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With 12 hours to go until the polls open, Lichfield and Burntwood’s candidates have been invited to make one final plea to voters in their own words.
Below is Conservative candidate Michael Fabricant’s eve of the election statement…“One Lichfield candidate in this election has argued it is pointless to vote. I disagree. This is your opportunity to choose whom you want to represent you in Parliament. Now, provided you use your vote, you can be the judge. I believe that over the years I have proven myself to be a strong constituency MP representing the interests of local people in Parliament. I take up issues with Government departments and agencies, and with local councils and housing authorities on behalf of constituents. My staff and I deal with up to 400 letters, emails, and phone calls a week – and I have a good track record in getting things done for local people. If I am re-elected, I hope you will continue to give me the opportunity of assisting you should you ever need my help. I am very active in the Chamber of the House of Commons frequently taking part in debates and asking questions. However, I believe an MP’s work has to be an effective balance between providing an excellent constituency service while playing an active part in the legislation of our nation. And that even means occasionally disagreeing with my Party when I think they have got something wrong as I believe they did in the case of HS2. And in order to vote against my own Party as well as the Labour and Liberal-Democrat parties, I resigned – as a matter of honour – from the Government in order to do so. Other candidates have raised certain issues about the Coalition:
- On food banks, you should be aware that when civil servants asked Labour Government Ministers permission to refer welfare beneficiaries to food banks, they refused believing it would be bad politics. It was the Coalition who agreed to refer recipients of welfare payments to food banks. We thought it was the right thing to do.
- And yes, Labour decided – rightly in my view – that making large welfare payments to people renting private homes with more bedrooms than they needed was wrong and was blocking those homes from being used by larger families. The Coalition extended the same rules to housing association homes too. It was only then that Labour dubbed it a “bedroom tax”.
- And while 1 in 50 jobs are on zero hour contracts (98% are on fixed contracts), just over half of people on zero hour contracts welcome the flexibility it gives them. And despite the Conservatives inheriting a bankrupt economy from Labour, some two million new jobs have been created since 2010 with more inward investment than the rest of Europe combined.
- As far as the “weaponisation” of the NHS by Labour and all their talk of privatisation, on 6% is privatised – 4% under Labour. That includes local people being sent to private hospitals for MRIs and other procedures all for free under the NHS. Where there is spare capacity, we should use it. And withdrawing that flexibility from the NHS would cause treatment delays and be dangerous.
- Andy Bennetts – Class War
- Michael Fabricant – Conservatives
- Robert Pass – Green Party
- John Rackham – UKIP
- Paul Ray – Lib Dem
- Chris Worsey – Labour