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Shipley

Shipley is located in West Yorkshire in the north of England. It was created in 1885.

The current member of parliament is the Conservative party’s Philip Davies, who has served since 2005.

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

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

Candidates

Philip Davies

Background
1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
I plan to keep doing what I have been doing for over 10 years to stay in touch with the people of the Shipley constituency – by answering all e-mails and letters, carrying out surveys and distributing newsletters. I will also continue to hold surgeries and invite people to attend coffee mornings where they can talk to me about any issues they are concerned about or any problems they are having.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
I have had the pleasure of living in this constituency for many years and think it is a fantastic place. I believe that knowing and understanding the constituency very well helps me to represent it well in Parliament. I am not afraid to say what I believe – even if this does not meet with universal favour – and will only vote the way I think is right and not the way the whips want me to. I believe that people in this area want politicians to be more honest and straight-talking and I certainly do my best to achieve that!
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
This is a tricky question for me as I have been delighted to have represented the Shipley constituency in Parliament since 2005! In Parliament, I am personally pleased to have played my part in getting a commitment to an in/out EU referendum and having been able to articulate the increasingly popular case that Britain would be better off out of the EU. I am also proud of the fact that my vote helped to stop our military intervention in Syria. In the constituency, I am pleased to have been able to play my part to help rejuvenate Bingley centre with the long overdue demolition of the old Bradford and Bingley building owned by Sainsbury’s and the news that Aldi is now coming to the town.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
Government spending is higher than it was 5 years ago so I am not sure I can actually accept the premise of the question. In fact, locally, in 2014-15 Bradford Council’s net current expenditure, excluding education, was forecast to be £596 million compared with £548 million in 2009-10. This clearly represents an increase in cash terms. However, controlling spending is essential – especially when we are borrowing many billions to fund the spending which we simply cannot afford. I am pleased that during this Government’s tenure unemployment has reduced, interest rates have remained very low and the economy has grown at a much higher rate than others – e.g. last year, we grew 75 per cent faster than Germany, three times faster than the Eurozone and seven times faster than France.

5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
We definitely need limitations on immigration and to urgently regain control of our borders. We should be able to choose the people we allow to come to our great country and stop the unlimited immigration we are seeing – which includes thousands of foreign criminals – as a direct result of our membership of the EU. We cannot cope with net migration levels as high as they are and the only guaranteed way we can control our borders is by leaving 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?
Having worked at Asda in the past I am very aware of the importance of low costs and I am pleased to see plenty of competition in the food sector driving down prices for consumers. Inflation is also very low indeed and so the cost of living is being restrained. The rental rates are a result of the shortage of housing. Until we address the issue of immigration this will continue to be the case in all probability. When it comes to energy, fanciful measures designed to tackle climate change have made prices higher than they need to be and I will continue to campaign to end this so that people are not paying over the odds for their energy. Preventing fuel duty increases and thwarting large council tax hikes (which was something that was opposed by the Labour Party) have also, I believe, helped keep people’s costs down.
7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
I believe that the NHS should be free at the point of need but that this principle should not apply to health tourists or people who have not contributed to the funding of the NHS. I am also concerned about the amounts of money being spent on NHS fat cats and not frontline services. I do not mind who provides the service – all that matters is that it should be done in the most cost effective way to ensure the best treatment and care with the health of the patient always being the most important consideration.
8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
Unemployment has fallen dramatically under this Government and, in particular, there has been the biggest fall in youth unemployment since records began. In Yorkshire between 2010 and 2013 there were more jobs created than in the whole of France. I believe that continuing to cut the bureaucracy that strangles businesses would be a good way to further increase employment. This would help to keep employer costs to a minimum enabling them to invest in people to help their businesses grow rather than getting swamped in red tape. We also need to continue with welfare reforms to ensure that nobody is better off unemployed than employed.
9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
No! It should not matter what people look like or what sex they are – what matters are their views and beliefs. I think it is very dangerous to suggest that anything else is important. Identity politics is something I reject entirely as do, for example, many women, ethnic minorities and people from all religions and none. To say, for example, that one woman could better represent another women simply because she is a woman is complete and utter nonsense. It is political correctness at its most stupid and damaging.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
I believe Britain would be better off out of the European Union. I would encourage my constituents to vote to leave the costly backward-looking protection racket that the EU has become which in turn would enable us to, very critically, regain control of our borders.

Kevin Warnes

Background
Dr Kevin Warnes lives in Shipley with his partner and their two daughters. He teaches Politics and History at a sixth form college in Leeds.

He was born in London in 1966, growing up in Yalding, Barnet and Colchester.

He graduated with a degree in Politics from the University of Exeter in 1987, moving to Bradford to complete a Master’s Degree in Peace Studies in 1990.

He was awarded his doctorate in British and European politics by the University of Bradford in 1996. After several stints of part-time lecturing at the University, he trained to become a teacher at the University of Leeds in 1999 and has taught A Level Government and Politics and History at Notre Dame Sixth Form College since 2001. Throughout his time in education, Kevin’s employment experiences included selling carpets, working in bars and restaurants and teaching English language to refugees in the Balkans. He also enjoyed three years of living, studying and working abroad in Australia, the US and Croatia.

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
In Shipley, we hold regular street surgeries to keep in touch with local residents all year round. We also communicate directly with local people via our newsletters and, of course, via social media.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
As a member of the Green Party, I am part of the fastest growing political movement in the country. The Greens are the only party that has answers to the economic, social and environmental challenges we face as a society and I would be able to campaign effectively for these ideas in parliament on behalf of Shipley residents. I have already served as a local councillor for the past eleven years. This has given me a wealth of experience of dealing with the everyday problems facing our community in Shipley and the wider area.
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
To be fair, Philip Davies has been an active local MP who has kept in touch with local residents and has resisted the temptations of ministerial office in order to concentrate on his political priorities. I would single out his rebel vote against the increase in university tuition fees as one of his best decisions as my MP.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
Austerity is not working. The cuts in public spending have been too deep and too fast. The government has not invested enough in the infrastructure of our country – this is part of the reason for our housing crisis and our continuing over-reliance for energy on imported fossil fuels. The result has been the loss of 900,000 experienced people from our over-stretched public services and greater poverty and inequality. Tory-Lib Dem mismanagement of the public finances has led to the government having to borrow nearly £300 billion more over the course of this parliament than it originally planned back in 2010 and the downgrading of our international credit rating. A much more measured rebalancing of government spending, combined with fresh capital investment in our housing, renewable energy and transport infrastructure, will help to build sustainable public finances, provide our citizens with secure jobs and high quality public services and strengthen our economic and environmental resilience for the future.
5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
There are many economic and cultural benefits to living in an open, tolerant society. Millions of Brits travel and work and live abroad, especially in Europe. Millions of overseas nationals live and work in the UK. Migrants to the UK have contributed to our economic wellbeing and changed our country for the better. Let’s face it, the UK population was a third lower a century ago, but we were much poorer in those days than we are now. Many migrants bring skills that we need, many do jobs that need doing. Our NHS would grind to a halt without overseas workers. One in seven new British companies are set up by migrants and hundreds of thousands of migrant workers are highly skilled individuals. Talk of ‘pulling up drawbridges’ or of Britain being ‘full’ is inflammatory, xenophobic nonsense. Benefit tourism and health tourism are marginal problems. Nearly all migrants to the UK work, most are young and healthy and do not have children. They are not a burden on our doctors’ surgeries or our schools. It’s true that the UK has a housing crisis, but this has been primarily caused by the refusal of Labour and Tory governments to allow councils to build enough new homes or to launch a national house-building programme or to step in to stop developers ‘land banking’ vacant brownfield sites. It’s true that some migrants depress the wages of the bottom five per cent of our most poorly-paid jobs, but the answer is to properly introduce and enforce a Living Wage across our economy and ban zero hours contracts. It’s also worth remembering that half of the population growth of the UK over the past fifty years has been home-grown due to the number of children being born here in the UK. So let’s stop scapegoating migrants and manage the UK’s population levels in a more tolerant and intelligent manner. Where migration creates pressures on our public services or housing, the government should step in and provide additional support. We should also, by the way, remember our international legal obligations to treat the refugees who come to the UK fleeing persecution and seeking asylum with generosity, humanity and respect.
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?
First, we need to end poverty wages by introducing and enforcing a Living Wage. Good employers already pay their staff decent wages. Bad employers should do the same. Fuel poverty is a growing problem in our society that can be addressed by a national homes retrofitting programme to boost energy efficiency and install the renewable energy technologies that can cut our gas and electricity bills (my electricity bills have halved since we fitted solar PV to our roof, and our gas use is down 40% since we insulated our walls). The solution to the rent rises in the housing sector is to more tightly regulate our rogue landlords, and to build more homes. We can start with the brownfield sites where there is space for around 1.3 million new homes, and should ensure that most new housing stock coming on stream is cooperatively and socially managed in order to provide the affordable housing that we desperately need.
7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
The top-down re-organisation of the NHS has been a disaster of epic proportions. My party would repeal the 2010 Health and Social Care Act and reverse the steady privatisation of our health care system. We would reform the NHS internal market that has increased NHS administration costs by at least £5 billion per year, thereby releasing vital funds for stretched front-line services. We would invest an additional £12 billion in health care to deal with the current NHS funding crisis. Finally, we would merge health and social care to provide more comprehensive support for our most vulnerable citizens and abolish social care charges altogether for older people. A country as rich as Britain can afford to look after its sick and elderly citizens with dignity and respect.
8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
I believe in the value of markets and the free exchange of goods and services. However, where markets fail to deliver the social goods we value, including secure employment with fulfilling work for our citizens, government has a duty to step in to re-shape our economy for the common good. The Green Party believes that the government has a key role to play in stimulating the infrastructure investment that we need to upgrade our energy, transport and housing sectors and create hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process. This intervention must, of course, be linked to an overhaul of our education system and our apprenticeship training programmes so that our young people grow up with the knowledge and the skills they need to make a valuable contribution to our society in their adult lives.
9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
Yes, I would agree. Four fifths of our parliamentarians are men, for example, and the Green Party aims to achieve a 50-50 gender representation by 2025. We need a more diverse range of MPs and Peers to ensure that the concerns of all our citizens are articulated properly and fairly in parliamentary debates about the future of our country. A key element of this process of change would be to reform the House of Lords into an all-elected upper house, as well as lowering the voting age to 16.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
I would strongly encourage my constituents to vote so that their voice can be heard, and I would urge them to vote to remain a member state of the EU. The Green Party is the only national party campaigning in favour of an EU referendum AND in favour of staying in. We need a reformed European Union that solves the problems we cannot tackle at a national level, such as energy management, worker protection, biodiversity, food security, cross-border pollution and climate change. And we need a more democratic, decentralised EU in which the economies of the member states become more self-sufficient and environmentally sustainable over time.

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