ELECTION: Parliamentary candidates for Saffron Walden constituency make their cases

Ballot boxes

Ballot boxes - Credit: Archant

In just one week, voters will head to the polls to have their say on the shape of the nation over the next five years. This week the six parliamentary candidates for Saffron Walden constituency tell us why we should choose them to represent us...

Sir Alan Haselhurst, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Saffron Walden.

Sir Alan Haselhurst, Conservative parliamentary candidate for Saffron Walden. - Credit: Archant

Sir Alan Haselhurst – Conservative

What is important to me is ensuring that people in our market towns, Saffron Walden and Great Dunmow, and villages such as Great Chesterford, Newport, Thaxted and Hadstock have an excellent standard of living. We live in a beautiful part of the country and I want to keep it that way. Yet we have housing needs which must be addressed in a sympathetic manner. Aspiring home owners must not be priced out of the local area.

There must be access to quality schools and rewarding jobs. Hospitals and GP practices must be in easy reach. Village shops, pubs and post offices should be supported. Sports facilities and community centres must continue to be upgraded.

Local job opportunities abound, but for those commuting to work, I am determined to get better train services; for those who work at home faster broadband; for drivers safer roads; and for walkers and cyclists improved facilities.

Support for our NHS and improved care can only be assured if the country’s economic recovery is maintained. We cannot afford a return to tax rises and reckless borrowing.

People are worried about immigration. There is a big distinction to be drawn between those who work and contribute to our expanding economy and those who come in search of benefits. Conservative policy will aim to enforce that distinction.

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In the end the fundamental choice boils down to whether David Cameron or Ed Miliband is Prime Minister. Competence or chaos.

Conservative is the wisest choice.

Jane Berney, Labour parliamentary candidate for Saffron Walden.

Jane Berney, Labour parliamentary candidate for Saffron Walden. - Credit: Archant

Jane Berney – Labour Party

I am proud to stand as the Labour party’s parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Saffron Walden: a place I have called home for nearly 20 years.

I am a working mother, a wife, a chartered accountant, a commuter and an historian. I have been a school governor and a parish councillor.

All this helps me to understand the needs and concerns of the people of Saffron Walden, as I share them too. Labour offers local voters a choice between the coalition’s policies which make people’s lives harder and Labour policies which give hope for the future.

We will boost the economy by balancing the books fairly, closing tax loopholes and helping businesses to invest and grow. We will promote sustainable and reliable public transport with fair fares, and build houses where they are needed.

By banning exploitative zero-hours contracts, making it illegal for employers to undercut wages, raising the minimum wage and increasing free child care provision, we will improve living standards. We will join up health and social care so everyone will have access to the care they need, when they need it.

We will help the young with apprenticeships and a reduction in tuition fees.

We live in a lovely part of the world but we cannot ignore that for some of us things are bleak – the scandal of food banks is the most shocking reminder of this – but only Labour has the will and the plan to build a better future for us all.

Mike Hibbs, Liberal Democrats parliamentary candidate for Saffron Walden.

Mike Hibbs, Liberal Democrats parliamentary candidate for Saffron Walden. - Credit: Archant

Mike Hibbs - Liberal Democrats

I believe in personal freedom, in a fair and open society where no one is held back from achieving the best they can. I believe we need greater equality for the good of everyone in the community.

I have been a local councillor for 30 years, have served as Mayor of Saffron Walden twice and was Chairman of the District Council in 2003-04. I’ve campaigned locally for a better housing deal because I care about this area. We need affordable housing for our young people and for key workers, and we need the infrastructure to go with all the new housing - roads, schools and doctors’ surgeries.

I have also campaigned for many years to improve facilities for our young people.

I was brought up in Saffron Walden and raised my family here too.

I’m standing for Parliament because our constituency needs an MP who will speak up for this area.

I’m proud of our record and of what the Liberal Democrats have achieved from within the Coalition for families, the disadvantaged, the environment and renewable energy.

Vote Liberal Democrat and help us do more!

Karmel Stannard, Green Party parliamentary candidate

Karmel Stannard, Green Party parliamentary candidate - Credit: Archant

Karmel Stannard - Green Party

I am standing for election because I am concerned that government is putting profit before people’s needs, badly affecting people in this constituency.

The main parties insist on austerity cuts, which target poor and vulnerable people, including the elderly and disabled. Yet tax dodging by the super rich and corporations costs £120billion (£320million a day).

An ageing population is blamed for overburdening the NHS - but the real burden is private companies, draining £1.8m a day.

Money better spent on doctors, nurses and care givers.

Right wing parties blame job shortages on migrants - but greedy employers are at fault, exploiting migrants and paying them a pittance, undercutting British workers.

Rich investors buy up homes driving up house prices – investors have bought up 85 per cent of all new builds in London, often leaving them empty, causing housing shortages.

Large housing developments built locally cash in on the exodus of Londoners searching for cheaper properties, in turn raising housing costs for local people.

Heather Asker, parliamentary candidate for Residents for Uttlesford

Heather Asker, parliamentary candidate for Residents for Uttlesford - Credit: Archant

Heather Asker – Residents For Uttlesford

My pledge is to be the envoy on behalf of the Saffron Walden constituency, delivering our message to Westminster for what is right for our community.

I have served as a town and district councillor for the last eight years and lived in my ward for 14 years. I have seen huge changes in the Saffron Walden constituency, some for the better, others to the detriment of our community.

I believe in a commitment to localism and residents representation, exciting times are ahead in the way local authorities will be operated.

Central government has insisted that many policies will be devolved to local level, and who better to handle those tasks, but local people who are directly affected in their every day lives? Whether that be at home, work, play or commuting and desperately seeking appointments with doctors, dentists and trying to find the ever elusive school places.

R4U is determined that a better lifestyle can be achieved for existing and new residents by developing a sensible and sound Local Plan to suit the whole of the constituency.

Public consultation is at the core of R4U’s approach and we understand the pitfalls of planning without consideration for infrastructure. Popularity is growing nationwide with groups like ours because the public are disillusioned with main Party Politics.

We believe that our voices need to be heard and the main parties don’t listen.

Peter Day, UKIP parliamentary candidate 2015

Peter Day, UKIP parliamentary candidate 2015 - Credit: Archant

Peter Day – UKIP

I believe people should understand what’s at stake in this election – do British people want to have their elected Government responsible for laws, security and safety in our country or do they want it given away to unelected people in Brussels who are draining £56million a day from taxpayers and wasting it?

If it’s Brussels then they can choose from any of the other parties because there is little difference between them. They are lying to you about what they plan to do if elected because the EU won’t let them do most of it and the rest they cannot cost.

If the answer is elected Government, then they have only one choice – UKIP.

Wasted Foreign Aid, Austerity, £1.5 trillion national debt, higher taxes, more cutbacks to Councils and infrastructure including schools, NHS, social care, roads etc, no immigration controls, mass house building on green belt land, wind turbines on every street corner, wasted money with HS2 project and to Scotland - just elect the same old parties for all of this and more over the next five years.

In rural Essex there are plans for large housing projects on green belt land. Roads will be clogged and unrepaired, schools overcrowded and hospitals unable to cope as never before.

Only UKIP has the policies and the faith to believe in Britain, protect the green belt and make the changes that most people can see are needed.