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Milton Keynes South

Milton Keynes South is located in Buckinghamshire towards the south of England. The seat was created in 2010.

The current member of parliament is the Conservative Party’s Iain Stewart who has served since 2010.

2010 General Election Results (Adjusted for non-voters)
Milton Keynes South

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

Candidates

Stephen Fulton

Background
I came to Milton Keynes 12 years ago expecting little more than a landscape of roundabouts: I found a wonderful Garden City with a community that works together and is well-connected. I have a wife and three young children who are privileged to live in a proper community with big town benefits. So I started to get involved: as a youth rugby coach and as an academy school governor; I could feel the potential of this town. But then, looking into details and statistics I could see danger that political capital was being made on the success of the town with no political protection given to sustainability. My personal life journey has had its ups and downs: being brought up in the 60s by a single parent on the poverty line; working as a young teen in street markets; taking an apprenticeship in engineering; serving in the Territorial Army; making money on a technology startup in 1999 then losing money on another in 2005; knowing what redundancy and job-seeking is like with a family to support – I am a common man who cares and I am prepared to do something about it.

Most citizens I speak with want their MP to be working to their agenda and not ‘whipped’ into line by their party elite. In the existing political structure, the Party picks, trains and programs their front people as career politicians solely for the benefit of the party; then the party ‘whips’ them into shape. My constituency deserves an MP that is accountable first and foremost to them, the constituents themselves, not to a political party.

As typical of ‘main party’ politicians, the current local ‘main party’ politicians have been quick to take the credit for MK’s growth in business numbers, but have not accepted the responsibility to combat the drop in apprenticeships. I see credit taken for job availability but no responsibility accepted for the high number of people on Job Seekers’ Allowance. I see politicians taking credit for MK’s innovation but showing a lack of determination to fight for greater government investment in infrastructure or its 8 great technologies. They are career MPs taking credit and making political capital but not challenging their own parties when a greater fight is required. I am prepared to fight for all these things and more; working for the local people, industries and amenities.

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
Being fresh as a local working man sharing the problems of the ordinary citizen means I am ‘in touch’. I can respond to the ‘big initiatives’ driven through the Council Strategy team with the backing of the councillors without a party political agenda. I will be going into the SMEs and Large Corporates with HQ and distribution to understand their corporate and employment goals, checking the effects on the work force, apprentices and trainees through regular contact. I will take my ‘surgery’ to them in the workplace and in the colleges, taking myself to the Job Centres to witness supply and demand, successes and failures. I will make greater use of social media and blogs, something more and more citizens are using. I would prioritise the use of a local personal assistant to keep this live and current, when I am away making representation in Parliament.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
I will show unswerving dedication and accountability to the needs of the constituency with no conflict of interest to please a main party first and foremost. I have life skills and maturity: I have lived through the same problems as my constituency citizens; I have direct, relevant experience in technology, communication, big data with startups and large corporations. This town needs to have its unique position and capabilities promoted at local, government, national and international levels. I would be the champion of this for Milton Keynes, which has not happened with the two current Conservative MPs working for a Conservative government. The Important ‘City Deal’ enabling Milton Keynes to manage funds and investment for the growth Strategy has not been delivered by the Government despite 2010 expectations that this would happen. This has not been fought for by our MPs against the Government Ministers. I would fight.
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
The MK NHS budget has been increased to address the immediate shortfall of funds. There is media talk of a greater strategic investment. However this cannot stay as election noise for the media in order simply to get votes. If the MPs are voted back in, I would expect them to be accountable and make this a serious objective over and above their party political career.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
Austerity has worked and we are in a better position than our European neighbours. The country now needs the next healing phase: a careful increase in infrastructure spending, skills training, technology investment is now required to fuel growth and exports to create a net income to the UK. Purpose-designed ‘Garden Cities’ located for orderly expansion, of which Milton Keynes is the best example, must have the infrastructure investment to ensure they have sustainable growth. Attracting international company headquarters, technology and distribution centres requires trained and skilled workforce too. If it’s home grown we reduce the need for inward migration. Government must give incentives to business to run training and apprenticeship schemes; Innovation Hubs, located between universities and major towns, as Milton Keynes, central to the Oxford, Cambridge, London ‘triangle’ need investment. Smart local level investment will drive the UK capability to have a global lead in exporting.
5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
Market demand should determine the flow of migration, not the dictat of a European superstate, the needs of economic migrants or welfare tourists. The controls for non EU migrants are robust: for EU migrants with free passage, we need to apply firm rules on their ability to claim benefits of any kind; hard-working, net contributors to our society are welcomed if the number is supported by a consequent increase in schools, housing and hospital 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?
The government must deliver incentives to create well-run, innovative, high-tech or highly specialized, high-quality businesses as our future, not the high volume, low-price manufacturing businesses of Asia. A badly-run business cannot be allowed to disguise bad business management by applying low pay. Efficiently run businesses will be competitive, grow and create greater jobs, with rising pay. We need to lift people up rather than pay them to remain down. This was always the original intent behind welfare as a support structure. I agree that an investment priority must be to get people working: unemployment cannot be a lifestyle choice as this only creates a downward spiral across the whole UK economy with contributors’ earnings eroded as taxes are increased to cover welfare payments, thus widening the gap. Wages growth must only follow business and economy growth in a free market economy.
7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
I am being told by NHS staff that the Health Trusts have not shaken off their inefficient management structures, which appear too self-serving. Migration of skills and jobs within and across Trusts is failing. I hear stories from highly trained Paramedics who leave the NHS. Independent management of budget is a fine ideal but not when implemented by inefficient ‘stodgy’ management. If we want to keep the NHS as a national asset it must have the same efficiency structures that private enterprise uses and this requires change from the top down. In addition there is a public responsibility to use the services appropriately and responsibly: A&E should not be expected to cater for drunken excess or minor injuries; we all have a responsibility to improve lifestyle to reduce medical dependency. The starting point is educating the young and creating a cultural change. For this we have many models from other countries which we could copy such as the Dutch model.
8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
Increasing time in full time education secured an improvement in government employment statistics but did little to create the skills required by industry. Apprenticeships and skills training with industry partners is needed: this means incentives and investment; it means Innovation Hubs. The UK has leading-edge innovators that need supporting and Milton Keynes is perfectly situated to be that Innovation Hub. Milton Keynes has a local government and strategy for continuous innovation: I will drive this forward with the government.
9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
Today, main parties ‘whip’ their Members of Parliament to follow their party line. The main parties have ‘token’ MP diversity only, as the party ‘whip’ guides their ‘opinion’ when it matters most. To be truly multicultural it is important for all members of society to feel represented. We are seeing constituencies that have a big imbalance in their ethnic mix, organically: these constituencies will therefore have representation of their diversity. I feel that Milton Keynes has a healthy multicultural community: I will work hard to represent the diversity to maintain this healthy cultural integration.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
Today we find the argument on staying or leaving the EU is muddled. I do not believe that the public have had the issues laid before them in a clear or articulate manner. We need to be clear on the benefits of: an open common market for trade; freedom of movement; harmonisation of laws and rights. What we actually get is an emotional ‘soup’ from parties, with distorted facts and figures. Milton Keynes is a microcosm of our nation and it needs international companies to build their European centres of operation here, so their voice and opinion matters, as does the opinion of our largest ‘friend’, the United States of America. We know that EU freedom of movement enables economic migrants and welfare tourists to challenge our Welfare State and NHS. We are not alone in wanting this fixed: German leaders also want changes, therefore we should strive to fix this as a mandatory requirement to staying in. The UK citizen does not want more federalisation of its laws: we need a balance between harmonization and freedom to set our own UK laws. Indirectly linked to the EU is the European Court of Human rights. Initially driven by Sir Winston Churchill after WW2 to stop the international human abuse seen, we need a court taken back to its purpose and away from peripheral issues that are already adequately addressed in UK law. When our security and safety is threatened, our courts must retain our Sovereign right to decide who stays in and who is deported, not an unelected European Court. In summary, I do not favour rushing to tear up our EU membership which could be detrimental to Milton Keynes jobs that depend on European companies located in the town. I believe instead we should aim for a range of adjustments that are reasonable for the UK but, if this cannot be achieved, we need to show we are willing to negotiate an exit; one that maintains our trading rights with our European partners but gives us freedom to create and operate our own laws.

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