WATCH: Who is standing in the General Election 2017 in Waveney and why do they think you should vote for them?
PUBLISHED: 18:48 06 June 2017 | UPDATED: 21:31 06 June 2017
We asked the general election candidates in Waveney to tell us why you should vote for them on Thursday, June 8. We also invited them to submit videos outlining their three priorities. This is what they said:
Peter Aldous (Conservative)
“It’s been a privilege to have been Waveney’s MP for the past seven years. In that time much has been achieved, such as securing funding for the Third Crossing of Lake Lothing.
“I’d like to complete the work that has started not only on the Third Crossing, but also the Lowestoft Flood Defence Scheme, the Beccles Southern Relief Road and the rollout of broadband to all properties, as well as to continue to campaign for further improvements to the roads and railways to Waveney.
“Much of this election is about Brexit and the need to get the best deal for the UK. Theresa May has a clear strategy for the negotiations that will start 11 days after the polling stations close.
“Brexit provides significant opportunities for the local fishing and farming industries, which are so important to our area.
“I will lobby hard to get the best deal for them. There is a one-off opportunity, which we must not squander, to revitalise the Lowestoft fishing industry.
“There have been improvements in recent years in local education and health services, but more needs to be done and I’d continue to work with the NHS, schools and colleges to deliver high quality services, attracting the best staff, ensuring that older people obtain the care that they need and that the necessary investment is made in mental health services.
“If re-elected, I shall continue “to put Waveney first in Westminster.”
Sonia Barker (Labour)
“I am Suffolk born and bred and have lived and worked in Waveney for over 30 years. I am married with a daughter, Charlotte.
“I gained a degree through the OU whilst working full time, then got my teaching qualification from the UEA.
“I have been a teacher and examiner across high schools in Waveney as well as a NHS advocate and a Samaritan, giving me a wide experience of young people, families and their needs.
“I am the leader of the Labour Group on Waveney District Council, having been elected as leader for the fourth year running.
“I have been a Suffolk County Councillor for Pakefield as well as the Labour spokesperson for education and skills in Suffolk.
“I was vice chair of the county council education and children’s services scrutiny committee, a position that I was voted on to for four years by cross party councillors.
“I was also part of a joint chairs and vice chairs scrutiny project across health and education which looked at the provision of services for adolescent mental health, the evidence of which went to the Parliamentary Select Committee.
“I have supported a wide range of local organisations as diverse as the Lowestoft Festival, Kessingland Arts Project, Park Run, The Seagull Theatre, Message on the Ball, Baby Basics, Foodbanks and the creation of the Gunton Woodland Burial Park.
“To relax I enjoy live music, the theatre and cinema. I have been a film extra and a DJ on Blyth Valley Radio.”
Allyson Barron (Independent)
“I was born and raised in Rhodesia / Zimbabwe and lived with my family in South Africa as a young adult, wife and mother , through the political conflicts of the countries.
“That has equipped me with a wider understanding of life and politics.
“I’m now choosing to use this experience without prejudice or discrimination to truthfully represent Waveney constituents at Westminster.
“Since arrival in the UK 2000 I have played a positive active role in local government clearly demonstrating our voice of our communities of Waveney deserve a rightful place for the betterment of us all.
“I’ve been a Suffolk County Councillor and a Waveney District Councillor and was elected unopposed to Lowestoft Town Council this May.
“I’ve been a business owner, was employed NHS up to December 2016 and am passionate about grassroots development and empowerment of families with a wide range of community work, including chairperson up to April 2017 of Signpost East Suffolk supporting the implementation of the successful projects such as FoodBank East Suffolk and Dreamworx Youth Projects.
“Being a wife and mother of three grown children, they are my inspiration as I believe so too are each and every family and person who deserve honest and fair representation especially regarding the matters that will effect all more so at this historic time.
“Being Independent enables the voice of Waveney to be fairly represented at Westminster without party political restrictions , yes indeed every family matters!”
Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw (Green)
“I live in Beccles with my husband and two children I am an active member of my local community and this has been recognised in my recent win in the county council elections.
“I am eager to listen carefully to what people have to say and then find solutions that benefit us all.
“Waveney is always in my heart and I have a particular love of Lowestoft and its beautiful and often underestimated beaches.
“I want to be part of creating a more equal, sustainable and compassionate world and this led me to join the Green Party in 2013.
“I am particularly concerned with how are public services are being run. Our school children and teachers are suffering from top down imposed tests and standards which threaten to destroy creative thinking.
“Mental health issues have risen in our schools without the resources to help those that suffer.
“Waveney has experienced its share of cuts to healthcare with community based hospitals closing and a potentially dangerous situation at the James Paget.
“We have a whole generation of families and individuals unable to find secure and affordable housing despite paying record amounts in rent which in many cases leads to relative poverty and a struggle to pay for food and other essential services.”
Jacky Howe (Liberal Democrat)
“I was the parliamentary candidate for South Norfolk for the last 3 General Elections and last year had an extremely high profile as the Norfolk Lib Dem candidate in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections.
“Since moving to Norfolk in 1996 I have been very active in the local community serving on North Norfolk District Council and the County Council.
“At district level I was instrumental in setting up, and then Chairing, the North Norfolk Housing Trust. Now Victory Housing, this has transformed the housing of its tenants, spending millions on bringing their homes up to modern standards, and building much needed new affordable homes.
“As a county councillor, I was Deputy Leader of the Lib Dem Group and served on the Adult Social Services, Audit, Health Overview and Scrutiny Committees.
“I am delighted to have been asked to stand as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Waveney and use my knowledge of the community through my political career, my earlier experience as a banker and management consultant together with my experience as a development director to several socially focused Housing Associations.
“Liberal Democrats believe in a fair and even handed society but that seems to be sorely lacking in our current Government.
“I’ve never seen a more heartless, nasty and cruel policy, than the Dementia Tax. First it was removing the free school meals introduced by the Liberal Democrats and now forcing vulnerable, elderly people to sell their homes to pay for care is disgraceful.”
Bert Poole (UKIP)
“I was born in Great Yarmouth and spent my working life as a seagoing engineer with P&O Shipping, before coming ashore to work for IBM as a customer engineer.
“i was chairman of Lound Parish Council for four years, and elected to Suffolk County Council in 2013 where I served on the health scrutiny committee for Suffolk, the Great Yarmouth and Waveney health scrutiny committee, pension fund committee, audit committee and the development and control committee.
“Locally more than 63pc voted to leave the EU in last year’s referendum. This was only possible because of the efforts of UKIP over an extended period.
Whole industries have been seen to go to the wall without being replaced with many thousands of highly-skilled, highly paid jobs being lost and destroying communities, all sacrificed on the altar of political expediency in order to prop up the false edifice of the EU.
“Locally, fishing, shipbuilding, canning, coachworks and others have all been affected. We need more jobs for those people who have houses, not more houses for people who do not have jobs.”