My personal manifesto for Daventry constituency
Originally published by Andrew Simpson
Electing a new MP should be about who is going to be the best person to stand up for the needs of the area it shouldn't really be about Brexit or because a person wears a certain coloured rosette.
I have stood for Parliament a number of times and I have always said that my objective if elected would be to be a good constituency MP. To demonstrate to the people who put their trust in me by voting for me that I could make a difference to their lives.
It has been something that motivated me to get involved in politics in the first place and got me to join the Liberal Democrats as I felt that the Labour & Conservative parties were largely driven by self-interest.
I also believe that you do not have to accept that things always have to be the same and that actually we can 'create a better world' and that sometimes just tackling the 'small things' in life can lead to changes for the better.
Unless we stand up and challenge things then nothing will change and people's voices will be lost.
Our area faces some real challenges in the future.
We live in a predominantly rural area but are seeing massive developments in terms of new housing and the expansion of logistics business due to our proximity to the M1 and the West Coast mainline.
Daventry town is surrounded by more affluent villages which disguises the fact that some of the areas in the town are high in urban deprivation. Lack of investment in the urban communities is leaving some people to feel left behind particularly when new developments do not come hand in hand with better public services.
In the rural areas the challenges to farming and the needs of the farming community are getting over looked and leading to a real strain on the rural economy.
Local villages are also seeing the closure of shops/Post Offices and pubs as shopping and social habits change. Public services seem to be getting more remote as we have lost Police Officers and seen health services become more centralised.
Yet these facilities are often key to creating a community to live in.
The failure of our Conservative run County Council and the lack of a proactive District Council means local services have become further remote and unresponsive in people's lives. No wonder more and more people feel let down by politicians and authorities.
I would see my job as your MP to start to address this by standing up for the constituency and its interests.
I would aim to be:
- A campaigning MP
- Making sure that issues that affected the lives of the people here were at the forefront of my work and that residents were involved and engaged in matter that were affecting their area. To me this means campaigning all the time to bring about change for the better and making sure people are informed as to what is happening.
- A communicating MP
- I would hold regular surgeries and maintain an office in the constituency so that I could be available for residents as much as possible and make sure support is there when I am not around.
- I would produce an Annual Report that I would provide to all homes in the constituency which would outline what work I have been doing on behalf of local residents. Part of that would be to regularly survey the area and to establish clearly what issues are affecting people. I would encourage feedback from residents almost like an 'annual appraisal' of my work.
- A community MP
- An MP should be a visible part of the community and I would aim to do an annual tour of the constituency where I visit community events or meetings and play my role as much as a residents and not just as an elected representative. I would also try and promote community events and support the development of community run services, shops and pubs.
There are key issues that I think will impact on people's lives here in the next few years:
- The proposed creation of the new Unitary Council in 2020.
- The West Northampstonshire Strategic Plan - proposals for housing development and infrastructure changes up to 2050. A further big expansion in house building.
- The impact of climate change on our environment - more extreme weather will affect all of us.
- The crisis in social care as the population gets older - we need proper support in every community.
- Support for our farming industry and standing up for their interests in the face of real damage if Britain leaves the EU and danger from increased competition from countries accepting lower food and animal welfare standards.
My job, if elected as your MP, would be to ensure that these challenges are met and to seek solutions that improve the lives of the people living here and the communities we live in.
Please give me your support to do that on 12th December.