SHE has been a member of the local Liberal Democrat party for nine years – and now Janice Spalding has set her sights on becoming Basingstoke’s next MP.

Janice Spalding has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate to challenge incumbent Conservative Basingstoke MP Maria Miller at the 2015 General Election.

Miss Spalding is currently an IT project manager at computer manufacturer, HP, and has previously worked in the defence, utilities and oil and gas industries. She has also been a member of the Basingstoke Hockey Club since 1999.

The prospective parliamentary candidate moved to Basingstoke from Newcastle 14 years ago, and currently lives in Bramley.

The 52-year-old, who is delighted to have been chosen to contest the Basingstoke seat, said: “I think the people of Basingstoke are the best people.

“I would represent them because I would live here – I don’t believe in having a second home. I know the area and I will work with the people of Basingstoke to improve their lives, providing homes, and making it a better area.”

The parliamentary candidate is passionate about investing in education and training for young people, especially in industries such as engineering, adding: “I want a big emphasis on training and apprenticeships and making it more consistently run.”

As part of her campaign, Miss Spalding is aiming to propose increased investment in green energy including solar and hydro-electric and energy from waste and wind power.

She added: “I want to see investment in cleaner energy because I have done a lot of work in that industry. The lights are going to go off if we don’t invest in power generation and we can do things from green energy and in particular solar energy.”

John Shaw, chair of the Basingstoke Liberal Democrats group, said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have Janice as our prospective parliamentary candidate.

“Janice’s background in business and technology and real world experience make her the perfect person to be our next MP.”

Mr Shaw came second to Mrs Miller in the 2010 General Election, polling 10,141 votes. Mrs Miller, who quit as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport this month, retained the Basingstoke seat she has held since 2005 at the last election, winning 50.5 per cent of the vote with a majority of 13,176.

Dr Paul Harvey, who is a borough councillor and former leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council, has already been selected to contest the Basingstoke seat for Labour, and local businessman Alan Stone has been selected as the candidate for the UK Independence Party.