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South Thanet

South Thanet is a constituency in the district of its name in Kent. The seat was created in 1983.

The current member of parliament is the Conservative Party’s Laura Sandys who has represented the constituents since 2010.

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

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

Candidates

Ruth Bailey

Background
I am a part-time Primary School teacher with three grown up children and five grandchildren. I moved to Thanet in 2008 (as a teenager I used to work in a B&B in Cliftonville).

I attended Grammar School then worked in the Accounts and Management Accounts departments at Guys Hospital becoming an HCO at the age of 20.

When my three children came along I stayed at home and child-minded and fostered troubled teenagers and studied with the Open University.

I then went to a local University to study for a B.Ed Hons degree. I have taught at the same school for 21 years and was Head of KS 1 until I went part-time a few years ago.

Since moving to Broadstairs I have participated in several local volunteering schemes such as working shifts in the Information Kiosk, beach cleaning and helping with community projects. I am well known locally for my involvement in the campaign to re-open Manston Airport.

I think that I would make a good MP because I am very community minded and committed to whatever I set out to do. I am passionate about all the diverse areas in Thanet. I work tirelessly as can be seen by my total involvement in the Manston Airport Campaign. I would have Thanet at the heart of everything I did as an Independent.

1. What do you plan to do in order to make sure you remain ‘in touch’ with the electorate?
Obviously, in the day of social media this would be my first and most immediate means of communication. I would hold weekly surgeries and be accessible by telephone for emergencies. If invited I would be quite prepared to write a weekly / fortnightly column in the local paper. I would enjoy getting out and about meeting people in the community at events and meetings.
2. What makes you the best candidate for this constituency?
My passion, my commitment, my determination to do the best that I can to represent Thanet’s needs, and just Thanet’s needs, without having to toe any party line.
3. What has the current Member achieved that you believe has been successful?
Laura Sandys has always been accessible, she listens and she acts upon concerns brought to her.
4. In your opinion, is austerity working? What should we take from the state of the economy during this Government’s tenure?
It has been tough for many people but perhaps a necessary ill, hopefully a short term pain for a long-term gain. I would like to see a decent living wage for all and an end to the majority of zero hour contracts. Worse than receiving little money is the worry and insecurity about when the next pay cheque will come. One way that I would save public money would be to limit child benefit to two children – after that it would be a decision for parents to make whether or not they could afford more.
5. Does (legal) immigration need more limitations or is it vital for the UK?
Immigration is vital for the UK both in filling jobs in critical areas such as the NHS and also towards making the world a more cohesive, multi-cultural and tolerant place to live. However, we are only a small island with limited resources and we cannot keep accepting unlimited numbers of people. Priority should be given to genuine refugees and then to people that can financially support themselves or who have a job to come to.
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?
I don’t personally feel that the cost of living has risen unduly. As a teacher I have not had a pay rise for over five years in line with other public employees. I have been able to manage by making economies and careful shopping around. The biggest impact on people has been the withdrawal of benefits and this has seen the growth and dependence on food banks which is unacceptable in this day and age. Another big worry, as has been for a long time now, is the cost of housing for our young people. Anything that can be done to ease the pressure in regards to purchasing a house for the first time buyer is to be welcomed schemes such as part rent/part buy and also concessions to reputable social housing developers.
7. How would you like to see the NHS change in the future in order to become more successful?
It seems a retrograde step but hospitals did seem to manage better with a Matron in charge and a two tier nursing qualification. I’m not sure when or why the change came about that decreed that nurses should to go to University to train with ‘placements’ in hospitals. What was wrong with the old method of training on the job and should we not return to this?

GP surgeries should be more accessible and open longer hours for working people and people that become ill over the weekend. GP’s are in short supply with doctors not being attracted by the role. Surgeries should maybe become like mini hospitals with round the clock staffing and ancillary services and minor procedures. This could ease the pressure on A&E at major hospitals and make the job more appealing and satisfying to doctors.

8. What measures do you think need to be taken to decrease unemployment, particularly youth unemployment and those who have never been employed?
I personally think that it was a crazy decision by the last Government to raise the pension age so drastically. To make people work so much longer, in my case seven years longer than I expected. To me this just means that we will have an increasingly older workforce that are less fit and able and who are no longer so engaged and that are blocking jobs for the young, healthy, innovative generation. It makes no sense.
9. Does the lack of diversity in Parliament equate to a lack of representation?
Yes is the short answer. I am all for tradition but until Parliament is modernised the hours, the routines, even the centralisation of the physical location in London it will prohibit women and others from standing. In these days of technology I am sure that much could be done to speed things up in Parliament. I can’t think of many other political bodies in the world that sit so late into the evening – this is why MP’s claim so much because they need overnight accommodation. The behaviour of MPs should also be better moderated.
10 . If an EU Referendum were to take place, how would you encourage your constituents to vote and why?
I voted, as a teenager, to go into the Common Market, as it was then. If memory serves me correctly there were approximately nine countries and the idea was for free travel across borders without the need for a passport – that never happened! Now the EU has grown so large and bureaucratic and includes so many disparate countries. Personally I would not like to completely withdraw as there is strength in numbers and we need economic, commercial and military unity. However I would like to see a reduction in some of the laws and powers that the EU has over us – one ruling does not fit all countries. Therefore, the answer to the question is – I would encourage my constituents to stay in but to modify from the inside.

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