Polls open for the 2019 General Election on Thursday, December 12, and the people of Lincoln will have the responsibility of deciding what’s expected to be one of the closest results in the country.
To help you decide which candidate is most closely aligned with you and your views, we have asked those standing the same 10 questions, covering subjects which have been at the forefront of campaigns.
Here are the answers from Liberal Party candidate Charles Shaw:
1. How do we end the Brexit deadlock?
Immediately leave the European Union. Make it clear to the public that the EU is not Europe Continue with the Council of Europe. Join the European Free Trade Association and become a major player. Publicly apologise for neglecting Commonwealth countries and make preferred partners. Publish then Lord Chancellors danger to Britain advice given on joining which now proves correct!
2. What’s the biggest issue facing people in Lincoln right now, and what will you do to fix it?
The biggest issue facing Lincoln is the condition of the city itself and its development combined with the homeless and needy problem. The city needs to be a Unitary Authority with the power to make its own interventions and planning. This is I believe the best way to empower Lincoln for the future.
3. Tell us what you admire most about your party leader.
Liberal Party leader Cllr Steve Radford has rebuilt the Liberal Party into a radical party of freethinkers capable of working together for the common good. He has promoted diversity and equality at all levels and showed great calmness in the media when faced with patronising rudeness by Mr Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats and championed true liberalism.
4. Tell us about a topic on which you and your party leader disagree.
Hard but I suspect we present differently on ‘Proportional Representation’ as I feel that ‘First Past the Post’ is a good system and real electoral reform needs to be in the way ballots are administered. I believe the candidate should have prominence on the Ballot Paper and the parties should be in smaller print. We live in logo land unfortunately!
5. If you had to vote for one of your fellow Lincoln MP candidates, who would you vote for and why?
Hard question. I came within seven votes of defeating Karen Lee when we stood as council candidates and are fun sparing partners. Then again, as I was Vote Leave Co-ordinator for Lincoln I know Karl McCartney. Caroline Kenyon can be well-meaning but her remain reasons seem bonkers and she talks Britain down as a little country! Oh dear!
6. Winter pressures are crippling Lincolnshire’s hospitals, ambulances are seen queueing at A&E daily, staffing shortages persist, patients are spending hours in hospital corridors and GP appointments are hard to come by. What will you do to find a cure?
The NHS as a monolith is not sacrosanct. We closed too many community hospitals, health centres and surgeries. Stop paying off clinical sector groups such as consultants when they effectively blackmail the NHS. Walk-in-centres should become the norm this means GP surgeries too. GPs to be employed by the community. Support nurses and midwives!
7. There has been a 15% rise in knife assaults in Lincolnshire. Possession of an offensive weapon crimes rose by 44%. What will you do to make people on our streets feel safer?
More police on the beat, not weapons for officers but more officers who know their communities as well as PCSOs. This is the crucial tool of effective policing. We have also paid a price for not effectively funding community youth work – yes young people benefit from Youth Centres! But it’s adults too we need to reduce general aggression
8. Local bus services have been squeezed in recent years and train fares have increased. Will you fight for better access to public transport?
More please! Yes I will fight for more – Lincoln area needs evening buses in those parts not already served and more frequent services. People use public transport if it is regular and you do not need to check when it’s running – 10/15 min frequencies. Environmentally we need this also. The railway is busy and needs our support.
9. Tell us what you know of poverty, and how you would address deprivation as Lincoln’s MP.
Playing a role in youth and community education as well as having financial services and insurance experience I have seen many sides of deprivation and poverty.
We have to address the cycle of deprivation which means both providing direct services in terms of accommodation and food and also educating young people and adults so they can become self-sufficient.
10. What would you most like to be remembered for?
For being fair, or trying to be – as a reasonable husband and father and for being more of a Peter Kay type than a Ricky Gervais although I understand they are both good people. For being human and for standing up for what I believe in and having the courage to support friends – sometimes I fail!
How many of these answers did you agree with? Let us know in the comments!
Seven candidates (now six following the resignation of Brexit candidate Reece Wilkes) took part in a special live hustings debate at The Lawn on Monday, hosted by The Lincolnite and BBC Radio Lincolnshire.
You can watch the debate in full here: