A BOURNEMOUTH MP candidate says it 'breaks her heart' that people feel unsafe in the town.

Jessica Toale, Labour’s candidate in Bournemouth West, hosted a community coffee morning at St Augustine’s Church.

She was also joined by GIANT gallery founder Stuart Semple and councillor Jamie Martin.


Bournemouth Echo:

Addressing known issues about the town, Ms Toale said: “I know there have been lots of chatter about the future of the town centre.

“The town centre comes up as one of the most common issues, [and] whether it's the empty shops or how safe you feel, we really care about what you have to say.

“It breaks my heart when I meet a mum on the doorstep who says, ‘I don't let my daughters go into town anymore because it feels unsafe’.”

Questions raised about the town included issues like public toilets, general hygiene and lack of businesses in the area.

Ms Toale also explained her personal connection to Bournemouth, she added: “I spent a lot of my childhood overseas, but I came back to Bournemouth in my summer holidays.

“My mum used to boot me on the bus when I was a teenager and say, ‘go off into town, go to the beach with your friends.’

“I’ve got great memories of getting the East Cliff lift down to the beach with my family and trying to get my mum to run down the zigzag with me.

“So I really care and I've been really disappointed with the way that I've seen things change here as well, in the way that I know all of you have.”

Speaking about the benefits Bournemouth has to offer, Ms Toale added: “We have a really vibrant buzzing community of innovators, creatives, entrepreneurs.

“My view is that a lot of what we should be doing is trying to develop and capitalize on the unique local identity that Bournemouth has here, and a large part of that is our excellence in entrepreneurialism, innovation and creative and cultural attractions.

“There's not only a massive economic benefit to supporting the real unique selling point we have, but it's also a community benefit.”

The meeting was held on February 17 at St Augustine’s Church on Wimborne Road, Bournemouth.