WIRRAL's Labour group launched its manifesto for the 2015 general and local elections today.

Wirral West Parliamentary candidate Margaret Greenwood joined town hall leader Phil Davies - who is standing in Birkenhead and Tranmere ward - along with council candidates from across the borough to make their election pledges during the launch at the Floral Pavilion in New Brighton this morning.

Addressing 22 candidates and campaigners this morning, he said: "Labour has got a fantastic record in Wirral and this election is a clear choice between us and the tories.

"Do we want five more years of austerity, foodbanks and 'zero-hour' contracts or do want a progressive agenda around properly funded public services, a vibrant NHS and hope for the future of our children?

"I know what the people of Wirral would choose.

"I'm absolutely confident that on May 7 we will return a Labour Government and a stronger Labour council."

He added: "Labour's campaign in Wirral puts local people first.

"Voters have a straight choice between the Tories’ cuts and failed austerity measures, and Labour’s plan to rescue Arrowe Park Hospital and introduce policies to raise living standards for hard working families."

Labour’s 2015 campaign has five key pledges:

A STRONG ECONOMY FOR ALL – Labour says they will balance the books and cut the deficit every year while securing the future of the NHS.

HELP WITH THE COST OF LIVING - Raise living standards by freezing energy bills until 2017, banning zero-hours contracts, lifting the minimum wage to £8 an hour and raising free child care for three and four year olds to 25 hours a week.

SAVE OUR HEALTH SERVICE - Boost the NHS by hiring 20,000 more nurses and 8,000 more family doctors, guaranteeing GP appointments within 48 hours and cancer tests within one week. Arrowe Park, they claim, "is in crisis."

CONTROL IMMIGRATION - By stopping new arrivals from claiming benefits for at least two years and banning exploitative pay rates.

BUILD FOR THE NEXT GENERATION - Cut tuition fees to £6,000 a year, offer an apprenticeship to every school leaver with basic grades, and reduce class sizes in infant schools. Labour will "create a clear route" for Wirral school leavers who don’t go to university, with a new gold standard Technical Baccalaureate for 16 to 19 year olds.

Margaret Greenwood said: “The NHS is at risk. Arrowe Park Hospital is going from one crisis to another.

"Shockingly, the only Tory MP in Merseyside, Esther McVey, has failed to speak up or stand up for Wirral’s hospital.

"While her Government wasted £3bn on an unwanted and damaging re-organisation, front line services affecting both patients and staff are suffering as a result.

"Now the watchdog fears for the future of Arrowe Park.

“I’m looking forward to joining Angela Eagle, Frank Field and Alison McGovern in Parliament next year to give all of Wirral the representation and voice we deserve.”

Councillor Davies said: “320,000 people call Wirral home and look to our council to provide the services that continue to make the borough an outstanding place to live, work and raise a family.

"But since 2010, this Tory Government has slashed the grant that delivers those services by almost £170m.

"With your backing, we look forward to a Labour Wirral Council working with a Labour Government to support vital local services, repair the NHS, and to offer a better future for hard-working families by controlling the cost of living and returning to the British promise that the next generation do better than the last.”

The ruling Labour group is contesting all 22 wards up for election this year and says it is hopeful of gains from Liberal Democrats in Eastham and Conservatives in Oxton.