A CANDIDATE running to become Darlington's first Conservative MP in 30 years has pledged to boost the town centre, set up neighbourhood watch schemes and improve congestion in residential areas.

Peter Gibson, who is hoping to become the town's first Conservative MP since 1987, said he would "back businesses" to expand, creating more jobs in the town centre.

The Northern Echo:

Mr Gibson, trying to oust Labour's Jenny Chapman as MP for the town on December 12, also promised to "make the case" for extra resources from police, setting up neighbour watch schemes in a bid to tackle crime.

Mr Gibson also announced as part of his six-point plan to cut congestion to commuters travelling into the town.

He said the introduction of a link road between the A66 and the Coatham Interchange at J59 of the A1 would "put an end to gridlock" in residential areas.

The Conservative candidate who stood for Parliament in Redcar in 2017, previously said it had been a "huge personal achievement" to get the party from fourth to second place.

In September, Mr Gibson told The Northern Echo: “I see the role of an MP as being a champion for a place, its history, its heritage, its people.

"Darlington has a modest cost of living, and we have access to coast, Dales and Moors. I think we have the best of everything here, we really have – it is a fantastic place to be.”