With the General Election now just one week away, the race is looking tighter than anyone could have predicted at the start.
When Theresa May called the election, she claimed to be seeking a mandate for her Brexit stance – but, since then, opposition parties and voters have reminded her that any Government will have more than one job to do over the next five years.
Besides the big headlines and national discussions, voters must also choose their local representative and the person who will stand up for them and the best interests of Erewash amid all the changes which are to come.
We asked each of the prospective parliamentary candidates what their campaign priorities are, and why they deserve your vote.
MAGGIE THROUP , CONSERVATIVE
The result of this election will define the future direction of our country like never before in our lifetime. This is because whoever forms the next Government after June 8 will lead Britain’s European exit negotiations.
I am therefore proud to be standing with Theresa May as her local candidate here in Erewash because I believe that only she can provide the strength and stability that our country so desperately needs at this critical time.
During my maiden speech to the House of Commons, I said that I would not be afraid to put my head above the parapet and fight for our community. Since then I have campaigned tirelessly on the issues that matter most to residents such as social care, the opening of Ilkeston train station and anti-social behaviour.
In the same way, I have every confidence that Theresa May is definitely not afraid to stick her head above the parapet and will fight for the best possible deal for Britain, both on Brexit and beyond.
The fact is that only the Conservatives or Labour can win in Erewash on June 8.
We cannot automatically assume that Theresa May and the Conservatives will win this election hands down based on opinion polls alone.
Therefore I am urging local people to renew their support in me locally as their Member of Parliament, in order to return Theresa May back to Downing Street as our Prime Minister, with a strong mandate to continue to deliver for Erewash and Great Britain.
CATHERINE ATKINSON, LABOUR
I live in Ilkeston and believe in this town and its people. The Government is running out of excuses for why our living standards and public services are going backwards. People in Ilkeston are hard working, decent, independent-minded - and deserve an MP who is prepared to take on the Government and win on these issues.
I want to see investment in our young people because they are our future, not cuts to our schools. I want to protect older people from attacks on their pensions and their access to care. I want to help deliver Labour’s pledge for 10,000 more police. My husband served in Afghanistan and I will always stand up for our armed forces.
I am proud that people who have voted for other parties before are saying they will vote for me, so Ilkeston does not turn into a Tory ‘one party state’.
We are leaving the EU and I will be a strong MP standing up to the Government during negotiations to make sure the deal is good for Ilkeston. We need a people’s Brexit not one cooked up behind closed doors in Westminster.
When I set my mind to something, I do it. Over the last few years I’ve organised an apprentice fair at the college, campaigned for investment in our town centre and fought successfully with Ilkeston FC fans for a new footpath along the main walkway towards the New Manor Ground.
On June 8 choose an MP who will stand up for you and get things done.
MARTIN GARNETT, Liberal Democrats
This election is not just about Brexit, it is about the type of society we want. The Liberal Democrats have always campaigned for a fair society in which everyone has equality of opportunities. Brexit matters, because if the terms negotiated do not include good engagement with Europe, it could set our economy back for decades.
Both Theresa May and Jeremy Corbyn back an extreme form of Brexit which will seriously damage our economy. Jeremy Corbyn wants to transform Britain but can’t say how it will be paid for. Theresa May is still part of the Conservatives she called ‘the Nasty Party’. She pretends that she is going to make Britain fairer, but can you trust ‘the Nasty Party’ to deliver this change of policy?
Britain is one of the world’s richest countries but our economy is not currently in good shape. The Liberal Democrats recognise that it is investment for the future, rather than continuing austerity that is needed. Investment in our NHS so that we have all have the health and social services we need. Investment in our schools and colleges, in apprenticeships and retraining to educate and develop a first class workforce that can compete globally. Investment in research and development and in our new small and hi-tech businesses to grow our economy and jobs. Good quality housing that people can afford whether through ownership or renting.
Only the Liberal Democrats have a manifesto for both an effective economy and fair social reform. Martin can help to deliver this positive vision for our future.
RALPH HIERONS, GREEN PARTY
Erewash has been home to my family for ten years. I am passionate about creating a great place for my own four children and for yours. I believe that the only party that holds everyone’s best interests is the Green Party and I am proud to be the Erewash Parliamentary Candidate.
There is a desperate local need for affordable housing for buyers and renters of all ages. With positive intervention, our communities could be somewhere to call home for everyone.
There is also a real deficit in social welfare and support for our NHS and its staff. I aim to be a voice for all residents in need, whether they’re elderly, disabled, vulnerable or children living in poverty.
Protecting our green belt is, of course, a priority for us, but threats like fracking will also devastate green spaces, wildlife and the quality of our air and water. Renewable energy offers cleaner solutions as costs are falling.
The £50billion-plus HS2 project will affect everyone in Erewash. There are alternative, cleaner public transport options available. I am proud of Erewash Green Party’s ongoing involvement in the Stop HS2 protest group.
Something I enjoy about being a candidate is receiving e-mails from voters asking my views on issues important to them. I answer them all personally.
In response to some recent questions; I am in favour of public ownership, I oppose cuts to education health and social care, I oppose repealing the fox hunting ban and am committed to animal welfare.
Roy Dunn, Independent
Retired rail engineer Roy Dunn is also standing in the election as an independent candidate. Mr Dunn was invited to submit an election statement, but despite repeated requests none was forthcoming as the Advertiser went to press.
What voters need to know
n Polling stations will be open from 7am to 10pm on June 8. n You should have received a card with details of your local polling station. If not, you can search for your polling station at www.erewash.gov.uk, call 0115 907 1190 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
n It is helpful to take your poll card with you. But if you don’t have it, you can still vote as long as you are registered.
n Postal votes need to be completed and returned in the envelope provided. If you leave it too late to post back, you can drop it off at a polling station or at either Long Eaton or Ilkeston Town Hall.