AS Northwich prepares to head to the polls on December 12, the Guardian will be interviewing all candidates in mid Cheshire.

In the first pre-election interview, Mike Amesbury, Labour Party candidate for Weaver Vale, explains why he believes he should be given a second term in office.

You’ve been MP for two and a half years, how would you assess the work you have done?

It’s two and a half years and I have really worked my socks off. I was honoured to take the seat from the Conservatives and I have tried to be that loud voice in the community and take forward the issues that matter to people in Weaver Vale.

I’ve taken up more than 9,000 cases, held more than 200 surgeries, and I am still learning – I am doing my apprenticeship as an MP. We will make mistakes along the way, it is important to learn from them, but it’s about doing my best.

Northwich Guardian:

I was elected on a platform to put Weaver Vale first for investment rather than cuts and that is what I have focused on – for our schools, our NHS, for infrastructure.

We’ve had a Government that has been in for nearly a decade now and we still have people who cannot get from A to B – whether that’s because of Northern ‘fail’, or if you are disabled you can’t get a train at Northwich station, buses are nowhere near as good as they should be.

Austerity has really bitten. I would love us to be in Government so we can reinvest in our public services, and I will continue to hold this lot [Conservatives] to account every step of the way while I am an opposition MP.

Let’s start with the NHS – there has been talk of relocating services from Victoria Infirmary into a new facility, what would you like to see in the town?

I want a first-class NHS facility. If there was a new facility, it would not only have to be like for like, but even better.

Some people speak about it being under threat, and I want to assure people that is not the case, but it does need investment undoubtedly. More people are using it than ever before – it is so convenient for residents and I want it to be even better.

Northwich Guardian:

The only way we can do that is to properly resource our NHS, which has been underfunded for over a decade now if you compare it to previous governments, particularly Labour governments.

A&E performance hit a new low according to figures released this month – Labour is promising more cash for the NHS, but is money the only thing needed to improve NHS performance?

If you abolish the nursing bursary, which the Conservatives did, then it is no coincidence that you will get 45,000 nursing vacancies.

In recent years, austerity has really bitten. I think the current PM talks about increased demand – of course we have increased demand in the winter, but when you have not resourced it adequately then it creates problems.

When you have a growing population with new builds and you don’t put in the necessary infrastructure, that creates problems. Cuts have consequences.

We have seen many new houses built, but the infrastructure has not matched it – there are still no GP practices in Hartford. How can we support the new homes?

It takes a long time to train a GP but we have to put in the investment. We’ve got some brilliant GPs, great public servants, but they are under so much pressure because there are not enough of them.

We need more GPs, schools, infrastructure. Our current schools need to be funded properly, that is a massive issue.

In Weaver Vale alone £4.9 million has been cut – that is using the new funding formula, and you can fact check that. Despite the warm words of the current PM, he has voted for all of those cuts.

Every begging letter that comes from a headteacher is a consequence of the PM and his Conservative friends. Every loss of a teaching assistant or member of staff is a consequence of Tories going through the lobby to vote for those cuts.

You mention education – we have lost our further education college campus in Northwich in the past couple of years. What should be done for our young people in the next few years?

I want to see a replacement. I have spoken to the principal and key governors. We agreed very, very strongly to disagree when that decision was made – and I am being a diplomat there.

Northwich Guardian:

One of the fundamental reasons that decision was taken was because of the funding cuts in that sector – over £3 million for that particular college.

But it is an expensive piece of real estate there at Hartford and they are trying to march forward with building even more houses. This was about pound signs to deal with the deficit imposed by the Government.

But I have asked for that commitment to Northwich and I will challenge the college every step of the way with that. If we are in Government we will resource it. If we are not, I will challenge them. Northwich needs that further education offer.

Northern has caused headaches for passengers on the mid Cheshire line for years – your plan is to nationalise the railways. Is that really the recipe for success?

When you have got Northern that was given the franchise on the promise it would deliver two trains an hour, new rolling stock – we still have Pacers. I was travelling on a Pacer 30 years ago.

We’ve got children left on the line because the trains are not turning up, they are cancelled left right and centre, and there are child welfare issues there. It’s crazy in terms of our community.

Take the franchise off them, let Transport for the North run the trains. Rather than money ciphened off into dividends, it goes to the service. It makes perfect sense.

What’s your stance on HS2?

The party’s position is, we need extra capacity on our railways, and Crossrail for the North is interdependent on the current proposals for HS2.

My personal opinion is we are now at more than £80 billion – it is a very expensive project. There has to be more challenge and scrutiny.

The environmental impacts and assessments have certainly been lacking on the local knowledge for the geometry. More work has to be done.

You’ve been a vocal supporter of the leaseholders’ campaign, which particularly affects people in Winnington, but it is still an issue for many residents…

The vast majority of houses built recently have been under the scam of the leasehold arrangement, and I am certainly proud of the work I have done with others in Parliament to make sure that is on the agenda.

In phased developments in Winnington, they are no longer being sold as leaseholder units, but then across the road people are trapped in that feudal system.

I’ve asked Theresa May, I’ve asked Boris Johnson, when will they end that practice – we still don’t have an answer, it’s not in their manifesto. We want action now.

Speaking of Winnington, you have previously promised to campaign for the problems at Winnington Bridge to be resolved – is that something you would want to see move forwards in the next four years?

Of course – it’s not just money for a feasibility study that we need, and that is the most we have got off his Government. Get some capital investment in there.

Northwich Guardian:

It’s a small bridge – I mean, is that Britain today? We can’t even get finance for a small bridge to ensure people can get from A to B?

All political parties are promising more efforts to tackle climate change – what should be done here?

I’m really passionate about this. We have seen over the past few weeks the flooding in Northwich, despite the investment in the flood barriers which I am told did their job.

We are seeing interesting weather patterns across the globe and we have to deal with that. We have to focus on investment for renewables, banning fracking outright – this temporary measure just happens to be ahead of an election.

We need to start investing in technology for the future – TATA is a good example on the Winnington site with their carbon capture facility there.

The technology is with us there but we need a Government that intervenes.

Labour is promising new jobs in the ‘Green New Deal’ – would you campaign for those to be based here?

For definite – this part of the world is manufacturing based, which is still alive and kicking. It is a prime location for green industry – particularly hydrogen technology.

Brexit is the reason this election has been called. Labour wants a new deal and to put that to another referendum – is that not going to cause even more division?

The country is very divided now – families, communities, this constituency is split down the middle. Over the last three years we’ve seen a lobby for a confirmatory referendum, and the polling shows a majority in favour of remaining.

I have to represent everybody. Brexit was a shambles made in Downing Street, from Cameron to May’s deals that Boris Johnson twice rejected.

He put his own deal forward that breaks up the union, then he withdraws his own bill to delay Brexit even further – this is a Tory shambles, it rests with them.

I think the only way to break that – and I say this not as an enthusiast, but as someone who encouraged the two front benches to try and work together – is negotiate a credible leave deal in three months, and then put it back to the people in six months.

But once you get to December 2020, he has to negotiate a free trade deal. Ken Clarke stood up in the chamber and said it takes an average of five years, not 12 months, and we could end up crashing out on no deal terms – that would be a disaster.

Jeremy Corbyn says he will be neutral in a second referendum – would you take the same stance?

Jeremy’s the referee on the pitch staying neutral. I campaigned to remain and voted to remain, and I would be no different, that would be me.

Northwich Guardian:

But put it to the people, let them decide, and that would be legally binding.

Weaver Vale has swung between the Conservatives and Labour over the years – are you confident of holding onto your seat?

The choice is clear. I have the experience, people gave me a mandate because they were tired of the former MP backing austerity, and they wanted change.

With me you have someone that will champion Weaver Vale and call for investment, ensure there is investment to protect services that people are passionate about, respond to the climate emergency and be a consistent champion of the town.

READ > 'Opportunities missed' in lead-up to Lauren Lelonek death

This is a Christmas election – it should be about change for those who are homeless, for those using food banks, for teachers not to have to beg and borrow for resources.

If you want hard right, more of the same, austerity, you can choose the ex-policeman who is the Conservative candidate.

Finally, you have a day off – no work or campaigning to do. How would you spend your ideal day in Cheshire?

I would spend time with my son Ted and my wife Amanda. He’s passionate about football so it would involve that, undoubtedly. Probably a kickabout in the park. That would be my ideal day.

Keep checking the Guardian website over the coming days for our interviews with the remaining Weaver Vale candidates.