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General Election 2019: South Cambridgeshire candidates answer four key questions




We put four questions to the three Parliamentary candidates standing for election in South Cambridgeshire on December 12.

Here are their answers.

Anthony Browne, Conservatives

Anthony Browne, the Conservatives' Parliamentary candidate for South Cambridgeshire. Picture: Keith Heppell
Anthony Browne, the Conservatives' Parliamentary candidate for South Cambridgeshire. Picture: Keith Heppell

Why should voters pick you?

I am local – the only candidate who grew up, went to school and got married in the constituency. I was a journalist for 20 years at the Times, BBC and Observer. I am a powerful voice for South Cambs in Westminster, able to deliver improvements for our lives.We face a stark decision – the only way to have a government that can get things done is to vote Conservative. A vote for anyone else risks another paralysed hung parliament, and Jeremy Corbyn in Number 10.

What is your position on Brexit?

It is simple: I am the only candidate who wants to respect democracy. There are strong arguments for and against Brexit. But we had a referendum and every major party said they would respect the result of it. It had a result. Then 80 per cent of MPs were elected on manifesto commitments to deliver Brexit, but didn’t do it. We must just get Brexit over and done with, so we can focus on all the other issues that affect our day-to-day lives.

Will you fight for improved funding for our schools?

I already have. Our schools in South Cambs get far less funding than the national average, and it needs to increase to ensure that our schools have the resources to give our children the best start in life. I have been speaking to Number 10 and the Treasury about it, and am delighted they announced a new funding formula that will increase the money going to our schools. But we need to go much further, and I will continue to push for it.

What is most important to this constituency?

I have been knocking on thousands of doors, and the biggest issue for most voters is over-development and the gridlock this has caused to our roads. We need to protect the rural landscape, while improving the rail, roads, buses and cycleways to get South Cambs moving again. I have persuaded the government to put an East West Rail station at Cambourne rather than Bassingbourn. We also need to upgrade the A428, A10 and A505. We must do all we can to tackle climate change.

Dan Greef, Labour

The Labour Parliamentary candidate for South Cambridgeshire, Dan Greef
The Labour Parliamentary candidate for South Cambridgeshire, Dan Greef

Why should voters pick you?

I stood in South Cambs in both 2015 and 2017 coming second both times and hugely increasing the Labour vote. This time we are the party best placed to beat the Tories. I am also the right choice for South Cambs as I am a local teacher who has taught in primary, secondary and special educational needs schools in Cambridgeshire. I know first-hand the issues many families are facing and how austerity is causing real pain.

What is your position on Brexit?

I have always been a remainer and I’m convinced leaving the EU would be disastrous for our country. After three tough years of Tory civil war, stretching our constitution to breaking point and threatening our institutions, we need a solution. I believe that solution is democracy. The Tory position of getting Brexit ‘done’ and the Lib Dem position of revoke won’t bring our country back together again. Labour is the only option for a ‘People’s Vote’, and I will campaign for ‘Remain’ with everything I have.

Will you fight for improved funding for our schools?

As a teacher I know full well how much schools are suffering as a result of cuts brought in by the coalition. Schools are having to ask parents for funds, or closing early because they cannot afford to stay open. I have campaigned with the National Education Union and met local headteachers and governors. The funding crisis hits schools in Cambridgeshire harder than in other areas due to the unfair funding formula and I will continue to campaign for this to change.

What is most important to this constituency?

I think we all feel the need to move past Brexit. The majority of people in South Cambs voted to remain and share my concern that leaving the EU will severely damage our economy and standard of living. That is one of the reasons South Cambs voters need to vote Labour, because only a Labour government will be able to deliver a ‘People’s Vote’ with ‘Remain’ as an option on the ballot paper. A Tory majority or a hung Parliament will help Johnson’s US free trade deal pass, which is very dangerous to the future of the NHS.

Ian Sollom, Liberal Democrats

Ian Sollom, the Liberal Democrat candidate for South Cambridgeshire at the 2019 General Election. Picture: Chris Sidell
Ian Sollom, the Liberal Democrat candidate for South Cambridgeshire at the 2019 General Election. Picture: Chris Sidell

Why should voters pick you?

I have lived in South Cambs constituency since 2012, settling here with my wife and son, who goes to a local school. I represent the community already as a district councillor. I could do so much more as MP, standing up for fairness, openness and tolerance. I am well-equipped for this. I have a PhD in astrophysics from Cambridge, and have spent the last nine years helping companies make better, more evidence-based decisions – which we need more of in politics right now.

What is your position on Brexit?

Brexit has turned out to be a barrier to making meaningful progress on the issues that matter most: climate change, our public services, our homes and infrastructure. Brexit will make us poorer, more isolated, more divided, and desperately seeking the friendship of Donald Trump or Xi Jinping. The impact will be felt for decades to come. This election gives us an opportunity to Remain in the EU. In South Cambs, that means voting for the Liberal Democrats.

Will you fight for improved funding for our schools?

I have been leading the campaign to get better funding for our schools, which are being hit so hard by cuts. Some primary schools are now having to close their doors for half a day a week! Many are asking parents for essentials equipment. Specialist support for children is lacking everywhere. We need to reverse these cuts and invest in our children’s future. The Liberal Democrats are prioritising education. We will recruit 20,000 more teachers and guarantee basic resources.

What is most important to this constituency?

South Cambs is a really special place to live. It is also one of the most dynamic regions – this puts huge strain on our quality of life. We must provide truly affordable housing and enhance biodiversity. The transport infrastructure in South Cambs just isn’t keeping up with the growth. We need an upgrade to Girton Interchange, an electrified East-West Rail serving Cambourne and Cambridge South station. We can also unlock the potential for cycling, with protected cycleways and an e-bikes loan scheme.

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