It’s been a remarkable few months for Barrow and Furness Conservatives.
We’ve had visits from the Prime Minister in support of the SLDC elections: Jake Berry MP, the Northern Powerhouse minister, to launch a new round of Coastal Communities funding; the Health Minister to view the South Lakes Birthing Centre, and also the Defence Secretary to announce £2.4bn in funding for Barrow’s submarine programme, securing over 8,000 local jobs.
Less glamorous perhaps, but it’s also worth noting that the government announced a £152,000 fund to repair more than 27,000 potholes across Barrow. Your cars’ suspension will thank us!
These visits and announcements speak to a bigger story: we’re back on the map and the central party considers us a force to be reckoned with and one to be supported.
You only have to think of how far we’ve come -
In 2015, when I first fought Barrow & Furness, it was a safe Labour seat - now it’s ultra-marginal. In 2017, we came within spitting distance of taking Cumbria County Council. And this year, we made strong gains - especially compared to the national picture - in the South Lakes elections.
We’ve managed it because we’re pulling together as a team. With an excellent campaign manager in place, an office in Dalton, and teams from across the area working to support each other, we’re taking the fight to Labour and the Lib Dems. As we lean into the Barrow Borough elections next year, we need to maintain that momentum (no pun intended!) and present a positive Conservative vision for the town.
We have a fantastic record to fight on: the economy continues to grow in spite of naysayers claims; the UK has the highest employment rate in four decades; we’ve introduced a national living wage, and - at time of writing - we’re just put paid to fixed-odds betting terminals. All this while ploughing on with the hard business of Brexit.
Over the next few months I hope to announce a speakers’ programme for Barrow and Furness, where we can get together and socialise while hearing stories from the front line of politics from some of our best MPs. Watch this space!
In the meantime, enjoy the bank holiday weekend.