Samantha Dixon launched her election campaign on Chester’s historic Rows yesterday, announcing her five election pledges for the forthcoming by- election on the 1st December. She was joined by Labour’s Shadow Levelling-up Secretary Lisa Nandy.
Speaking outside vegan restaurant Shrub she said “We all know Chester is a great place to live. Cestrians are warm, caring, intelligent and creative. A few short years ago this area (on the rows) was struggling with empty units and anti-social behaviour, but thanks to investment from the council the area is now clean, tidy and home to some wonderful new independent businesses and I know I can do much more as your MP.” She joked “I won’t be the only Cestrian in Parliament, we try to keep it quiet but Matt Hancock was actually born here, and I do have an issue with him walking out of Parliament to go to a jungle on the other side of the world!
“I have a plan for Chester that clearly sets out my vison for the first few years as your member of Parliament, standing up for you in Westminster and helping you get through the Conservative cost of living crisis. Our city needs to create jobs to grow our economy, not just to survive but to thrive.
“Family finances are squeezed in every direction. I’ll be your voice in Parliament, fighting for action and making sure you don’t get left behind.”
On Chester’s tourism industry Sam pledged to make Chester a top retail and tourism destination, including recognition for the historic Rows as a world heritage site. “Town centres across the UK are falling behind, there is an opportunity for Chester to become a world class retail, culture, and heritage destination. I’ll campaign for world heritage status for Chester’s Rows as the country’s oldest shopping centre.”
Earlier in the week, Samantha was joined by Lou Haigh – Labour’s Shadow Transport Secretary – at Chester Railway Station to discuss the city’s transport projects. On transport she pledged to “…bring Chester’s buses back into public control and restore frequent, reliable trains for the city. Labour in power in Liverpool and Manchester are bringing buses back under public control. And the next Labour Government would give places like Chester the ability to do it too.”
And whilst other iconic bits of Chester’s heritage continue to be blighted by the dumping of raw sewage – Samantha will work to end the practice, and to protect Chester’s Groves and waterways.
She said, “I will protect Chester’s Groves and stop raw sewage dumping into the River Dee.”
“I’ve already led work locally which has reduced sewage dumping at the Groves and I’ll fight to end all sewage discharging in the River Dee. It’s horrible, it’s not fair and I will stop it.”
On crime, the former leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council committed to putting bobbies back on the beat in Chester. “I will make sure we see a return to neighbourhood policing, with more bobbies on the beat to tackle anti-social behaviour on our streets. I already work closely with our local policing team, and I will crack down on anti-social behaviour and keep our communities safe.”
Lisa Nandy I am thousands of years of history Today we are firing the starting gun for a new chapter in this incredible city where you can feel the thousands in the city walls and the rows. This has been a dark divisive decade, wages have fallen as cost of living has soared, this is decisions like being the only major country to cut benefits during a pandemic, and the disastrous decision to put Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng in charge of the country, made by a handful of people in the Conservative party, who then crashed the economy and sent mortgages soaring. I’m here because I know this country can do so much better, we are going to show by the power of our example just what thus county can be”
Sam also launched a petition calling on the people of Chester to back Labour’s call for a General Election. “Speaking to people over the past few weeks, it is clear that Chester is ready to send a message to the Tories, but the whole country needs to be heard. That’s why we need a General Election, so the next government can be a Labour government.”
We look forward to covering the other party’s campaign launches in the city.