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Chippenham

Chippenham is located in Wiltshire in the south west of England. The seat was created in its current form in 2010.

The current member of parliament is the Liberal Democrat Duncan Hames who has served since 2010.

2010 General Election Results (Adjusted for non-voters)
Chippenham

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

Candidates

Tina Johnston

Background
I’m a mum of two, with a grown up son doing a PHD in Cancer research and a 15 year old daughter, at school in the Chippenham Constituency.
I’ve been an organic farmer and grower in Wiltshire for the past eleven years, providing veg boxes, meat and eggs for the local community, and Have spent a lifetime as an environmental and political activist, including a stint at Greenham Common and living off grid on a Dutch Barge, as well as a bespoke candle designer and a restaurateur.
I’ve worked voluntarily for food charities as well as being totally committed to a sustainable and fairer society. I have first hand knowledge of the struggles that those on a very low income endure and fully understand the challenges that they bring.
1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
feel that I am already “in touch” with the electorate, being an “ordinary” member of the public, who, like most, is disillusioned with the way our successive Governments have, once in power, disregarded the needs and aspirations of those who voted them in.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
I am a natural empath, and have a great regard for the needs and wants of the majority of the people. I believe everyone should be treated with kindness and equality. I’m very good at getting things done and have achieved many of my own goals in life, now is the time to engage that skill to help others find and fulfill their own aspirations.
I’ve lived in and around Chippenham for most of my adult life, I went to Collage here which is when I gained a love of the area, hence I bought my small farm in Box. Politics has always been a great love of mine, and now that my youngest daughter is coming to an age of her own independence and, I find that the physicality of farming is becoming a strain, I can dedicate my life to a common good.
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
In reference to Duncan, I am told and have personal experience of him to be “a very nice” man and think he has achieved a few good things since his time as an MP. Sadly, dis empowerment though the Coalition, has been a muting force.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
Austerity is most definitely not working.
There are 20 million people living in poverty, that’s doubled since 1983! 3.5 million people go hungry to feed their children, 1 in 5 children is in a house that is cold and damp, and one in ten lacks a warm jumper. 52% of those living in poverty are in work, there’s a 55% increase of rough sleepers on our streets, the introduction of a private company to assess those on DLA, resulting in immense stress (causing further ill health) to those who need support the most and have lead to many suicides! The “bedroom tax”, having left those already totally impoverished with no option to downsize is, in my opinion, an act of the cruelest nature. The cuts to Central Government funding to local councils has hit the most vulnerable the hardest and left many vital services either cut altogether or unworkable.
There are further, cutting into the bone, cuts planned by our current Government.
That so many billions of pounds are unpaid by the large Corporations and tax avoidance, That the publicly owned banks are paying huge bonuses to employees, leaving the very wealthy to continue to grow their “pile” whilst the poorest are made to pay is an abomination and speaks volumes. Instead it is the poor and vulnerable that are made the scapegoat in our society. This has to be addressed.
5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
The immigration “problem” that many talk about is in fact, quite the opposite. The media portrays our county being over run with migrants “stealing our jobs/houses” etc, when, our country would grind to a halt without the skills and assets that they bring to enhance this land. How can we disregard the £20 billion extra they bring to our economy? How would the NHS operate without the migrant workers?If we were to limit the number of legal immigrants, i,e, from the EU would we then be faced with the hundreds of thousands of retired British citizens living abroad having to return too? At the very least, most of the migrants are young and healthy and put very little strain on our public services.

I believe that 60% of British Citizens want the right to live and work in the EU yet only 30% believe that EU citizens should be allowed to live and work here.

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?
There are approximately 3000 households within the Chippenham Constituency living in fuel poverty, the choice between heating and eating. The lack of affordable rents due to the expansion of the buy to let industry has kept house prices unaffordably high leaving many with no option but to pay high rents. This state of affairs keeps people in poverty. The lack of affordable Social housing is to be addressed by a Green Government, with a pledge to build 500 000 new homes over the next five years, this will be paid for with the existing £1.5 billion budget per year equaling £7.5 billion with the addition of ceasing the tax loopholes on buy to let landlords, currently on £4.8 billion a year, rising to £6 billion equaling a further £27 billion over five years. The knock on effect will be to create employment as well as long term income from rents whilst alleviating homelessness as well as poverty.Wages need to start rising again after far too long in stagnation. Expecting people to live in poverty for the benefit of the rich must be addressed.

A Citizens Wage is proposed for everyone of working age, at present it is thought to be £72 per week, paid to everyone, regardless of income. The Living Wage, will bring the minimum wage up to £10 per hour.

The Green Party is advocating a change in our monetary system by the use of a Positive Money system. Instead of allowing banks to create money and lend it to the big companies, the new banking reform will only allow monies to be created to loan to the people, putting it directly into the economy, a net gain of, for every £1 spent by government, £2.50 will be generated directly back into the economy. The present system produces only 30p for every £1 spent by Government. this new system will get the economy going again and stop the exponential rise in wealth for the very few putting money back in the pockets of those less well off.

7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
We need to halt the sell off of the NHS forthwith. Our greatest asset as a nation must be preserved as free at point of service and not sold off in chunks to private companies who’s only interest is profit. The lack of funding from successive Governments has allowed them to say it isn’t working and to justify the sell off. With proper funding from tax we can rebuild it.
8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
The Green party is adopting a system of making the UK self sufficient in renewable energy, the proposition to create one million climate jobs in this new industry, whilst keeping the trillion or so pounds we spend each year to energy companies within the countries economy. Creating paid apprenticeships, full training and sustainable jobs.http://www.climate-change-jobs.org/

The rise in zero hours contracts must be stopped, people need more security of employment to maintain a life and pay bills.

We aim, as previously stated, to introduce a “living wage” bill that will pay £10 per hour, minimum.

9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
There are far too few state school and non public school MP’s and, yes, this does represent an imbalance of representation. There is also a marked imbalance of genders as well as younger generation MP’s. I fail to see how the same old grey suited generation can in any way truly represent the people of the UK.If we are to genuinely get change, vote for it, don’t stick with the status quo. Voting for the policies you believe in will help to transform politics in Britain.

10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
I advocate an EU referendum. i would encourage voters to opt to stay in the EU, recognizing the immense benefits that it brings to our shores. That it has facilitated peace throughout the European nations and fostered co-operations on issues of common interest.
It is not perfect however, and needs its own reform.
The Eu is founded on economic growth which can not be sustained.
That it has been distorted by vested political and economic interests remains a major concern and promotes the goals of multinational corporations There remain many policies such as the Common Agricultural Policy and the Common Fisheries Policy that urgently need changing towards Green principles and objectives. There will be a referendum when The Green Party are in power.

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