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Beverley & Holderness

Beverley & Holderness is located in Humberside in the north east of England. It was created in its current form in 1997 and has been held by the Conservative party ever since.

The current member of parliament is the Conservative party’s Graham Stuart who has served since 2005.

2010 General Election Results (Adjusted for non-voters)
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For more information, click here to visit the Wikipedia article.

Candidates

Lee Walton

Background
A local businessman and Hornsea town councillor, Lee is one of up to 20 Yorkshire First parliamentary candidates contesting seats in the Yorkshire area in this May’s election.

Lee believes it is time for change: “UK politics is at a tipping point. People are completely disillusioned and fed up with the mainstream parties. We have seen in the wake of the Scottish referendum a surge of interest in localism, but the mainstream parties will not deliver. A devolved parliament for Yorkshire will give us greater control over taxation and control over how that money is spent on vital local services such as health, police, and education as well as being far more democratic.”

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
Being from an IT background, I plan to use social media such as Facebook & Twitter, email, and the web in addition to holding regular traditional local surgeries around the constituency.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
Yorkshire First has no party whip, and as such a Yorkshire First elected member of parliament will act on behalf of their constituents, not some Westminster elite.

And of course, we want to see a devolved, more democratic and more accountable Yorkshire parliament so that as a region we all have more say in how our taxes are spent.

3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
The current member of parliament, Graham Stuart, has been a great supporter and money raiser for community defibrillators which I hope will save lives in such a largely rural area.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
Although austerity appears to be working on paper, it is having a really adverse impact on policing and the NHS. The cuts in policing have been savage. Some of our local hospitals performance figures have been atrocious. We need to make sure that the money for these services is not only ring-fenced but increased.

This is another area where a Yorkshire parliament would be of benefit, as it would have a greater control of what services money is spent on in the region and prioritise according the region’s needs.

5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
Legal immigration is vital to the UK’s continued growth, but it has increased greatly in recent years. I believe we need to ensure that immigrants put more back into the UK economy than they take out, which generally they do.

The fundamental issue though is why do they come to the UK in the first place? In some cases it is because they believe the UK is a better more prosperous country than their home. As the bulk of our immigration is from EU member states, an EU-wide program of education to disincentivise those hoping to profit at any member country’s expense may be beneficial, as well as controls to ensure that we don’t see a sudden influx of immigrants when a new member state joins the EU.

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?
I am a supporter of the Living Wage which would see employers pay a wage that is sufficient to live on, unlike the minimum wage, which is unrealistically low. Zero-hour contracts are also a source of great concern, and this is an area where action needs to be taken.

Under the recent government the number of affordable homes built in the UK has fallen in recent years, and this needs to be rectified. People shouldn’t have to choose between rent and food.

7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
People in my area are increasingly frustrated with the GP service, with difficulties in arranging appointments, out of hour visits, and not enough time from doctors when they do see them.

There have been suggestions that these issues are pushing more people to use our hospital’s A&E services, putting undue strain on them.

I believe we need to reform the way GPs are funded and incentivised.

8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
In order to tackle unemployment, youth unemployment in particular, I believe we need to do two things:

Firstly, we need to make sure that people are equipped with the right skills, and we need to make sure that where it is feasible people receive sufficient training or retraining to find work or an apprenticeship. In recent years more and more people are being pushed into university and I am concerned that this has been at the expense of vocational training.

Secondly, we need to make sure that there are always incentives to work. If the only work you can find is with an employer that uses zero hour contracts, then there is no guarantee that you’re going to be better off. Also, I believe we need to abolish the minimum wage in favour of the Living Wage, which would pay a much fairer minimum that people are able to live on.

9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
Parliament’s lack of diversity I believe is partly due to the fact that the UK is dominated by party politics, with a large percentage of people voting for parties rather than their constituency candidates. I hope that we’re seeing the beginning of a shift from the tired old three party system, with smaller national parties & regional parties taking more of the vote. This should aid diversity.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
Our area is seeing very positive signs of growth in the renewables sector currently, and much of the investment that has stimulated this growth has come from the EU. Without the EU we would financially, in my constituency, be worse off. So I would encourage voters to stay in the EU but to seek reforms.

Richard Howarth

Background
Richard Howarth: campaigning to save the NHS, for an end to austerity, and for safe, sustainable energy.

“I believe this government’s austerity policies scapegoat and target the most vulnerable in our society for mistakes made in the financial sector. I believe this to be wrong, and as one of the richest countries in the world, unnecessary.

“Instead, we should value and properly invest in our public services, including the NHS, especially at this time of crisis.

“I believe the privatisation of public services such as the railways represents a scandalous transfer of public funds into private, privileged hands, and should be reversed.”

Richard has campaigned for social and environmental justice since his university days, when he graduated in Physics at the University of Manchester. He has worked mainly for social enterprises since, recently as a biodiesel engineer producing vehicle fuel from used cooking oil, and an assistant accountant at Oxfam.

Yorkshire born and bred, he moved to East Yorkshire with his wife two years ago, and put sustainability principles into action by transforming their typically inefficient terraced house into a cosy, low energy home, which became the region’s first Superhome.

He has been particularly active with local communities on the front lines of the anti-fracking protests, opposing oil and gas exploration in the East Riding.

“Only the Greens will turn words into deeds to combat the threat of river and sea flooding in the East Riding, and we are the only major English party to oppose fracking.”

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
Reply to enquiries in good time. Hold street surgeries. Use digital communications & social media.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
I’m standing for a public NHS, a fair economy, decent homes, a safe climate, free education, and better transport.

All the other parties are pro-austerity, pro-TTIP and pro-fracking.

I’m particularly opposed to oil & gas exploration in Beverley & Holderness and I’ve been campaigning on the front line at Crawberry Hill & West Newton well sites. These are only the start and must be resisted before we see industrialisation of the East Riding on a large scale. And all to extract fossil fuels that we can’t burn in the face of catastrophic climate change, from which the East Riding is particularly at risk.

3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
He’s campaigning for more rural access to broadband, which I support.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
Austerity is slashing the public services on which we all rely. The most vulnerable in society are being punished for mistakes made in the financial sector.

It is a myth that austerity is necessary, in one of the richest countries in the world, when inequality is increasing to Victorian levels while the very richest become far richer.

Increasing queues at food banks in a wealthy and compassionate society like ours is a scandal, and we should be ashamed.

I want to see decent public services properly funded from general taxation, and the very wealthy contribute a small amount of their wealth to the common good.

5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
People have always moved, and always will- millions of Britons live and work abroad, in Europe and beyond.

But it is a lie to claim that immigrants are a drain on our resources. Migrants are a net economic benefit to the UK, and it’s important to remember that.

Currently we need fair, controlled immigration. But in the long term we need to address the bigger issues that cause people to leave their homes, especially poverty resulting from inequality, and climate change.

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?
A large part of the increased cost of living is out of control house price rises. The Green Party would take measures to reduce property market speculation and buy to let, and provide 500,000 decent social homes.

We’d invest in a massive buildings insulation program to improve our homes, making them more comfortable, healthier and far cheaper to run. This would also create hundreds of thousands of good jobs. I’ve done this on my own house proving it can reduce both energy costs and carbon emissions by 90%.

We’d increase the minimum wage to a living wage. And in time we’d get rid of regressive taxes that impact more on the poorest- like VAT and NI, and introduce a Basic Income for all.

7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
Nye Bevan said on its formation that, “The NHS will last as long as there are folk left with the faith to fight for it”. Well now is the time to fight for it.

It is being privatised right now, started by Labour and continued by the Con-Dem coalition.

This must reversed. I believe the privatisation of public services represents a scandalous transfer of public money into private hands.

The Health and Social Care Act 2012 should be repealed in its entirety, and I fully support the NHS Reinstatement Bill.

8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
Whilst some slog for long hours, and are time poor, others are unemployed and money poor. I think we should encourage a shorter working week, and distribute work more equally.

We need to invest in public services, including the NHS, to generate hundreds of thousands of good jobs.

9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
Yes. This is another argument for a Proportional Representation voting system.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
The EU has many flaws and must be reformed. However…

Our greatest trade is in Europe, and peace has mainly prevailed for 60 years.

Many of our strongest protections such as workers rights, food, water and environmental regulations are a result of the EU. This is not ‘red tape’, but hard fought for protections.

So it’s Yes to Europe, Yes to reform of the EU, and Yes to a referendum. (But no to joining the Euro.)

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