South Cambridgeshire goes to the polls - who should you vote for?

PUBLISHED: 06:00 04 June 2017

A 'Polling Station' sign outside village hall during a UK election.

A 'Polling Station' sign outside village hall during a UK election.

Chris Hepburn

We asked candidates 12 contentious questions to help you make your choice on June 8.

The Cambridge Independent asked the candidates who want to represent the South Cambridgeshire constituency 12 questions to help you decide who to vote for in the General Election on June 8.

Heidi Allen, Conservatives

1. Should tuition fees be scrapped?

Not currently – if public finances improved, it would be a great aspiration. However, record numbers are still going to university as they recognose it is a great investment in their future.

2. What would you do in a free vote on repealing the fox hunting ban?

I would not vote to repeal it.

3. Would you support the legalisation of cannabis?

No.

4. Would you support scrapping zero hours contracts?

No, as they can work well for workers who need flexibility. However, unscrupulous employers must not be allowed to abuse employees by only offering this type of contract.

5. Will you support renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system?

Yes.

6. Should there be a cap on immigration numbers?

On unskilled workers yes – but I would fight for a system that ensures we can still easily welcome the skills we need. Our economy will be damaged otherwise.

7. Is current NHS funding sufficient?

With an ageing population and issues caused by obesity, smoking etc, it will never be. We need to find a way of funding the NHS while transforming the way the system integrates.

8. How should we pay for rising social care costs?

A combination of reducing overlap between public sector services, ensuring pensions are mandatory, self contribution where families have assets and being unafraid of increasing NI.

9. What kind of Brexit do you favour?

One which respects the decision to leave while ensuring the deal benefits our economy, ie tariff free trade, free movement of skills for leading and critical industries and soft borders.

10. Do we have a fair funding deal for Cambridgeshire schools?

Not currently, but we were mid-consultation on a new formula when the GE was called. The deal proposals have not been finalised yet and I am confident they will be improved.

11. How would you support our science/research sector?

My degree is in astrophysics so I understand the important role science plays. The PM announced £4.7bn investment in UK R&D and our ambition is to reach 3% of GDP on science funding.

12. Should there be changes to income tax – and if so, how?

Raising taxes must never been done flippantly as it can have a disastrous impact on business and jobs. It can never be ruled out but I’d rather we focused spending more effectively.

Dan Greef, Labour

1. Should tuition fees be scrapped?

Yes, and when you hear other MPs argue that they shouldn’t, don’t forget they all benefited from a free or highly-subsidised higher education. Why should future generations be robbed?

2. What would you do in a free vote on repealing the fox hunting ban?

A free vote or whipped vote makes no difference. I will always vote against repealing the ban on fox hunting, and I am so sad that the Tories have made it a priority to risk bringing it back.

3. Would you support the legalisation of cannabis?

I can see the argument for legalisation with regards to ill health as it can be a useful pain relief from chronic illness. For recreational use I’m not so sure.

4. Would you support scrapping zero hours contracts?

Yes. I know that they are useful for a few members of society however that is not the big picture. There are many people, in particular young people, who are being let down.

5. Will you support renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system?

I do support it, but we need to start the process of multilateral disarmament so that as a world we eventually do not have the ability to destroy the world several times over.

6. Should there be a cap on immigration numbers?

No, this country is made richer from the migrants that come to work and contribute to our society. Addenbrooke’s employs 11% EU citizens alone.

7. Is current NHS funding sufficient?

No one can possibly think that the NHS isn’t underfunded. Labour created the NHS, it saved it in 1997 and will do so again now if elected to government. We will invest £30billion.

8. How should we pay for rising social care costs?

A Labour government will invest £8billion in social care and a further £3billion to set up the National Care Service. We will also ringfence mental health budgets. This is fully costed.

9. What kind of Brexit do you favour?

I don’t favour Brexit at all. The only Brexit deal I can accept is tariff free access to the EU market and membership of the customs union. I want to protect the rights of EU nationals here.

10. Do we have a fair funding deal for Cambridgeshire schools?

No, we are one of the lowest funded areas of the country and as Tory cuts hit our schools this imbalance is pushing our schools to the wall. Fair funding must be a priority for the government.

11. How would you support our science/research sector?

Cambridge University is the third largest recipient of funding by the European Research Council. Brexit will be the most damaging change to science – we must safeguard this money.

12. Should there be changes to income tax – and if so, how?

Yes, within this country now we have 55% of the nation’s wealth in the hands of just 1%. By taxing the top 5% of earners more we can providing top quality education and a world-class health service.

Simon Saggers, Green Party

1. Should tuition fees be scrapped?

Yes, and The Green party would reinstate the maintenance grant to ensure that everyone who wants to can attend university without going into debt.

2. What would you do in a free vote on repealing the fox hunting ban?

I am opposed to any attempt to bring back hunting with dogs.

3. Would you support the legalisation of cannabis?

Yes.

4. Would you support scrapping zero hours contracts?

Yes.

5. Will you support renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system?

No, the Green Party would co-operate with our neighbours on the shared challenges that face us all from tackling terrorism to preventing climate change to create a safer world.

6. Should there be a cap on immigration numbers?

Some immigration controls are necessary, but we would promote a humane immigration and asylum system based on a caring Britain that offers sanctuary to those at risk.

7. Is current NHS funding sufficient?

No, we must reverse the decline in funding for the NHS and ensure all services are delivered by public services, not private companies.

8. How should we pay for rising social care costs?

Cancelling Trident will save £110bn, enabling investment into social care and a cash injection into the NHS, to ensure everyone can access a GP, hospitals can run properly, and staff are fairly paid.

9. What kind of Brexit do you favour?

The Green Party will hold a referendum on Brexit once the terms of a deal have been agreed. It will have two choices: accept the deal negotiated or remain an EU member.

10. Do we have a fair funding deal for Cambridgeshire schools?

No, and we need one badly. As a governor at my local village college I know how scandalous the Tory cuts are. Children are our future and education must be properly funded.

11. How would you support our science/research sector?

Education, transport and housing all need to be carefully planned and funded to create a world-class infrastructure that can enable our world-class science/research sector.

12. Should there be changes to income tax – and if so, how?

Yes, Green Party policies are based on the unarguable truth that without a healthy planet nothing else is possible.We need to make bold changes to the tax system to return to ‘one-planet-living’.

Susan van de Ven, Liberal Democrats

1. Should tuition fees be scrapped?

Tuition fees should be affordable. Scrapping them would be great. But when finances are so tight, making this happen before properly funding mainstream education wouldn’t be fair.

2. What would you do in a free vote on repealing the fox hunting ban?

I’m against a repeal.

3. Would you support the legalisation of cannabis?

Legalised cannabis would thwart criminal activity and make the product safer, protecting young people.

4. Would you support scrapping zero hours contracts?

Yes.

5. Will you support renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system?

We should step down the nuclear ladder and maintain a minimum deterrent.

6. Should there be a cap on immigration numbers?

Immigration is good for our economy and society. We should not have arbitrary numerical targets.

7. Is current NHS funding sufficient?

We have proposed £6bn to prevent NHS collapse. Leaving the single market and customs union will kill the NHS due to loss of staff and a torched economy.

8. How should we pay for rising social care costs?

Social care should not be means tested, but part of integrated health and social care funded by taxation. In the current system, the Dilnot recommendations should be adopted.

9. What kind of Brexit do you favour?

No one has proposed a Brexit deal that is better than what we get under EU membership. We must have the right to vote on the deal, and the chance to reject it if it’s not good enough.

10. Do we have a fair funding deal for Cambridgeshire schools?

Current funding formula makes many South Cambs schools even worse off. Grammar schools would further undermine mainstream schools.

11. How would you support our science/research sector?

Maintain the closest possible relationship with the EU, as this is an overwhelming source of support for science and research.

12. Should there be changes to income tax – and if so, how?

Ensure those with highest incomes make a fair contribution. Protect smaller business via reduced corporation tax. Cut marriage allowance, increase income tax by 1p, raising £6n.

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