THE Parliamentary candidates for the Forest of Dean Constituency have just been released.
Prime Minister Theresa May called for a snap general election to take place on June 8 - three years earlier than scheduled. Mrs May explained that the election was to strengthen her hand in Brexit negotiations.
The six prospective parliamentary candidates in the Forest of Dean are:
Julian Burrett is a 43-year-old businessman from Staunton, Coleford who is a director of several companies. Mr Burrett is also an acclaimed children’s author children’s author whose recent book was ’Emmy and the Whale’, a fantasy adventure of a young girl’s travels with a baby whale. Mr Burrett is standing as an independent candidate.
Janet Ellard is the Liberal Democrat candidate who believes that a penny on income tax would allow the party to invest in improving local NHS services and ensuring the elderly receive the care they deserve and said that to secure the future of the NHS we will all need to chip in a little more.
James Greenwood the Green Party’s candidate said that the Forest is fast becoming a commuter belt area as services are increasingly becoming centralised. Mr Greenwood said the party is keen to keep services and their management local and under the control of the people of the Dean. He added that a number of threats are still affecting the Dean with hydraulic fracturing being the most environmentally destructive.
Mark Harper, the Conservative candidate has represented the Forest of Dean constituency for the past 12 years and has always supported local businesses. He is impressed with the variety of enterprises that have chosen to be based in the Dean. He said the choice is clear: Strong and stable leadership with the Conservatives - or a weak and unstable coalition government led by Labour.
Labour candidate Shaun Stammers said if he were to be elected promises to fight to raise the standard of living across the diverse communities of the Forest. His test will be are ‘working families better off?’ He added that investment is needed in our education system to prepare young people for adulthood in a changing and increasingly technological world.
Ernie Warrender is the UKIP candidate who has previously stood for election in the Weston-super-Mare constituency. Mr Warrender left school with no qualifications and started work during the three-day week in the 1970s, before ending up on an assembly line. He went travelling to Australia and on his return ended up in a squat in London.
He started his own company 25 years ago, and it is now the largest UK-owned company in the South West.
Forest of Dean Constituency result 2015:
Mark HARPER (Con) 23,191
Steve PARRY (Lab) 12,204
Steve STANBURY, (UKIP) 8,792
James GREENWOOD, (Green) 2,703
Christopher COLEMAN, (Lib Dem) 2,630