WITH just three weeks till the general election on June 8, candidates have been hitting the streets of Basingstoke and Deane, and the surrounding areas, in a bid to win your vote.
After calling the election, prime minister Theresa May said this was an opportunity for the country to strengthen its position when entering the Brexit negotiations.
Brexit is set to be a focal point of this election, but all parties have different issues they are hoping the public will take into account.
These include funding for the NHS and nationalisation of the railways. In the coming weeks, The Gazette will be checking in with the candidates for the three constituencies that this paper covers.
This week we are giving our readers the chance to “meet the candidates” for Basingstoke, North East Hampshire and North West Hampshire.
CONSERVATIVE - Maria Miller
I WILL be the strong voice Basingstoke needs in Parliament, with experience to get the best for our community.
Basingstoke is a great place to live and I aim to keep it that way.
To support the growth of our area, Basingstoke is seeing massive investment: £35 million to keep traffic moving, a record number of new primary school places, a new fire station, a new police station and a business enterprise zone at Basing View to attract even more jobs.
This investment is only possible with a healthy national economy and a strong, stable Conservative Government.
This election is also about Brexit.
The British people took a democratic decision to leave the EU.
I respect that and support Theresa May in getting the best possible deal for Britain. Voting for Theresa May on June 8 will strengthen her negotiating position and help us deliver a better future for Britain.
LABOUR - Terry Bridgeman
IT is a great honour to be selected as the Labour parliamentary candidate for Basingstoke, where I used to work for a number of years at Eli Lilly and Sainsbury’s depot.
I am concerned for the future of the town, we need to make sure we keep quality jobs in Basingstoke, we’ve lost quite a few good firms in the last few years, and more are going.
Our local doctors’ surgeries are feeling the strain, as are some of our local schools.
Basingstoke needs an MP who understands the concerns our town faces and who stands up for its residents.
I want to save Fort Hill school and secure better funding for our local schools. I want to make sure the new critical treatment hospital gets built, and I want a properly funded NHS that doesn’t have four million people on waiting lists.
I want a better service for our commuters who pay thousands a year to stand on crowded trains into London.
I want to reverse the cuts to our police. On June 8 I hope you will support me. I believe in Basingstoke.
LIBERAL DEMOCRATS - John Shaw
JOHN has lived in Basingstoke since 1995 and has a 19-year record of campaigning action for local people, having served as councillor for Brookvale and Kings Furlong on Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council between 1998 and 2014 and represented Basingstoke North West on Hampshire County Council.
John stood as the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Basingstoke in 2010, overtaking Labour to become the main opposition to the sitting Conservative MP.
John’s priorities for Basingstoke, and those of the local Liberal Democrats, include: Protecting school funding – As local schools start to feel the squeeze from funding cuts, John is backing Lib Dem plans to invest £7 billion in schools to give all of our children the future they deserve, More investment for our health services - 100,000 bed days are being lost in hospitals in and around Basingstoke because patients can’t be discharged into under-funded social care.
John wants to put that right as part of the Lib Dem’s £6 billion investment NHS plan. And John wants to see more homes being built so that everyone who wants to live in our town can afford to do so.
GREEN PARTY - Richard Winter
CLIMATE change is the crisis of our generation and as with any other crisis it will hit the poorest hardest whilst the wealthiest are protected.
I believe that these injustices must not be allowed to continue.
I joined the Green Party because they offer an alternative which priorities the environment and an end to increasing social injustice.
During my time working for a well known international conservation charity I’ve seen the impact of climate change and the importance of working internationally to protect the environment.
Theresa May called this snap election in an attempt to build support for her hard Brexit stance.
We need to show her that the British people are not supporting her in this reckless position.
A vote for the Green Party in Basingstoke will show that you want an NHS funded by public money not to profit corporations; support for young people and the education they deserve; a referendum on Brexit when we know what the terms are; a fair rental market with homes fit to live in; and investments in renewables so we have clean air, rivers, parks and gardens and a sustainable future for everyone.
UKIP - Alan Stone
I AM self employed and run my business from the heart of Basingstoke. I am an employer and a UK taxpayer.
Having seen hard times during my life, I strongly believe in giving opportunities not handouts.
Grammar schools for the academically strong, regardless of background.
Decent apprenticeships, that deliver a meaningful job on completion.
Free university places for science, technology, engineering and medical degrees.
I believe in low taxes and low regulations, to encourage entrepreneurialism. Without which, our country will not be fit for the post Brexit Britain.
It is, after all, profit generated by business that pays for the NHS and our social services.
Our present governing party seems to have forgotten its roots. Whilst pretending to support small businesses and individuals, the Conservatives have pandered to the large and multinational companies by increasing the burden of regulation on companies that can ill afford the resources to comply.
Without a regulation purge, the small and medium sized UK businesses may vanish the same way independent shops have vanished.
Remember, large corporations can afford to base their tax liabilities off shore. I was at the forefront of setting UKIP policy on EU nationals living in the UK.
UKIP have set the agenda with Brexit, grammar schools, council housing and more. UKIP policies are now appearing throughout the British political spectrum. We lead, they follow.
LIBERTARIAN PARTY - Scott Neville
HAVING lived in and around Basingstoke my entire life the area is very special to me.
I am standing in this election for the Libertarian Party.
I firmly believe that local people should always be involved in the decisions that affect them.
The Libertarian Party is full of talented individuals who all want to ensure people’s civil liberties are protected while supporting a sound economic model where everyone can make the most of their unique skills.
I have five key pledges for Basingstoke which I believe I can deliver on. Of these, one really stands out, holding elected officials to account.
I feel that the rate of house building is a key issue for many people. I do not wish to stop the construction of new housing that we clearly need, but I want to ensure our elected officials represent the views of constituents.
I propose to allow the people to remove elected officials from office through the ballot box midterm.
How would the expenses scandal have played out if the electorate could have ousted MPs that no longer carry the confidence of their constituents?
Residents will go to the polls on June 8.