General Election 2019: Overview of candidates for South Norfolk and Central Suffolk
Tomorrow (December 12), voters in South Norfolk and Central Suffolk and North Ipswich 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 seats in each constituency.
The South Norfolk seat will be contested by Richard Bacon (Conservative), Beth Jones (Labour), Christopher Brown (Liberal Democrats) and Ben Price (Green Party).
Standing in the Central Suffolk and North Ipswich seat are Dan Poulter (Conservative), Emma Bonner-Morgan (Labour), James Sandbach (Liberal Democrats) and Dan Pratt (Green Party).
With election day fast approaching, the Diss Express offered every candidate a chance to make their case for your vote and what they pledge to do if elected.
Richard Bacon (Conservative)
Profession: MP and former journalist
Address: Pretoria House, Ipswich Road, Long Stratton
“I have served local people as MP for South Norfolk, regardless of their political views.
“We need to move on from Brexit. Boris’ deal with the EU is already agreed so a majority Conservative government will get Brexit done quickly.
“Parliament can then focus on building new hospitals, recruiting 20,000 more police officers to keep us safe, and strong action to protect the environment.
“When Norfolk headteachers explained why they needed more funding, I successfully lobbied the Government – and Boris has accepted the case for improved school funding.
“A Conservative government will deliver faster broadband, including in South Norfolk. Jeremy Corbyn would put all this at great risk.
“Some colleagues with long service as Labour MPs say they cannot vote for Corbyn and are recommending a vote for the Conservatives. I would greatly welcome your support and your vote so that I can continue to work for local people.”
Beth Jones (Labour)
Address: Lives in Norwich
Profession: Mental health nurse
“Being the best nurse I can is no longer enough. I pledge to fight for our NHS and better social care – for a modern, well-resourced NHS, with high quality care that is not for profit, and with investment in social care.
“I pledge to protect community policing and to reverse the cuts to our neighbourhood policing decimated by Tories.
“We need an economy that works for all by creating secure employment, tackling corporate tax avoidance and with no tax increase for 95 per cent of us.
“On Brexit, I would push for a binding public vote on a new deal within six months, with remain on the ballot.
“We need real action on climate change – a green new deal with zero carbon energy systems by the 2030s and new homes zero carbon by 2022.”
Chris Brown (Lib Dem)
Profession: Chartered public relations consultant
Address: Globe House, Norwich Road, Denton
“I live within south Norfolk, in Denton near Harleston, with my wife, Zoe, and three young children. I am a South Norfolk councillor and leader of the Lib Dem group.
“I serve as a primary school governor and a trustee of a local homelessness charity, so am keenly aware of education issues and housing and homelessness problems.
“Professionally, I am a chartered public relations practitioner, running my own business and am a member of the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce.
“The Liberal Democrats are aiming to stop Brexit. I will bring my experience and knowledge from business and voluntary work to campaign for better housing, more funding for our schools and colleges, improved transport links and support for local businesses and the rural community.
“I recognise the urgent, huge challenge of our climate crisis and will prioritise action to tackle the climate emergency, having recently marched with my sons during a climate strike in Norwich.”
Ben Price (Green Party)
Address: NR1 in South Norwich constituency
“Having heard what representatives of other political parties have to say, I believe that the Green Party is the only one that truly understands the climate emergency, wants to challenge a broken electoral system and is seeking to prevent growing economic inequality.
“The Green Party is pledging, at this election, a necessary £100 billion for climate action every year, universal basic income for everybody and a carbon chancellor at the heart of government.
“I want to drive the South Norfolk economy in to emerging low-carbon markets, helping the agricultural industry to adapt sustainably and creating local, long-term employment for all, with a focus on providing opportunities for young people and strengthening our rural communities.
“Nationally, protecting our NHS from privatisation is an issue close to my heart. I believe, as a nation, we should be looking to Europe when it comes to business models and sharing scientific expertise.”
Central Suffolk and
Dr Dan Poulter (Conservative)
Profession: NHS mental health doctor
“I am an NHS mental health doctor, live locally near Framlingham, and have been a dedicated and hard-working local MP for Central Suffolk since 2010.
“The majority of people in our area voted to leave the European Union. I respect that decision, so my first priority is to deliver Brexit.
“Let’s end the dither and delay and get Brexit done, so that our country can move on and we can focus on investing in our NHS and in our schools, put more police on our streets, and do more to tackle climate change.
“My local priorities are to protect NHS services at Hartismere Community Hospital, to support our pensioners and to continue to deliver road improvements to the A140 and better broadband services for north Suffolk’s rural communities.”
Emma Bonner-Morgan (Labour)
Age: Not given
Address: Stowmarket, Suffolk
“I’m from a Suffolk farming family and still live in the county. I am a teacher, singer-songwriter, and parent.
“I’m shocked by the impact of austerity on local communities, with big cuts to health, police, fire services, schools, children centres and more.
“Families I know cannot afford to eat. Foodbank use has sky-rocketed. I’ll be a strong voice for our community,especially for those who feel they have no voice at all.
“I’m standing as the Labour candidate in Central Suffolk and North Ipswich because Labour will right the wrongs inflicted by a cruel Tory government. We will immediately raise the living wage to £10 per hour.
“Elderly people will get free personal care at home, while children aged two to four will get free Sure Start nursery care.
“We’ll make sure there are genuinely affordable, warm, low-carbon homes to rent or buy. And we will reinstate local bus services.”
James Sandbach (Lib Dems)
Profession: Director of a national legal advice charity
“I am a town councillor who stood for the Lib Dems in Suffolk Coastal in previous general elections.
“I am director of a national legal advice charity and have held senior management and policy roles in a number of charities and non-governmental organisations, running successful campaigns on disability issues, consumer rights and access to justice, often leading to a change in the law. My priorities are:
l Securing fairer funding for Suffolk schools, the local NHS and social care.
l Climate change and the environment, including working to achieve green towns in Suffolk; encouraging new green businesses and job and community energy schemes; instigating planning reform to ensure developers provide essential local infrastructure with appropriate/affordable local housing, schools, surgeries and community facilities.
l Tackling rural poverty and isolation; encouraging co-location of services in local hubs; investment in bus services (especially east-west county connections) and ensuring households and businesses have access to better broadband.
Dr Dan Pratt (Green Party)
Profession: Teacher and ecologist
Address: Old Post Office, Castle Road, Offton, Ipswich
“The Green Party is the only party that is united against the Ipswich northern bypass. Instead we would focus on sustainable alternatives to large road schemes.
“Our green new deal for transport would:
l Invest £2.5 billion a year on new cycleways and footpaths
l Cancel HS2 and invest in local rail transport
l Restore lost bus routes and open new ones.
The Green Party will tackle the climate emergency in a way that tackles many pressing social issues. For Suffolk, we would:
l Deliver quality of life for all by investing in education, the NHS, and developing housing that is both sustainable and truly affordable
l Create quality jobs for Suffolk in the renewable energy, transport and land management sectors
l Protect the environment by planting 700 million new trees and creating new environments for wildlife
l Provide grants and refocus farming subsidies to help farmers transition to sustainable food production.