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Glasgow North West

Glasgow North West is located in the centre of Scotland. The seat was created in its current form in 2005.

The current member of parliament is the Labour Party’s John Robertson who has served since 2005 (2000-2005 in Glasgow Anniesland).

2010 General Election Results (Adjusted for non-voters)
Glasgow North West

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

Candidates

James Harrison

Background
Currently residing in Partick, James first moved to Glasgow in 2007 to study at the University of Glasgow, and has loved playing a part in the community there ever since. He was born in south-east London, before moving to the Scottish Borders in 1999.

While at University, James was an active volunteer and campaigner on campus. He was twice elected by the students to the executive of the university students’ association, Glasgow University Students’ Representative Council (GUSRC), where he worked full-time for two years, first as Vice President, (where he helped to organise their freshers’ week activities), then President. During his presidency, he oversaw the development of the brand new postgraduate social space and successfully campaigned against a severe cut to the opening hours of the university medical library. He also took steps to increase engagement between GUSRC and the students, through increased publicity and enhanced communication, which has led to a more active student body.

Since leaving the university, James has continued to be involved with the higher education sector, working for Universities Scotland and the Quality Assurance Agency.

James has an interest in education, the environment and preventing climate change, equal rights, political reform and engaging people (particularly young people) in politics.

He currently lives in Partick in the Glasgow North West constituency with his partner Elliot and their cat Maggie.

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
I want to hear from as many people as possible, via email, at hustings and elsewhere. If elected I would never take the electorate for granted and would regularly campaign on their behalf for the issues that matter to them.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
Standing up for those that need support is a passion of mine. I’ve been an active campaigner in Glasgow for many years, and have successfully defended student services when I was President of the students’ association at Glasgow University.
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
Considering his voting record there is a lot we disagree on.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
We had to take action to balance the books and sort out the bad state of the economy that the last Labour government left us in. Our economy is now one of the fastest growing in the Western world and in the next parliament the Liberal Democrats hope to invest in public services.
5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
Legal immigration has been vital in supporting and growing our economy. The diversity of our country has also enhanced our culture and society. I would not want to see further limits on immigration. Indeed, I think international students should be taken out of the immigration figures altogether, and students should have the right to access a post-study work visa.
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 Liberal Democrats in government have already delivered an £800 tax cut to millions of working people across the UK, by raising the income tax threshold to £10,000. We want to raise that to £12,500 to deliver an additional tax cut of £400, allowing people to hold on to more of their hard earned cash.
7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
The Liberal Democrats would invest £8 billion per year to 2020. The Liberal Democrats will also commission a non-partisan fundamental review of NHS and social care finances in 2015 before the next spending review, in order to assess the pressures on NHS budgets.

Mental health is incredibly important and the Liberal Democrats want it to be treated with the same importance as physical health. We would invest £500m per year to support this.

8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
The Liberal Democrats in government have helped to deliver 2 million new apprenticeships and 1 million new jobs, while the economy has continued to grow. Increasing taxes for the wealthy will allow us to balance the books and invest more in our public services.

We also want to ensure that there is proper funding for education, particularly at college, so that everyone has the opportunity to develop their skills.

9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
I am very concerned by the lack of diversity in Parliament. That’s why I want to see a change to the current broken electoral system, as it leads to hundreds of safe seats, often represented by white men. Having a fairer electoral system would give greater opportunities for women and ethnic minorities and those with a disability to enter electoral politics.

Many other steps also need to be taken. The political parties themselves must do all they can to encourage participation with under-represented groups.

10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
I do not wish to see a referendum on EU membership as I believe the uncertainty of a referendum and the consequesnces of leaving the EU would damage our economy hugely. If there were to be a referendum, I would do all I can to show the benefits of the UKs membership of the European Union. I don’t want to see the UK head towards the exit – we must show how crucial the EU is to enhancing our economy as well as our culture and society.

Roger Lewis

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
By reminding myself every day that my purpose is to engage and represent as opposed to anything else. This means getting out and about around the constituency and proactively thinking of and lobbying for the changes it needs to see at every level of government.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
Primarily as someone that listens, thinks and then gets set on lobbying for change. If elected I wouldn’t stop pushing for the investment Glasgow North West needs from Holyrood and Glasgow City Council. Being energetic, and I hope a bit visionary, helps a lot!
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
Very little from what I can see. The constituency’s ‘public assets’ – roads, lanes, street lighting, parks – are in a dire state and a number of our schools look like they are prefabs dating from the war. The thought that as a society we choose to educate our children in buildings like this I find pretty repulsive (at my comprehensive many buildings were similar – and remain there ten years after I left. They were bad enough then.)
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
Yes as the deficit is being reduced and the economy is growing strongly, with lower inflation and job creation helping to improve living standards. Austerity is not a nice concept but it is the consequence of a public sector that had grown too big for the economy supporting it.
5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
No. Legal immigration is exactly that, and includes all migration to and from the European Union. Plenty of people know friends or have family that live in other parts of the EU and we’d all be irritated if they were refused entry were the rules changed. I believe a much more resilient approach should be taken to address illegal immigration, which has difficult consequences for both the migrant (namely, substandard housing and exploitation of their labour) and the state (primarily, a much lower allocation of taxation revenue to affected areas since census data underestimates the true demand on services).
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?
Lower inflation is a start and coming close to 0% will provide a demonstrable improvement in living standards in the short term. New jobs are being created too in the UK economy which will provide additional income to each household over time. Everybody getting out of bed in the morning, working hard and providing a service or making something for someone else is what drives a country’s standard of living. I often think this is forgotten in the debates about the latest indicators or statistics.
7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
My girlfriend is a nurse so I hear on a regular basis of the challenges facing the NHS. It remains the envy of the world (including of the Irish, who left the UK before it was created by Aneurin Bevan!) but requires substantial reform to meet the needs of the present. Many NHS buildings are too small, physically, for the populations they serve so I support newer, larger hospitals and where effective, the centralisation of specialist services to provide better care. Like an economy – things work better when specialists work closely together because they learn from each other.
8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
As ever, this leads back to the UK’s education challenge. This has dogged British economic performance for centuries and won’t go away until our collective respect for education and teachers improves. In Germany, teachers are civil servants and the profession is highly regarded – we’d make a good start by learning from this tradition and paying the best teachers far more than we do at present. No one adds value to a society more than a good teacher (and we all remember who they are from our own school days).
9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
Yes. All the evidence suggests that teams work best when they are diverse and an over-dependence on one sex, educational tradition, ethnicity or sexuality will inevitably mean inadequate representation because it is harder for all groups in society to have their views listened to and respected. That said, Parliament needs people with breadth and depth of experience from both the private and public sector – this should be the first priority when political parties consider who to select to stand, rather than means of positive discrimination.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
Subject to the outcome of any treaty renegotiation, I would vote personally (and encourage others) to vote ‘No’ to leaving the EU. It is far from a perfect organisation but it is improved best by having a loud, clear and positive British presence. Many other EU member states would agree. And we owe to it seventy years of peace in Europe – no easy feat – and substantial prosperity as a result of trade and specialisation following the disruption caused by the collapse of its (by 1972, former) colonial empire.

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