Councillor hoping to make step up to Commons

James Grundy MP
James Grundy MP

A councillor from the borough is once again hoping to step up to the House of Commons after being announced as a Conservative Party candidate.

James Grundy, who is the deputy leader of the opposition in the Wigan Council chamber and represents Lowton East ward, will wear the blue rosette in the battle for the Leigh constituency.

Coun Grundy is standing against the Labour incumbent Jo Platt for the second time, having come runner-up in the 2017 general election with 16,793 votes, an increase of 13.2 per cent on the figure the Conservatives managed in 2015.

He is now looking forward to campaigning for votes ahead of the general election on December 12 once again.

Launching his bid to be elected, he spoke of his honour at representing his home area in politics.

Reflecting the Conservative Party’s national election campaign, Coun Grundy said getting Brexit done was the most pressing issue.

However, he also unveiled a raft of local priorities, including bringing a train station back to Leigh, increasing police numbers and making Leigh town centre a more attractive place to visit.

Coun Grundy said: “I was educated here, grew up here and have worked here almost all my life, and I’m proud to represent my home village of Lowton on the council.

“As my highest priority, I’ll vote to get Brexit done and end the gridlock that has been paralysing the country, then we can get on and deal with the issues that local people want to see sorted.

“We need to get on with reconnecting Leigh to the national rail network with a railway station, and with finishing the Atherleigh Way bypass.

“We need to get on with regenerating our town centres and getting more police onto our streets to deal with crime and anti-social behaviour.

“All these things and more need doing. Let’s get Brexit done and fix our town.”

Coun Grundy also outlined his commitment to protecting open spaces from housebuilding and attacked the Labour-run council in Wigan for its policies over deciding where new homes should be built.

He also questioned whether Leigh’s best interests are served being part of Wigan Council, raising the prospect of a future re-organisation of local government in the borough.

This is a subject he has previously raised with Conservative ministers on visits to the area.

He said: “We need to protect our green belt across the constituency from the destructive development plans of Labour-controlled Wigan Council, and have a debate about whether we should have our own council back as a town.”