AS many of you know, there is an ongoing national debate about whether the proposed HS2 rail line should go ahead.

Part of HS2, known as the Golborne spur, runs through Lowton and Golborne in the Leigh constituency.

The proposed Golborne spur of HS2 negatively affects thousands of my constituents, including my own family.

For the past seven years, first as councillor for Lowton East, and now as your MP, I have taken a firm stance against the Golborne spur, with the overwhelming support of the residents of Lowton and Golborne.

Sadly, Wigan Council has refused to back local residents, instead supporting the spur, and the previous two Labour MPs, Jo Platt and Andy Burnham, refused to confirm to local residents that they would vote against the proposals in Parliament.

Since Mr Burnham has been elected mayor of Greater Manchester, he has come out in full-throated support of HS2, as opposed to the unclear position he took when he was the local MP.

Unlike the previous MPs, or our Labour council, I shall set out a clear position on the Golborne spur, and will continue to back local residents in opposing the spur.

The proposed line enters the village of Lowton in the south, and would destroy the Enterprise Way business park, meaning the loss of more than a hundred skilled jobs in a constituency that cannot afford to lose such valuable employment.

The line then goes on to destroy Lowton Civic field, a much loved local civic amenity that contains five full size football pitches, and which would cost more than a million pounds to replace, with no alternate replacement site identified within the village.

As the line leaves Lowton and enters Golborne, the line then bisects Byrom Wood, a greatly valued local woodland site managed by the Forestry Commission that is heavily used on a daily basis as a recreation ground for both dog walkers and for the exercise of horses.

In addition, along the whole length of the route through Lowton and Golborne, a very large number of both homes and businesses have been affected by the blight caused by the proposed route for almost seven years now.

It is outrageous, but not surprising, that the local Labour Party establishment are backing the Golborne spur of HS2 when there are so many more important local transport priorities that desperately need funding.

We need the Atherleigh Way bypass completed, we need a railway station for Leigh, and ideally Golborne too, we need extra parking at Atherton station and park and ride facilities at Hag Fold.

Why has it been so hard for those in power to listen to local people?

As your local MP, let me be clear – I will vote against the Golborne spur of HS2, and fight for your transport priorities instead.