These are the 5 candidates standing to be Horsham’s next MP in the General Election.
Each was invited to submit 250 words about themselves and their policies. Here’s what they had to say.
Iain Dickson - Green Party
“Hello. I’m Iain Dickson.
“I am the candidate for the Green Party in Crawley for the General Election.
“I have lived and worked in Crawley for over 35 years and have stood in local and county council elections during that time. I have also worked in Crawley for many years as a teacher, youth worker, cleaner, civil servant and support worker.
“I have held a number of positions such as secretary of Crawley Trades Council, a member of Crawley and National CND for many years and more recently, I played a part in the Crawley Bedroom Tax campaign, amongst many other campaigns.
“I believe in an equal and just society and in making you and the environment central to our local and national economies. People and looking after our surroundings, must come before short term profit and money making. I believe very strongly, that we must act quickly to address the Climate Emergency facing us all.
“We need to build more social, zero carbon housing in Crawley, join many other councils in the UK in cutting local carbon emissions to zero by 2030, end austerity, properly fund vital services such as: the NHS, schools, social housing, etc. We need to reduce the gap between rich and poor, create a sustainable economy at local and national levels and urgently address Climate Change.
“This can done by reassessing how we tax the richest and biggest businesses. Dropping expensive projects such as: Trident (£205 billion), HS2 (£100b), and Hinkley Point (£30-50b) amongst other measures.
“Vote Green on December 12, Thank you.”
Peter Lamb - Labour Party
“Crawley is my home. It’s where I was born, where I went to school, and where I’ve served the community as a councillor for almost a decade, over half of which as Council Leader.
“After 9 years of Conservative Government we’ve seen Crawley’s NHS decline into financial special measures, local headteachers forced to march on Downing Street to demand the funding the town’s schools need, and police cuts so big they ushered in a wave of drugs and violence into our community.
“Laws voted for by our Conservative MP have created the tragic reality that a child born in Crawley now has a one in three chance of being born into poverty, while at the same time the Conservatives are on course for having delivered £100bn in corporate giveaways and tax cuts for the wealthy. Do they really care about our community? Do they really care about your family?
“As Leader, I’ve delivered council housing on a scale not seen in decades, balanced budgets without frontline cuts—despite the Government taking Crawley’s entire grant, and kicked-off a wave of investment in the town’s facilities and infrastructure. I’ve worked hard for Crawley because I want the best for our town.
“I’m not perfect, but I’ll always try my best and never promise anything I don’t know I can deliver and only Labour will deliver the funding our public services need, provide the boost the fight against climate change demands through a Green New Deal and build a fairer society for all.”
Henry Smith - Conservative
“A majority of Crawley people voted for Brexit and the town’s as well as Britain’s democratic choice must be respected. Once Brexit is done we can deliver your priorities for extra police plus more NHS and school resources” says Crawley’s Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, Henry Smith.
Henry’s six main policy areas for Crawley’s future are:
Investing in Crawley’s NHS is key. Labour closed our A&E in 2005 but services have been returning to Crawley Hospital with a 24/7 urgent care unit, more beds and an historic increase in NHS funding. Enhancing our town’s GP capacity is a commitment he’ll continue to pursue.
Extending opportunity. He’s helped secure a record £82.8 million of funding for Crawley schools and attracted new businesses so we’ve got increased employment. Continuing economic growth with even more high-quality jobs is his key aim for our town.
Better transport and connectivity are important and Henry has successfully lobbied for millions of pounds in extra funding to upgrade local roads and railways.
A clean, green and safe town is what Henry says local residents should expect and to this end he’s pressured Crawley Council to improve their poor recycling and litter levels.
Although in recent years local police numbers have not reduced, he’ll work to ensure Crawley gets a good share of the 20,000 extra officers now being recruited nationally.
Supporting those who work hard and want to get on by reducing taxes as well as looking after pensioners are key priorities that Henry pledges to continue pursuing.
Khalil Yousuf - Liberal Democrats
“As a Liberal Democrat, I am standing in this election because I believe that we should STOP BREXIT and build a BRIGHTER FUTURE for us all.
“Crawley has been run by the Conservatives and Labour since 1983. During that time, inequality and unfairness have increased. The people of Crawley deserve better.
“It is time to move away from the old politics of the Conservatives and Labour and bring a fresh new perspective to Crawley. It’s time for change. It’s time for the Liberal Democrats.
“Liberal Democrat policies benefitting Crawley include:
£10.4 million for Youth Services
Spending on youth services doubled. £10,409,474 has been allocated to West Sussex.
Young people will get the support and opportunities they deserve. Our community will be stronger, benefitting us all.
Address funding and workforce shortages in the NHS and Social Care
Following years of cuts and under investment, an extra 1p on income tax means £7 billion more to relieve the crisis in health and social care and tackle urgent workforce shortages.
Mental health as urgent as physical health.
We will put £11 billion into mental health, investing in child and adolescent mental health, matching waiting time standards with physical health and expanding our mental health workforce. Mental health will be as urgent as physical health.
Abolish Business Rates
Businesses in Crawley are crippled by excessive Business Rates. We will abolish Business Rates, replacing them with a Commercial Landowner Levy, shifting the burden from tenants to landowners.”