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General Election 2019: South East Cambridgeshire candidates answer four key questions




Ahead of the December 12 General Election, we asked each of the four candidates in South East Cambridgeshire for their answers to four important questions.

Here are their answers.

James Bull, Labour

James Bull, the Labour candidate for South East Cambridgeshire
James Bull, the Labour candidate for South East Cambridgeshire

Why should voters pick you?

I’m a highly experienced campaigner and negotiator. I can fight for our community better than the Tories who take us for granted. I’ll tackle issues facing the community that I was born and bred in. Like many of you, my wife and I struggled to buy our first home here and cannot afford to move now we have a daughter. Like many of you, I face overpriced and overcrowded services delivered by rip-off private rail firms on my daily commute. It’s time for real change.

What is your position on Brexit?

I am 100 per cent committed to delivering a People’s Vote. The final decision between a new negotiated deal and remain must be decided by the people, to help bring the country back together after three years of division. I voted remain in 2016 and I would vote remain again. It is very hard to imagine a deal better than the one we already have with the EU. The Tory deal negotiated by Johnson is bad for Britain, bad for our public services like the NHS and bad for our jobs and rights.

Will you fight for improved funding for our schools?

An unequivocal yes. 82 per cent of schools in South East Cambs will be worse off next year compared to 2015, a -£2.6m total budget shortfall by 2020. This equates to a -£152 average loss per pupil. I’ve already signed the school cuts pledge to reverse the funding lost since 2010. Furthermore, I strongly believe forced academisation is wrong. Schools are for the enrichment of our community allowing

life-long learning, not commodities or business interests to be milked for profit.

What is most important to this constituency?

Getting Brexit sorted with our People’s Vote is a priority. We can then address key local issues: the building of truly affordable homes, including 100,000 new social rented homes/year and regulating the private rented sector; nationalising buses and trains, running them in the interests of local people not shareholders; reversing cuts inflicted to local services by the Tory/Lib Dem coalition; and tackling climate change through Labour’s Green Deal – rising sea levels are a threat to people and farming in South East Cambridgeshire.

Edmund Fordham, independent

Dr Edmund Fordham, an independent candidate for South East Cambridgeshire
Dr Edmund Fordham, an independent candidate for South East Cambridgeshire

Why should voters pick you?

I’m the sole candidate for democracy, upholding the 2016 national decision to Leave the European Union. We were told: “This is your decision. The Government will implement what you decide”. But our largest ever democratic exercise is being reversed, delayed, or disguised. Boris’ “deal does not “get Brexit done”. I am local, living in Fordham. I worked in Cambridge for much of my life. My wife is a teacher in a constituency school and our children attended schools locally.

What is your position on Brexit?

I stand for a clean break Brexit by January 31. After over three years of Parliamentary obstruction, the nation is more than fed up with Brexit. It does need to “get done” but only a clean break will achieve an exit from the EU in January. The Tory manifesto claims to want this, but their policy will not do it. A clean break also puts all negotiating power back into UK hands for a genuine Free Trade Agreement.

Will you fight for improved funding for our schools?

Education importantly drives social mobility and prosperity. So I support improved funding. More funding should: Attract, train and retain good practitioners; accelerate schools into the 21st century, ending technological disparity between some local private schools and state schools; provide (not rely on goodwill for) extra sessions to ensure every student achieves their best possible GCSEs; update to modern standards existing village colleges and primary schools, and extend them to accommodate an increasing population.

What is most important to this constituency?

South East Cambridgeshire is diverse: Ely, Soham, rural villages, Cambridge and Newmarket slices, Cambridge Science Park, the Newmarket racing industry. Diverse geographies have diverse priorities. I would institute policy forums for any constituents to develop a case for their priorities, which I could then take to Parliament. As an independent MP, unconstrained by party policies, I can represent my constituents’ views. For example there is great concern in South East Cambridgeshire about Sunnica. I am the only candidate able to oppose this.

Lucy Frazer, Conservatives

Lucy Frazer, the Conservative party candidate for South East Cambridgeshire
Lucy Frazer, the Conservative party candidate for South East Cambridgeshire

Why should voters pick you?

For four years as your MP I have worked with stakeholders to get things done. I have taken heads to meet the education secretary and secured £9m for our schools locally, I helped saved a local hospital unit from closure, I have worked with others to ensure 97 per cent of premises have access to superfast broadband across Cambridgeshire and I helped to deliver the Ely bypass. I want to continue to work to make a difference to our community.

What is your position on Brexit?

I voted to remain in the referendum but I believe that we cannot ignore the votes of 17.4million people. I support leaving the EU with a deal. If I am re-elected I will continue to work with our local sectors including science, technology and farming on this issue.Leaving with a deal ensures certainty and stability for business. A further referendum will only result in years of more disruptive delay.

Will you fight for improved funding for our schools?

Our area has been historically underfunded and I have spent over four years successfully fighting for more school funding.The additional £9m that I helped secure increases our core funding, helps with training for mental health support, early years improvements and assistance to acquire the best teachers.The government has committed a further £14bn for our schools nationally and I will campaign to ensure we get the portion we need here. I am passionate about ensuring that our children get the start in life they deserve.

What is most important to this constituency?

Healthcare, policing, housing, education, infrastructure and climate change are all important to this constituency. We have already secured initial funding for the first step of a £900m rebuild of Addenbrooke’s. This is on top of the new children’s hospital. I am working to improve bus services, campaigning to upgrade the A10 and working to open Cambridge South station. And we have committed to being net carbon neutral by 2050 – already having decarbonised faster than any other G7 country.

Pippa Heylings, Liberal Democrats

Pippa Heylings, the Liberal Democrat candidate for South East Cambridgeshire
Pippa Heylings, the Liberal Democrat candidate for South East Cambridgeshire

Why should voters pick you?

This election is a once-in-a generation opportunity to bring real change to South East Cambridgeshire. I’m local, experienced and passionate. I’m a district councillor, elected through the landslide win in 2018, and I stand up for residents and fight for fairness. My parents were a GP and a nurse – and Addenbrooke’s saved my husband’s life – so the NHS is in my blood and heart! Professionally, I empower local people’s voice in policy on infrastructure and environment.

What is your position on Brexit?

I have campaigned incessantly for a People’s Vote. By stopping Brexit, we can save our NHS, use the Remain Bonus of £50billion to tackle the climate emergency and inequality, and properly fund our public services. In S E Cambs, this is key for our young people’s future and that of the EU citizens who live and work here, for British science and technology, business and farming – and for the diverse, open and tolerant Britain that I love.

Will you fight for improved funding for our schools?

As a former teacher, I will fight to reverse the Conservative’s savage cuts to our local schools (over £800 per pupil for many schools in our area). The Liberal Democrats will use the remain bonus from higher economic growth to give schools an emergency cash injection, reinstate real-term funding to 2015 levels and provide extra funding for children with the most complex needs. Also for heavily-discounted bus and rail passes for our sixth-formers who need to travel to college.

What is most important to this constituency?

Our youth are on the streets telling us what is most important: the climate and ecological emergency.Whether it’s to avoid flooding or the drying-up of our chalk streams, to protect local green spaces or to establish UK as global leader in green energy generating thousands of new jobs, we must act now on public transport, building standards, tree-planting and green technology. I’m a climate policy expert, working internationally and as South Cambs District Council chair for climate and environment.

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General Election 2019: Who is standing in Cambridge, South Cambridgeshire and South East Cambridgeshire?

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