Community campaign kicks off MP's bid for re-election
AS battle lines are drawn across the country for the general election a South Cumbrian MP has put communities at the heart of his re-election bid.
The first action of MP John Woodcock's election campaign was to carry on the fight to save Ulverston's post office.
Back in January the Barrow and Furness MP began a petition to protest the potential closure of the vital community asset.
Since then it has garnered more than 8,000 signatures, almost three quarters of the town's population.
Mr Woodcock said: "I am proud to be the first MP ever to have a permanent office in Ulverston and pleased to be kicking off my re-election campaign by stepping up our vital community campaign to save the town's post office."
Shockwaves went through the town back in January when the Ulverston office was listed as one threatened with closure.
At 1.30pm yesterday Mr Woodcock gathered with supporters to canvass the town to collect even more signatures for the campaign.
During the event Mr Woodcock said: “It was great to kick off my campaign here in Ulverston with a boost to the crucial campaign to save our town’s post office. Since we first stood here in January almost 8,000 signatures have been collected, thanks in no small part to Malcolm Tyson who has personally been responsible for the collection of many hundreds of signatures and he has walked more than 500 miles in obtaining them. We will walk 500 more just to be the ones who save this vital institution.
“Ulverston needs a strong, independent Labour voice to stand up for our community in the House of Commons and I am determined to make sure we use the election campaign to help secure future of the post office here.”
Yesterday marked the first formal day on the campaign trail for Mr Woodcock following his decision to run again.
After Prime Minster Theresa May announced the snap general election for June, Mr Woodcock released a video through Facebook, speaking directly to his constituents.
In the video, he addressed his long-standing opposition to Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, but he asserted that a vote for him, was not one for Mr Corbyn.
He said: "I want to be clear with you about one thing, I am intending to seek re-nomination from my local Labour and Cooperative Parties to be their official candidate.
"But I will not countenance ever voting to make Jeremy Corbyn Britain's prime minister.
"Now my party, locally and nationally, will need to decide how to treat my desire for reselection in these circumstances.
"But I promised when I first asked you to vote for me that I would put Furness first and that means doing what is right rather than what is easy."
As well as meeting members of the community during the afternoon in Ulverston, Mr Woodcock has also announced a 'Future of Furness' meeting, to be held at the Forum in Barrow on Saturday.
Mr Woodcock said: "This is an election that Theresa May sprung on the country after insisting it would be disruptive to the all-important Brexit negotiations. But now it is here, I am determined to make sure we use the campaign to push for what our area needs."
He added: "Saturday evening will be the first of what I hope will be many opportunities to answer your questions and hear your priorities. Please do come along if you can, I will be making the most of social media to communicate with voters in this election but nothing beats talking face-to-face in a good old-fashioned public meeting."
Saturday's meeting will start at 6pm, and is expected to last an hour and a half.