Still undecided on who’s going to get your vote this Thursday?

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Library image.

Here’s our round up of the parliamentary candidates standing in your area and their views on why they deserve your vote this Thursday (May 7).

Bedford and Kempston:

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Richard Fuller,

Conservative.

Bedford and Kempston, as well as our country, needs strong and effective leadership if we are to continue to make the progress we have made over the past five years.

Five years ago, our economy was in crisis and Labour had literally said “there is no money left.”

Today, we have the fastest growing Western economy, 2 million more jobs, 0% inflation and rising real wages. That is substantial progress which would be put at risk by a government led by Ed Miliband “supported” by the Scottish Nationalists.

Locally, I have campaigned to secure investment for the Oxford to Bedford railway, supported parent-led new schools to help improve school attainment levels, raised a Bedford Business Fund to support local small businesses and organised annual jobs events for young people looking for work.

I want your support so I can continue these efforts. Most importantly I believe I am best placed to provide the strong local political leadership needed to help our doctors and nurses secure the future of Bedford Hospital as part of an Addenbrooke’s Alliance.

In Bedford and Kempston you have a decisive vote to support Richard Fuller and David Cameron in securing a better future for us all.

Patrick Hall,

Labour.

For months I have spoken with local residents and listened to their views. The election is upon us and it is clear that many who intend to vote remain undecided. Nonetheless people are clear about a number of issues. They want a secure future for Bedford Hospital and are concerned about the Tory drive to privatise health services. Too many struggle with the cost of living and want action on low wages and high fuel and energy bills. Others cannot understand why the Government has refused to help Foodbanks whilst cutting tax for the rich. Our schools are forced to compete with each other instead of cooperating. Rail fares shoot up and the cost of housing is beyond most young people. Many residents are not comfortable with the Tory’s negative attitude to Europe and divisive approach to Scotland which risks breaking the UK.

I want to help unite our country and will support policies that benefit the many not only the few. If elected I will again be a full time MP and put Bedford & Kempston first. I will never accept extra paid directorships and consultancies. I will work with the Mayor, the council, local businesses and residents to provide the leadership and vision we need.

Mahmud Henry Rogers

Liberal Democrats.

As your Liberal Democrat candidate, my priority is to bring jobs and investment to Bedford to boost our economy.

The Bus Station redevelopment is a major achievement yet we can and will go further.

Liberal Democrats will close the deficit, but we will do it fairly, by making our tax system fairer and preventing tax avoidance. It’s not right that ordinary people pay their taxes while some big corporations get away without paying their share. We will create a mansion tax on properties worth over £2million, but also raise the income tax personal allowance so ordinary people get a tax cut.

We will boost NHS funding by £8bn a year by 2020, so that it has the funding it needs to cope with our ageing population, and fight against any closure of wards at Bedford Hospital. We will protect funding for our schools in real terms, and double the number of employers offering apprenticeships, so young people get a fair start in life. We will support global peace and security by stopping the sale of weapons to regimes that abuse human rights. We stand for a stronger economy, a fairer society and opportunity for everyone.

Ben Foley,

Green Party.

I love living in a diverse, multicultural town. It would be an honour to represent you all.

Austerity is a failed experiment. It’s made life intolerable for millions. The Green Party will end austerity. At this election the other four parties ‘offer’ more austerity. Bedford and Kempston’s voters need a real choice. Instead, Greens will clamp down hard on corporate tax dodging, ask the very wealthiest to pay more, and cancel Trident replacement.

I am standing for the common good.

>social rented housing, bringing abandoned buildings into use, so everyone has a secure and affordable place to live. 

>a living wage of £10/hour by 2020.

>public services in public hands, adequately funded by tax, including our precious NHS.

>free publicly provided education, including Universities.

>energy efficiency, and renewable energy, reducing use of fossil fuels.

As I write, April is set to break temperature records. For our children’s sake and generations to come, we can’t ignore climate chaos. A warm April is welcome, but extreme weather kills.

The Green Party has many times more members, and far higher opinion poll ratings, than ever before going into a General Election. Now is the best time ever to vote Green.

Charlie Smith,

UKIP.

Voters now have a viable alternative to the old parties.

UKIP will ensure a fair referendum on Europe, leading to a genuinely independent UK.

UKIP’s policies such as saving of £10 billion p.a. on EU subscriptions, £9 billion on foreign aid, scrapping HS2 and the Barnett Formula for Scotland will allow us to spend money where we most need to.

Uncontrolled immigration of around 300,000 p.a. puts an unbearable strain on hospitals, GPs, Education and housing. An Australian style points system will ensure that we will be able to welcome those people who can make a genuine contribution to our country.

£3 billion p.a. extra for the NHS will fund another 8000 GPs, 20,000 nurses, 3,000 midwives and end hospital parking charges.

No tax on the minimum wage, no bedroom tax, no inheritance tax, making a fairer society.

As a local man, born in Kempston, educated in Bedford, running local businesses and as a former regional chairman of the FSB, I know how to support the wealth creators of our town.

My wife Ginnie being a full time Carer, daughter Emma an NHS doctor and son Adam working in retail, I am aware of the importance of protecting our hospital, improving local services and increasing employment prospects for all.

Faruk Choudhury,

Independent.

Our education system is one of my priorities. Most of the schools do not have full-time permanent teachers. They are being run by supply staff. Therefore our children struggle to achieve their goals. What is the benefit of having five hundred free schools? Probably, some commercial companies will benefit if the Government want to privatise education.

I am concerned about the upkeep of Law and Order. Crime is all too common across the country. We have not got enough police on the beat and on the street because of government cuts. This is why people feel less secure and vulnerable. Not only for themselves and their families but their home, property and possessions. I believe that greater actions are needed to counter the recent increase in home burglaries and violent crime in small businesses.

If I win the election, I will have a strong voice against wrong decision making by the government. I will argue to bring more Police on the streets and an increased sense of security. I will stand for tighter immigration control polices to advocate that only those willing to work hard and contribute to our society will be permitted entry. Any foreign criminals should be identified and stopped on the spot.

Mid Bedfordshire:

Charlynne Pullen

Labour.

Charlynne Pullen is your Labour parliamentary candidate in Mid Beds. She’s been a Labour councillor in inner London, a Unite rep at City & Guilds, and works in Further Education.

Charlynne grew up in Newport Pagnell and has family roots in Bedfordshire going back to the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. Among them, her great great grandfather, Peter Dix, served on Flitwick Parish Council from its establishment in 1894 until 1931.

Charlynne went from local state school Ousedale to the University of Oxford, and later studied part-time with the Open University. She now works in Further Education, ensuring young people have high quality vocational learning and apprenticeships taught by qualified staff.

A Labour councillor for 4 years, Charlynne was elected in 2010 to represent an inner city community bearing the brunt of the Tory government’s cuts. She fought for and helped deliver universal free school meals for primary school pupils, a living wage for all council staff, and one of the country’s leading council house building programmes.

As your Mid Beds Labour MP, Charlynne would fight to put people before profits in the NHS, ban zero-hours contracts, and tackle the cost of living crisis.

Gareth Ellis

Green Party.

“I have lived in Mid Beds for 30 years and work as the Energy & Environment Manager at Cranfield University. I am a Parish Councillor and have also served on Mid Beds District Council. As a Chartered Engineer and Environmentalist I can bring a technical and practical input into politics.

Climate change is the biggest threat we all face. I would encourage the development of new clean sustainable technologies here in Mid Beds to meet future needs, bringing long term employment and boosting the local economy. #SafeClimate.

Mid Bedfordshire needs better public transport and more local services for young and old. The Green Party will bring the railways back into public ownership, regulate the buses and reduce fares. We would prioritise safer roads for pedestrians and cyclists. #BetterTransport.

Greens would ensure the NHS remains a public service free at the point of use #PublicNHS. We would end austerity, protect public services and ensure the minimum wage is a living wage £10/hr by 2020. #FairEconomy.

We all need somewhere safe, secure and warm to live. Greens would abolish the bedroom tax and build 500,000 efficient social rented homes. #DecentHomes. We would scrap tuition fees and restore trust in teachers. #FreeEducation.”

Nigel Wickens

UKIP.

I stand as a UKIP candidate in this General Election because I feel strongly about freedom and democracy.

This election will be the most important ever for saving the independence and sovereignty of our country and once again become a self-governing nation.

A democratic country where laws are made and our money is spent by people we elect to our Parliament and who we can remove if we do not like their decisions.

A country where we decide who we trade with globally based on our commercial needs. A country where we forge security partnerships based on our own international priorities and where our brave service men and women are only ever asked to put their lives on the line when our country and our people are under threat.

We have to regain control of our country and properly manage many important elements of our lives, e.g. housing, education, care for the elderly, mental healthcare, GP services and hospitals. Leaving the EU and controlling our borders is instrumental in managing all of these effectively.

I recognise how important controlling development and managing the environment is to the people of Mid Bedfordshire and offer my full time commitment and service.

Ann Kelly

The Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

I have lived in Flitwick for almost 28 years, serving for several years as an Independent councillor on Flitwick Town Council and serving two terms as Flitwick Town Mayor: I have also sat on the Governing bodies of two Flitwick schools. My absolute priority if elected would be representing my constituents and assisting with local issues, as a member of a minority party I will be able to do this free of the constraints of a party whip.

I would work for the abolition of zero hours contracts and helping young people through old style apprenticeships I also want to assist with securing housing for first time buyers and young families.

The OMRLP are thrilled to be contesting the seat of Mid Beds and I am very honoured to have been chosen as their representative.

It’s time for a change in Mid Beds and I hope I will be the person the electorate want to make that change. There is a lot of voter apathy at the moment, with people thinking that as all the main parties seem to be the same why bother to vote?

Anyone who feels that way can vote for me.”

>Also running for the Mid Bedfordshire seat are Nadine Dorries, Conservative, Linda Jack, Liberal Democrats and independent Tim Ireland.

North East Bedfordshire:

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.

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.