Time to decide
With the snap General Election just weeks away the candidates have now been confirmed. TOM HERBERT and KATY CLIFTON round up who will be standing in the Beaconsfield and Chesham and Amserahm constituencies
CHESHAM AND AMERSHAM Cheryl Gillan – Conservative
Cheryl Gillan has been Conservative MP for 25 years and was Secretary of State for Wales from 2010 to 2012.
Mrs Gillan, who has been vocal in Parliament about HS2, recently spoke about her concerns for the “environmentally sensitive” local areas.
“The Chilterns is the closest Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty to London and as such it contributes hugely to air quality,” she said.
“Although expansion at Heathrow Airport will be welcome economic news for my constituents, I have also expressed caution because of the potential for environmental damage, which would include the air quality concerns.”
The MP also called for an inquiry into HS2’s dealings after the company’s former contractor dropped the deal after a conflict of interest row.
Nina Dluzewska – Labour Party
Nina Dluzewska, a mother-of-two, has been announced as Labour’s General Election candidate in Chesham and Amersham.
The Labour candidate said she will be fighting the campaign on employment, education, health care and equality issues.
Mrs Dluzewska is eager to become the MP after being involved in local politics for many years.
She said: “After seven years of involvement in local politics, including running the Remain campaign during last year’s referendum, I am proud to have been chosen to fight in my local seat.”
Mrs Dluzewska added she will be “proactive in challenging the Tory county council when they let people down”.
Peter Jones – Liberal Democrat
The Liberal Democrats have selected Peter Jones, the group leader on Chiltern District Council, as its General Election candidate.
Mr Jones has served on the council since 1991 and, having previously fought elections in Milton Keynes and Aylesbury, he is “delighted” to represent the area where he lives.
He said he does not share the government view on Brexit, adding:”We need to stay in the single market”.
Apart from Brexit, Mr Jones is keen to see better broadband and mobile phone coverage throughout the area.
He added: “It’s ridiculous, we’re 35 miles from Trafalgar Square yet in many rural areas there is no signal. In 2017, that’s not good enough”.
Alan Booth – Green Party
Alan Booth, who was elected the area’s first Green councillor in May 2015, has lived in Chesham with his family for 12 years.
Mr Booth’s number one concern is the underfunding of the NHS and its creeping privatisation, but he also is passionate about sustainability and clean and renewable energy.
Mr Booth said: “I am a passionate European citizen and still deeply in mourning at the EU Referendum result.
“But I am still fighting the EU’s corner and will argue that Brexit can be stopped.”
On carbon-use, he said: “We need to see our practical policies raised in the public’s mind and build on the successes of our air quality campaigning.
“We also need to focus on how individuals can reduce their carbon footprint especially in an economy of rising energy bills.”
David Meacock – (UKIP)
David Meacock, representing UKIP, is a former county and district councillor.
He spent 16 years serving as a Chiltern District Councillor and eight as a Bucks County Councillor before defecting from the Conservatives.
Mr Meacock said he will “campaign strongly against Green Belt Development” and will fight for increased funding for schools and highways.
The candidate, who was anti-HS2, said: ““HS2 will create a scar on our currently beautiful countryside.
“With all other means of stopping HS2 having been exhausted, I urge people to take this last chance to vote against this HS2 devastation by voting for me as a candidate.”
BEACONSFIELD Dominic Grieve – Conservative
Dominic Grieve has been the Conservative MP for Beaconsfield since 1997.
The trained QC served as Attorney General from May 2010 to July 2014 and took an anti-Brexit stance in last year’s referendum.
He welcomed Mrs
May’s decision to hold the General Election, saying she was right to announce it “given the complexity of the risk associated with Brexit.”
In a message to his constituents before Parliament was dissolved he wrote: “I accept the result of the 2016 Referendum.
“I therefore strongly support the Prime Minister’s determination to secure a negotiated arrangement for leaving the EU and for forging a new trading relationship for the future, providing certainty for trade and business whilst giving us control of migration and releasing us from the direct effect of EU Law.
“I also believe that the people of our country will benefit from a close continuing relationship with a strong EU and I will work to help build these important links for our future.”
James English – Labour
James English, who lives in Farnham Common, in his campaign launch speech said he wants to fight against “empty Tory soundbites” and for a Labour government.
He said it is “a time when cuts are on the cards, when real time wages are at their lowest in years and foodbanks are feeding the nation.”
He added:” We’ve got our work cut out.
“I want you to know that I’m here to fight for Labour in this election and in this constituency.
“What I want to achieve across Beaconsfield is to get our Labour ideas out for the country, out to as many people as is humanely possible, to highlight some very important issues and to convince a good handful of people to consider the alternative - a Labour Government working for the many and not just the few.
Peter Chapman – Liberal Democrat
Peter Chapman, who stood in 2015, will be fighting against Theresa May’s hard Brexit, which the party says will “cost jobs and make us all poorer”.
He said: “Half of Beaconsfield constituency’s residents voted to Remain in the EU and many more oppose the reckless decision of this hard-right Conservative government to pursue a hard Brexit.
“Only the Lib Dems here in South Buckinghamshire are truly fighting her plans and fought to Remain.”
“The Labour Party is in an absolute mess, disagreeing amongst themselves rather than acting as the effective opposition this country so needs.”
Russell Secker – Green Party
Russell Secker, from Wooburn Green, stood in 2015 as the Green Party candidate in the Broxbourne constituency, Hertfordshire and has lived in Beaconsfield.
A computer programmer, he taught at Warwick University but gave this up in his 50s to care for his elderly parents, volunteer at the local hospital and foodbank, write a book and public speaking.
Mr Secker is a strong proponent of green technologies, including thermo-photovoltaic power generation, and generates all his family’s electricity needs using solar roof panels.
In a message on his party’s website it reads: “It is no secret that all major parties offer Britain almost identical prescriptions of austerity and inequality, of privatization and destruction of the NHS and our environment, of war, fear and greed. He strongly believes that we need to offer voters throughout the country a viable, thoughtful and energetic Green alternative.”
Jon Conway – UKIP
Jon Conway, from Gerrards Cross, joined the party in 2015, becoming Beaconsfield branch chairman, council candidate and Vote Leave constituency co-ordinator in his first year.
A theatre producer by profession, he has staged hundreds of pantomimes and shows all over the world. He is campaigning on reducing immigration, affordable housing, cutting overseas aid, helping the NHS, anti-HS2 and leaving the EU.
His campaign literature reads: “Article 50 always meant leaving the single market. We are the 5th largest economy in the world and must not be bullied by the EU, who have 6 million jobs and £60 billion net exports relying on UK trade.”