Election 2015: South West Beds Parliamentary seat


With the General Election only days away, we asked the candidates for the seat in South West Beds why they wanted your vote

Andrew Selous (Conservative)

It’s only by having a strong economy that we can continue to provide the jobs and good public services we need.

Managing the economy well has enabled us to cut unemployment by over two thirds in South West Bedfordshire constituency over the last five years.

Cutting income tax further will continue to reward work.

We have delivered two million new apprenticeships and want three million more and 200,000 starter homes and Help to Buy extended.

A strong economy has meant that for the first time in a decade ambulances are based in the town and we now have new railway station lifts.

Work on the A5-M1 link has begun, after decades of waiting.

A strong economy is delivering the rebuild of Central Bedfordshire College, has provided a University Technical College and is delivering an Engineering and Construction skills training centre on the Vinci site and the long overdue flood defence works on the east of the town.

A strong economy is enabling a £150m rebuild of the Luton and Dunstable Hospital and will enable us to continue to increase the state pension and protect pensioner benefits.

I will fight for fairer funding for Bedfordshire Police and to get police officers locally based again.

Daniel Scott (Labour)

It’s a privilege to be standing as the Labour parliamentary candidate for South West Beds. Like many people of my generation I moved to Leighton Buzzard because of the crippling cost of housing in the south east and my family and I have been fortunate to find a great community to live in.

I appreciate the challenges this constituency faces over the next few years particularly the need to accommodate essential additional housing in the most suitable locations, with adequate infrastructure including employment, healthcare provision and sufficient school places.

What has also been clear to me however is that this country cannot afford another five years of Conservative government. People are on average £1,600 worse off than in 2010, and the benefits of the recovery have not been evenly shared. On top of that the national debt has continued to grow. Labour believes in a simple truth, that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed. We have a plan to reward hard work, share prosperity and build a better Britain. One that will also protect the NHS that we all rely on.

Labour has always stood up for the majority in this country. Wherever I have lived I have been an active member of the community, and as your Labour MP I promise to fight for the constituency inParliament and to make this country a fairer place for us all.

Stephen Rutherford (Lib Dem)

I have lived and worked in Bedfordshire for the last 15 years, and am delighted to put the case for the Liberal Democrats.

Five years ago we moved from being a party of opposition to a party of government. Since then Lib Dem ministers have delivered.

We said we would increase the point at which people started paying tax. It used to be as low as £6,500. It is now £10,600.

Five years ago we promised we would increase school funding for the poorest pupils. That’s happened.

Five years ago we said we would create jobs and make Britain greener.

We’ve done both. There are now more than 1.6 million extra jobs than in 2010. Britain is producing more than 20% of its electricity from free, green, renewable sources.

We now have another choice.

On the left, you have a set of parties that want to ignore the deficit and pile up the debt. On the right, you have parties that want to clear the deficit almost entirely through cuts.

Only the Liberal Democrats will eliminate the deficit fairly, through a balanced mix of sensible savings and taxes on wealth.

This means we can maintain the recovery, protect education spending and increase health spending.

So for a stronger economy and a fairer society please vote Liberal Democrat

John Van Weenen (UKIP)

I come to UKIP as a fresh face to the world of politics, motivated by concern, after observing the three main parties’ lack of honesty with the electorate.

I am not alone in my thinking, for millions of British people feel the same way. All three leaders have been telling us constantly this election is the most crucial for years – and they are quite right but they overlooked in their desire for success at the ballot box, the overwhelming need for ‘change’. I have spent the last 30 years as a volunteer working in the charity field. My endeavours have taken me from initially assisting British migrants in Australia, to raising a vast sum for cancer research here in Great Britain. In 1991 I formed the British charity ‘Task Force Albania’ and led 86 humanitarian missions to Eastern Europe.

I saw UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage like a breath of fresh airbursting onto the political scene.

He spoke with honesty and said what most ordinary people were thinking, but what others dare not say.

My job, should you elect me, will be to serve you and your families here in our constituency.

To that end – I give you my word.