy a trip to Williamson Park or Fairfield with my son, knocking on doors to speak to residents, or visiting local businesses and community groups to celebrate this wonderful and diverse place.
Lancaster and Wyre will be an exciting constituency. The hustle-and-bustle of a historic and cultural city brimming with small independent businesses and a thriving higher education sector at the forefront of climate and health innovation, alongside the close-knit rural village life with renewable energy and sustainable agricultural vitality that keeps Britain powered, fed and connected by community – and all this on the doorstep of the cracking views across Morecambe Bay and the Forest of Bowland, an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It’s a vision of what Britain can aspire to be when we come together and harness our potential.
But we still face challenges. I’m determined to make sure our health services work for us by campaigning for better access to mental health care and a new Royal Lancaster Infirmary, to undo the damage our public transport and infrastructure has suffered, and to ensure our young people get the education, opportunities and jobs for the future they deserve. It would be a privilege to fight for this and serve our area as our advocate in Parliament.
We need more local and accountable decision-making on transport, housing, energy, skills, culture and childcare – and I’m backing Labour’s plan to devolve these powers away from London to give us the flexibility we need. Through my work on the Environmental Audit Select Committee, my fierce battle to reject fracking and successful campaign for flood defence measures like at Burrow Beck, I know in detail that the challenges of the climate emergency are challenges everywhere – including here in Lancashire.
There are so many people who I will miss working closely with in Fleetwood and the Lower Lune Valley, and they are an integral part of everything that has been achieved.
The thing I am most proud of is my successful campaign to bring back Fleetwood’s rail link, which the Department for Transport has now agreed to fund. This is a massive win for the residents of Fleetwood. Getting the town back on track will have a positive impact on the employment and investment opportunities for decades to come.
I’ve also been pleased to fight for funding to help level-up the town to encourage economic and job growth, keep the town safe by demanding we restore police numbers to the 2010 record high, successfully save community assets and health services like Fleetwood swimming pool and breast cancer screening clinics, get Broadway resurfaced and plenty of potholes filled, whilst championing local community groups and events like Fleetwood Beach Wheelchairs, Fleetwood in Bloom and the festive lights parades.
Being an MP is more than a job. I do this because I truly believe in all the people and the areas that I represent, and I wish to continue to lend the passion and skills that I have towards progress and strengthening our communities.
Until the next general election, it’s business as usual, with everyone across the Lancaster and Fleetwood area getting my support – so please keep getting in touch if I can help you in any way. The Cost-of-Living Crisis, created in Downing Street, continues to hammer so many local residents and I will be prioritising addressing this for everyone.
On the road to the next election I very much look forward to building new relationships with residents in Garstang, Great Eccleston, Hambleton, Calder, Stalmine, Brock with Catterall, as well as the Scale Hall and Skerton areas of Lancaster north of the river, which will be reunited with the rest of the city. If you live in these areas and want to share what matters to you, I would love to hear from you at email@example.com.
Let’s get to work!