ELECTION 2015: The High Peak parliamentary candidates on why YOU should vote for them

The High Peak parlimanetary candidates (anti-clockwise from top left): Andrew Bingham (Conservative), Caitlin Bisknell (Labour), Charlotte Farrell (Green Party), Ian Guiver (UKIP), Stephen Worrall (Liberal Democrat).
The High Peak parlimanetary candidates (anti-clockwise from top left): Andrew Bingham (Conservative), Caitlin Bisknell (Labour), Charlotte Farrell (Green Party), Ian Guiver (UKIP), Stephen Worrall (Liberal Democrat).

The General Election is now just days away and in the High Peak, there are five candidates vying to become the borough’s next Member of Parliament.

They are: Andrew Bingham (Conservative), Caitlin Bisknell (Labour), Stephen Worrall (Liberal Democrat), Charlotte Farrell (Green Party) and Ian Guiver (UKIP).

Here, each of them set out their views and plans for the future should they be elected.

Andrew Bingham - Conservative: I feel incredibly proud to have been the High Peak MP for the last five years. Having been born in the High Peak and lived here all my life, it is a special privilege to represent the area in Parliament.

In the last five years the government has had to take some difficult decisions to rescue the country from the financial situation it inherited in 2010 – which was perfectly captured in the note left by the former Labour Treasury Minister, Liam Byrne, for his successor, which said simply “I’m afraid there is no money.”

Under David Cameron’s leadership, the economy is growing again, unemployment is falling, there are record numbers of apprenticeships and more people are in work than ever before.

For my own part, in the last five years I have always done my best to represent local people and support the High Peak. On occasions this has brought me into conflict with my ‎party, but I did what I believed was right. If re-elected I will continue to put the High Peak first and do all I can to work hard for the local area. I will continue to be a local man doing his best for local people.

Caitlin Bisknell - Labour: This election is the most important in our lifetime. Having worked and lived in High Peak with my family for 25 years, and having spoken to many of you, I believe that you too share Labour’s values of hope, optimism and aspiration.

Labour wants a recovery based on investment in our services and our people to create more, better paid jobs - putting money back into our economy. We will abolish the Bedroom Tax and end zero hours contracts.

As your Labour MP I will stand up and shout out for High Peak – I love its people and its places. I will: Work for all residents to ensure High Peak’s voice is heard locally, regionally and nationally.

• Encourage local councils and health organisations to work together to integrate health and social care with people at its heart.

• Champion local infrastructure projects such as The Crescent, Glossop spur and Tintwistle-Mottram bypass to strengthen our economy.

• Work with local groups to promote energy efficiency so High Peak can play its part in combating climate change, and campaign against fracking in our National Park

• Campaign for a fair deal for our schools, from early years and Sure Start centres, through primary to secondary.

Charlotte Farrell - Green Party: I am standing for the Green Party for the High Peak in the forthcoming General Election, because I want to see a fairer, more equal and sustainable society. I believe that it is impossible to have continued growth in a finite world. Capitalism is causing the destruction of the planet and rampant global inequality.

To me the integrity and safety of the world we live in and the ability of all mankind to live a comfortable life is more important than anything else, we quite simply cannot continue to grow infinitely.

As we recognise this fact so we also have to recognise that we need to share out the world’s resources more equally, because we cannot simply rely on there being more of everything.

While the Green Party looks to improve matters globally it knows that we need to start by transforming things nationally and locally, making sustainability the economic driving force instead of growth and profit. Here in the High Peak we can help achieve this by encouraging local business, relying more on local food producers, building a better public transport system and encouraging renewable energy generation instead of fracking which only the Green Party opposes.

Ian Guiver - UKIP: UKIP won last year’s European election in High Peak so Advertiser readers now have the chance to get a big voice in the next Parliament: a UKIP MP who could hold the balance of power and use that opportunity to give High Peak its fair share in future.

Vote to stop uncontrolled immigration that fuels the population explosion and pressure to build housing estates on precious green fields. Instead of importing skills from abroad let’s up-skill our young through apprenticeships, new grammar schools where parents want them and no-fee places at university to study engineering and science. Vote to save £18 billion spent on foreign aid and EU membership fees and fund our NHS and public services instead: let’s stop wasting £50 billion on HS2 and start investing in local infrastructure and high speed broadband to create jobs and prosperity in High Peak.

Under all recent governments the gap between rich and poor; north and south has got bigger. Social mobility has been crushed. That’s not right. Our children deserve better. We need real change - not just a swap between one professional politician and another.

I am standing in this election for fairness and common sense. Please support me on May 7.

Stephen Worrall - Liberal Democrat: I am standing for election because I passionately believe of the importance of encouraging younger voters, my generation, to engage more with politics.

In every general election in my lifetime voters under 25 have been the most likely not to vote, and the situation got worse until 2005 when less than 40 per cent of under-25s voted.

That is contrast to the 75 per cent of over-65s.

Things improved marginally in 2010 but under-25s remain the only age group in which it is more likely that you don’t vote than you do.

To ensure that their needs are not ignored by politicians the young need to use their votes and I hope that as a young candidate I can help bring this about.

I’m also standing because as a researcher at the University of Manchester I believe that we need more scientists in parliament.

Often politicians pay lip service to basing policy on scientific evidence and consensus but then when it comes to it they ignore it.

Science is of vital importance to our future in combating threats ranging from climate change to antimicrobial resistance.

We need to make sure there are scientists involved in forming policy on these issues.