GENERAL ELECTION 2015: North East Bedfordshire candidates

General Election 2015
General Election 2015

There are five parliamentary candidates hoping for votes in the North East Bedfordshire constituency. Here each candidate explains why readers should vote for them at the polling stations on Thursday, May 7.

ALISTAIR BURT – CONSERVATIVE

Whether young, older or somewhere in between, I believe I and the Conservatives are best for you and NE Beds.

Serving as your MP, I have worked in towns, villages and parishes the length and breadth of the constituency. It has been a tough few years, but so many on doorsteps tell me that things look brighter.

This is because you have worked hard and the Government has made decisions to help, from raising personal allowances on taxes for the low paid and freezing council tax, to protecting pensioners so the 75p increase under Labour can never happen again.

We have strong turnaround from 2010, when we could have gone the way of Spain or Greece. Unemployment has plummeted to less than 2%, 83% of our children are in good or outstanding schools, and apprenticeships have increased.

But we have more challenges ahead. The funding needed for the NHS and other vital services, to equip us technologically and keep us safe only comes from a strong economy and a determination to match yours, to work hard for you, your neighbour and your family. I ask that I am the one for you to make that commitment and meet that challenge.

SAQHIB ALI – LABOUR

Born in the North of England, Saqhib has lived in Bedfordshire since the age of eight, attending state schools before securing a scholarship to Bedford Modern School. After graduating from the University of Leeds and he qualified as an accountant and now also holds a Cranfield MBA. No career politician, he has worked for a variety of companies, large and small, in the UK and abroad.

Married, with two teenage sons and a daughter, Saqhib lives in the new village of Wixams. A dedicated campaigner, he would welcome the chance to serve his community further.

Saqhib said:“I am a passionate supporter of equal rights and opportunities for all, especially those most affected by the cost-of-living crisis.

“I have watched this Tory-led government systematically dismantle all that Labour achieved, and I must help correct that.

“I want to see economic growth, more local employment, a better choice of affordable housing, and stronger, more sustainable, local hospitals.

“My varied life experiences have made me passionate about improving the lives of the ordinary, hardworking majority in our society, not just the privileged few.

“I need everyone to understand that Labour has a better plan for a better future – putting fairness and social justice at its core.”

Meet me and ask your questions at Arlesey Village Hall, Tuesday, May 5 from 7.30pm to 9pm.

PETER MORRIS – LIBERAL DEMOCRATS

Peter came to the east of England in 1996 whilst he was working in Newmarket, but he moved to his current home in South Lincolnshire in 2008, where he lives with his wife and five-year-old son, who started school last September.

During his varied working career, Peter experienced four years of working in France (in the Loire Valley), and later worked in Poland - managing farming and sporting interests for the owner of a Polish brewery.

This experience of life in other countries has helped Peter to compare and contrast many aspects of life in our country - and to see the true value of our National Health Service, our education system.

He appreciates the work that Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats in Government have done to build a stronger economy and make a fairer society.

Peter has been a Liberal Democrat campaigner for ten years, and ran a successful campaign against proposed local health care cuts. Peter supports the Save Our Hospital campaign in Bedford and feels strongly that full A & E, maternity & paediatric services must be retained.

He said: “It is time for NHS bosses to listen to hospital doctors and staff to safeguard our local hospital.”

Peter is particularly enthusiastic about East-West Rail and will campaign to ensure that the central section, from Bedford to Cambridge, is given the final approval in 2017.

This will enable the whole of North East Bedfordshire to enjoy the economic benefits to the local economy, with new jobs created in each community.

Peter is delighted that Liberal Democrats in Bedford have retained and improved rural bus services and is committed to making the public transport network as efficient and effective as possible.

MARK BOWLER – GREEN PARTY

This is a very exciting time in British politics.

I’m honoured to be the first ever Green Party candidate for North East Bedfordshire constituency.

The ‘Green Surge’ has seen local membership increase seven fold in twelve months. Everyone should have the opportunity to vote for polices they believe in and I’m pleased the people of NE Beds can now vote for the common good.

The coalition governments’ failed experiment in austerity has made life intolerable for millions.

The Green Party will end austerity. We’ll clamp down on corporate tax dodging and ask those who can afford it to pay a little more.

Increasing minimum wages to a living-wage level of £10 per hour by 2020 will empower millions of people on low wages.

We’ll ensure the NHS is publicly funded and publicly provided with free social care for the elderly.

Local councils will be properly funded under a Green government.

Greens will revitalise rural communities by providing better public transport and safer roads, ensuring decent livelihoods for people working locally and continuing high-speed broadband roll-out.

Greens will revitalise rural communities by providing better public transport and safer roads, ensuring decent livelihoods for people working locally and continuing high-speed broadband roll-out.

We’ll commit to making Britain an energy efficient, low-carbon nation, creating investment and job opportunities whilst protecting the wider environment and combating Climate Change.

mark.bowler@greenparty.org.uk

ADRIANNE SMYTH - UKIP

Adrianne Smyth is not a career politician but a successful businesswoman who feels that very few of those governing us today have ever run their own businesses or shown that they understand the problems of running a going concern against bureaucratic intervention.

There is serious concern over the damage being inflicted on the British economy by our continued membership of the EU, which changed from the original Free Trade idea to the subsequent creation of a European state governed from Brussels. Leaving the EU, which is one of UKIP’s polices, would save us £55million a day.

The Labour Government left us totally impoverished; the Coalition Government has left us unable to make our own laws or deport dangerous criminals and terrorists.

Our borders with the EU countries have no controls..

The massive influx of people is forcing huge costs on all of us in providing school 
places, infrastructure, education, medical facilities and bringing unbearable pressure on our green spaces for extra housing.

We need not accept this - a Vote for UKIP is a vote to believe in Britain and govern ourselves.

A vote for UKIP is a vote for common sense.