The Express asked each candidate running to be Lewes’ MP why people should vote for them in the General Election on December 12.
Below are statements from each candidate. The nomination period closed at 4pm on Thursday, November 14. The deadline to register to vote in the General Election was Tuesday, November 26.
Maria Caulfield, Conservatives
I came into politics after working as a nurse in the NHS for over twenty years. I am no a career politician and during my time as your MP I have stood up for constituents on issues such as Southern
Rail, successfully spoken out against planning development on local green spaces, campaigned for an upgraded A27 and kept my promise to you to support a good Brexit deal.
Living locally, I care passionately about the issues that matter to you and have held many public meetings to discuss issues from Brexit to traffic problems in local towns and villages. While Brexit has been all consuming, if re elected I want to finish the work I have started on redeveloping Newhaven town, delivering new medical centres in towns such as Lewes, Polegate, Seaford and Newhaven and see the Exceat bridge completed after securing the money to make it happen. I also want to ensure that the 200 new police officers for Sussex police help to tackle the problems of anti- social behaviour in our towns and ensure that the 6% increase in funding for our schools in Lewes gets delivered to each and every school within the constituency. While other parties in this election will talk just about Brexit, I want to deliver on that but also deliver on your other priorities too.
Kate Chappell, Labour
I grew up in Plumpton and love to walk on the Downs which unite this constituency. I now live in Lewes with my husband and three daughters, so naturally I’m passionate about reducing class sizes, providing youth services again, and making our towns and countryside clean, green and safe.
As my parents age, I worry about social care and the NHS being stretched past breaking point.
I will fight for more genuinely affordable homes in Lewes constituency, and for ring-fencing the profits from offshore renewables to spend on coastal communities like Newhaven.
I want to see our railways in public ownership and will demand that the Seaford/ Lewes lines are safeguarded.
I will fight for the 3000 axed bus routes, serving villages and towns nationally, to be reinstated.
I fully support Labour’s plans to compensate WASPI women and to protect the rights of people living with disabilities, as well as the Labour Party’s £26bn rescue package for the NHS – plus our plans to return more police officers to our streets, to reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.
We’ll tackle the climate emergency through kickstarting a green industrial revolution, creating many more well-paid unionised jobs. We will also increase funding for the South Downs National Park.
Labour has our strongest ever manifesto this time round, and our Brexit policy is the only sensible way through the Brexit mess the Tories have left us in.
I’ve been a councillor for seven years so I know how to advocate effectively for people.
I also champion environmental issues, and have set up three successful recycling enterprises providing employment – so I’m a real ‘do-er’.
Oli Henman, Liberal Democrats
I am standing to be your representative, as a candidate who listens to residents and knows how to deliver real policy change.
I am a charity campaigner with twenty years of experience in community engagement on social justice and sustainable development.
I live in Lewes with my wife and two young children who attend a local primary school, I am a sitting Town Councillor and am active in a number of local community groups including as a campaigner for local schools funding and as a founding member of Plastic Free Lewes.
I believe passionately in a fairer, more sustainable society and I will always work collaboratively with community organisations for the benefit of local residents.
In my spare time, I enjoy walking on the Downs and spending time on the coast with my young family.
I have a strong track record in achieving real policy change: in the early 2000s, I worked for Lib Dem MP Paul Keetch when he was on the Defence Select Committee and spokesperson against the Iraq War; I also worked with charity leaders to secure ambitious global targets for the environment and rights in 2015, the Sustainable Development Goals; and over the past 3 years I have set up a new network called Action for Sustainable Development to provide a space to share key projects and knowledge on climate and rights from around the world.
I know how to get real change and will be a strong voice for the local area.
Johnny Denis, Green
I’m Johnny Denis, the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for Lewes Constituency. I am an experienced councillor who knows how to get things done for our communities.
I have lived in and around Lewes for over 40 years and has spent most of those years serving the community. I’m self-employed and a dad.
I have set up and supported a long list of social enterprises and not-for-profit companies including; Furniture Now! Lewes Town Partnership, Common Cause cooperative (that runs Lewes farmers market), housing co-ops, a heating fuel co-op for rural residents.
As a popular District Councillor for Ouse Valley and Ringmer I am also a member of the District Council Cabinet. I’m a parish councillor for both Ringmer and for Glynde & Beddingham Parish Councils and a Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health.
Also standing – Paul Cragg (Independent)