One week from today, voters in South Suffolk will go to the polls to choose their Member of Parliament, in the UK’s third general election since 2015.
This time, four candidates are contesting the seat – James Cartlidge (Conservative); Elizabeth Hughes (Labour), David Beavan (Liberal Democrats) and Robert Lindsay (Green Party).
With election day fast approaching, the Suffolk Free Press has offered every candidate a chance to make their case for your vote and what they pledge to do if elected.
James Cartlidge (Conservative)
Address: Assington, Suffolk
Profession: MP and former mortgage broker who went on to found a shared ownership property portal
“I am honoured to be seeking re-election as the Conservative candidate for South Suffolk.
“When I was first elected in 2015, a lack of internet access was a huge problem. Now, 95 per cent of homes in South Suffolk have access to superfast broadband.
“For the first time in decades, we will soon have new rolling stock on the Sudbury branch line.
“We have record low unemployment, and I was proud to help secure over £100 million of funding for West Suffolk and Ipswich hospitals.
“There is much more to do, but national politics has been paralysed by Brexit deadlock. We are holding a winter election to try to break that deadlock.
“I sincerely believe that, if we get the majority to deliver a Brexit deal, we can finally move on as a country to focus on other priorities: more police; fairer school funding; and climate change. I would be grateful for your support.”
Elizabeth Hughes (Labour)
Address: 35 London Road, Ipswich, Suffolk
Profession: Quality assurance technician with a multi-national consumer products company
“If elected, I would be a full-time, committed voice for South Suffolk in Parliament and I would strive to deliver a real deal for local people.
“South Suffolk needs both protection and change: protection of what we really value – communities, our historic landscape and the countryside and towns that we live in – and real change in how we manage our resources to deliver better lives and futures for Suffolk people.
“A Labour MP and a national Labour government would work together to bring an end to austerity. We would lay the foundations of a new prosperity within the county and the constituency.
“We need good manufacturing jobs in reputable companies, better public and school transport and inward government investment into training and education.
“Better infrastructure and services, including reliable and first-class broadband coverage, remain a priority need for this area.”
David Beavan (Liberal Democrats)
Address: 2 Victoria Street, Southwold, Suffolk
Profession: Sail training skipper
“The Liberal Democrats will boost the economy by stopping the madness of Brexit.
“We can then invest £100bn in a green economy and skills training to provide new employment and business in South Suffolk.
“Long-term security for the NHS and social care will be funded by a penny on income tax. Hard-working families will be helped with free pre-school childcare.
“As part of our climate change action, we’ll ensure 80 per cent of our energy comes from renewables by 2030 and invest in innovative demand-led minibus community transport to connect our villages and towns, freezing rail fares.
“We will reverse the £63 per pupil fall in school funding in South Suffolk under the Conservatives and employ 20,000 new teachers on a decent wage without the Ofsted bureaucracy.
“We will build affordable homes for social rent while retaining our beautiful countryside.
“It’s time to get on with running the country.”
Robert Lindsay (Green)
Address: 114 High Street, Bildeston, Suffolk
“I have been representing people in South Suffolk since 2014, both as a Babergh district councillor and, in the past two years, as a Suffolk county councillor.
“Many of the problems we face here – car-dependent developments on green fields, constant threats to our few remaining bus services, and a lack of money to repair our roads and pavements – are down to central Government prioritising growth and big business above local people and quality of life.
“If elected, I will seek to prioritise funding for buses so that we can increase the frequency of services and more people can leave their cars at home.
“I would end the artificial, nationally-set housebuilding quotas that don’t meet local need and I would seek toput the local Suffolk economy and local communities ahead of bolstering growth in national and international companies, which do nothing for the local economy.”
Published by the Suffolk Free Press.