Election 2015: Mole Valley parliamentary candidates respond to your manifesto

 getSURREY

We asked all five of those seeking election in Mole Valley what their thoughts were on issues such as adult social care, austerity and the green belt

Get Surrey election manifesto demands

Get Surrey election manifesto demands

In March we asked what matters to you ahead of this year’s general election.

More than 600 of you replied to tell us what were your priorities and helped form a manifesto for Surrey.

We have gone to the candidates standing for parliament in the constituency of Mole Valley, to see if they agree with what you have to say.

From the chart below, you can see whether each candidate agreed or not with the points raised. As well as this, we also asked them to expand on their opinions.

 

 

Len Amos – Labour

“In less than three weeks the nation will have to choose a government – but which one?

“Since 2010 the UK has suffered an onslaught of austerity cuts to help clear the national debt, but in doing so local authorities across the country have had to make difficult choices on spending. Those decisions have left our public services starved of funding, and with it a large reduction in staffing levels.

“Decisions in the last four years have led to an increase of family members taking on the role of caring for relatives who would normally receive a high level of professional care. The adult social care system is on the verge of total collapse. If we continue to put our public services under financial constraint we will without doubt see it collapse, catapulting us all back to 1930s Britain.

“To stop this from happening we need to increase the funding and have it ring-fenced for future generations.

“As for the international aid programme, I wholeheartedly support it but do not believe it should be protected at a time when so many of us are facing financial hardship. It has always been my philosophy that charity begins at home.”

Sir Paul Beresford – Conservative

“I agree on adult social care but negotiation with councils must take place on tasks as some families are more able and prefer to care.

“Equally, some are unable to care, hence assessment of need is required.

“Also, the private and charity sector can and does play a major role.

“People should absolutely be helped off welfare through work and this is the drive of the new system being installed by the Conservative-led government.

“However, I do not believe council cuts have gone too far. There must always be a drive for efficiency and new ways of undertaking tasks.

“When I was in local government, savings were sourced year on year, especially as new technologies came into use.

“Overseas aid is in effect ring-fenced as it is set as a percentage of GDP, but there needs to be flexibility for councils to vary according to their estimate of need.

“In my local government days I spent more on education and social services than the government recommended, and less on other areas. Also, social services is now more integrated with the NHS.

“Austerity may vary according to circumstances over the next few years but the deficit has only been halved. This has to be tackled so we do not hand debts on to the next generation.

“Regarding the green belt, there is a housing need in Mole Valley and Guildford.

“I personally believe the figures are too high and that an imaginative use of brownfield or used sites, plus ‘windfall sites’, will ensure that green belt land remains as green belt.”

Jacquetta Fewster – Green Party

“The Green Party believes in doing things differently. Not only will we put an end to the £20bn programme of NHS cuts, we will increase spending on health and make social care free too, like it is in Scotland.

“Spending on international aid and education will go up as well.

“For example, we are committed to ensuring every young person that wants to, can access higher education and achieve their potential.

“So tuition fees will go and we will bring back student grants. Apprenticeships will be available for every 16 to 25 year old who wants one.

“We will protect the countryside by reusing brownfield sites and ensure development is more evenly distributed across the whole of the country, reducing pressure on us in the South East.

“Britain is the sixth richest nation in the world and we can afford these things by ensuring wealth is shared fairly.

“Unlike other parties, we will tackle tax avoidance and evasion, we will increase taxes for the richest individuals and corporations and we will end the tax exemption on aviation fuel, helping the environment at the same time.

“This additional income will enable new investment across the public sector, creating secure and fulfilling jobs and making the minimum wage a living wage.”

Paul Kennedy – Liberal Democrats

“I welcome the Surrey Advertiser readers’ manifesto, which I support.

“Unlike the Conservatives, Liberal Democrats in government are not pursuing austerity. We still run a public sector deficit to support the economy after private sector productivity collapsed in 2008. Since 2010 we’ve halved that deficit in a fair way: protecting vital public services like schools and hospitals, maintaining confidence so we attract investment and supporting balanced economic recovery while protecting our environment.

“There is more to do, but through sensible reforms we are creating millions more jobs and apprenticeships, and maintaining living standards for ordinary workers by raising tax allowances while closing loopholes.

“We will provide £8bn more funding that the NHS needs plus integrated mental, physical and social care.

“Labour, Green and SNP plans for uncontrolled spending, the Tories’ rollercoaster plans to slash public services to fund tax cuts for the rich, and UKIP or Tory plans to leave Europe would wreck our economy and create huge hardship locally.

“We need housing nationally but local Conservatives’ housing targets are too high, and their cosy relationship with big developers threatens the green belt and our towns and villages.

“In September, voters endorsed the Liberal Democrats’ alternative community-based approach with a landslide win in the Lovelace by-election.”

Paul Oakley – UK Independence Party

“UKIP would support professionals and merge health and social care.

“We’d increase dementia funding to £130m per year, and elderly care would have £1bn annually.

“We would crack down on fraud, introduce a five-year embargo on migrants’ benefits and stop child benefit for children who don’t live here.

“We would axe the bed-room tax and end unfair disability assessments.

“More benefits would go to jobseekers who have paid tax and National Insurance for five years.

“Top council officials have escaped the cuts. Some 16 Surrey County Council employees earn more than £100,000, with the chief executive on a package of £245,535. The salary for the Prime Minister is £142,500 so further cuts should be aimed at these fat cats.

“UKIP would spend an extra £3bn annually on our NHS and take Defence within this ring-fence.

“Foreign aid would fall from £1bn a month to £3bn per annum for disaster relief.

“The coalition has added to Labour’s national debt. UKIP would cut further by leaving the EU, thus saving our £55m a day membership fee and bin vanity projects like HS2.

“Loss of green belt is not inevitable. There is a housing shortage but it is exaggerated and there is brownfield land available.

“UKIP would build one million homes on brownfield sites by 2025, but the crisis will continue while we have open-door immigration.”