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Epsom & Ewell

Epsom & Ewell is located in Surrey in the south of England. It was created in 1974 and has been held by the Conservative Party ever since.

The current member of parliament is the Conservative party’s Chris Grayling, who has served since 2001.

2010 General Election Results (Adjusted for non-voters)
Epsom & Ewell

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

Candidates

Stephen Gee

Background
Stephen is 54 years old and has lived with his wife Anne and his 2 children Chris and Sophie in the Nork Ward of the Epsom and Ewell constituency for 24 years. He is the Managing Partner of a large multi national Construction Consultancy based in Ealing which he helped form some 30 years ago. He is passionate about his family, his business and his sport and he still actively plays football and cricket, runs and keeps fit.His political interests include economics, business, housing and foreign affairs and he marched through the streets of London in protest against the Iraq War. He believes that politics lacks enough people with real long term experience of work and running a business to make sensible decisions on key matters that effect working families, employment and the economy.

Stephen has stood numerous times for seats on Reigate and Banstead Council, for Surrey County Council and stood for Parliament in Wimbledon in the 2005 election where he increased the Liberal Democratic vote by 40%. He has supported campaigns across the Epsom and Ewell constituency including save Epsom Hospital, believes that the Oyster zones should be extended to Epsom Station, and that the town centre needs active support and regeneration.

His successful business now employs 150 people and wins awards under his leadership and direction for employment practises and innovative management based on freedom, trust and empowering staff to deliver results. These techniques he believes can and should be translated into political decisions to achieve a fairer and more open society that provides opportunities for all. He has run campaigns within his industry on graduate unemployment and actively works with Construction Youth Trust to engage with those from deprived backgrounds to bring them in to the Industry and provide employment opportunities.

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
It’s too easy these days to almost run a virtual campaign and only respond to those constituents who are motivated enough to ask queries and opinions or those who use your valuable site. Although of course this is important my campaign will include the traditional knocking on doors, delivering leaflets, attending public meetings and getting as much contact with the electors as I can manage with the resources we have.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
I believe that as Liberal Democrats we have proved that we can be trusted on the economy and trusted to look after the those in society who have been most hardest hit by austerity, providing opportunity and hope. Politics lacks enough people with real long term experience of work and running a business to make sensible decisions on key matters that effect working families, employment and the economy. I bring all this experience and a real desire to create fairer society. The right wing extremism of the failing Justice Secretary Chris Grayling needs to be challenged and I am the candidate most equipped to deliver that challenge and the wishes of the electors of Epsom and Ewell.
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
At a local level the saving of Epsom Hospital but this was a cross party campaign.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
It was necessary to deal with the budget deficit after 2010 and without the actions taken by the coalition we would not have delivered the economic recovery that is now established. The UK is now one of the faster growing economies, employment is at record levels, inflation is low and wages are now growing above inflation. To that extent it is true that austerity has worked although initial cuts where too harsh and reduced growth in the initial period. Further cuts will be required in the next parliament but it is vital that these are taken fairly. The poorest in society have had to bear an unfair burden and continued ideological cuts by the Conservatives beyond clearing the deficit is not what the economy needs in the next parliament. Nor should a Labour administration be allowed to put the economic recovery in jeopardy. There is a sensible middle ground to be taken where the wealthiest in society are asked to contribute a little more, we protect the most vulnerable in society. Achieving good levels of growth is as important for clearing the deficit as are making targeted cuts. Excessive austerity delivers a Greek economy and a Greek political result.
5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
I believe that immigration is vital for a thriving economy and recent reports have clearly shown that immigration makes a net contribution to the economy in the UK. Liberal Democrats are proud that Britain is an open, welcoming country. Highly-skilled migrants have brought many economic and social benefits to us over the years.But Labour let the system get out of control. They didn’t even have proper checks to detect people who were overstaying their visa. We need to bring more control to the system to stop people breaking the rules by bringing back control so the Government can keep track of who is leaving the country and out stays a visa.

Providing controls are in place on how and when someone can claim benefits, that the minimum wage is paid and that immigrants are exploited by employers we should welcome immigrants and the contribution they make across society not least the NHS.

6. Many people are concerned with 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?
Although we’ve started to repair the economic damage caused by Labour – creating 1 million jobs and 1.6 million apprentices – the cost of living is still increasing.In Government, Liberal Democrats have fought to cut family tax bills by a third, reduce the cost of childcare and guarantee pensioners a decent income during retirement.

We have:

  • Guaranteed free school meals to all infants, saving families about £473 a year.
  • Delivered a £700 tax cut to 24 million people, frozen Council Tax, Fuel Duty and the TV Licence.
  • Increased pensions by £800 a year since 2010, thanks to our new ‘triple lock’ rule which ensures state pensions always rise with inflation, earnings or 2.5% – whichever is highest.

While Labour pushed costs up in the first place through their economic crisis, the Conservatives cannot be trusted to make sure the recovery is fair and we tackle inequality.

7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
We are justly proud of the NHS and what it achieves. We need to ensure it is given priority on funding and that we deal with the added pressures created by cuts to care for the elderly by local authorities. We cannot accept the waiting times at A&E that have occurred recently we need systems in place to adequately deal with these peaks of demand. The Liberal Democrats are committed to delivering better care for everyone. We are:

The Tories and Labour have put the NHS at risk. It was Liberal Democrats who stopped Conservative privatisation plans and reverse some of Labour’s policies which meant private health companies got special favours.

In fact, Labour paid private companies £250 million for operations they didn’t even perform. Liberal Democrats have made sure that can never happen again and can deliver a well organised, well funded NHS we can all be proud of.

8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
Despite the economic recovery we still have unacceptable levels of youth unemployment. We need to ensure that good practical careers advise is provided in schools. We should celebrate the record levels of apprenticeships that have been created (2 million) and continue to promote this. We need to provide support at a practical level to guide train and mentor young people and have a benefit system that supports them in to work.Although unemployment has now dropped to 5.8% and by half a million in the last year too many of the jobs created have been part time and the worst excesses of employers who don’t pay the minimum wage and the use of restrictive zero hour contracts need to be tackled. As with youth unemployment we have to have a benefits system that doesn’t penalise work. Present more

9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
I don’t believe that lack of diversity means lack of representation in parliament but I do believe that parliament should more be more representative of the rich diversity of society. I don’t believe in positive discrimination but do believe that the introduction of proportional representation would give more opportunity for various groups, different views to be represented and this would be a good step forward.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
Although there are some changes that I believe need to be made to the EU to make it more efficient and more accountable I am strongly in favour of it. We would campaign strongly in favour of a yes vote to stay in and argue for the fantastic benefits that it has brought us. Millions of jobs are dependent on it, large multi nationals would move out of the UK if we left, its created the stability and peace we all crave.

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