GENERAL ELECTION 2017: South Ribble a constituency that’s fast-approaching a crossroads

South Ribble candidates
South Ribble candidates

South Ribble could be deemed a constituency at the crossroads.

The area is on the edge of major development which could transform key parts of the constituency, especially around the Cuerden development area.

It is predicted some 5,000 new jobs could be generated at Cuerden and such opportunities could change the demographics and needs of a constituency, which was recently acclaimed as one of the best places to live in Britain.

Those who live there appreciate its location, which is handy for motorways, good train links and its proximity for day trips to the Lancashire coast or the Pennine moors.

A chain of affluent communities including New Longton and Hutton thread through the borough, as well as traditional working class areas like Leyland.

Its reach also includes the rural hinterlands of Much Hoole, Little Hoole. Mawdesley and flood-hit Croston.

Rural and horticultural industries have raised concerns over Brexit as well as issues about the future recruitment of workers and concerns over business rates.

South Ribble’s significantly large elderly population will also be listening hard to what politicians have to say about care costs.

Another big issue locally is the reduction in the emergency services at Chorley and South Ribble Hospital as well as wider issues about NHS provision and care.

Similarly, although Leyland in particular has weathered past economic problems associated with the decline of its famous bus industry and other manufacturing losses, the constituency has bounced back with a number of employment opportunities, including the massive Waitrose distribution centre in Buckshaw Village.

But critics say much of the local work is unskilled and not particularly well paid.