GENERAL ELECTION 2015: Northampton candidates make final plea for your vote

With General Election polling day almost upon us - Northampton’s parliamentary candidates have made one last bid to win your vote.

Over the past six weeks the Chronicle & Echo has been asking the people biding for the two seats in the town to explain how they would support education, the NHS, immigration and the elderly if they are voted in tomorrow.

Last week, the ten party candidates representing Conservative, Labour, UKIP, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party made their final pleas.

In case you missed them here are those pleas, starting with the candidates for Northampton South.

NORTHAMPTON SOUTH

David Mackintosh

Conservative

I was born in the Barratt Maternity Home, went to school here and still live in Northampton. My family also live here and use the services here, so I care passionately about the state of our services and infrastructure, such as our hospital, GPs, schools, roads and housing.

That is why I am standing as parliamentary candidate. I have never stood for election to Parliament for anywhere else and never will, I only want to be the MP for the town that I love. Most people who contact their MP have a serious issue they cannot resolve themselves, and over the last four years as leader of the borough council I have helped thousands of people, and I know how important it is to have the right person ready to help when you have nowhere else to turn. That is the most important part of the job to me. The other side of the job is to fight for Northampton in Westminster and to secure the things our town and country need. To make sure our hospital and local schools get the funding they need, that people can see their GP when they need to, that there are opportunities for our young people and more jobs and investment in our town. We can only do all this if we have a strong economy to pay for it, and we cannot risk letting Ed Miliband’s Labour wreck our economy again.

Julie Hawkins

Green Party

What do you want from life?

A job that pays enough to live on... Then Vote Green

A home of your own that you can actually afford ... Vote Green.

To get to see the doctor when you need to..and get treated in hospital without a huge wait, and not to have to pay for the privilege... Vote Green.

Free University places for your kids, and schools that allow their teachers to teach them to get to Uni, without stressing out over league tables and SATs and shareholders profits... Vote Green.

Smaller local businesses pay their taxes and struggle on while the multi-national big-boys wriggle out of their social responsibilities by not paying their taxes, how is that fair competition? At the risk of sounding repetitive, Vote Green.

Support in the community when you are elderly, disabled, have learning disabilities, or mental health issues, to rescue our public services... Yes you guessed vote Green.

If you want a change from politics as usual, an MP who says it how it is, and fights wholeheartedly for the town, and actually delivers on her promises then put a big fat X next to ‘Julie Hawkins’ on May 7th.

Kevin McKeever

Labour

It’s been a long election campaign. You’ve been buried in paper, bombarded with calls and ambushed on your doorstep. I’ve got holes in the soles of my shoes and a surprise suntan!

It’s now decision time.

Like many in Northampton, I came here for work – just over a decade ago. I’ve lived here, loved here and lost here.

Back in 2008 I lost my job here and experienced nine months of unemployment first hand. I know the challenges people face in Northampton South because I’ve faced them too. I’m not a career politician. I’ve never held public office before. But when I saw 1 in 4 young people in Northampton out of work, record numbers relying on food banks and the crisis in our NHS I got angry.

I resolved to turn that anger into action.

I’ll campaign hard for the hospital we deserve; I’ll vote in Westminster to raise the minimum wage, giving working people a break; I’ll always communicate with you, even when we disagree.

Next Thursday you can stop the Tories taking Northampton South for granted for another five years. I urge you to seize that chance.

Vote for me – together we can change Northampton for good.

Rose Gibbins

UKIP

Why vote for me? Have I got what it takes to make the grade? Are you looking for Accountability, Dedication, Fairness, Hard work, Honesty, Integrity, Loyalty and, most important of all Trust in your MP? If Yes, I believe I have all of these qualities – and more.

I am totally committed to improving people’s lives and ensuring that they get the support they need. I care about people and feel they have been badly served by previous governments who have forgotten they work for you.

If I am successful and become your MP, I will not treat you with contempt and I will never forget that you are my boss. I will never feel that I am entitled to your vote – I will work hard to earn it and maintain my proven record of hard work, dedication and commitment.

I would be proud to serve you as your Member of Parliament for Northampton South and work to bring accountability and transparency back to British politics.

The old political parties have failed on every level and it is time for change. UKIP is the only

Party which can deliver that change – a change for the better – by getting MPs elected on 7th May.

Sadik Chaudhury

Liberal Democrats

I thought I would begin by telling you who should not vote for me.

You shouldn’t vote for me if you want a “professional politician” in parliament. I’m a businessman and student, not someone who has come up through political jobs.

I won’t spend all my time in Westminster, vying for position, scratching the right backs. My family is here, and it’s where I’ll spend most of my time.

Don’t vote for me if you want someone whose primary skill is handling the media. I don’t excel at it and there are candidates who do. Making sure that every little thing, real or imagined, is pasted all over the town isn’t really my style.

You really shouldn’t vote for me if you think people of other religions, races or genders are worth less than you - whoever and whatever you are.

There are candidates for you in this election, but I’m not one of them.

If you don’t want those things - please consider me. I am a local resident and proven activist.

I’ll be a strong voice for you where we have lacked a strong voice for too long - and I will work hard for you every day

NORTHAMPTON NORTH

Michael Ellis

Conservatives

I was born and brought up in Northampton and have lived and worked here my whole life. Since being elected in 2010 I have worked hard, and have been rated 13th best MP out of all 650 for value for money.

I have also kept my expenses very low, while my attendance at votes in Parliament and events in Northampton has been exceptionally high. I have secured £3.32 million for our area to tackle the scourge of potholes, having convinced the Chancellor that Northampton needs extra funds. More needs to be done - and if I am re-elected my campaign to improve our streets will continue.

I have significantly underspent my MP’s budget over my time in office, saving the taxpayer over £200,000, whilst also being rated as the most efficient MP in Parliament for responding to my constituents’ emails. My record on the expenses I claim as an MP compares very favourably with others.

Northampton North is a crucial marginal seat and the result here will help decide whether David Cameron is Prime Minister on 7th May. A vote for anyone else is a vote for the chaos of Ed Miliband in Number 10, propped up by Nicola Sturgeon, as opposed to the proven competence of David Cameron

Tony Clarke

Green Party

The UK has the wealth to do great things. To build an economy that gives everyone a fair share of the world’s sixth richest economy.

Create a humane, caring society that supports everyone’s needs. But sadly, our current politics - dominated by a few with power and vested interests are failing this potential. I joined the Green Party because I want to renew our political system, I want to help effect REAL change.

I am humbled by the kind words of people in Northampton who say “Tony you were a great MP for our town” But my influence in office at Westminster was always suppressed by a party political system that served the establishment not the people.

Our government is failing to get to grips with climate change. Austerity has failed, as it did in the 1930s. Living standards are falling, our young deprived of a good start in life, while the 1 per cent increase their wealth.

Millions of households are living in poverty Our NHS handed over to the private sector, public sector staff underpaid and treated without respect.

But If YOU vote for what you believe in on May 7th then together we can start a peaceful revolution!

Sally Keeble

Labour

This General Election is about the future of our town and country. I’m standing for a country where people can build a good life confident that the NHS will be there when they need it, that they won’t be exploited through zero hours

contracts, or trapped in poverty pay. That their children will have a good school, affordable university or college education and the chance of a decent job and home. And that there will be secure pensions and quality services in retirement.

To meet some priorities in Northampton I will:

- support our Hospital’s plans for new facilities

- work for better health services for older people

- set up a Youth Engagement Fund for young people

- Tackle our town’s development problems - a senior regeneration expert has agreed to work with me on our transport problems.

There’s a black hole in the Tories’ election manifesto. £30 billion of their commitments are unfunded. That’s a £30 billion threat to our public services, including the NHS.

Above all, I’ll be an MP who will be here for you. Over the past 18 months I’ve listened to thousands of people on the doorstep. That’s how I’ll continue as your MP – your priorities will also be mine.

Tom Rubython

UKIP

First I should tell you I am an admirer of Douglas Carswell, our first MP, who I believe is one of the most talented and genuinely principled men in British politics.

Like Carswell I am from the left-leaning side of UKIP and so is the Northampton branch. In fact we don’t recognise UKIP as a right wing party at all and anyone with far right or extremist views doesn’t last long. In essence we are moderates albeit fighting for radical change in Britain and Northampton.

Every party promises to change things but change for the other parties translates directly into “more of the same”. If UKIP is the party of common sense then Labour and Conservatives sometimes seem like anti-common sense.

Many of you will know my campaign has been fought on purely local issues; it has been about getting a new hospital built in this town which was not even on the agenda before. I have also argued strongly that building 36,000 new houses in

such a short space of time will strangle Northampton and be catastrophic for education, health and law and order. If I become your MP there will be no more green fields built on in Northampton and that may mean me calling on you to come and lie down with me in front of the bulldozers.

Angela Patterson

Liberal Democrats

We need a new kind of politics. We need a change from those images of conventional and self serving politicians. The other major parties are fielding former MPs who have not made any impact on Northampton for the last 15 years. It’s time for a change.

There is plenty of Liberal Democrat support in this constituency as shown in the 2010 election when we won 28 per cent of the vote. Every vote counts.

I haven’t stood in a General Election before. This is an opportunity for me to take a fresh look at what needs to be done. I intend to serve as a community MP, involving and consulting everyone.

Voting for me isn’t just a vote for Liberal Democrats but a vote to energise the entrenched political system. I am a married woman with a family. I have experienced most of the ups and downs that most people encounter. I have also worked in the public sector as a school teacher and in the private sector in the IT industry. I’ve also been a stay-at-home Mum.

I’m in tune with what’s happening in Northampton North and the current plans for expansion will have a huge impact on existing residents. In the next few years Northampton will be transformed and I want to make sure residents get the best deal possible.