Home   News   Article

Subscribe Now

General Election 2024: Candidates for Ely and East Cambridgeshire answer our questions





In the first of our Q&As with those aiming to secure your vote on July 4, we ask the hopefuls in this revised constituency to tell us their views on issues from growth to the cost of living. Look out for more from our other constituencies in the coming weeks.

Lucy Frazer – Conservative

Why should voters choose you at the General Election?

Over the last nine years, as the MP for South East Cambridgeshire I have worked with you to improve our area. Together with others, I have supported our healthcare by campaigning for the new cancer hospital and children’s hospital at the Addenbrooke’s site. I successfully pressed the government for £2m to start to make progress on my campaign to upgrade the A10. I led a campaign to save our local buses when they were axed by Stagecoach. I am continuing to press the county council for quicker and better pothole repair with the significant funds the government has made available. I will ensure that our area continues to improve.

Michael Gove put forward the ‘Case for Cambridge’ suggesting 150,000 homes could be built in the region by 2050. What is your view on growth in the area – and the impact it could have on this constituency?

Cambridge is a premier science location, and we need to continue to support that. My position has always been that any further significant housing developments in Ely and East Cambridgeshire would need to be strategically and carefully considered and I have made clear my views to Michael Gove.

The development in Waterbeach will already provide significant, good-quality homes and affordable housing. Any further development in Ely and East Cambridgeshire would need to be carefully considered and other issues like infrastructure, water and services seriously addressed.

Lucy Frazer - Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Ely and East Cambridgeshire
Lucy Frazer - Conservative Parliamentary candidate for Ely and East Cambridgeshire

How should we deal with the cost of living and climate crises?

I know that the rising cost of living has created real pressure for many families. The government provided significant support to families through the Covid pandemic. One of the biggest issues now is how much things cost. That’s why the government made cutting inflation a high priority. Inflation is now at 2.3 per cent, down from 11.2 per cent. We have also already cut national insurance. We must also continue targeting support to the vulnerable.

The government’s Net Zero Strategy supports our 2050 target but provides a more pragmatic approach that will ease the burden on households. We will harness our green industries and technologies with significant investment, whilst giving families more time to transition to electric vehicles, heat pumps and retrofitting.

What would you push for to improve transport in the constituency? And what would you oppose?

In a rural constituency, transport is vital. That's why I have successfully campaigned for trains, roads and buses in our area. Whether that was helping to save our buses when they were axed by Stagecoach, getting the Soham station reopened, or progressing the upgrade on the A10, we need more transport options. We need to have a transport solution for Cambridge and our villages, fit for the future. I am totally opposed to road charging.

How will you support our children and young people?

Ensuring young people have the best start in life is why I became a politician. One of my first campaigns was more money for our schools, which with others, we achieved. I am supporting the children’s hospital at Addenbrooke’s so children get the physical and mental care they deserve. Our young people also need activities to expand their horizons and give them something positive to do. That’s why I have successfully supported local applications for sports pitches and sports facilities across Ely and East Cambridgeshire.

Andrew Cogan – Green

Why should voters choose you at the General Election?

I’ve lived, worked, volunteered and resided in the constituency for 25 years. I’m a pensioner and a widower, my wife died in Papworth Hospital waiting for a repeat aortic valve operation after the first one became infected. My daughter died in an epileptic fit when she was 16 and studying five A-levels at Hills Road Sixth Form College. Because she wanted to be a doctor for Médecins Sans Frontières, I know about the challenges our national health, care and dentistry services face. I have three degrees and a teaching certificate. I manage a regional charity based in Cambridge tackling unemployment and skills deficits for 15 years. All relevant life experience for the job.

Michael Gove put forward the ‘Case for Cambridge’ suggesting 150,000 homes could be built in the region by 2050. What is your view on growth in the area – and the impact it could have on this constituency?

There is too much building of houses that don’t meet local needs, often against the wishes of parish, town and district councils. I would give all local councils, parish, town and district, the right to say no to developments that don’t meet locally recognised needs. And the greatest need is for affordable, not for discounted sale council housing, so that young adults can get affordable and decent places to live on secure tenancies throughout their lives if they want. And councils would have the right to sell houses at market rates, not the 72 per cent discount that saw most decent council housing get bought, but were never replaced as Thatcher and Tory crew ‘bought’ votes.

Andrew Cogan, Green Party Parliamentary candidate for Ely and East Cambridgeshire
Andrew Cogan, Green Party Parliamentary candidate for Ely and East Cambridgeshire

How should we deal with the cost of living and climate crises?

Fuel and energy spikes have fuelled the recent cost of living crisis. We could solve both by empowering parish, town, district and county councils to build, own and distribute green solar and wind turbine electricity and EV chargers on village recreation and sports grounds in every community in Cambridgeshire that powers and heats local homes, like the first locally in Swaffham Prior. That powers homes and cars, that over the long term cuts fuel costs, increases sustainability, reduces CO2 emissions, and just might save the planet.

What would you push for to improve transport in the constituency? And what would you oppose?

I will support measures that make our transport system safer and better maintained. I would build more cycle paths so that people who commute between Ely and Littleport have a safe ride along the river bank, not the two hazardous and potholed roads they face at the moment. I am in a potholed bad road area living in Upware, our tyres shred, our springs and shock absorbers break. I would support more vehicle sharing schemes. Too many car journeys have single drivers up and down the A10. I have a bus pass. But there is only one bus a week in and out of Ely market. I use my bus mostly for using the Park & Ride to go in and out of Cambridge.

How will you support our children and young people?

I think child benefits, and income support should have the same triple lock as that given to pensioners. Children are our future and we need to invest in all of them for our common good. We know many young adults, because of student loans and debts, the high costs of getting on the housing ladder, and the high costs of childcare are putting off having children. We should introduce Scandinavian income tax levels on the highest earning people and corporations to pay for affordable child benefits, education and childcare

There should be more focus on education and training and the national curriculum on what children and younger people are good at and interested in so that they can turn their interests, hobbies and pastimes into careers, incomes and businesses.

Elizabeth McWilliams – Labour

Why should voters choose you at the General Election?

It’s time for change. Labour has set out the first steps to deliver that change:

- Economic stability.

- Cut NHS waiting times.

- A new Border Security Command to smash the criminal boat gangs.

- Great British Energy, a publicly-owned clean power company to cut bills for good.

- Crack down on anti-social behaviour with more neighbourhood police.

- Recruit 6,500 teachers in key subjects.

You have a choice: an MP in a party that can form the next government with the power to rebuild our area, or an MP who protests from the opposition benches. Find out more at elyandeastcambridgeshire labour.co.uk/

Michael Gove put forward the 'Case for Cambridge' suggesting 150,000 homes could be built in the region by 2050. What is your view on growth in the area – and the impact it could have on this constituency?

Michael Gove’s announcement last December was a last ditch attempt to say something new after 14 years in power and during a housing crisis the Tories enabled.

Labour will deliver new, genuinely affordable homes across the region – with first choice for first-time buyers and a major reform of planning laws.

New developments lack vital infrastructure and affordable housing targets are rarely met – with some dropping as low as 20 per cent affordable. Labour will require new developments to include at least 50 per cent affordable housing, along with putting infrastructure in place early and providing new green spaces, woodlands, parks and playing fields.

How should we deal with the cost of living and climate crises?

Labour will make work more secure and introduce a genuine living wage: legislation within 100 days of entering government.

Labour will end Conservative economic chaos. With economic growth we can keep taxes, inflation and mortgages low. We’ll switch on Great British Energy for lower bills.

Half of homes in East Cambridgeshire are poorly insulated meaning wasted energy and money. Labour will upgrade millions of homes.

Dirty rivers and seas are a disgrace. We’ll have automatic fines for polluting water companies and block bosses’ bonuses.

Our countryside protection plan will help restore nature and give everyone access to open spaces.

Elizabeth McWilliams - Labour Parliamentary candidate for Ely and East Cambridgeshire
Elizabeth McWilliams - Labour Parliamentary candidate for Ely and East Cambridgeshire

What would you push for to improve transport in the constituency? And what would you oppose?

A Labour government will make sure that public transport is run for the public good. This will happen quickly.

The Labour mayor is already improving buses: electric vehicles, new routes and £1 fares for young people. We will speed this up.

We’ll make train travel reliable, affordable and accessible. As the contracts for private operators expire we will bring trains back into public control. Both Greater Anglia and Thameslink contracts end soon.

When new transport is planned, my preference is clean power.

Labour will take action on unfair car insurance costs, ensure infrastructure improvements are delivered, and boost charge point rollout.

How will you support our children and young people?

Labour will expand opportunity for young people:

- A modern childcare system.

- Breakfast clubs in every primary school to give children the best start.

- A broader curriculum, developing creativity, digital and speaking skills.

- Labour will put 6,500 new teachers into classrooms.

- Young Futures hubs to tackle knife crime and address rising mental health issue. I’ll push for a hub here to bring local services together.

- A youth guarantee that means training, an apprenticeship or help to work for all 18- 21 year olds.

We will also help first-time buyers and young people with a new ‘Freedom to Buy’ mortgage guarantee scheme.

Charlotte Cane – Liberal Democrats

Why should voters choose you at the General Election?

I’ve lived in East Cambridgeshire for 30 years, and been active in the local community for 25 of them, so I have a good understanding of our local area and its needs. As a chartered accountant, I understand how to deliver results with limited budgets.

I’m currently a district councillor, and was leader of East Cambs District Council when we introduced Jubilee Gardens and the Farmers’ Markets in Ely.

But many of the decisions affecting Ely & East Cambridgeshire are taken at Westminster. If elected, I will be a champion for our area there to ensure our needs are understood.

Michael Gove put forward the ‘Case for Cambridge’ suggesting 150,000 homes could be built in the region by 2050. What is your view on growth in the area – and the impact it could have on this constituency?

Neither Westminster nor its unelected development company should be allowed to decide where we build homes and jobs here in Cambridgeshire. These decisions should be made locally and democratically, and East Cambridgeshire must be included in decisions that affect us.

Jobs and prosperity should be shared around the region, including East Cambridgeshire, not concentrated in Cambridge and its immediate surroundings.

We do need more homes, including genuinely affordable social housing with high levels of environmental sustainability. And they should be accompanied by the schools, health and leisure facilities needed by families moving in, and served by high quality public transport.

Charlotte Cane, Parliamentary candidate for the Lib Dems in Ely and East Cambridgeshire
Charlotte Cane, Parliamentary candidate for the Lib Dems in Ely and East Cambridgeshire

How should we deal with the cost of living and climate crises?

We need a strong, fair economy that benefits everyone, and Cambridgeshire’s innovative business sector is key to creating good jobs and prosperity.

A proper one-off windfall tax on the oil and gas giants is a fair way to help families with the cost of living and energy bills. The tax burden mustn’t fall disproportionately on lower earners, and the government must tackle tax fraud effectively.

I’m keen to support councils and communities on local area energy plans and community energy schemes, and as our MP I’d work with all our tiers of local government on a coordinated climate action plan.

What would you push for to improve transport in the constituency? And what would you oppose?

Better public transport and active travel provision including cycling and walking are essential. Buses are an important first step, because they can be introduced quickly with minimal disruption and less up-front investment.

Longer term we must look to improve rail links, develop light rail, and introduce integrated ticketing with one ticket serving the whole journey across different forms of transport.

Better cycle paths will enable people to cycle safely between towns and villages, to school, work and leisure. And we need more charging points for electric vehicles.

I would oppose inaction and lack of imagination in tackling this important agenda.

How will you support our children and young people?

I’ll support removal of the two-child cap on benefits, which forces thousands of children into poverty. All primary school children and all children in poverty should receive free school meals; children cannot learn if they are hungry.

Many young people struggle with their mental health; we need a mental health professional in every school. Poor quality or insecure housing damages their prospects, and lack of transport limits their choice of college and career.

I would want an Ely & East Cambridgeshire Youth Council to work with me as their MP to help review legislation and suggest legislation to support them.

Also standing

Voters in Ely and East Cambridgeshire will have a number of different options at the ballot box next month.

Following the close of nominations last week, it has been confirmed that people will be able to choose from nine candidates in the revised constituency, including the representatives from Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green featured in our Q&A.

In addition, voters will also be able to choose from two independent candidates, and individuals representing the Social Democratic Party (SDP), Reform UK and the Official Monster Raving Loony Party.

- Robert Bayley is standing for the SDP, which says it wants to offer “a real alternative”. The party is pledging to end mass immigration, renationalise the railways and establish a British Housing Corporation “to oversee and fund the construction of 100,000 social homes per year”.

- Reform UK has fielded Ryan Coogan as its candidate for the constituency. Reform UK has said it will release its “contract with the people” in full on 17 June, but currently has a “working draft” on its website.

Policies in the draft include freezing non-essential migration, scrapping VAT on energy bills and lowering fuel duty by 20p per litre. Reform says it wants to “cut taxes to make work pay”.

- Hoo-Ray Henry is one of 22 candidates standing for The Monster Raving Loony Party at the 4 July election. The party says it has been the “shining light of British politics, bringing frivolity to otherwise dull elections” since 1982.

The party is pledging to “provide free spirit levels to all” to help with the existing government policy for levelling up and “reduce inflation by giving everyone free pins”.

- Obi Monye and Rob Rawlins are standing as independents.



This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies - Learn More