Election debate: Broadland candidates answer your questions

Question your Election candidates in our Broadland area debate from 7pm - left to right: Stuart Agne

Question your Election candidates in our Broadland area debate from 7pm - left to right: Stuart Agnew (UKIP), Keith Simpson (Conservative), Steve Riley (Lib Dem), Chris Jones (Labour) and Andrew Boswell (Greens). - Credit: Archant

The first of our Election debates with your local candidates saw the Broadland hopefuls answer your questions.

Keith Simpson (Conservative), Chris Jones (Labour), Andrew Boswell (Greens), Steve Riley (Lib Dem) and Stuart Agnew (UKIP) all took part in Monday's debate. You can read the list of questions and answers below.

• We have had lots of questions on housing. Raymond Walpole from Thorpe End asks: 'What will you do to enable more houses to be built to be rented and bought locally?


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This is a very good question. Broadland DC under the Conservatives have already built many houses and most developments now have a mixture of housing with an element of social housing. We need more affordable housing so that young people can get into the housing market.

by Keith Simpson, Conservative

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Hello Raymond, The Green Party policy is to build 500,000 social homes during the next Parliament. This is ambitious but we would fund this by raising tax for companies and the highest earners and cut things which the other parties won't cut eg: Trident (c.£100 billion) and subsidies to oil and gas companies.

I am very concerned by the Conservative policy of selling off social homes in Housing Associations. This won't create more homes for renting but decrease them. It will also transfer housing stock from the social sector to private landlords. The previous Right to Buy under Thatcher has led to the 'Buy to Let' situation in which people have been made millionaires.

We want to see homes for people not for profit.

by Andrew Boswell, Greens

Building more homes is key to relieving the housing crisis we face - it's problems of supply that leave us with housing bubbles and the highest housing costs in Europe. Government can help with this by providing incentives for developers, penalizing those who 'land-bank' development sites, and giving local authorities powers and incentives to expand provision of social housing.

But it's just as important to ensure that they are the right homes - smaller properties and affordable starter homes - that they are in the right places, and that they have adequate infrastructure and support. So we would tighten rules about permissible developments and give local communities more say in what is built and where.

Finally, for communities that accept the responsibility of sensible development we will give powers to allow local people to have priority access to the housing that is built.

by Chris Jones, Labour

There are 2 issues for Broadland, one is the private sector for buying and one for renting. Unfortunately, in Broadland there is no council owned housing and more needs to be done to encourage housing associations to build more houses. The private sector is well known for land banking. For example, having agreements with the planners for building new houses which then do not go ahead whilst waiting for housing prices to rise. We need legislation to ensure this is stopped and proper joined up planning decisions made at Broadland District Council. The Lib Dems nationally have committed to 'help to buy' policies for people that cannot afford to get on the housing ladder and to stimulate house building.

by Steve Riley, Lib Dem

There are many in the constituency utterly opposed to more 'urban sprawl', some of them have moved here from outside the County and in effect added to the problem. I will put pressure on developers who are sitting on undeveloped plots to get on and build the houses. UKIP wants to see brownfield sites being developed before any more greenfield development. Fiscal stimulus will be given by central government for this. I will also lobby for local Norfolk people to be given a priority through 106 agreements.

by Stuart Agnew, UKIP

• Our next question comes from Theresa Carman, who is ‏@theresajcarman on Twitter. She asks: 'Would you consider at least doubling council tax for second home owners? If they can afford a second home they can pay it.

No - it could have an impact on parents who have bought a home for their children

by Keith Simpson, Conservative

The trouble is they can also easily afford a double Council tax in many cases. so it should be at the very least double to have any effect. Proving the definition of a second home may prove tricky. Who actually counts the nights spent there? However this is a step in the right direction and sends out the signal that young people in Norfolk are suffering from the existence of the 'second homer'.

by Stuart Agnew, UKIP

I agree that council tax is one way of tackling underoccupancy, but it can be a blunt instrument to address a complex issue - not all 'second homes' are pure holiday properties or luxuries, they also represent complex patterns of family structure, people moving for employment or study, people with caring and support responsibilities and so on. There are ways of tackling empty homes, some of which are second homes which already attract higher levels of council tax, but it needs to take account of individual circumstances

by Chris Jones, Labour

Theresa, second homes is an important issue in Broadland and other Norfolk constituencies, for example, North Norfolk. Yes, I would certainly want to increase Council Tax on second homes to enable support for services and amenities in rural communities. We also need to ensure that the money goes back into the area from which it is raised (In Norfolk, historically money has been grabbed by other authorities in the area on occasions). However, I think we need to do more than just this fiscal approach to ensure the sustainability of rural communities. This has been a big issue at the County Council at times (where I have been a County Councillor for 10 years). We need to ensure that communities have the resources they need like transport, and school paces etc, and that it can be viable to live in a rural location.

by Andrew Boswell, Greens

The housing shortage in many of our small rural villages is being exasperated by second home holiday use. Therefore a revision of the council tax should be considered and further increases should be applied. Nationally more needs to be done to ensure house building is supported.

by Steve Riley, Lib Dem

• Our final housing question is from D.Daniel who asks on email what you will do to address the uncertainty for families of six or twelve month tenancy agreements and short notice to quit times?

There may be many reasons why people are on short term tenancy agreements - sometimes it will be hard nosed landlords who want a quick turnover and the chance to up their profits. I think their is a strong case to look at the short notice to quit times and that is something that Parliament should consider.

by Keith Simpson, Conservative

Labour would reform rental markets to provide longer-term stability by guaranteeing 3-year tenancies with limits on rent rises. We would also act on letting agent fees which are often a barrier to tenants accessing the market. Rental will always remain an important part of the housing sector and debates which concentrate on owner-occupiers often miss this.

by Chris Jones, Labour

The difficulty here is not making tenancies so secure as to deter landlords from letting in the first place. If a tenant proves to be a 'good tenant' they are in a better position to negotiate a better deal next time around. Remember from a landlords point of view this is not just about maximum rent. A 'good tenant' is well worth having and a mutual trust needs to develop.

by Stuart Agnew, UKIP

Short hold tenancy agreements are extremely unstable and not supportive of families in terms of maintaining their jobs and schooling for children. There needs to be a change in law to give tenants better long term tenancies that will stabilise their lives and give rent security more long term. If elected I will campaign for this.

by Steve Riley, Lib Dem

There are a lot of issues in the private rental housing sector - insecurity of tenure is one of them. I would like to see a review of all the laws relating the private rental housing sector to remove loopholes, and lax legislation, that places people in insecurity. I actually campaigned for that in Norwich at one time when issues of poor tenancies agreements came up in with some residents (as a councillor). The current legislation is too much is favour of landlords.

The Greens would want to see a cap on rents, and also tighter legislation for issues like safety etc in rented homes. Further there should be more incentive for landlords to keep homes up to environmental standards on insulation etc (so homes are warm).

by Andrew Boswell, Greens

• We now move onto education. Jane Gay is a governor of a church school, she wants to know if you think Ofsted should do more to respect the freedoms of church schools, and to end the intrusive questioning of children. Are the candidates concerned that the laws to combat 'extremism' could suppress the right to free speech?

Jane, there is always a balance between free speech and racially or sexually unexceptable comments that are probably already covered by law. Unfortunately we have a number of examples in schools where either teachers , parents or governors have either encouraged inappropriate comments and behaviour and in some cases this has led to bullying and violence. Ofsted have a difficult task to moderate this

by Keith Simpson, Conservative

Free speech is important and we must do all we can to protect it. Equally, we must ensure tolerance and empathy are also taught and therefore a due balance needs to be maintained for the wellbeing of our children. The national curriculum and Ofsted need to ensure that both are equally addressed and that the values of free speech and non-extremist tolerance are maintained.

by Steve Riley, Lib Dem

While I respect the contribution that faith-based schools have made to education for over a century, in our current multi-cultural society I believe they need to show that they can provide balanced and wide-ranging education to all pupils. Only a very small proportion of schools, if any, would ever directly promote extremism but sectarian divides and intolerance often develop in childhood and education has a key role to play in improving understanding between communities. I don't support exclusive faith schools for that reason

by Chris Jones, Labour

Jane, there are three questions here.

1. On intrusive questioning of children. I am not sure how that relates to OFSTED. However, it is unacceptable in any context. So where there have been any any inappropriate questioning by OFSTED, I would want to see that investigated and check and balances put into their procedures.

2. On Church schools. I am not clear of the premise of your question. However, all schools should be treated equally by OFSTED. Again, if this is infringed, then it should be investigated and checks and balances put in place.

3. There is a balance between 'FREE SPEECH' and laws to protect us. I believe that responsibility comes with free speech. If we want to keep free speech, we should use it responsibly.

by Andrew Boswell, Greens

The right to free speech is paramount. Opinions should not be banned, but certain actions and activities should be banned. Incitement to behave badly is not opinion, albeit it is speech and we must always strive to maintain the line we have drawn on this issue in the UK. I am not sure at what point a question becomes 'intrusive' and neither will others. I fully support the concept of Church schools.

by Stuart Agnew, UKIP

• Nikki Kemp from Rackheath is a single mum of two, her eldest is doing GCSEs.

She will be going to 6th form college to study A-levels until she is 18. They live miles from any school, but Norfolk County council does not offer free public transport for this age group. She would like to know if you think it is outrageous to expect the parents of 16 year olds to have to find at least £350 extra each year for a bus pass, on top of any books.

I do think this is a real imposition but at present the County Council is strapped for cash and I expect they decided that, unfortunately, they had other priorities. The answer maybe that children who live over a certain distance would be eligible to a free or partially subsidised pass.

by Keith Simpson, Conservative

Yes I do. This came up at an election hustings at Fakenham Academy and I was surprised and disturbed to hear about it. It seems plain sensible that pupils who are still at school should continue to get the equivalent of child concessions on public transport if not entirely free transport.

On an associated point, I also know of a family in this position who are entitled to help with the fares, but who had to pay up front for a season ticket and waited several months for reimbursement. I would certainly support calls for the system to be reformed.

by Chris Jones, Labour

Yes, 6th College students and Further Education students should have transport costs provided. I have voted against the cuts to the transport subsidy every time it has been cuts in budgets at County Hall. The Greens would support students in studying by reinstating transport support, but also nationally removing other financial burden such as fees: we have costed how this can be done in our manifesto. Essentially greater taxing of companies and higher earners, and cutting things like the £100 billion Trident project would enable more money to fund education and other socially beneficial public services. Unfortunately, issues like education transport won't be solved without a major change of direction away from austerity cuts.

by Andrew Boswell, Greens

I know this to be true from personal experience of my own daughter. In her case the sum is £560. This does not support young people in further education and especially with parents who are on low incomes. Lib Dems nationally have committed to ensuring that all children of this age will be supplied with a travel card with a two thirds discount irrespective of what the local authority will or will not pay for. It is essential that this policy is brought into being to support our young people, otherwise many will not be able to afford their further education.

by Steve Riley, Lib Dem

I would say that it is highly unsatisfactory, rather than outrageous. I cannot guarantee to change this, but will there be many others from Rackheath in the same position ? If so a lift sharing scheme might be possible to reduce this cost. In the long term the planned development near Rackheath would include a school, but that is too late in this case ? The financial pressure NCC is real, with further cuts coming.

by Stuart Agnew, UKIP

• We move onto infrastructure...How will you promote the construction of the NDR and A47 improvements so that accompanying road closures and improvements provide safe cycling and walking routes to schools, Broadland Business Park and the Broads countryside?

I have campaigned tirelessly since I was first elected as MP for the A47 to be dualled and at last we seem to have a promise from the Coalition government to begin this, especially along the Lingwood section - this is crucial for road safety and economic growth. I support the NDR and certainly think we should integrate cycle routes which are safe and provide transport other than cars.

by Keith Simpson, Conservative

The decision on the NDR is expected in June. If approved, the next stage is to seriously consider all practical aspects that you have listed. I want the NDR to be a success and therefore will push hard for these details to be properly planned so that we can all live in safety around it whilst construction is under way.

by Stuart Agnew, UKIP

It is important that our local communities bordering on and around the NDR are properly consulted and involved in this and any development as it could have detrimental effects for that community. However, at the moment, if developers are turned down at the planning committee they have as right of appeal and local parish councils and residents do not. This is unjust and not a level playing field. Therefore I will campaign nationally to change the planning law to give residents better rights and for right of appeal on planning decisions so the development is planned for communities first.

by Steve Riley, Lib Dem

The A47 is a vital road link not only for Broadland but for Norfolk as a whole: despite the controversies the NDR offers a real chance to improve traffic systems around Norwich and a viable SE/NW route where none currently exists. I believe both are important for economic development and for local communities and I support both of them.

One of the benefits of well-planned through routes is the opportunity they give for other road users such as cyclists to benefit both from the planning of the scheme itself and the beneficial effects on other local routes and Norfolk County Council certainly needs to maximise the benefits in this way

by Chris Jones, Labour

First, I have been a major opponent to the NDR, so I hope that it will not be built. I believe that safe cycling would be more supported by developing the transport network around public transport and using the saved funding to invest more in safe cycling.

However, if NDR is built, there certainly is potential to try to maximise safe walking and cycling routes. Some of this came up at the public Inquiry last summer (which I attended). I raised concerns that the road will cut off some obvious routes. I will, as MP and County Cllr, continue to fight for good routes.

by Andrew Boswell, Greens

• From roads to Broadband....Robert Darcy, who is @beightonbob on Twitter, asks: Is it acceptable that villages like mine (Beighton near Acle) won't get faster broadband, not even 2Mb, but have to pay for others to get 50Mb+?

The roll-out of superfast broadband has failed communities like yours. Regulators need to use the powers they have to require providers to reach out to the 'final 5%'. Connectivity is going to become even more important as time goes on and the current system is failing rural consumers badly. Improving this is one of the key pledges in Labour's rural manifesto.

by Chris Jones, Labour

It is unacceptable - the government has been pressurising the providers to speed up the delivery and accept their are sparsity priorities as well as the criteria of going for urban areas, I have been working with other Norfolk MPs on this not least because like you we have an awful signal in Reepham! Providers now know that they will have to move quickly on this.

by Keith Simpson, Conservative

As a Norfolk County councillor, I have been involved in lobbying Government and then the telecoms companies for the best possible Broadband and mobile coverage in Norfolk. Norfolk has got a project which is rolling out Broadband into rural areas (with both Government and Council funding of several millions). The battle now is to push the telecoms companies to do the right thing and bring in new technology for the most hard to reach places.

I believe that we have to keep on pushing, and this is a role that MPs and Councillors can take a strong role. I intend to do that and won't be satisfied until we have 100% coverage.

by Andrew Boswell, Greens

No. This is not acceptable. It is vital that all areas such as yours Robert are connected up with the best possible broadband speed. If elected, I have already said to residents at hustings I have attended, that I will mount a campaign with the service providers to bring about faster broadband service for all. I believe that this is exactly what a hardworking, full time campaigning MP should be doing for Broadland.

by Steve Riley, Lib Dem

it isn't fair, but there are alternatives. Abandoning BT going ion the mobile phone networks using a 'dongle' will get you up to 40 Mb on a pay as you go basis. This at least gets you the power you need.I would like to see BT put under pressure to roll out a program for more copper wires under a system of targets. This is a subject where technology will keep making the latest idea redundant.

by Stuart Agnew, UKIP

• One of the big energy issues, Steve Bushby from Great Ryburgh is concerned about fracking and the risk of water contamination. He asks if you object to or support fracking and why?

It;s tempting to take a precautionary view and rule fracking out completely but in my view that would be irresponsible when we know that we are facing serious energy security problems in the coming decades, and when the alternative to gas is often coal which is far more polluting and damaging. But we don't yet know enough about the potential risks - that's why the Labour Party demanded 13 separate safeguards be added to the Infrastructure Bill earlier this year and why we won;t agree to proceeding with fracking until those are in place. Ultimately we may decide that the risks are too great but it would premature to do that until we know more about the risks and benefits.

by Chris Jones, Labour

Given that we are under mounting pressure to find every source of energy, and preferably within the UK for energy security I am in favour of allowing exploratory fracking which is tightly controlled by legislation - the unavoidable consequences of fracking which might occur - like subsidence and water pollution must be carefully monitored. I don't think we have the geological proflle for fracking to take place here in Broadland.

by Keith Simpson, Conservative

Yes, the Green Party is the only party to stand up completely against fracking. There are many reasons, and water contamination and disruption to communities where fracking takes place is one. I am concerned too that fracking opens up an entirely new form of fossil fuel extraction, just at the time when we need to minimise fossil fuel use (leave them in the ground!). I don't accept the argument that fracking is required as a transition technology to move to renewables. This is false. last year, we reached the point where renewable energy infrastructure exceeded fossil fuel infrastructure for the first time (as reported by Bloomberg last week). In other words, we are past the tipping point of transitioning to a renewables future. Rather than more fossil fuels, we need to take away fossil fuel subsidies and invest in the future - true renewables - like solar and offshore wind.

by Andrew Boswell, Greens

I support the technology of hydraulic fracturing which has been used in the UK for some time without harmful effects. The present EU energy policy delivering us very expensive energy with turbines, solar farms and large scale AD plants will drive industrial investors away from the UK. Shale gas is a cheap source of energy and far safer than coal mining. UKIP wants the profits from shale gas exploration to remain here and fund a sovereign wealth to benefit the the elderly in care.

by Stuart Agnew, UKIP

The country as a whole needs a secure energy supply which needs better central government planning. However, we must ensure that our environment is also protected. Therefore, the Lib Dems have in this last parliament brought in practical measures to support green energy to protect our environment. I believe that this is the way forward with proper investment and new technology research. At the end of the day, fracking is really an unknown quantity, potentially damaging to our environment and is still fossil fuel. Lib Dems are also proposing environmental bill to protect our environment.

by Steve Riley, Lib Dem

• What will each of you do to press for out of town bus routes to run for longer to cover modern day working hours in 2015?

I can press them, but the operators will need to make a profit. If enough people commit to use the extra services they will do this. I am pleased to see that the experiment on the West Norfolk rail line for a late service from London is being continued due to adequate and sustained support.

by Stuart Agnew, UKIP

This question has been raised with me before and in some cases the bus companies have put on more services and later - but there must be an uptake otherwise they will not continue. There has to be an element in any contract but it will cost and NCC is constrained by the extent of its subsisidies. One option is to have hopper buses and in some cases local communities have provided a service.

by Keith Simpson, Conservative

We do need out of town bus routes to run for longer and additionally more buses in rural locations. I intend to campaign for better funding and provision to meet this need. If we rely upon local commercial bus companies to do this without government and local government support it will never happen. This nettle needs to be grasped and campaigned on locally and nationally. This is something I am totally committed to doing.

by Steve Riley, Lib Dem

A key Labour pledge at this election is giving local communities more control over local planning, and re-regulating bus services to allow local people to have control over this is one of the specific issues covered. The wider issue is that rural connectivity and rural services are not prioritized by pure market-based policies, so Labour's plans to reform markets so that they work for people, rather than for people for markets, are vital for rural communities. It applies to bus routes, broadband, off-grid energy supplies and many other rural services.

by Chris Jones, Labour

We need to have a joined policy on public transport in Norfolk. I have been sad to see the Park and Ride funding wound down by County Hall (I opposed this as a councillor), and the service level decline as a result. Essentially, we need to prioritise funding into public transport - and this is Green Party policy - we would do this. To get greater service coverage, we need to take more control of the services, so that the providers and Councils work via a Quality Service agreement under the Local Transport Act. This would enable the Council to control fares and routes. Effectively, this would take the services more into public control, and that is the way to ensure service rather than profit is prioritised.

by Andrew Boswell, Greens

• We now move onto health...Robert Darcy asks: How are parties going to persuade new doctors to work at GPs, particularly in rural areas?

Alot will depend on the package being offered by an GP surgery and that will partly depend on the numbers of people who are on their books. Some young GPs do not want to work in rural practices believing, falsely, that these practices are not at the cutting edge of health care. But I know those who welcome the chance to come and be part of a genuine local community where they are appreciated.

by Keith Simpson, Conservative

One of Labour's 5 key pledges is to give the NHS 'Time to Care' with £2.5bn investment, including 8 000 new GP posts, funded primarily from the tax on high-value houses.

It needs a range of approaches. general practice recruitment has dropped (not just rurally) over the last few years but the un-reported story is that retention has fallen even faster. So providing job-satisfaction and attractive posts is key to this. Rural areas have unique selling points in terms of quality of life and generally have less of a problem than inner-city and urban practices.

As an NHS doctor (though not in primary care) I see the effects of rock-bottom morale and recruitment and retention problems across all specialities. Valuing staff and providing decent investment in services is the key to turning round failing services

by Chris Jones, Labour

This strikes me as part of a wider issue of rural communities and making them sustainable and making it attractive to live in them. I don't think there is an easy answer, but clearly greater funding of the NHS is needed (as identified by Simon Stevens), and there needs to be more local control too. In the debate of the NHS, we need to make sure that all forms of medical practice are treated as equally valuable, and ensure that rural locations get the funding to attract doctors and create thriving surgeries. Some people like to live in rural areas for the quality of life, so barriers in terms of pay and funding need to be resolved to attract them.

by Andrew Boswell, Greens

This is complex. However, one overriding factor seems to be incentive. Just as in the case of shortages for professionals in the commercial field of business, a better package and pay incentive is needed to attract more GPs to our rural areas. Also, there needs to be guaranteed funding for the NHS nationally. The Lib Dems are the only party that have agreed the £8 billion of investment which has been asked for by NHS Chiefs. This has been fully costed and will help to support GP surgeries.

by Steve Riley, Lib Dem

My personal experience doesn't convince me that your premise is correct. UKIP wishes to ease the strain on our health service, by insisting that all migrants to this country have purchased five years worth of health insurance before they arrive. The NHS must approve the provider of this insurance.

Most of us agree that GPs are well paid and that this should not be a reason for not wanting to live in rural Norfolk

by Stuart Agnew, UKIP

• Graeme McLean from Acle thinks MPs have a responsible job - whether it is helping a constituent, supporting a local campaign or taking part in debates and legislation. There are members' bars at Westminster which have upon occassion caused members to be assisted into taxis or become violent. Is it appropriate for members undertaking such important duties to have access to licenced premises during their working hours? If so, would they support such facilities for school and hospital staff?

I have to confess that I've never visited the House of Commons so perhaps I don't understand the need for such facilities but I agree that to an outsider it seems bizarre that a place of work should provide these sort of social facilities. It's perfectly sensible for workplaces to provide some sort of canteen facility, and there may be arguments for some limited hospitality facilities for visitors but I don't see why Parliament should double up as a social club

by Chris Jones, Labour

There are a range of bars in Parliament which are frequented by MPs, staff, reporters and visiting constituents. The argument for having canteens and restaurants and bars on the premises is that on many occasions - -particularly in the evening - votes can come at any time - you have eight minutes to get there.Yes, there have been occasions when MPs have become 'tired and emotional' but fewer than the press make out - and of course they have their own well stocked bar in the Press Gallery!

by Keith Simpson, Conservative

Graeme, I believe that we should expect our elected representatives to behave well in all situations. I am not sure that removing bars from the House of Commons would help. Parliament is a large complex with thousands of people working in the area, so I don't think that bars should be removed. However, I see no benefit in introducing them to places like hospitals.

On matters like the ones you address - about inappropriate behaviour - I believe we need to address these at a more holistic level to do with how people value themselves. Someone who gets drunk enough to be violent probably doesn't value themselves a great deal, and needs help at that level.

by Andrew Boswell, Greens

The bars in the House of Commons have been a long tradition, however, a tradition that should have been ended a long time ago! You are correct, in the real world of work you just simply would not have this being allowed and this needs reform. I am standing to be a different kind of MP in Broadland that will not take a second job to be a full time MP only working for voters that have elected me in a principal way. I also intend to set up satellite surgeries to support communities better, an MP that is seen and known by all for his hard work.

by Steve Riley, Lib Dem

UKIP has a policy of 'MP recall'. If I as your MP was to regularly be poured into a taxi from the Commons bar and attracted justified but unwelcome personal criticism for unsocial activities, you would have the right to initiate a petition to remove me from my seat. Certain time limits and thresholds would apply, but if I deserved it, you could fire me.

by Stuart Agnew, UKIP

• And finally - with just a few hours to go until voter registration closes, now is your chance to persuade reluctant voters why they should make sure they can cast a vote on May 7.

People in this country fought and died for the right to vote - people round the world still do - so I find it incredible that some still don't use this hard-won right. Politics affects every aspect of our lives, things that we all have views and opinions about, and only by voting to we get a say in the decisions. Not to vote is in effect to say you're happy for someone else, someone you don't even know, to make those decisions for you.

I think this is such an important issue that I would support compulsory voting, as many countries have, with the safeguard of a 'none of the above' option for those who really can't support any candidate - but to people in that position I would say, if none of the candidates represent your views then get stuck in yourself - it's only by campaigning, and standing, and voting, that we can change our society for the better.

by Chris Jones, Labour

This is a very important election - you will want to look at all the political parties and think what they are offering for you and your family if they form government. The Coalition saved the country from bankruptcy brought on by Labour's financial profilagacy - don't let them do it again! Vote Conservative if you want an economy which can fund the NHS, education and all our public services. Labour supported by the SNP would bankrupt the country and destroy our United Kingdom.

by Keith Simpson, Conservative

A vote for the Green Party is a vote for a positive change, and for a progressive future.

The Greens value putting people and the environment before profit. We want to see a society which is fair and has opportunities for everyone.

Green MPs would fight to make the Government more progressive. We would not support austerity, and work to scrap Trident and end subsidies for the fossil fuel industry. We would seek to end privatisation in transport, the NHS and Education, and bring these important services back into public control. If a Labour-led government is form, then we would not go into coalition, but we would support such a Government forming, and subsequently challenge it on an issue by issue basis.

Do check out our manifesto and web pages to find out more. We have fully costed policies across the board of issues -for social justice and environmental protection.

by Andrew Boswell, Greens

'When good men do nothing, evil prospers' a famous writer said. Democracy is precious, get involved with decisions that affect your future. Remember women died to give their gender the right to vote. Smaller Parties have a better chance to influence events this time round and votes for them will not be wasted. Don't hang back, get involved!

by Stuart Agnew, UKIP

This is voters' only chance for the next 5 years to help shape and form what goes on in our country and the vote that we all now have was hard won and fought for by our forefathers and mothers. However, I can understand why voters are fed up with some MPs who seem to be more concerned with their expenses and second jobs. I am standing in this election to be a different kind of MP for Broadland, one that will not take on a second job, will work with and for residents to support them, especially in terms of bureaucracy. I know from my experience that more can be done for Broadland in terms of better paid jobs, support for residents facing bad planning and much more.

by Steve Riley, Lib Dem

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