General election: Grantham and Stamford candidates tell you why they deserve your vote
Voters will go to the polls tomorrow (Thursday) to decide who will represent their consituency in Parliament.
A high turnout is expected to vote in this general election, with Brexit, health and social care, education and national security prominent issues in candidates’ campaign trails.
Here, in alphabetical order, candidates standing in the Grantham and Stamford constituency tell readers why they deserve their vote and what they will do for them.
** NICK BOLES – Conservative Party
The main reason there is going to be a general election on June 8 is Brexit.
As we begin to negotiate the end of our membership of the EU and a new relationship with our European partners, we need the strong and stable leadership that only Theresa May can provide. When she goes in to bat for Britain, I believe it is in all of our interests that she has the strongest possible mandate from the British people.
For the last six months I have been out of action, having chemotherapy for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I have now completed treatment and the cancer has been eradicated. The doctors are confident that, if you decide to re-elect me, I will soon be strong enough to return to my duties as your MP.
During my illness I have done everything in my power to ensure that the result of the EU referendum is respected. That is why I left hospital in a wheelchair to vote for Article 50. If you choose me again as your MP, I promise to support Theresa May in getting the best deal for Britain as we leave the European Union.
Locally, my top priority is to make sure that local people continue to have access to top quality NHS services at Grantham and Stamford hospitals. Since last summer, I have worked closely with Fighting 4 Grantham Hospital to put pressure on the Lincolnshire hospitals trust to re-open A&E at night, arranging a meeting between local campaigners and the Health Secretary and meeting with Theresa May myself to discuss our concerns about the situation at Grantham Hospital.
Doing what I can to help local schools thrive is the most rewarding part of the job of MP. Bourne Grammar has a shiny new science block. Charles Read Academy has been rated ‘good’ by Ofsted. Stamford Welland Academy has gone from strength to strength with its new sponsors, new name and new head. Priory Ruskin is making the most of its fabulous new building. I would like to spend the next five years helping more local schools write their own success stories.
I would also like to work with other Lincolnshire MPs, council leaders, and the police and crime commissioner to fight for a fairer funding deal for our local police force and local schools, and more support for high speed broadband in rural areas.
** ANITA DAY – Liberal Democrat
Anita is a chartered accountant and former small business owner who lives in Swayfield, in the heart of the constituency.
She is currently an associate partner in a major consultancy firm, and is experienced in bringing teams together to work on complex projects – this requires energy, negotiation skills...and a sense of humour when things don’t go to plan!
As a businesswoman and mother, she campaigns on subjects close to her heart: good quality education or work-related training for all young people, not just the privileged few; well-planned, affordable housing to enable people to take their first steps on the housing ladder; support for small businesses in rural towns and the countryside to help them survive imminent hikes in business rates, staff costs, and cost increases caused by the falling pound; social care which provides people in need with the support they deserve, close to home.
She is also a long-time community campaigner and has been a volunteer counsellor/coach in homeless charities and foodbanks for many years.
As a trustee of Grantham Foodbank, she understands how local people are struggling to make ends meet, and has been instrumental in setting up Grantham Community Money Advice, a free debt service which will open this autumn.
Another major concern is our issues around healthcare locally. As the mother of a junior doctor, she sees at first hand the strain that NHS primary care and hospital staff are under, so is campaigning to create sustainable solutions that will allow hard-pressed doctors and nurses give their patients the care they need.
Outside work, she is a member of Stamford Shoestring Theatre Company, and a keen gardener and cook, who will often be seen walking her rescue dog across the fields near her village.
Anita wants to represent the people of Grantham and Stamford to ensure that our needs are not ignored in Parliament.
“Politics should be about giving people opportunities – to get a good education or training; to live in a nice home and have a good job; to have access to excellent health and social care; to help people help themselves to succeed.
“I am personally very concerned that this government’s hard Brexit stance will hurt local people, so want us to have the final say on the deal offered. But whatever the future holds, I will fight for every member of this community, and our shared values of freedom, fairness and equality.
** BARRIE FAIRBAIRN – Labour Party
I’m originally from Sunderland, studied chemistry at the University of Manchester and qualified as a solicitor in 1991.
I own a legal practice in Leicester and have Rights of Audience in the Crown Court.
In 2015 I was your Labour candidate, so it’s great to be back!
If elected it would be my duty to put constituents first and to fearlessly represent their hopes and fears in Parliament and beyond.
Your constituency is one of the largest in the land.
I would ensure both accessibility and accountability by holding surgeries, by revolving weekly timetable, at Grantham, Stamford and Bourne.
I’m experienced at listening to problems and sorting them out.
The NHS, universal education, decent social housing, employment rights, health and safety legislation, legal aid, equality, freedom from discrimination, foxhunting ban and the minimum wage are all thanks to Labour. These things didn’t just happen.
They happened because Labour made the political case for society to have values and for the citizen to have rights.
All of these things reflect the values which make me Labour.
All of these things the Conservatives opposed and when measured by their record when in power, they continue their opposition.
Look no further than Grantham A&E as an example. In 2010 A&E was 24 hours. In 2016 A&E went part time.
In 2017 NHS England plan to downgrade A&E to an Emergency Care Centre.
Labour too has a plan. Labour will stop the planned closures, remove the market from the NHS and involve the public in all decisions about the NHS. Labour’s plans aren’t old fashioned: they are based on values.
There’s nothing old fashioned about removing Conservative imposed employment tribunal fees. There’s nothing old fashioned about natural monopolies run on your behalf so we all benefit from the investment. But there is something old fashioned and very nasty, about bringing back fox hunting and lifting the ban on the ivory trade. As is seizing your house after you die to fund care, short-changing the WASPI women and means testing the winter fuel allowance.
A Conservative Brexit means leaving the single market and the customs union and risks crashing our economy.
This is going to be very nasty and it’s ‘bloody’ devious to use Brexit as a cover to take our once United Kingdom back to the 1950’s.
Vote Fairbairn for duty, for values and for nation.
** MARIETTA KING – UKIP
First let us send our support following the horrific murders which took place in Manchester and our admiration to the people of that city and to the work of our dedicated service teams.
It is always difficult to talk about oneself but I have been told that I would be a reliable, local, honest Member of Parliament for all of you in the constituency of Grantham, Stamford, Bourne and all the wonderful villages in between.
I am consistent, as is UKIP, on so many policies, (look at our far-reaching manifesto) not just on Brexit. We all enjoy Europe but we don’t want to be ruled by unelected, unknown, unaccountable politicians, do we? Especially as so many of our ‘existing’ MPs still appear to be totally disconnected from most of us.
UKIP gained us the referendum and it was a huge success for democracy, but that was only the first battle. Now we need a proper Brexit to gain true independence once more.
Having managed a furniture company (retail and manufacturing) for many years, I am a qualified cabinet maker and antique furniture restorer, and worked ‘hands on’ with all – I am much aware of the problems for small businesses (SMEs).
Like most of you, the NHS and social care are high on my list of concerns. I support the amazingly dedicated ‘Save our A&E’ group in Grantham. The country needs more A&E specialists, doctors, nurses and midwives. We must train our own.
Waiving student fees for STEMM courses (science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine) is a must. And we must look after our less able friends, the elderly and the war veterans. Over population affects housing, transport systems around our towns, health, education and wages.
Now, more than ever, we must take seriously the security of our nation by having proper border controls. We lock the doors of our homes and then we can invite people in as friends and craftsmen. But we know who they are and that is totally logical and normal. We need to do the same for the United Kingdom. Soon we will be able to trade safely with all nations, welcoming and choosing friends from all over the world – people who wish to live and work with us, peacefully.
UKIP is the real opposition (there isn’t another is there?).
Please vote for the only true BREXIT candidate, Marietta King.
** REBECCA THACKRAY – Green Party
I am a ‘serial public servant’: teacher, police officer, education social worker, officiant at funerals, advisor, nurse and live-in carer for my father – all my work choices have been about giving a hand and empowering.
I was the first Green councillor in Lambeth, a magistrate for 20 years, am a qualified masseur and work as a nurse in HMP Brixton.
Martin Luther King said: “I have a dream.”
He didn’t entice with offers of reduced tax or extra spending.
Leadership is the ability to translate a vision into reality.
I believe that only the Green Party offers people in Grantham and Stamford constituency a well-integrated 21st century vision for sharing the earth’s resources for future generations of humans – and other species too.
Our impoverished public services have faced cuts in education, health and social care, til we see Grantham and District Hospital no longer able to offer a 24-hour A&E service, and whip-rounds to pay for basics in our schools.
After the Second World War the economy was in a far worse state, yet the National Health Service was created.
The Government then chose to invest in order to create a healthier workforce.
Today there is plenty of money around – we’re the fifth richest country – it is simply not spread fairly.
Our future place in the world is unknown as we launch off the Brexit cliff edge.
Once a deal is negotiated, the Green Party wants a ratification referendum, a straightforward vote to include 16- and 17-year-olds having a say.
If the deal on the table isn’t as good as people had hoped, it can be rejected.
In no other circumstances would we sign a blank sheet.
We lack a voting system where everyone’s vote counts equally. The ‘first past the post’ system often leads to voters abandoning their preferred choice and settling for the least worst option.
The Green solution is Proportional Representation to enable people to vote for what they actually believe in, elect who best represents them and achieve greater democracy in Parliament.
Climate change caused by carbon emissions is altering the lives of people all over the globe.
We are all part of the problem.
It’s easy to throw things away – but ‘away’ is just another’s problem.
Creating jobs in repairing, re-using and recycling is the way we become part of the solution.
** TARIQ MAHMOOD – Independent
My name is Doctor Tariq Mahmood.
I am standing for the national parliamentary elections being held on June 8 as an Independent candidate.
Please vote for me and give me an opportunity to serve you all even more. I have worked in the NHS for almost 30 years.
I have served you as consultant physician and gastroenterologist at Grantham Hospital now for a few years.
I am married and have three children. I am very passionate about Grantham Hospital, the future of which is unclear to all of us.
I will strive to get the people of Grantham all the necessary healthcare services locally and around the clock.
Please help me save all the possible services at Grantham Hospital that you all deserve.
I will work to revive Grantham town centre to its previous glory.
I put forward the case to the people of Grantham and Stamford that the time has come for you to vote for somebody who is not representing interests of any political party but the people instead.
Please give me a chance to serve you by voting for me as an independent candidate. Let us revive Grantham, Stamford and Bourne. We have a lot to show in Grantham and Stamford.
I will aim to enhance tourism to Grantham, Stamford and Bourne.
I will work hard to get more business investment into Grantham, Stamford and Bourne, thus creating more jobs and improving prosperity.
I will work to get better transport connections from Bourne and Stamford to Grantham and other towns in Lincolnshire. After Brexit our local farmers must not lose the agriculture subsidy they get from Europe.
I will work to get this subsidy from the UK government.
I will work to create more educational, social and recreational activities with opportunities for youth of Grantham, Stamford and Bourne.
* We will be covering the general election count and results in the early hours of Friday morning. The results and reaction will be published on our website as they are announced.