With General Election day looming next Thursday (December 12), the four candidates for the Louth & Horncastle constituency have set out their stalls to try and convince the public to give them their vote in six days time. In alphabetical order, let’s meet the candidates...
• Victoria ATKINS (Conservative)
“It has been my privilege to represent Louth and Horncastle in Parliament since 2015.
It is a responsibility that I take very seriously, particularly at such an important time in our nation’s history. We must act on the result of the Referendum and leave the EU. I have voted consistently to deliver Brexit and will continue to do so if re-elected. Only a Conservative government can deliver this and Boris Johnson will have my full support in passing his deal through Parliament.
Locally, over the last four years I have focused on issues that matter to constituents.
For example, a new county medical school and £21m more for Boston Pilgrim will help to address some of the concerns about healthcare.
Many more homes and businesses have access to better broadband following my lobbying of Openreach and others. Mablethorpe will benefit from millions of pounds in investment from Government. Our schools and police are receiving a fairer share of national funding.
I have hosted jobs fairs to boost employment, older people’s fairs to tackle loneliness and public meetings on broadband, Louth Hospital and flooding, as well as ‘Meet Victoria’ events across the constituency.
If re-elected, I will continue to represent our area with gusto. I will continue to promote local businesses, campaign for improved flood defences and roads infrastructure, as well as encouraging efforts to help the environment. I care deeply about improving health and social care in our area: I will continue to work for better provision of GP and dental services and hold NHS Trusts to account about our vital Louth Hospital.
Our economy needs to thrive, however, to pay for our public services - and I will support sensible economic management by the Conservatives.”
• Ellie GREEN (Labour)
Ellie Green, who grew up in Chapel St Leonards, says she will be hoping to: “raise the profile of our area, highlight locally important issues, and make the case for a transformative Labour government” at the general election next week.
Ellie attended Skegness Grammar School, and later graduated from the University of East Anglia with a degree in English Literature, before moving to Louth.
She has worked locally as a library assistant, a retail assistant, a broadcaster, a proof-reader, and as an accounting assistant for Oxfam.
She stood as the Labour candidate for Louth St Mary’s ward in the district council elections earlier this year, and in her spare time away from the campaign trail she enjoys swimming and walking her dog, Barley.
Ellie told this newspaper: “I grew up as the child of teachers and the grandchild of an NHS worker. I’ve seen the importance of a great NHS and education in our country, and I’ve seen how much better off our country is under a Labour government that properly looks after NHS hospitals, staff, patients, schools, teachers and pupils.
“I’ve worked for a Job Centre and seen the hardships caused by Universal Credit; I believe in a fairer, more hands-on system to properly help people get back into work, rather than one that penalises them.
“I want to provide proper protection to our local environment, such as the wonders of our chalk streams, the Lincolnshire Wolds, and the coastal beaches that I grew up with.”
She added: “I’ve seen the divisions caused in our society by Brexit, and I want people to have a real choice: if we leave the EU, it should be with a deal that protects jobs, rights and the environment.”
• Peter HILL (Official Monster Raving Loony Party)
Peter Hill will be standing under the name ‘The Iconic Arty-Pole’ at next week’s general election.
Peter said: “I have lived in Great Carlton for nearly 20 years where I’m chairman of the parish council.
“In my 72 years, work experience includes employment as a design draftsman, salesman and marketing manager in the manufacturing and engineering industries, plus involvement in self-sufficiency from the 1970s.
“I have written for magazines and catalogued for auction houses, and I have even worked as a film extra.
“We need to reverse the privatisation of health, care, police, ambulance, fire and prison services.
“I have been actively supporting the ‘Fighting 4 Louth Hospital’ campaign from the beginning.
“Renewable energy: with solar/wind being variable, the only predictable system is tidal.
“We need to install tide generators to the bases of all offshore windmills, the infrastructure already being there.
“Education: concentrate on reading and numeracy, as with these skills you can read and learn.
“We need to manufacture more for ourselves. This also applies to farmers, fair/fixed prices at the farm gate, and cutting our imports.
“Reduce business rates, incentivising companies to train young people.
“High speed broadband to all areas by fibre, as the 5G system’s long and short term side effects are unknown.
“Finally, increase the state pension; free parking in towns; close tax loopholes, and ban zero hours contracts.”
• Ross PEPPER (Liberal Democrats)
Ross Pepper will contest the parliamentary seat for the Lib Dems in next week’s general election.
Ross, who lives in Lincoln and is a project administrator for a marketing and design agency, fought the Lincoln constituency in 2015 before contesting the Sleaford and North Hykeham seat in the 2016 by-election where he secured third place, behind the Conservatives and UKIP and ahead of the Labour Party.
He contested the seat again six months later in the 2017 snap general election, coming third behind the Conservatives and Labour.
Ross, who is born and bred in Lincolnshire, said: “I am delighted to be standing for the Liberal Democrats in Louth and Horncastle.
“The people deserve the chance to reject the Tories damaging Brexit, and a vote for the Liberal Democrats will be just that.
“I also continue to be concerned that Lincolnshire is being let down by this Conservative government.
“Our NHS continues to struggle locally with cuts and staffing issues, our schools are facing huge cuts in their budgets, which is likely to lead to fewer teachers in our classrooms, and our local businesses and farming sector face an uncertain future over Brexit.
“The European election result in May saw the Tories narrowly avoid being pushed into third by the Lib Dems, while Labour’s Brexit position was clearly rejected as they finished fifth in the local area.
“It shows that if people want to send a clear message to stop Brexit that the Liberal Democrats are in the best position to do that in Louth and Horncastle. I urge voters across this constituency to support me on December 12.”