General Election 2017: Sheffield Central candidate profiles

In the second of our General Election candidate profiles, we ask those running to be the Sheffield Central MP why they should get your vote.
General Election 2017: candidates for Sheffield CentralGeneral Election 2017: candidates for Sheffield Central
General Election 2017: candidates for Sheffield Central

Each candidate standing in the constituency this year was asked to send up to 200 words on their policies and why people should choose them when they go to the polls on June 8.

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Tomorrow: Sheffield Hallam.

Natalie Bennett, Green

It’s time for change in politics. The Green Party offers solutions for the people of Sheffield that will help build a caring, confident city.

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In Sheffield Central you have a straight choice between Labour and Green. There’s no chance of the Tories or Lib Dems winning.

The Green Party will always resist privatisation of our NHS. We will support good local schools that are not just exam factories but prepare pupils for life. We understand that living within the environmental limits of our one fragile planet isn’t a choice, but a necessity.

I will be a bold, confident voice speaking for Sheffield. For all workers to be paid a decent wage in a job that they can build their life on. For the small independent businesses that are the foundation of a strong, secure, local economy. For the renewable energy projects that offer huge opportunities for traditional and new manufacturers.

Greens want our young people to have the same choices and freedoms their parents had. Freedom of movement in the EU. Freedom from the crushing weight of student debt. The freedom that comes from a decently paid, secure job that you can build a life on.

Paul Blomfield, Labour

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I stood for election in 2010, after living and working in Sheffield for most of my life, to make politics work for local people.

As an MP, my annual ‘Big Conversation’ and other activities have involved thousands of people in deciding what I do at Westminster. It’s why I took on the payday lenders, helping secure tougher rules to limit spiralling debt, and won improved benefits for the terminally ill.

It’s why I forced ministers to think again about moving Business Department jobs from Sheffield to London.

But Sheffield needs more secure and well paid jobs. That’s why Labour will invest in the northern economy, increase the minimum wage and end exploitative zero hours contracts. And we will seek a strong future partnership with the EU to protect our interests.

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There are other important issues too. The crisis in the NHS and public services is not inevitable. It is the result of choices made by the Tories. Labour would reverse the tax breaks for the wealthy and big companies, while supporting small businesses, to raise the money needed to repair the NHS, fund our schools, and restore policing levels to keep people safe.

A better Britain is possible.

Jack Carrington, Yorkshire Party

I have lived in Sheffield Central for six years, working jobs in everything from night-shift parcel sorting, to admin roles in further education, to my current role as finance director for Make Votes Matter.

Briefly studied economics and maths at Sheffield University, before moving on to accountancy, and volunteering in the community (Citizens Advice at Spital Hill, some projects around Park Centre, and others).

Though I believe in many things (such as fair and equal votes, ensuring a global Britain emerges from a successful Brexit, opposing excessive criminalisation, and widening economic opportunity), real substantial devolution is both the core of what I am standing for at this election, and how the message of voting for The Yorkshire Party will be interpreted by parties & decision makers after the election.

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Taking decisions closer to the people they affect means more targeted, more efficient, and more accountable policy-making - and as dry as that can sound, it’s what will bring jobs and growth to Yorkshire and the regions left behind by Westminster.

Sheffield is my home, I want to see it able to prosper, and I am standing for election as part of what I can do to help make that happen.

Dr Dominic Cook, UK Independence Party

I am married with two girls; the youngest of whom will be joining her sister at infant school this year. I work for one of the UK’s largest water companies and care passionately about the world we live in. I love Sheffield, our vibrant multi-cultural city, nestled in amazing countryside.

I care about Britain and its standing in the world. Our laws and judicial system set the gold standard which many other countries follow. Yet our courts are often overruled by those in Brussels.

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We have been a great trading nation and can be again if Europe didn’t control who we trade with.

Britain is great; that’s why everyone wants to come and live here. However immigration is too high and we are full up. This is why the NHS is on its knees, schools are grossly underfunded and there is a dire housing crisis. Yet being part of the EU means that we have no control over who comes to live here.

‘We are leaving the EU’ I hear you say. But are we leaving completely, a clean break? This is exactly why UKIP is still here, it’s not ‘job done’ we need to hold the government to account.

Shaffaq Mohammed, Liberal Democrat

Sheffield is an international city. I was born in Kashmir, Pakistan and moved to the UK aged four with my father who came to Sheffield to work in the steel mills.

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My experience of representing this great city on the council and attending Sheffield University with students all over the world has shown me the value of internationalism and openness, which are under threat from this Conservative Brexit Government.

These ideals over openness and tolerance are shared by the majority of Sheffield Central constituents, who voted around 70 per cent to remain in the European Union last June. The Labour incumbent Paul Blomfield campaigned for remain but has abandoned his principles and voted against the best interests of the people he represents.

Sheffield Central constituency deserves an MP that will represent their constituents on Brexit and provide a strong opposition to Theresa May’s hard Brexit Conservative Government.

Robert Moran, Pirate Party UK

As a Sheffield resident for the past four years I have first hand experience of the issues that the city faces. Sheffield as a city and the north as a whole is too often overlooked by those in Westminster. If elected, I would give those in Sheffield Central back their voice and help the city to realise its potential.

If elected, I would vote:

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- For a ‘soft’ Brexit which includes continued freedom of movement, goods and services.

- To increase NHS funding and to prevent its privatisation.

- To nationalise the railways.

- To abolish tuition fees.

- To scrap Trident.

- To fight climate change by reducing the UK’s reliance on fossil fuels.

- To scrap the ‘Snoopers Charter’ and reduce blanket surveillance measures.

On a local level, Sheffield has seen a lot of regeneration in recent years. Unfortunately, there are still many areas of the city which have not seen this level of development. I would lobby for more investment in deprived parts of the city so that everyone can benefit.

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Sheffield also has a lack of appropriate jobs. I would push for more employers to relocate to Sheffield, and encourage the creation of new businesses which will employ those with degree level qualifications.

Steph Roe, Conservative

I am no career politician. I have experience of the real world working as a criminal lawyer representing people from all sorts of backgrounds accused of all types of crimes. I also run my own business and believes in opportunity and the success that comes from working hard.

Sheffield is a great city but there is so much that can be done to improve the city. Labour think they have Sheffield Central in the bag. But I think they are complacent, especially as so many people know Corbyn would be a terrible Prime Minister. Brexit is the key issue this time and the feedback I get from voters is that Theresa May is the only one they trust.

Here are my three pledges:

1 - To work hard to unite our city and the country so we can stand together in supporting Theresa May to get the best possible deal for the UK in the EU negotiations.

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2 - I would use my experience as a criminal lawyer to focus on making the streets safer in Sheffield.

3 - The Northern Powerhouse plan is helping to boost investment in Sheffield, but I want to attract even more jobs and investment to our city.

Joe Westnidge, Social Deomcratic Party

Joe graduated from university with an honours degree in business management. Soon after he went on to join a FTSE 100 financial services firm.

Currently he is in a management position within Sheffield’s thriving metal industry.

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Primarily educated in Sheffield, he returned to his hometown after brief periods of study in Spain, Scotland and America.

He has a large family in and around the Sheffield area which is the driving force behind his passion to support people and businesses in the Sheffield Central constituency.

“Sheffield Central is a youthful, vibrant, evolving constituency,” he said.

“When I saw the other party candidates being airdropped in I thought ‘will any of these people really understand the people? How can anyone really “get” the issues and needs and opportunities here?’.

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“Although I’m only 24 years of age, I’ve been around a lot and can see the issues and have got the energy to do something about it.

“Education and integration are key issues. I’m a big believer in direct democracy and we can get real democracy when we leave the EU which is controlled by unelected autocrats.”

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