ELECTION: Sheffield Central candidates fight for your votes

Sheffield Central has the most candidates standing to become MPs in the city - ten.

Liberal Democrat Joe Otten has not submitted statements.

The statements are in alphabetical order.

Steve Andrew - Communist Party candidate

“Britain desperately needs change.

And yet what do the mainstream parties offer us? More cuts, more austerity, more privatisation, more scapegoating and more wars.

Surely we can do better than this? The bank bailout was brought about by reckless speculation and big business profiteering.

It cost £1.3 trillion of our money-almost twenty times the annual government deficit.

And we are now paying for that bailout again with tax and VAT rises and with cuts in public services, benefits and wages. Let’s start taxing the rich.

They caused this so called crisis not us. Let’s use nationalised banks to lend to home buyers, small businesses and productive industry. Let’s bring public transport, gas, water and electricity back into public ownership.

All privatised services health services should be returned to the NHS. Lets scrap trident and get out of NATO altogether. And yes let’s leave the EU.

Its undemocratic and unreformable. From Greece to Ireland it acts in the interests of big business and always will.

Only by measures like these can the question become not so much of where is all the money going to come from but rather one of what shall we spend it on first?

The struggle is also one for political equality too. Amongst other things scrap the anti-trade union laws, implement the TUC backed Charter for Women and extend all democratic rights in a progressive and federal Britain.

From the October Revolution of 1917 to the on-going advances in Cuba, history has shown that there is an alternative. And that alternative is socialism.”

Paul Blomfield - Labour candidate candidate

“Since being elected in 2010, I’ve reached out to hear the concerns of my constituents and to press them in Parliament.

That’s why I took on payday lenders and successfully campaigned for tough new regulation to stop them ripping people off.

It’s why I opposed the unfair Tory/Lib Dem Council cuts that have hit Sheffield harder than wealthier areas.

But only a new Government can secure the change we need. I support electoral reform, but our current voting system will only produce a Labour Government or 5 more years of the Tories.

The choice between Labour and the Tories has never been clearer. We reject Conservative plans to shrink public services and make unfunded tax giveaways. We’ll tackle low pay, ban exploitative zero hour contracts, let public companies run our railways and end NHS privatisation.

We’ll scrap the Bedroom Tax, build new family homes, cut tuition fees, crack down on tax avoidance and create apprenticeships to help our young people gain skills and jobs.

We’ll fund our plans with higher taxes for those who can afford it – like top earners and owners of £2m properties - as well as tough action against tax avoidance.

We can change our country so that it works for everyone, not just those at the top. With your support a Labour Government will start the job of reversing the damage of the last 5 years and tacking the growing inequality that shames our country.

Vote for a better future on May 7.”

Elizabeth Breed - English Democrats candidate

“I am a 54 year old mother who wants to give you, the voter a voice in Westminster.

We should celebrate our Englishness, our culture and identity. I would campaign to make St George’s Day a public holiday. I would campaign for our schools to teach children of our great achievements and be proud of being English.

After the general election the Scottish National Party could have the deciding vote on English matters.

Only the English Democrats will counter this. We want independence for English from the rest of the nations of the UK.

We know the our great NHS is being overwhelmed by our countries increasing population through uncontrolled immigration. We need to get out of the EU asap and control our own borders.

We need to stop health tourism. The National Health Service isn’t the International Health Service!

I would campaign to encourage manufacturing back into Sheffield which has been decimated in recent years. We have a skilled work force in Sheffield which is being wasted.

Vote English, Vote English Democrats-“Putting England first!”

Thom Brown - Above and Beyond Party candidate

“Above and Beyond is standing on the single policy platform of campaigning for a none of the above option to appear on the ballot paper.

This is not only to reflect the growing public dissatisfaction with British politics, but also to move towards overcoming it. Forty per cent of registered voters in Sheffield Central didn’t turnout in 2010 and I believe for democracy to function effectively we need to appeal to these non-voters.

Students typically feel put off by the mainstream parties in politics, while simultaneously being interested politics more generally.

This highly student populated city has some of the most active protests, occupations and campaigns in the country, with students fighting honestly and with dedication for important social issues, so why don’t they feel the need to turnout at election time?

Above and Beyond seeks to answer this, firstly by extending voters’ choice by allowing them to actively withhold consent, in a way that spoilt ballots are not able to.

Sheffield is a progressive city, let down by the failings of the Liberal Democrats to live up to their liberal expectations.

The winning party in Sheffield Central, as with most other constituencies, is always beaten by the non-voters.

This election will see a huge variety of smaller parties, a couple of which can expect considerable growth in support from 2010.

I welcome this widening of viewpoints, whether it’s from the anti EU right, a Pirate or a Communist. The public are demanding more and politics is in desperate need of reform.”

Jillian Creasy - Green candidate

“I was elected in Central Ward as Sheffield’s first Green councillor in 2004.

Since then we have run successful campaigns to improve housing and transport, supported local businesses and communities, and improved green spaces.

As leader of the Green Group I have held the council to account over cuts and the privatisation of services.

I have used my position to speak out on nuclear power, nuclear weapons, human rights and climate change.

Formerly a GP for 25 years, I am now the Green Party’s national spokesperson on Health and Social Care.

I am determined to protect the NHS from privatisation and to make sure patients and carers are properly supported in their homes and communities.

Good general health also depends on freedom from poverty, meaningful work, decent housing, free education, a clean environment and affordable, healthy food.

In the local elections in 2014, the Greens doubled our number of councillors and gained 31 per cent of the votes, placing us first or second in each of the five wards which make up Sheffield Central constituency.

We are the clear challengers to Labour with the other parties well behind. Labour have joined the Tories and Lib Dems in proposing more austerity cuts in their manifestos.

I will work tirelessly to stop tax evasion, scrap Trident nuclear missiles, stop fracking and prevent climate change.

I will challenge austerity, supporting higher taxes for the rich and investment in jobs and public services. Vote big, vote bold and vote Green.”

Dominic Cook - Ukip candidate

“I am the standing for the UK Independence Party because I believe in Britain.

In Sheffield you only have two choices; you can vote Labour who will borrow more, spend more money it hasn’t got and make you pay more taxes, or you can vote UKIP.

The simple facts are we owe £1.5 trillion pounds and are running at a deficit of £90bn every year. Yet despite this all the other parties think its fine to hand out every single day £55m in net contributions to Europe and £35m in foreign to countries that have more millionaires than we do. All this while

people at home are living in fuel poverty and struggling to put food on the table. This must change.

UKIP will ease your financial burden by raising the tax threshold to £13000, scrap bedroom and inheritance tax and reduce your energy bills. UKIP believes in an education program that works for every child regardless of social background and will introduce a range of new schools including grammar schools, and technical colleges. High quality apprenticeships should be equally valued as degrees. We will scrap tuition fees for STEM subjects.

UKIP are fully committed to keeping NHS free at the point of entry and free from privatisation. We will inject a much needed £12 Billion into the NHS to fund many more nurses, GPs and midwives.

Our figures add up and have been independently verified, read our manifesto.

Vote UKIP and you will get UKIP. Vote for change.”

Michael Driver - Workers’ Revolutionary Party

“The Workers Revolutionary Party and Young Socialists are standing in this election because returning Labour as the government is not enough, and will not resolve the problems of the working class.

Labour is based on the trade unions, and is not the same as the Tories. However it is not a socialist party and has pledged to carry out similar policies as the Tories, to balance the books of bankrupt capitalism, including the acceptance of universal credit which means Miliband and Balls will act as ruthlessly as this task requires.

We stand for the renationalisation of the railways, energy companies, and bus services and an end to all attempts to privatise the NHS.

We stand for the nationalisation of the land , banks, building industry and for a socialist plan to build millions of new homes for all, at a nominal council house rent.

WRP/YS candidates are for the reintroduction of EMA, an end to all slave labour schemes, and the right to vote at 16!

We are for the unity of workers of the world, and in Europe we advocate the EU be wound up and be replaced by the Socialist United States of Europe.

We support voting Labour where our candidates are not standing because its victory will see workers advance in their millions to demand the restoration of everything that the Tories have stolen and will create the conditions for a socialist revolution and a workers government.”

Andy Halsall - Pirate Party candidate

“On May 7 you will be given a chance to decide the future of our country. That choice is an important one and it’s all yours.

I know that my party won’t be forming the next government, but we will challenge those in power when they are wrong. Without that, change is impossible regardless of who is in government.

We need a publicly owned, funded and accessible NHS, great free education, a fair tax system, more housing and an economy that works for us all.

We need a government that respects privacy and lets us live, work and innovate.

We need a society that helps us achieve our potential. I know it’s possible to do this if, instead of cutting services and spending, we invest in our country together. I’ll fight for that, it’s why I’m standing.

I helped my party campaign in the 2010 General Election. It was the first campaign I had been involved in and it showed me how important our democracy is and how under-represented we are in it. It made me want to find a better way.

If our MPs represent their constituents, not their parties or donors; if all of us, politicians, activists, voters and citizens, are bolder, then we will create the change we need. Government that works for all of us.

Mine is a sensible party with a silly name, trying to do good. If you like my positions and our ideas, then vote for them. It’s that simple.”

Stephanie Roe - Conservative candidate

“I first visited Sheffield over 15 years ago as a student studying at the University of Leeds, since then I have seen the city grow and prosper.

My reason for becoming a criminal defence solicitor was to represent those in society who needed a voice.

No one is immune from prosecution and my clients have been from all walks of life from different backgrounds with varying social-economic problems. I understand the issues that people face having witnessed first - hand those struggles.

It is important to me that we live in a ‘fair and just’ society where prosperity is available to all, irrelevant of background.

My three main priorities for Sheffield, if elected, is to increase:

1) employment

2) access to apprenticeships, training and education

3) NHS investment

No party is perfect, and many people feel disillusioned with politics and politicians. May 7 is your chance to have a say and to decide which party best represents the principles that you believe are important and will provide the best future for you and your family.

The Conservative Party has in the last 5 years, in coalition with the Liberal Democrats, increased employment and reduced the financial deficit left by Labour.

This has been through public service savings and efficiencies which have enabled the Conservative Party to put the economy back on track.

A strong economy is vital for prosperity and opportunity and it will lead to increased investment in public services such as the NHS which is one of our most important institutions.

If you care about your future and want a strong voice in Westminster then vote for me.”

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