An outspoken councillor has vowed to shake-up Wigan’s political status quo as he launches his campaign to become an MP.
Bob Brierley will stand as an Independent candidate in Makerfield and has promised to be a strong voice for residents.
An often controversial figure during his tenure as a ward representative for Hindley Green, Coun Brierley told the Wigan Post his bid has been inspired by public support.
He said: “I’m a strong voice and I will speak up for the people of Makerfield in Westminster like I do in the council chamber for my ward.
“The only difference is I’m always shot down during council meetings, as an MP I will have a platform.
“I am standing because I have a lot of support and people are asking me to stand.
“I have people stopping me to say ‘I wish you were my councillor’, now I can represent them and the whole of Makerfield.”
An often outspoken critic of the council’s ruling Labour group, Coun Brierley believes his experience of orchestrating three local election victories as an independent will help his campaign.
He also said his work as a councillor has several transferrable skills that will help him to make the transition to a member of parliament.
He said: “Unfortunately, the only time people get involved in their community is when it directly affects them.
“My record shows I stand up for the people, I’m born and bred in Platt Bridge.
“I come from a family of Labour voters and my grandad would always say to me ‘vote Labour, lad. They never let you down.'
“But I think he would vote independent now. Labour are only interested in voters on election day, after that they don’t bother.”
Among his election pledges are vows to campaign against the council’s scheduled change to a three week waste bin collection cycle and the controversial GM spatial framework development plan.
The Independent candidate will also call for improved terms for the town’s market traders and changes to business rates.
But his bid to replace Labour’s Yvonne Fovargue as Makerfield’s representative is not limited to strictly local or regional issues.
Coun Brierley says he will campaign for more police officers on the streets and for better funding for a fully resourced NHS.
He told the Wigan Post: “Jeremy Corbyn has said he will scrap parking charges at hospitals if he wins, well why aren’t they doing it already in Labour controlled Wigan?”