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Arundel & South Downs

Arundel & South Downs is located on the south coast of England in West Sussex. It was created in 1997 and has been held by the Conservative party since then.

The current member of parliament is the Conservative party’s Nick Herbert, who has served since 2005.

2010 General Election Results (Adjusted for non-voters)
Arundel & South Downs

For more information, click here to visit the Wikipedia article.

Candidates

Isabel Thurston

Background
I have lived near Arundel for nearly 20 years and I am passionate about the beauty and character of this area. I work in education and have long been an active member of the Green Party, having supported some of the first Green councillors. I believe in the interdependence of people and the environment. If elected I would fight for improved quality of life for the communities of Arundel and the South Downs and for the preservation of our environment for future generations.
What this would mean in Arundel and South Downs:
I would do all I could to support the rural economy in this area; agriculture and small-scale local business must be allowed to thrive.
Our beautiful villages, towns and countryside are suffering congestion and pollution. Building more roads will only increase traffic, and I would vote instead to create a first class, integrated public transport system to give real alternatives. I am actively involved in finding alternatives to a new bypass at Arundel.
I am opposed to fracking for shale gas, which goes against this country’s stated aim of cutting carbon emissions and carries huge risk.
Homes for local people should be designed with the communities where they are to be built. I actively oppose inappropriate, large-scale housing development.
I believe there is no place for privatisation in an NHS which should be properly funded to provide top quality health care for everyone.
Please help keep Arundel and South Downs green!
1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
I am happy to be contacted and answer any questions. I will be sending out information via the press and I will also speak at events to which I am invited.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
I believe that Green Party offers the best chance for us to move towards a fair society as well as ensuring protection for the environment, which is essential for our future as a race.
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
He is hardworking and takes his job seriously.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
I am completely against the current austerity measures. They punish people who did not cause the crisis, while those who did can carry on in the same way.
5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
I am supportive of legal immigration. I believe that with help other EU countries will soon arrive at a state whereby their citizens will not wish to leave their home countries in such numbers. These are economic immigrants and as such are facing difficulties in their home countries. In the meantime I think immigrants should be welcomed to Britain and that they have a role to play.
6. Many people are concerned about the cost of living in the UK, with wages having failed to rise in line with the price of food, energy and rent in recent years. How can this be corrected?
The Green Party are actively campaigning for a £10 minimum wage. We would also bring in a universal Citizens’ income to help provide a buffer against hardship.
7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
I believe the NHS should be fully publicly funded to ensure the best possible free at point of use service for all. It should be funded to allow all those working in it to do their jobs well and without stress. I am against any privatisation of services.
8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
Green Party job creation would revolve around new technology, especially in renewable energy. The citizens’ income would enable young and unemployed people to gain valuable work and voluntary experience.
9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
Yes; this country is changing and parliament should reflect this.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
I would encourage them to vote to remain in the EU, but I acknowledge that EU reform is necessary and i would support a scaled down EU.

Peter Grace

Background
Peter Grace, an ex-Royal Navy submarine engineer, married to Anne – who helps keep my feet firmly on West Sussex soil. Our home is in Ashington, West Sussex, and we are both involved in our local community.

I retrained as an IT engineer after twenty four years of ‘pushing’ nuclear submarines around our oceans. I have progressed through architecting and implementing high security IT systems to being an IT delivery manager for a UK defence company.

I grew up in, what seemed like, the only Tory family in the North East, becoming an active member of the Conservative Party when Margaret Thatcher became leader. I have campaigned, built websites, raised money and worked on local Conservative branch committees … but, about four years ago, I became more and more disillusioned with the Tory party. This is not the Conservative Party my parents would recognise. This is not the Conservative Party I had supported and worked for …

I joined UKIP and work to improve our democracy, on behalf of you and I, to put the Great back into Great Britain, to maintain and improve the, “Soul of West Sussex”, and to restore our local voice in Westminster.

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
When elected I would discuss having a regular column with editors of the local free magazines, local newspapers, etc.
I would have a professional website designed and built with information on local issues, national issues being voted on in Westminster and a blog spot for updates from myself as well as an opportunity for responses from local people. It would have the facility for online voting for important issues so I would have an idea of local opinions and how I should vote in Parliament.
I would also visit as many local Parish Councils, Residents’ Associations and local groups as possible on a regular basis in addition to holding regular ‘surgeries’ around the constituency.

I believe this is our opportunity to integrate our national representation with our local issues and provide a Parliamentary representative who understands how national policies need to work for, not drive, local council activities.

2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
My wife and I have lived in the constituency for years, our home is in the constituency and we are involved in our local community serving on Residents’ Association committees, local charity committees and local political committees. We know, care about and we are involved in helping our community resolve local issues.

We are ordinary people who know what it is like to try and make ends meet, to commute by road and rail, to suffer water shortages in the summer, to try and get doctors’ and hospital appointments and feel anger at the, apparent, uncontrolled rampage across the soul of West Sussex by developers, assisted by the Government and their unelected Planning Inspectorate ‘bullies’.
I care passionately about our area and ensuring our voice, our local voice, is heard in Westminster and the people of Arundel & South Downs have their democratic rights restored.

3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
The main achievement of the current MP for Arundel & South Downs, the Rt. Hon. Nick Herbert MP, is he chaired, and led, the campaign for the same-sex marriage bill which has now come into law.
He achieved this despite a large number of his own Conservative activists and swathes of his constituents being opposed to this bill. He managed to achieve this despite a majority of his own Conservative MP colleagues being opposed to this bill. In getting this bill enacted into law Nick Herbert has been very successful.

Unfortunately, he has not been successful in achieving his numerous public promises to get rid of the Planning Inspectorate, the enforcers of his Government’s National Planning Policy Framework and its, “presumption in favour of developers”, which is decimating the West Sussex countryside and destroying the soul of our rural villages.

4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
I believe the economy is improving despite the current Government’s “austerity” measures.
The current Government have increased the country’s national debt faster and greater than Gordon Brown ever had the nerve to do. In five years they have virtually doubled the debt Gordon Brown achieved over eleven years.

The current Government have ‘cut’ the wrong services. They have undermined the effectiveness of our Armed Forces, our front line Emergency Services and the security of our Queen, our country and ourselves. They are borrowing billions in order to fund a deliberately ballooning overseas aid budget that does not help the truly vulnerable and needy.

The current Government’s ‘austerity’ measures appear to hurt the more vulnerable in our society more than our governing ‘elite’. This Government calls for business to give pay rises, but refuse to improve the morale and earnings of nurses and teachers. There must be a better way.

5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
We need to curb the uncontrolled mass immigration our current Government, and the EU, enforce.
The EU it is not a level ‘playing field’. Millions of people who are suffering “austerity” measures in the own country and millions whose standard of benefits and lifestyle are lower will migrate to countries like Great Britain.

Uncontrolled immigration means we cannot plan; schools, hospitals, water supplies, energy supplies and housing stock, to cope with the inflow – even if we had the resources.
We need to know who is coming into our country and whether they mean us good or ill.

Currently, we discriminate against skilled people coming from the Commonwealth. I believe we should allow people, from any country, to come to Great Britain if they speak English, have skills we need … and are prepared to integrate and contribute to our economy and our way of life.

6. Many people are concerned about the cost of living in the UK, with wages having failed to rise in line with the price of food, energy and rent in recent years. How can this be corrected?
This is a difficult problem to resolve easily. As the economy grows wages should increase, however with the uncontrolled inflow of ‘cheap’ labour this has encouraged low, or no, wage growth among the most vulnerable in the labour market.

This situation would be helped by controlling the inflow of cheap labour alongside encouraging small and medium sized businesses to grow and reward their staff. This encouragement could take the form of reduced red tape and taxation in conjunction with business mentoring, training and public recognition.

We could do more by creating low tax enterprise zones, in areas of poor economic growth, to encourage and support growth in business, jobs and wages. By encouragement, support and reducing the tax burden on both individuals and businesses this would, in turn, increase available funds to invest and meet the rising cost of living.

7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
The NHS must remain free at the point of delivery.

The NHS needs a serious injection of money and must not used as a political football dragging down staff morale. Also, any increase in funding must go to the frontline staff; it must not be squandered on excess managers, spin-doctors and administrators.

We need to get rid of the Private Finance Initiatives (PFI) costing the NHS billions of pounds.

We must ensure everyone coming into the UK has sufficient health insurance to cover the cost of any medical care they may require while here.

I believe ‘cosmetic’ medical procedures from gastric bands to sexual orientation operations and even fertility treatments should be paid for by the people concerned leaving our NHS free to you and I for the prolonging and saving of life – for genuine health issues.

8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
This, I believe, requires a number of elements to come together. For example, we need to improve social mobility, improve our educational system by stretching each child so they achieve their full potential. We need to ensure every child leaves school with the skills to survive in our society.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela

We must promote a range of qualifications, not have an expectation that anything less than university is ‘failure’.

Thirdly, we must encourage employers to train, mentor and support the next generation by a range of measures; easing red tape, beneficial taxation and government assistance in training facilities, etc.

Finally, we must ensure that those who, for no reason of their own, end up surviving on benefits have access to additional training, working for non-profit organisations gaining further skills and experience along with mentoring support.

9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
I believe the lack of diversity and the biased electoral boundaries encouraging ‘safe’ seats equate to a definite lack of representation. In addition the obscene size of funds and resources available to monolithic political parties make it almost impossible for new political parties or independents to dent the hegemony of the established political “elites”.

This leads to a belief that ordinary people, you and I, cannot change the status quo. This in turn leads to despair that one’s vote is wasted, that we are irrelevant while the political ‘elite’ just expect us to validate their opinion of what is good for us every five years. We are disenfranchised and unrepresented.

I think this current political diversity is encouraging the people of Arundel & South Downs to believe we will change the status quo that our vote will make a difference and our voice will be heard in Westminster.

10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
I would encourage my constituents to vote to leave the EU.

The EU currently controls; Immigration, Business & Employment, Financial Services, Fishing, Farming as well as Energy and Trade.
The EU seek to control our Foreign Affairs, Taxation as well as Law & Order.

Outside of the EU we can deliver free trade, but not political union, with our European neighbours. We are the EU’s largest export market; they depend upon us for jobs.
We can trade with the rest of the world. Switzerland and Iceland enjoy more trade with China than we do because of our membership of the EU.
We can create trading partnerships with the Commonwealth, the Americas and other trading blocs – as the rest of the world do.

Outside of the EU we can regain control of our borders, our fishing and recover power over our national life. We can regain our democracy.

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