HAMPSHIRE Independents founder and Basingstoke businessman Alan Stone is standing as a candidate in the upcoming general election.

The 60-year-old Brookvale resident, who owns Squirrels Antiques in New Street, is positioning himself as the "most local candidate" in the race.

Mr Stone attended Sherborne St John Primary School, Hilsea College in Oakley, and Queen Mary's College.

Mr Stone said he is standing as a Hampshire Independent candidate because he doesn’t believe the main parties “care about individuals over their party donors and supporters”.

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Hampshire Independents candidate Alan Stone (Image: Newsquest) He added: “Hampshire Independents does not control their candidates, allowing me to act and fight for the best interests of Basingstoke."

A key focus of Mr Stone's campaign is housing, saying: "I would advocate saving schemes and encourage shared ownership allowing three or four people to buy and share a property for fixed periods gaining equity for the owners rather than landlords.

"I want to see legislation reversed so councils can build council-run social housing. I have been fighting the overdevelopment of Basingstoke for years. We should not have built so many homes without the infrastructure being in place.

"Doctors and dentist surgeries, as well as improved sewage works, are some examples of infrastructure that has been neglected during the rush to build era. It has taken them a long time but I am pleased to say that all parties are now on board with my crusade. I hope that is not just pre-election talk on their part."

Alan Stone attending one of the hustings in BasingstokeAlan Stone attending one of the hustings in Basingstoke (Image: Newsquest)

Mr Stone is also calling for significant changes in the healthcare system. 

He said: "Most of the NHS is now run by private companies, your GP surgery is privately owned, ambulance services are private companies and hospitals are run by trusts, maybe it is time for them to be taken over by the government?

"Returning the NHS to the state will give financial control back to elected people rather than the current system that is wide open for, let’s say, poor financial management. Hampshire Independents want to see first aid and personal health care taught at schools and to bring nurses to our community centres. Both of these ideas will reduce pressure on A&E and doctor's surgeries allowing them to deal with the more serious aspects of mental and physical health."

On the topic of drug legislation, Mr Stone advocates for a discussion on legalising drugs. "I am an advocate for personal choice and personal responsibilities," he said. 

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"The current law forbids drugs but the war on drugs has failed to the point that police ignore most drug use and open drug dealing. It is time for a discussion on legalisation. This will protect users from poor or laced product, remove most crime associated with drug dealing and allow a more open approach to resolving drug related addictions. Whist the multi billion pound business is in the hand of criminals, no one is going to be helped off of drugs.

Besides Conservative Maria Miller, Mr Stone is the only other candidate standing again in Basingstoke for the general election.

In 2015 and 2017, he stood as a UKIP candidate, getting 8,290 and 1,681 votes respectively.

In 2019, he got 746 votes as a Hampshire Independents candidate.

Also standing in the Basingstoke constituency is Luke Murphy (Labour), Raymond Saint (Reform UK), Michael Howard-Sorrell (Green Party), and Richard Whelan (Liberal Democrats).