I’ll be the voice of the people, says Southport’s new Tory MP
THE new Conservative MP for Southport has promised he will be the voice of the people.
Damien Moore spoke at length to the Champion’s OLLIE COWAN following his General Election victory, answering a range of questions submitted to the Champion through social media outlets.
After a hectic first week in his new role, Mr Moore says he has already met with government ministers to push support for small local business and their revival, as well as taking the case of Southport’s threatened rail links to Manchester to his ministerial colleagues.
Both rail minister Paul Maynard and Business Minister Greg Clarke have taken note of Mr Moore’s concerns over what needs to be done for the town, he claims.
But it was the questions from the general public which really struck a chord with the new MP, who added that he was keen to meet with community leaders and residents as soon as possible.
During a half hour interview with the Champion, Mr Moore responded to questions on small businesses, the state of local parks, traffic issues, business rates, special education needs support and funding for local schools.
He is also keen to meet with historical and community groups to find out what they want him to make a priority.
Mr Moore said: “It’s been a whirlwind since the moment I found out I won and I’ve been busy getting used to everything and getting everything sorted.
“It’s all very new for me but I am sorting out the office and getting key people employed – all the basics which are needed for me to be the best MP for Southport.
“I won’t be in the position of over promising and under delivering once we set the office up we’ll have case workers and I’ll be holding surgeries as well as knocking on people’s doors!
“We made it a centrepoint in our campaign to try and get the high street revitalised and now I’m in a position to do that.
“Small businesses are really important and the regeneration of the town is key. People talk about rates and rents but it is also about maintenance and what needs to be done to make sure we keep our grand buildings.
“I know the business minister is very willing to help Southport. We are waiting now for a legislative programme to come into effect but rest assured I will be making a big bid for the small businesses of Southport and championing their case in parliament.
“Councils need to help small businesses and help them with rates – they run the risk of losing small businesses if not. Damien was also asked about how pavements can be fixed, as well as how parks and cleansing can be improved to make Southport look better.
He continued: “Local authority funding will change in a couple of years and I firmly believe the system we have now in terms of local government will be far different in the years to come.
“And we need to keep on top of things that will keep people coming to Southport.
“Cleansing is a basic thing to get a grip of. I’ll be meeting with the leader of Sefton Council soon and be championing our cause for more money being brought into the town.
“We need the town to look nice and we need the money to make sure it does. That counts for everything including the local parks.
“Pavements are another issue and that is something I’ll be taking up with the council – it’s about accessibility and we need that for everybody. It’s about talking to the council and having a reasonable and rational well thought out plan.” Mr Moore was then asked about what he plans to do to help ‘save’ Southport hospital.
He said: “It’s the clinical experts, not the politicians who make the decisions.
“I need to find out why they’ve come to those decisions and I will be meeting with them to see what their take is – I want a good offer for Southport people when it comes to A&E.
“And for special education needs funding it’s a case of making sure people and organisations know what funding is available for them.
“In terms of what people are entitled to, there’s not great communication around that and I need to make sure people know what they’re entitled to so nobody is left behind.”