The final instalment of our election candidate coverage sees us speak to the five people vying to represent the Newbury constituency in the House of Commons.
Richard Benyon has held the seat since 2005 and will once again be going up against Judith Bunting, Paul Field and David Yates, along with new challenger Alex Skirvin.
We have asked each candidates to sum up what they would do for the area should they be elected. Please note some of the candidates responded before last week’s terrorist attack in Manchester.
Richard Benyon, Conservative
This election came when I was particularly focussing on ending rough sleeping in West Berkshire and on improving the help we give to those suffering from mental illness.
I need your support to see these and other projects through.
Brexit is a central theme to this election. It really is a simple choice. Either Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn will be leading the negotiations for the UK’s exit from the EU.
As a “remainer” I have always advocated a close relationship with our European neighbours. I am also a democrat. This means I accept the result of the referendum and strongly support Theresa May’s determination to secure a good deal for the UK.
Judith Bunting, Liberal Democrat
They worry about the terrible cuts to services in our area, cuts that our own MP supported when they went through parliament.
If I am elected, I will fight the cuts to funding for our schools, the college and post-16 skills training. I will protect our local NHS and local services.
I have a vision for Newbury and it does not involve allowing our area to drift into becoming a dormitory town for Reading.
I really value the cultural and rural heritage, here. There is fantastic potential for us to build on our established platform as a high-tech hub, to become a centre for innovation.
Let’s nurture our small businesses and start-up sector. Let’s take care of our community, not cut it back to the bone.
Paul Field, Green
We need MPs who put people and principles before party. MPs who want a fair economy, not a system loaded in favour of a small group at the top.
MPs prepared to tackle why people, including those in work, are using food banks or sleeping rough.
It’s no accident so many young people support the Greens. We are the only party that gives priority to their future.
As a headteacher, I am committed to the creation of tomorrow’s great citizens. They won’t have much of a future if we continue trashing the planet, pricing them out of a decent education, depriving them of a chance to fulfil their potential.
The horrific events in Manchester last week showed what the politics of hate and fear look like. Let’s work together to offer the politics of hope.
Alex Skirvin, Labour
In the shadow of the Manchester bombing, as our thoughts go out to the victims and their families, we must all campaign with respect for opposing views, because only by regarding people who disagree with us as opponents and not enemies can our democracy flourish.
I am asking for a vote for our policies, a vote to support a dignified old age, defend the NHS and properly fund education.
I believe no one should have to sell their home to pay for the bad luck of being ill and frail in old age – the dementia tax that Theresa May proposed, then dodged and fudged.
Labour will increase funding by £3bn in the first year for social care, and build a consensus on a new national care service, to end the lottery that may see West Berks’ elderly paying for their care with their homes.
Our polices do ‘what it says on the tin’.
We’ll stick by them.
David Yates, Apolitical
I am calling for the Treasury (not the banks) to start issuing our money. By taking control of our money supply, we can afford all the things that we want without the banks siphoning off our wealth: fully funded NHS, social care and education; decent wages and housing; investment in clean energy and infrastructure; and pensions to retire on in dignity.
Such an initiative would completely remove the hold the banks have over the nation, and would kickstart a productive and fair economy.
The government has been in collusion with the banks and we have been double crossed. Every vote for me is a shout out to parliament to listen.
A short video to explain this concept will be on apolitical.org.uk soon.