ELECTION PROFILES: Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough candidates fight for veteran MP’s seat

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Seven candidates are fighting to win the seat of Sheffield Hillsborough and Brightside after veteran MP David Blunkett stood down.

Here they explain their priorities and why they are standing to voters.

Conservative Jonathan Harston has not submitted a statement.

The statements are in alphabetical order.

John Booker - Ukip candidate

“My name is John Booker. On May 22 2014 I was elected as the first UKIP Councillor in Sheffield, and I am very proud of that fact.

I believe politics is about people, making decisions that effect people’s lives. If they are affected in a positive way, that is good politics. If they are affected in a negative way, that is bad politics. I am all about good politics

Dealing with people’s concerns and issues on a daily basis has been challenging but rewarding.

Ukip’s work so far, with the help of my colleagues and local residents, includes securing a bus service to and from Grenoside Crematorium. We started the process of constructing off-road bus laybys near Angram Bank Primary School, High Green, to ease congestion and making crossing the road safer for all.

With the support of local volunteers and action groups, we have removed graffiti and cleaned up in local parks and open spaces in the ward. This is just a small proportion of work carried out in my local area during this last year.

In the city as a whole, I would like to see increased funding commitments for the transport budget and cycle friendly design schemes throughout Sheffield.

I am strongly in favor of utilising our waterways and rivers to generate electricity through the use of waterwheels, Francis Turbines and similar projects.

I have had meetings with water technicians and local businessmen who are positive about these plans.

We feel if these ideas could be realised using local workers and materials, they could be the pride of Sheffield and the envy of the country.”

Maxine Bowler - Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition candidate

“I have been a lifelong trade unionist and socialist. I helped organise and have spoken at many of the demonstrations against the cuts.

I am a key member of the Stop the War Coalition and a strong supporter of the Palestinians.

I am against Austerity- it has been used to redistributing wealth from the poor to the rich.

The politicians, the media and the people who control the wealth- have tried to divide working class people against each other by Blaming the poor, the disabled, the elderly and Immigrants. Whilst we are all fighting amongst ourselves for a few crumbs they are getting away with daylight robbery.

We need to direct our anger at the real enemy.

That’s why I have been supporting the fast food rights campaign, campaigns against sanctions, to defend our NHS and against racism and Islamophobia.

Politician live in a different world to most of the people they are supposed to represent that’s why I pledge that I will take the average Sheffield wage if elected as MP and to give the remainder to the five wards in the constituency to be spent on local services.

I care about the lives of ordinary people and particularly about education. I have been involved in numerous charitable works, including the biggest project building a school in Azad Kashmir.

If elected I will give up my day job as a community worker and put all my efforts and energy, and I have lots of it, into fighting to defend us all.”

Elise Dunweber - Conservative candidate

“I am standing for election as your MP because I care. I care about the people that live in this constituency and I think they deserve a fresh choice.

I know the Conservatives are not traditionally the first choice in Sheffield.

It will be difficult for many to put aside the past and think differently for the future.

But for too long, the people of this constituency have been taken for granted by Labour: old-fashioned politicians with ambitions beyond the long-suffering people who elected them.

Labour arrogantly assumes you will never elect another party. Labour has become complacent and irresponsible and will continue to ignore the best interests of people here.

The Conservatives have made real progress in reducing the deficit, and we have the fastest growing economy in Europe. Since 2010, we have created more jobs than the rest of Europe combined. Let’s keep this going!

We want to create more jobs, encouraging aspiration and a brighter future for all. Only the Conservatives offer a long-term economic plan that’s already working for the good of everyone in the United Kingdom.

A vote for me is not a wasted vote: it’s a powerful call for change.

Make your voice heard. My priorities for the constituency are to increase employment, to improve our schools, and to raise living standards for all.

I will listen to you and speak out for you, and I will never take you for granted. Vote for me on May 7: vote for Sheffield Brightside & Hillsborough.”

Christine Gilligan-Kubo - Green candidate

“I have lived in Hillsborough for over 20 years and I am a lecturer at Sheffield Business School where I champion responsible and ethical business practice.

I am against the zero hours contracts used by big business and want to see all employers pay a living wage. I oppose the abuse of accounting loopholes to avoid paying the taxes needed to support the British economy.

I want to see more support for local businesses and a clampdown on tax avoidance.

The Green Party is against austerity cuts and the bedroom tax. We will increase taxes on the wealthy to provide money to invest in better public services like affordable housing, green jobs, free social care and a publically funded NHS. We want to increase the minimum wage, fund more apprenticeships, restore the Education Maintenance Allowance for 16 and 17 years olds and provide free school meals to help all children get a better start in life.

We will also control payday lenders and prioritise local community credit unions to support those in debt. The Green Party believes homes should be for people to live in, not investment opportunities, and we will crack down on unscrupulous landlords.

Brightside and Hillsborough has high levels of unemployment and many people depend on social housing. I will fight to restore the public services needed to support people in our local communities. I want to build a fairer society that protects the environment for future generations.

Vote for Change. Vote Green.”

Harry Harpham - Labour candidate

“People I talk to are sceptical about politicians they think that they don’t “live in the real world”, that they don’t “get it”.

Well I do get it, I live in the real world.

I left school on Friday and started at the local pit the following Monday. Lads from communities like mine didn’t stay on in education, we put a hard hat on and went to earn a living, that’s what I did until the Tories closed the pits. I have also worked nights in a warehouse for low wages and worked as a volunteer in a local Advice centre.

I know what it’s like to walk round my local supermarket adding up in my head what I am putting in the shopping basket so I have enough money when I get to the checkout.

I know exactly what a Tory government means for working people in Brightside and Hillsborough be it this one or the last one.

On May 7 we all have the opportunity to make a choice.

And it will be one of the most important choices we make.

A choice between Labour that puts working people first, protects our NHS and all our vital services or the Conservatives where only the most privileged succeed and our public services are threatened.

Labour will:

Build a strong economic foundation and balance the books

Build an NHS with time to care

Build a country where the next generation can do better than the last

Bring fairness to the rules about immigration.

Brightside and Hillsborough simply can’t afford another five years of David Cameron.”

Justin Saxton - English Democrats

“My name is Justin Saxton and I am your English Democrats candidate for Sheffield, Brightside and Hillsborough.

I am 25 years of age and I’m involved in volunteer work in my local community.

The people of England have now got a party who will put them first. The Scots, Irish and Welsh have parties who already do this, but the English are underrepresented. That has now changed. You now have the opportunity to vote for a party who will put you first!

If elected I would campaign to get us out the EU. We can still trade with the EU as the rest of the world does.

We don’t see China or Japan having any issues getting their products into the EU, so the theory that we need to be in the EU to trade is totally unfounded.

I will campaign for England to be independent of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Tax collected in

England should be spent on the people of England and not go to prop up the UK.

I would campaign to make St George’s Day a public holiday as is already the case in the other nations of the UK.

Vote English, Vote English Democrats!”